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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

THROSTLE, n., v. Also throssel, -il; thrustle; thrissel (Sc. 1825 Jam.), thristle.

I. n. The song-thrush, Turdus ericetorum (ne.Sc. 1903 G. Sim Fauna ofDee” 75). As in Eng. now only liter. The usual Sc. name for the bird is the Mavis. Comb. throstle-cock, thristle-, thrissil-, the male song-thrush (Rxb. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 2), the male missel-thrush, Turdus viscivorus (Sc. 1825 Jam., thrissil-), in some forms confused with Thrissel, 1. (5).Sc. 1803 Proud Lady Margaret in Child Ballads No. 47 A. x.:
The thristlecock is the bonniest bird Sings on the evening gale.
m.Lth. 1808 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 87:
The Throstle was heard to sing at Prestonfield.
wm.Sc. 1832 Whistle-Binkie 45:
The throssil whusslit sweet.
Abd. 1884 D. Grant Lays 141:
While round us trill the throstle's notes.
Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 15:
The throstles 'ill sing at your winnock.

II. v. Of a bird: to warble, pipe, sing.Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 8:
Thou hot-fac'd sun! Who cheers the drooping warld And gars the buntlins throstle.

[O.Sc. thristill, the thrush, 1375, thrissel-cock,? one of the finches, 1689, -i- variants, also found in Mid.Eng., of O.E. þrostle, thrush.]

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"Throstle n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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