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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TREMMLE, v., n. Also trem(m)el, tremmil, tremle; trim(b)le, trimmel, -il, -le; trum(b)le, trummel, -le; thrumle (Cai. 1934 John o' Groat Jnl. (9 Nov.) 6). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tremble. [trɛml, trɪml, trʌml; Cai. + þrʌml]

I. v. 1.

Sc. forms of Eng. tremble: Abd. 1987 Sheena Blackhall in Joy Hendry Chapman 49 56:
A springtime snawdrop, derkened b' an aik
She's spukken for langsyne - yet, incomplete
His sun's her pleisure, mindin on his maik
Is pure delicht, her trimmlin sap replete
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 44:
Syne he maun spik lik sae - "lassies" - or "bonnie lassies" - "I want ye" - or - "I wad prig at ye" - or - "for onie sake dinnae be feartit an trummle. Gin ye think I come forrit as a lion than peity help us for I'm nae sic thing. ..."
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 83:
Man i the muin he's staunan an chauvan
wi a graipfu o breers he's warslan awa.
sic a wunner it is he disnae gang skitan
wi joukan an trummlan sae feart gin he'll faa.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 32:
A' soun', as weel, is stappit
By yon siller quine -
A' clash fae byre and barn
A' scart an scauld an girn
An warsel o' weary men
Their darg and dolour pit by -
Nowt but a hoolit's skreich i' the mirk
An the trummlin o' beddit kye.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 7:
Oceans an bens will flee awa,
Deaved wi the dour trumpet's rummle,
The deid will coor aneath the mools;
The quick in fear will trummle.
Dundee 2000 Matthew Fitt But n Ben A-Go-Go 17:
It wis the third name still untrauchled by Spike an Alaska's brawest legal minds that gart Paolo's granite Klog hert tremmle wi dreid.

Sc. usages in vbl.n. and ppl.adj. tremmlin: a type of virus paralysis with tremor and spasms affecting sheep (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Per., wm., sm. Sc. 1973). Combs. (1) tremmlin axies, -exies, ague (Lth. 1808 Jam.). See Aixies; (2) tremmlin fevers, id. (Ags. 1808 Jam.); (3) trembling ill, = tremmlin above; (4) trummlin Jamie, a table jelly; (5) tremmlin Tam, id. See Tam, prop.n., 4.(21); (6) tremmlin tree, the aspen, Populus tremula (Mry., Abd., Slg., Lth., wm. Sc., Wgt. 1973).Sc. 1902 Trans. Highl. Soc. XIV. 17:
Louping-ill is widely known in Scotland as “trembling.”
Per. 1920 Scottish Farmer (13 March):
Trembling has been on two neighbouring farms since Mr Campbell remembers.
Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes 15:
The hill lan' to the west gets a bad name for the trimmlin'.
(1) Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xi.:
The cookmaid in the trembling exies.
Sc. 1827 Scott Journal (1891) I. 380:
I had some of my flutterings, my trembling exies, as the old people called the ague.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 190:
Shiverin an' shakin like a man wi' the trem'lin aixies.
(3) Slk. 1807 Trans. Highl. Soc. III. 385:
Trembling, Thwarter, or Leaping Ill.
(4) s.Sc. 1887 Fishing Gazette (2 July) 3:
Yitmeal Brose, Pedder's Brose . . . Trumlin' Jamie, Lantern Broth.
(6) Abd. 1931:
Local rhyme from Dinnet: There's the easter bog, an' the wester bog, An' the bog o' the trimlin' tree.

2. Of straw: to shake with the weight of grain in the ear. Hence trimmlin strae, unthreshed corn (Bnff., Abd. 1973).Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. vi.:
They lookit to see gin the strae wis clean threshen and they had to confess they couldna get ony o't to trimmel.
Bnff. 1930:
Tremmlin straes mak trottin owsen, Trottin owsen mak baulkit grun.

II. n.  Sc. form of Eng. tremble.Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 64:
The airt you gie me's aye the north.
Heid tae the wun or dowp tae yirth,
nae maitter, the harns pirl roon
an' wi a shoogle an' a trummle syne settle doon
and point me whaur I'd be.
m.Sc. 1998 Alex Laird in Donny O'Rourke and Kathleen Jamie New Writing Scotland 16: The Glory Signs 73:
Leanin back in his chair
He flicked a fag fae its packit.
Ahh, bit whin he wis lichtin it
The tremmil in his haun
Telt me the truth o it.
Dundee 2000 Matthew Fitt But n Ben A-Go-Go 2:
There. Feel it. The ghaist o a tremmle dinnlin throu the kist. That the day current clickin in.

Sc. usages: in pl., the ague; paralysis in sheep (Gall. c.1780 J. Walker MS. (Edb. Univ. Lib.)). Cf. I. 1. Comb. yowe(s') tremmle, see Yowe. Adj. tremmlie, trummlie, trembly, shaky. Gen.Sc. Comb. shaky tremmlies, quaking-grass. See Shak, n., 1. (2).Sc. 1860 W. G. Stewart Lectures on the Mountains I. 202:
She may just bring twa bottles wi' this half-crown to see and cure me of the trimmles.

[O.Sc. trimbling aixes, 1653, -feiver, 1623.]

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"Tremmle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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