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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SIVEN, n. Also sivan, sivven, seven, cevenn, civan; sibban, -en, -in. [′sɪvən]

1. The wild raspberry, Rubus idaeus (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Mry. 1910 Northern Scot, Mry. 1925; Wgt. 1970).Abd.4 1929:
Gaitherin sivvens roun by the quarry.

2. The wart-like sore or chancre, resembling a raspberry, associated with venereal disease; gen. in pl. the disease itself (Sc. 1808 Jam.).Per. 1762 Forfeited Estate Papers (S.H.S.) 235:
There has been lately brougbt to this country from Lochaber a Distemper commonly called the Cevenns, which is believed to have been brought originally to that country by Oliver Cromwell's army.
Sc. 1775 Dmf. Weekly Mag. (5 Sept.) 385:
It is a great while since that distemper, commonly known by the name of the Yaws, but more properly termed the Sivvens, made its first appearance in this part of the kingdom, as it had long before done in the Highlands. It is well known to be of the venereal kind.
Ags. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 V. 146:
The disease called sibbins has made its appearance.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Sh. 542:
Sibbens, a disease hitherto ill defined, I saw occasionally.
Inv. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XIV. 326:
There is one very loathsome disease, commonly called the sevens or sibbens, which is very prevalent here [Skye].
Bnff. 1851 W. Cramond Ann. Bnff. (S.C.) I. 369:
A case of ‘Sibbans' reported by Dr Whyte.

[Ad. Gael. suibhean, variant of suibheag, a raspberry, a venereal sore. For a sim. sense development cf. Eng. frambesia.]

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"Siven n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Mar 2024 <>



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