cowan

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See also: Cowan

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

First attested in 1598.

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cowan (plurals include the standard and common cowans, as well as the obsolete cowanis)

  1. A worker in unmortared stone; a stonemason who has not served an apprenticeship.
  2. (freemasonry) A person who attempts to pass himself off as a Freemason without having experienced the rituals or going through the degrees.
  3. (slang) A sneak; an inquisitive or prying person.
  4. (in attributive use) uninitiated, outside, “profane

References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

First attested in 1722; perhaps from the Scottish Gaelic cobhan (coffer”, “box”, “ark).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

cowan (plural cowans)

  1. (Scotland, obsolete, rare) A fishing-boat.

References[edit]

  • † Cowan ¹” listed on page 1,111 of volume II (C) of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles [first edition, 1893]
      † Cowan ¹.Sc. Obs. rare — ¹. [? a. Gaelic cobhan coffer, box, ark.] A fishing-boat. [¶] 1722 Wodrow Hist. Church Sc. II. 535 The Earl..resolved to man out..thirty large cowans or fisher-boats.
  • †cowan¹” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [second edition, 1989]

Cornish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the Breton kaouenn (owl).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

cowan f (plural cowannes)

  1. owl (bird)