Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
See also: Cowan
First attested in 1598.
- A worker in unmortared stone; a stonemason who has not served an apprenticeship.
- (freemasonry) A person who attempts to pass himself off as a Freemason without having experienced the rituals or going through the degrees.
- (slang) A sneak; an inquisitive or prying person.
- (in attributive use) uninitiated, outside, “profane”
Supporting references for cowan (etymology 1)
cowan (plural cowans)
† 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.
” listed on page 1,111 of volume II (C) of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles [first edition, 1893]
- “ ” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [second edition, 1989]
Compare Breton kaouenn.
cowan f (plural cowannes)