In the Scottish folk song Burning of Auchindoun appears the following lines:

Crawing, crawing, for a' your crouse crawin'
Ye burnt yer crop an tint your wings an oor before the dawnin

I'm interested in the meaning behind these lines, particularly the word "tint".

My current hunch on the meaning is that despite all their crouse crawin' (confidence and loud talk?), they (Earl of Huntly's people) metaphorically burnt their own crops (in the Corvid anatomical sense of the word) and tint (variation of tyne meaning to lose, or lose your footing "tint my feet") their wings, implying they were defeated.

Does this seem like a correct interpretation?

  • 2
    We need someone who is familiar with Scottish folk song terminology to interpret that.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 14:46
  • 1
    dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/tyne Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 16:40
  • 1
    The structure of the song is complex, seeming to have two speakers, but yes it seems to be saying that by burning the castle, they've incurred the wrath of Huntly and doomed themselves (the Wikipedia article linked in the question mentions the tangled story of attack and revenge, both in folk tale and fact). This is literary criticism and history, not really on topic for ELU.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


This site concurs with your interpretation and offers definitions:

Crawin: crowing like a cock, boasting
Crop: an internal seed-pouch in
Crouse: arrogant, bold
Fear: frighten
Heid: behead
Tint: lost

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.