One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small pet dog; a lapdog.‘out came her wee messan’
- ‘She takes the little messan dog to walk down by the shore.’
- ‘It was a huge mastiff far too large to be her messan or lap dog.’
- ‘She takes such care of me that she dogs my footsteps like a messan.’
- ‘He reached the unfortunate messan, took him in his mouth, and carried him to the opposite bank.’
- ‘Davie has no more presence than a messan dog.’
Late 15th century: from Scottish Gaelic measan, Irish measán ‘small dog’, diminutive of mess ‘favoured one’.
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