• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Sowens A nutritious article of food, much used in Scotland, made from the husk of the oat by a process not unlike that by which common starch is made; -- called flummery in England.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sowens A nutritious article of food made from the farina remaining among the husks of oats, much used in Scotland and formerly in Northumberland. The husks (called in Scotland seeds or side), after being separated from the oatmeal by the sieve, still retain a considerable portion of farinaceous matter. A quantity of the husks is steeped in water till the farinaceous matter is dissolved, and until the liquid has become sour. The whole is then put into a sieve, which allows the milky liquid to pass through into a barrel or other vessel but retains the husks. The starchy matter gradually subsides to the bottom of the barrel. The sour liquor is then decanted off, fresh water is stirred into the deposit that is left, and the mixture, when boiled, forms sowens. In England it is more commonly called flummery. The singular form sowen is used attributively or in compounds: as, a sowen-tub.
    • sowens A kind of paste employed by weavers for stiffening their yarn in working.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Sowens sō′enz (Scot.) a dish made from the farina remaining among the husks of oats, flummery
    • Sowens Also Sow′ans
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Scottish; cf. AS. seáw, juice, glue, paste


In literature:

What in the world are sowens?
"Ethel Morton's Holidays" by Mabell S. C. Smith
Our sowens are ill sour'd, ill seil'd, ill sauted, ill sodden, thin, an' little o' them.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
And if they should not water the ground where as their corne is sowen, the country is so hote it would burne all.
"The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation, Volume XIV (of 16)" by Richard Hakluyt

In poetry:

In cowl and bauchless faither sat,
Aft nodding in his muckle chair;
The supper sowens stood on the bink—
A supper whilk a queen micht share.
"Grannie's Dream: A True Incident" by Janet Hamilton