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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English gris, from Old Norse gríss.


grice (plural grice or grices)

  1. (now Scotland) A pig, especially a young pig, or its meat; sometimes specifically, a breed of wild pig or boar native to Scotland, now extinct.
    • 1728, Robert Lindsay, The history of Scotland, from 21 February, 1436. to March, 1565: in which are contained accounts of many remarkable passages altogether differing from our other historians, and many facts are related, either concealed by some, or omitted by others, publ. Mr. Baskett and Company, pg.146:
      Further, there was of meats wheat bread, main-bread and ginge-bread with fleshes, beef, mutton, lamb, veal, venison, goose, grice, capon, coney, cran, swan, partridge, plover, duck, drake, brissel-cock and pawnies, black-cock and muir-fowl, cappercaillies;
    • 1789, William Thomson, Mammuth: or, human nature displayed on a grand scale: in a tour with the tinkers, into the inland parts of Africa. By the man in the moon. In two volumes. publ. G. and T. Wilkie, pg.105:
      Through a door to one of the galleries, left half open on purpose I was attracted to a dainty hot supper, consisting of stewed mushrooms and the fat paps and ears of very young pigs, or, as they call them, grice.
    • 2006, "Extinct island pig spotted again," BBC News, 17 November 2006, [1]:
      A model of the grice - which was the size of a large dog and had tusks - has been created after work by researchers and a taxidermist.

Etymology 2Edit

Unknown, possibly from Richard Grice, the first champion trainspotter[2], alternatively perhaps a humorous representation of an upper-class pronunciation of grouser (grouse-shooter)[3]. In either case the derivation could be direct or a back-formation from gricer.


grice (third-person singular simple present grices, present participle gricing, simple past and past participle griced)

  1. (Britain, rail transport, slang) to act as a trainspotter; to partake in the activity or hobby of trainspotting.
    • 1999 March 29, Polson, Tony, “Re: Do all UK rail staff get free unlimited Eurostar travel?”, in uk.railway, Usenet[4]:
      Many people joined the railways because the 'carrot' of a staff pass was a considerable attraction, whether for family travel or to grice at extremely low cost.
    • 2005, The Railway Magazine[5], volume 151, number 1252, IPC Business Press, page 55:
      We can also roganise photo charters, large group footplate courses and gricing holidays [...]
    • 2010, Adam Jacot de Boinod, “Gricer's Daughter”, in I Never Knew There Was a Word For It[6], →ISBN:
      Trainspotters may be mocked by the outside world, but they don't take criticism lying down: the language of gricing is notable for its acidic descriptions of outsiders.
Related termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit


grice (plural grices)

  1. (obsolete) A gree; a step.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for grice in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)




From Old Norse gríss.



grice (plural grices)

  1. pig, piglet
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy:
      ‘Sae, an it come to the warst, I'se een lay the head o' the sow to the tail o' the grice.’