Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOOT, v. and n. Also †dout.

I. v. Sc. usages, with the implication of probability as opposed to uncertainty or improbability in Eng.

1. To fear, to be afraid (of), to anticipate (something undesired). Arch. or dial. in Eng. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality vii.:
I doubt I'll hae to tak the hills wi' the wild whigs, as they ca' them.
Abd. publ. 1867  Mrs Allardyce Goodwife at Home liv.:
Oh! nae that gate, Mem, gen ye please; The stank's o'er braid I doot.
em.Sc. 1894  (a) “I. Maclaren” Bonnie Brier Bush ii. 64:
He wes bent twa fad; a' doot it's a titch o' rheumatism.
Cld. 1818  Edb. Mag. (Aug.) 156:
She . . . in great anxiety exclaimed, “I doubt, Sirs, ye binnae cannie!”
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Tales 33:
Her mither doubted she was young, An' aiblins whiles might act amiss.
w.Dmf. 1908  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) i.:
I'm juist haudin' my ain, but I'm dootin' sair I'm on the brink o' Jordan.
Dmf. 1912  A. Anderson “Surfaceman's” Later Poems 217:
Fareweel — an' maun we say fareweel? I doot it.
Uls. 1886  W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod ix.:
“A doot ye hae killed him,” said one of them, roughly.

2. Without any connotation of fear or dread: (1) To expect, rather to think. Sc. 1855  Lord Dalhousie Private Letters (1910) 342:
I doubt the Commander-in-Chief and I are going to have a dust.
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 95:
“Ay, we're gyan tae get dyow,” said Macwhirter. . . . “Ah'm dootin't.”
Bnff. 1887  W. M. Philip Covedale 8:
I doot the boats haena won oot the day, owin' to this roch win'.
Hdg. 1885  J. Lumsden Rhymes and Sk. 72:
But mirth aside, I doot this dream As jimp fit metal for my whim.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Brigs of Ayr ll. 93–94:
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me — Tho' faith, that date, I doubt, ye'll never see.

(2) To suspect. Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb iv.:
Aw doot Gushetneuk cam' in for a bit scaad yon'er.
Abd. 1915  H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 165:
Ay, sirs, Aw doot ye're in a ferrich aboot the mear.
Ags. 1921  V. Jacob Bonnie Joann, etc. 18:
Dod, she tells o' muckle lairnin' — but I doot the bizzar's leein'.
Rnf. 1835  D. Webster Rhymes 129:
The miller ne'er doubted his neebour of evil.
s.Sc. 1835–40  J. M. Wilson (ed.) Tales of the Borders (1857–59) VIII. 104:
I'm dootin ye hae saft-saped the master to some purpose.

II. n. As in Eng. = uncertainty; often in phr. to hae one's doots, to be doubtful. Bnff. 1887  W. M. Philip Covedale v.:
I hae my doots if he's a soun' Calvinist. There was nae word o' election yonner.
Rxb. 1912  Kelso Chron. (25 Nov.):
We hae oor doots aboot th' fruits that'll be reaped frae their spiritual ministrations.

III. Derivs. corr. Eng.: dooter, dootfu', dootless; Sc.: †1. dootius, apprehensive; †2. dou(b)tish, (1) = 1; (2) doubtful (Twd. 1825 Jam.2, doutish); 3. dootsome, doutsum, (1) = 1; (2) doubtful, hesitant; 4. dooty, = 2 (2). 1. Dmb. 1846  W. Cross Disruption xxiv.:
I'm some dootious ye may loss your place as his secretary.
2. (1) Rxb. 1912–19  Rymour Club Misc. II. 47:
I'm bevering and growzing wi' terror and cauld — And am doubtish I sune will be hetter.
3. (1) Kcb. 1893  S. R. Crockett Stickit Minister, Lammas Preaching 87:
I'm some dootsome that'll be the Skyreburn coming doon off o' Cairnsmuir.
(2) Abd. 1893  G. Macdonald Songs 42:
Glowert at the skipper the doutsum king, Jalousin' aneth his croon.
Lth. 1925  C. P. Slater Marget Pow 144:
She stood a wee, doutsum, and then she said, “Where's Baggie.”
4. Mry. 1923  in Bnffsh. Jnl. (13 Feb.) 2:
I was seventy twa last week, an' I'm fliet anither year ower ma frosty pow will mak' it still mair dooty if I can mak' it possible.

[O.Sc. has dout, etc., to be doubtful; to fear, to suspect; also the n., all from 1375; Mid.Eng. doute(n), dute(n), O.Fr. doute(r), (to) fear (which remains the most prominent meaning in Sc.), Lat. dubitare, to doubt.]

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"Doot v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2018 <>



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