Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
GHAIST, n. Sc. form and usages of Eng. ghost. See P.L.D. § 32. Also †gaist, †gaste; †guest (Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 199, Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 66), gase. [Sc. ge:st, but Bwk. + gɑst]
1. With Eng. meaning (Ags., Fif., Bwk., Rxb. 1954).
Sc. 1722 Ramsay Three Bonnets 36:
'Cause Sober they can get nae Rest For Nick, an' Duniwhistle's Ghaist. Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 87–8:
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. lv.:
The like o' them's used wi' graves and ghaists, and thae things. Ags. 1918 V. Jacob More Songs 19:
Ghaists i' the air, Whaups cryin' shrill, An' you nae mair.
Hence ¶(1) ghaistry, n., all that is connected with ghosts; (2) ghaisty, adj., ghostly, haunted by ghosts; eerie.
(1) Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes III. xvi.:
There! that's spicy — for them 'at likes ghaistry. (2) Rxb. 1881 Border Counties Mag. 180:
Ferr oot ayount the ruif o' the derk spreds the ghaisty waste o' air. Abd. 1929 M. Angus Singin' Lass 10:
I saw a reid reid lowe, Whaur tinker fouk wull ne'er set fit, Far ben in the ghaisty howe.
2. Sc. usages: †(1) a sickly, thin, or undersized person; used as a term of contempt (Tyr. 1930 per Uls.3).
Lnk. 1805 G. M'Indoe Poems 50:
Vile gashan, gapean, gabbin gaist. Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 25:
He was an only wean, a suckered gaste, and spoiled from the first.
(2) In combs.: ¶(a) ghaist-craft, a churchyard; (b) ghaist cramp, an injury supposed to be due to a visitation of a ghost or spirit; (c) ghaist-rid, adj., ghost-ridden.
(a) Kcb. 1897 G. O. Elder Borgue 30:
Nae boggles noo to be seen about dark nooks and the ghaist-craft. (b) Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 40:
Ye see . . . sheu wus speerit-b'und, or gotten what some ca' the g'aist cramp. (c) Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems 27:
With unsuccessfu' search the ghaist-rid three, Hae socht the boortree bank, an' hemlock lee. Ags. 1924 M. Angus Tinker's Road 7:
An unco place for a Tinker's Road On sic a ghaist-rid moor!
(3) (a) A piece of shaly coal in its ashy state after burning, a white slaty cinder (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 31; Kcb.6 c.1916, guest; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., gaist, guest, 1942 Zai; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Fif., Peb., Gall., Dmf. 1954). Hence gaisty, white-burning and shaly (Ib.; Dmb. 1930, gaisy), gaistcoal (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 217), gaisty coal (Zai 67); (b) “a piece of coal-leaf [see Coal, n. 5.] on a grate” (Watson W.-B.).
(a) wm.Sc. 1807 J. Headrick Agric. Arran 217:
The dauch always left a large guest; whereas the coal burnt into a fine white ash. Sc. 1824 S. E. Ferrier Inheritance I. xvii.:
Mr Ramsay sat by the side of the expiring fire, seemingly contemplating the gaists and cinders which lay scattered over the hearth. e.Lth. 1912 in Scotsman (19 Jan.):
“Gase” — Fine white ashes from a fire. “G'wa', stapp some gase atween yer taes,” said an old pit-woman to a lad who complained that the skin between his toes had got broken through working among water, “and that'll soon heal them.”
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"Ghaist n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/ghaist>
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