Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GLINT, v., n. Also †glynt (Ayr. 1875 A. L. Orr Poems 55).

I. v. Pa.t., pa.p. weak glinted, -it; strong glent.

1. To move quickly, dart, slip, flash (by). Ayr. 1788  Burns How lang and dreary iii.:
How slow ye move, ye heavy hours! . . . It was na sae ye glinted by, When I was wi' my dearie!
Sc. 1803  Scott Minstrelsy III. 338:
Ae fire-flaucht darted through the rain, Whare a' was mirk before, And glinted o'er the raging main.
Ags. 1826  A. Balfour Highland Mary II. ii.:
You'll maybe glint o'er in a gloaming, to speer for auld Marion.
Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 177:
You can haud out ane o' your legs like an opera-dancer playin a peeryette; and on the ither glint by, to the astonishment o' tollkeepers.
ne.Sc. 1836  J. Grant Tales 58:
We didna wat hoo the hours waur glintin' on.

2. To gleam, glitter, shine, esp. of sunshine (Sh. rare, Cai., m.Lth., Arg., Ayr., Kcb., Uls. 1954). Vbl.n. glintin, break of day, dawn (Bnff.7 1927; Abd.27 1940). Rarely tr. = to illuminate. Common in Eng. from mid-19th c. Ayr. 1786  Burns Mountain-Daisy iii.:
Yet chearfully thou glinted forth Amid the storm.
Dmf. 1808  J. Mayne Siller Gun 12:
The lift was clear, the morn serene, The sun just glinting owr the scene.
Sc. 1827  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 361:
The weather has been mild and warm, wi' fleein shoors, and mony glintin hoors o' sunshine.
Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms lxiii. 1:
O God, ye are God o' my ain: wi' the glintin I sought yersel.
ne.Sc. 1881  W. Gregor Folk-Lore 150:
Of an April day, when there were alternate showers and sunshine, with a good breeze and large clouds fleeting across the blue sky, it was said, “It's an April day, it's sheetin an' glintin.”
Ags. 1894  A. Reid Sangs 65, 127:
It [the autumn sun] glent on rowth o' gowden corn. . . . An', glent wi' heavenly splendour, gleams Atween me an' my sins.

3. To glance; to take a sidelong or sly glance, to peep (Sh.10 (rare), Cai., Ags., Gall. 1954). Rarely used tr. with e'e, look, etc. Also in Eng. dial. Sc. a.1689  W. Cleland Poems (1697) 97:
Then he brought his Right Leg foremost, As he had been to make a sore Thrust; Glinting and squinting with his Eyes.
Rnf. a.1810  R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 361:
She guessed by the sheen o his e'e, An the queer way Rab aye glintet at her.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man III. vii.:
What are ye standing glinting, and looking at ane anither there for?
Sc. 1841  Whistle-Binkie 18:
But it couldna express a' their love; And she glintit her e'e at him slyly.
Sc. 1849  M. Oliphant M. Maitland xii.:
A different look . . . was glinted over whiles to where Mr Allan sat.
Ags. 1889  Barrie W. in Thrums xix.:
But let Kitty, or any other maid, cast a glinting eye on Jamie, then Jess no longer smiled.
Fif. 1894  D. S. Meldrum Margrédel iii.:
I'm jealous o' you myself when I see the lasses glintin' at ye i' the kirk.

II. n. 1. A gleam, a faint or momentary glitter. Gen.Sc. Adopted in Eng. since mid-19th c. Sc. 1826  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 163:
Their daughters who have been singing at their domestic toils, frae the earliest glint o' morn.
Rnf. 1842  R. Clark Random Rhymes 3:
Wi' first glint o' morning, he's up, slumber scorning.
Gall. 1848  Edb. Antiq. Mag. 113:
The Nith is seen in “glints” through the trees.

Hence glintie, -y, (1) adj., glittering (Rxb. 1942 Zai); (2) used as n. = the moon (Sh. 1894 W.-L.), prob. a tabu-word, cf. Glom, and Glim, n., 3.

2. A cursory look, a glance, a peep; a glimpse (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also common in Eng. dial. Ayr. c.1827  Galt Howdie (1923) 11:
I happened to give a glint to the window.
Sc. 1832  Whistle-Binkie 51:
An' oh that pawkie, rowin' e'e, . . . . . . ilka glint, conveys a hint To tak a smack — before folk?
Sc. 1880  Stevenson Deacon Brodie (1924) i. ii.:
I ken fine by the glint o' the e'e when a lad's fain and a lassie's willing.
Lnk. 1893  J. Crawford Sc. Verses 27:
An' when clear scart we reached the road, We paused to steal a glint ahin'.
Fif. 1894  J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 99:
As a final resort thae had to fa' back to the twal-storey ane, whilk Tibbie had a glint at a month or twa syne.
Kcb. 1895  Crockett Bog-Myrtle ii. i.:
At the verra first glint I got o' him I saw that Death had come to him.
Rxb. 1918  Kelso Chron. (29 March) 4:
I hev seen her gi'e some gey sly couthy glints your gate.
Abd. 1929  Sc. Readings (ed. Paterson) 59:
Ye've been takin' a glint into my press and seen the oven scones.

3. Fig. (1) A flash of intuition, a slight suspicion (Sh.10 rare, ne.Sc. Per., m.Lth.1 1954); (2) a scrap, a little bit, a vestige (m.Lth.1 1954); a (slight) attack, esp. in phr. a glint o' (the) cauld (Ags.19 1954); cf. Gliff, n., 2. (4), Glisk, n., 3. (2), id.; (3) in phr. in a glint, in a flash (Sh.10 1954); cf. in a glent s.v. Glent. (1) n.Sc. 1891  A. Gordon Carglen 102:
Ye'll maybe hae a kind o' glint that I supply Amos frae time to time wi' a gallon or sae o' the dew.
(2) Ags. 1896  A. Blair Rantin Robin 63:
We baith had a fell glint o' the cauld.
Abd. 1928  J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 28:
Seen his brookie aul' pail he gar't showd o' the swye, Wi' nae glint o' a speir gin it wis i' my wye.
Lnk. 1930  Scots Mag. (Jan.) 302:
Aiblins slip in my mooth a peppermint To help me owre the prayers a wee bit glint.
(3) Sc. 1803  Scott Minstrelsy III. 363:
I, in a glint, lap on ahint, And in my arms him fangit.
ne.Sc. 1884  D. Grant Lays 10:
The skeely wife lap fae her bed, An' buskit in a glint.
Edb. 1885  Mod. Sc. Poets VIII. 173:
And aifter them, a' in a glint, There flew the specs and box.

[A variant form of earlier Glent, q.v.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Glint v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down