Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GORBET, n. Also -it. Cf. Gorbal.

1. A young unfledged bird (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ‡Ags. 1955). Also in Nhb. dial. Kcd. 1854  G. Menzies Poems 134:
My head, as licht's a gorbet's feather.
Per. a.1869  C. Spence Poems (1898) 158:
The half-fledged gorbits screeched and cried For mercy.
Abd. 1905  J. Fullarton Poems 63:
The gorbets, there's but three; An' sune they'll flap their little wings, An' try frae hame tae flee.
Fif. 1909  Colville 125:
The young “gorbets” were fed on crowdie.

Comb.: gorbit-oo, the down on fledglings; also fig. the downy hair on an adolescent boy's face (Mearns, Lnk. 1955). Cf. Gorblin.

2. A child (Ags. 1808 Jam., ‡Ags. 1955). Ags. 1867  G. W. Donald Poems 25:
Get breekies to Tammie, — a beaver t' Jock; Gie! gie! cries the vixen, ilk gorbit cries, Gie!

3. A beak, mouth. Ags. 1897  A. Reid Bards Ags. & Mearns 495:
Noo gape a wide gorbit — there, that's a big sup!

[Gorb, q.v. + dim. suff. -et. O.Sc. has gorbet = 1., from 1540.]

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

"Gorbet n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jan 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down