Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GUISE, n., v. Sc. usages. Also guize, g(e)yse, guyse, gyze; and back-formation †gy(e). [gɑez]

I. n. †1. Manner, way; conduct, behaviour, way of life. Obs. in Eng. since 18th c. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 87:
But then was then, my lad, an' now is now; 'Bout then a days we never met wi' cross, . . . But now the guise is alter'd very sair, An' we sair new'd an' kaim'd against the hair.
s.Sc. 1885  W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 159:
He was owre weel heuckit, this ane, to work his purpose in that gyse . . . I fand the fish had riestit in the deepest part o' the pool.

2. The knack, way of doing something (Ork.5 1955, gy). Ork. 1929  Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 80:
Is da deil 'imsel hesna da gy o'd, hids a puir waan for men folk tae stow shargin wives.
Ork. 1931  J. Leask Peculiar People 133:
A'm wissed sheu'd shawn wir Pegs foo id sood be deun, sheu's nae gy o'd ava.

3. A masquerade; a merry-making, frolic, piece of fun (ne.Sc., Cld. 1880 Jam.). Abd. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 70:
An' we to haud our Fastren's staw, Whare best we thought the gy Wad be that night.
Sh. c.1836  Old-Lore Misc. I. vii. 262:
The singers do not go out in guises, although that too would form a part of the amusements at the time the singing was introduced.
Bch. a.1900  Songs of N.-E. (Keith 1940) 30:
O wat ye how the guise began, The guise began at Tyrie.

Phrs.: (1) to hae (haud) a guise (wi), to have fun, a frolic (with) (Sh., ne.Sc. 1955); (2) to turn the guise, to change the parts in a play or masquerade, used fig. = to change roles, to place the boot on the other foot. (1) Abd. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 129:
An' crazy fock hae little gy Wi' youngsters skiegh an' swack.
Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 72:
Twa or three o' the lads cam in on bannock-nicht, an' heeld a gyse wee the lasses a file.
(2) Sc. 1712  C. E. Guthrie-Wright Gideon Guthrie (1900) 10–11:
Finding the gyse turned, the Lords of the congregation prevailing, and the laws upon their syd.
Abd. 1787  A. Shirrefs Jamie & Bess III. ii.:
Gi'e love for love, and him, who hates despise, It's in your pow'r, my Bess, to turn the guise.
Abd. 1801  W. Beattie Parings 3:
I'll shortly gar you turn the guize, Ye filthy fashious teds.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxi.:
But ye ken they're nae eleckit yet. Fan the votin' comes it'll turn the guise wi' them.
Lnl. 1889  in A. M. Bisset Poets Lnl. (1896) 201:
But noo the gye's completely turned, — I carena wha gainsays — The mithers lavish a' their love On laddies noo-a-days.

II. v. 1. To disguise (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Ork., Ags., Rxb. 1955). Also in Nhb. dial. Ayr. 1830  Galt Southennan xxxix.:
A' this masquing and guising disna' come o' honesty.

2. To go about as a mummer or Guiser, to masquerade (Sh., Ags., Fif., Lth., Ayr., Kcb., Rxb. 1955). Also fig. Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. a.1851  J. Baillie in
Ogilvie's Dict.:
Then like a guised band, that for a while Had mimick'd forth a sad and gloomy tale.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xiv.:
Ye maun ken that this is the guizin' time o' year.
Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 72:
The loons are awa through the toon gysin'.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) vii.:
That geysin's feenisht me, . . . but I wud like aff this kilt . . . an' the shute aff my face.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xiv.:
A laird's son, he was: ane o' thae Tory kind that gae guisin aboot as Unionists, an' nae great shakes o' a speaker.
Sth. 1897  E. W. B. Nicholson Golspie 99:
At Christmas the young people of the village go about “guising.”
Bwk. 1897  R. M. Calder Poems 119:
Oor guizin' dune at stead an' toun.
Gall. 1955  Gall. Gazette (5 Dec.) 5:
Her son Charles went out guysing on Hallowe'en.

[O.Sc. has gys(e), guys(e), manner, custom, from c.1500, to disguise, a.1522, gysing, masquerading, mumming, from 1594; O.Fr., Mod. Fr. guise; O.Fr. (se) déguiser, to disguise oneself.]

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"Guise n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2018 <>



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