Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

HEIST, v., n. Also hyst(e), heyst; hist (Abd.4 1929). Dim. heistie. [həist]

I. v. 1. To hoist, lift up. Gen.Sc. Also used fig. to raise one's spirits. Cf. Heeze. Sh. 1877  G. Stewart Fireside Tales 92:
We'll heist up da sail.
Abd. 1887  J. Cowe Jeems Sim 41:
He came oot upo' the plaitform that's hysted up abeen the doors on the front side o' the biggin'.
Edb. 1928  A. D. Mackie Poems 44:
A merridge or a birrial, Wid hyst me mair than books e'er shall.
Abd. 1941  Bon-Accord (27 Nov.) 12:
The mistress ordered postie tae gie her a han' tae hyste the ledder up aneath me.

2. Fig. with in: to take in, to get an idea into one's head, used parenth. in phr. below = to let you understand, would you believe it? Ork. 1915  Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 44:
Bit, min, dat waasna da warst o'd, wad du heist id in, boy, Clestrain gaed hame wi' da man, gan side be side wi' 'im tae Foolmirs or Cletyan for da tettles and teuk dem hame wi' 'im.

3. To scatter money to be scrambled for at a wedding. Per. 1947  People's Jnl. (4 Jan.):
Oot cam' the bride, I gazed an' gazed, “Heist! Heist!” the shout rang frae the bairns.

II. n. 1. Used as Eng. hoist, a lift, a helping hand with a heavy burden (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1957). Phr. a (the) Kirkcaldy heist, a hanging, an execution (Fif. 1950); summary justice, rough and ready treatment. Phr. to gie somebody a — —, to throw someone out, to eject, dismiss, expel unceremoniously (Abd.21 1930; Edb. 1957). m.Sc. c.1840  J. Strathesk Hawkie (1888) 52:
He jawed (tossed aside) his head to shun the blow, when I gave myself a “hist,” and over we went into the burn.
Abd. 1888  Bon-Accord (7 April) 9:
Here, my man, gie's a hist wi' this poke o' sute.
m.Lth. 1955  Sc. Daily Express (30 Dec.):
My grandmother used to say, if the house had just got a rough tidy-up: “I've given it the Kirkcaldy heist.”
ne.Sc. 1956  Mearns Leader (10 Aug.) 6:
His crony wid gie him a wee heistie up, an' doon again.

2. The throwing out of pennies at a wedding for children to scramble for. Per. 1947  People's Journal (4 Jan.):
He'd throw, in leavin' for the Kirk, The biggest heist for many a lang.

3. A fine achievement, a signal success (Ork. 1920 Marw., heyst). Cf. Heeze, n.1, 1. (4).

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

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



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down