Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HILT, n.2 Also helt, hult. Found only in phrs. ilka (every) hilt an(d) hair, every particle (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. a.1908 Traynor; Kcb., Dmf. 1957); (neither) hilt (n)or hair, nothing at all, not a vestige (Sc. 1818 Sawers). Gen.Sc. Cf. similar Eng. phrs. hide and (nor) hair, id., and hint nor hair s.v. Hint, n.2 Abd. 1746  W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd ii. vi.:
'Tis a' your ain, you need not doubt, Ilk hilt and hair.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 88:
Tho' I did wiss indeed, an' wist it sair, That ye were mine, even ilka hilt an hair.
Ags. 1798  W. Anderson Ladywell (1823) 7:
He tauld him every hilt and hair O' the dispute.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Provost xxxviii.:
Once away, aye away; hilt or hair of Jeame was not seen that night.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 269:
When anything is lost, and cannot be found, we say, that we “canna see hilt nor hair o't,” not the slightest vestige. To English the phrase closely, we may say “Top nor tail.”
Ags. 1857  A. Douglas Ferryden 16:
Had we no turned in time, ye'd ne'er seen helt nor hair o' our boat lines.
Tyr. 1929  M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 167:
Neither hilt nor hair of her cud he find.
Arg. 1934 1 :
I nuvver saa hult or hair o' him frae that day tae this.
Edb. 1956  Edb. Ev. News (19 May) 4:
Ye cannae see hilt nor hair o' a weed o' ony kind on his bit grun' noo.

[Orig. obscure. Phs. from an unrecorded noun *hild, hyld, skin, ultimately from O.E. hyldan, to flay, skin, hold, flesh. Cf. the equivalent Eng. phr. hide nor hair.]

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"Hilt n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2018 <>



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