Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HING, v., n. Also haing (Arg. c.1850 in Colville (1909) 115); †hinge (Sc. 1700 Fasti Aberd. (S.C.) 438). [hɪŋ, s.Sc. hɛŋ]

I. v., tr. and intr. = Eng. hang (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis). Gen.Sc. Pa.t. hang (Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 197; Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 22; Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 34; Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 117; Sh., ne.Sc. 1957), hung (from Eng.), howng (Cai.); pa.p. and ppl.adj. hung (Gen.Sc.), howng (Cai.); hangit, -et (from pr. stem hang), in the sense of “judicially hanged”. Vbl.n., ppl.adj., hingin(g), hingan, -en, in all Eng. senses of hanging. The form hing persists into the early 19th c. also in contexts otherwise written in Eng.

Sc. usages:

1. intr., sometimes absol. To lean out of a window idly in order to watch what is going on in the street below. Gen.(exc. I. and s.)Sc. Cf. Hing, n., 1. Ags. 1889  Barrie Tillyloss Scandal 61:
There's a curran women as says they hung out at their windows looking at me.
Edb. 1952  Robert Fergusson (S. G. Smith) 145:
In modern Scots tenements “hingin” means leaning out of the window and watching what is going on in the street below . . . “Hingan owre the windae wi my elbaes in my hands.”

2. Specif. usages, gen. in ppl.adj. hingin: (1) of coal: undercut and ready to fall, lying at a high inclination (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 34, 37; Edb.6 1957); (2) of the sky: overcast, threatening rain (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd., Fif., Arg., Ayr., Kcb., Rxb. 1957); (3) of a golf-ball or its position: lying on a downward slope (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Gen.Sc. (3) Sc. 1857  Chambers's Information II. 695:
Hanging balls . . . are caused by a little rise of the ground close behind the ball, from whatever cause.
Sc. 1911  Encycl. Sport II. 338:
A ball that lies fairly, and not cupped, on a downward slope toward the hole is known as a “hanging ball”.
Sc. 1920  Bk. of School Sports 178:
Hanging Lie. — A ball on a slope downwards.

3. tr. and intr. To have the notice of one's intention to marry displayed on a registrar's notice-board, instead of by proclamation of banns in church (em.Sc., Rxb. 1957). Fif. 1909  R. Holman Char. Studies 12:
The young man pays a visit to the minister to “pit in the cries,” or to the registrar to be “hung up.”
Dmf. 1952  :
Dissenters are usually “hung” because they have a moral objection to being cried in the parish church.

4. intr. Fig.: to delay, dilly-dally, shirk, hover indecisively (Ags., Fif., Arg. 1957). Hdg. 1889  J. Lumsden Lays Linton 151:
To mak' a sark, or wash ane either, My faigs, she winna hang or swither.
Dmf. 1957  :
He's hingin, that yin! He is not working hard enough.

5. intr. To be in a poor state of health (Kcd., Per., m.Lth., Arg., Ayr. 1957). Also to be hangin at, to be out of sorts (Uls. 1910 C. C. Russell People & Lang. Uls. 43, Uls. 1957). Adj. hingin-like, hingy- (Bnff.), ill-looking (Cai., Abd., Rxb. 1957). Bnff. 1872  W. Philip It 'ill a' come richt 19:
He's gyaun aboot noo hingin' an' hostin', and dwinin' awa.
Per. 1950 4 :
He's gey hingin lookin whatever's wrang wi him.

6. In the game of handball: to place the ball in the goal three times (see quot.). Per. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XVIII. 88:
The object of the married men was to hang it [the ball], i.e. to put it three times into a small hole in the moor, the dool or limit on the one hand.

7. Phrs.: (1) to hang as one grows, to be untidy and dishevelled, to take no trouble with one's appearance (Fif. 1957); (2) to hing by (one's) ain head, to be independent and self-supporting, to be responsible for one's own undertakings, self-reliant (Cai., Inv., Abd., m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf. 1957), orig. from proverb lat ilka herrin hing by its ain heid (see quot.); (3) to hing in, to pursue a task with energy, persevere, hurry (I. and e.Sc., Arg., Kcb. 1957). Cf. Stick and see Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 1) II. 79; to pay court assiduously, make persistent love, to curry favour (Abd. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl., Abd. 1957); hence phr. a hing in, (i) a wooing; (ii) an ingratiating person, a parasite (Per. 1957); (4) to hang its water, of the movable valve of a mining pump: to fail to act on account of a fault or airlock when the column of water is sufficient to prevent the valve from opening (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 34); (5) to hing on, intr., where on is adv., to linger expectantly, to wait (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Now in Eng. but appar. orig. Sc.; tr., to delay or hinder (someone) in doing something, to keep (someone) waiting (Abd. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1957); tr., where on is prep., used pass. in phr. to be hung on, to be firmly attached to (a body or principle), to be a loyal adherent of; (6) to hing (on) a lip, to look despondent or sulky, to be on the verge of weeping. Cf. Eng. to hang the lip; (7) to hing on a nail, of persons: to be constantly waiting upon someone else's convenience (Ags. 1957); (8) to hing one's lugs, to look dejected or abashed. Gen.Sc. Hence hingin-luggit, see 9. (9) below; (9) to hing tae, — tee, — ti, intr., to join in, adhere, attach oneself, lit. (to something) or fig. (to some person or cause), to fall in with another's plans (Cai., ne.Sc., m.Lth. 1957); (10) to hing the cat, — cleek, to work slowly or to rule, to lounge about, to hold things up (Fif., Ags. 1957). See Cleek, n.1, 1. (7); (11) to hang the faiple, see Faiple and cf. (6); (12) to hing up, (a) of weather: to keep dry (Arg., Ayr. 1957). Cf. 2. (2); (b) tr., of money: to put to one's credit. (2) Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 240:
Let every Herring hing by its own Head. Every Man must stand by his own Endeavour, Industry, and Interest.
Dmf. 1915  J. L. Waugh Betty Grier ii.:
Bear in mind that every herrin' maun hing by its ain heid.
(3) Abd. 1868  W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 93:
Hing in, my lads, our harvest's now: Wha kens the features o' to-morrow?
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xv.:
Hing in, Tip. Ye're first.
Abd. 1903  Abd. Wkly. Free Press (1 Aug.):
There had been a bit of a “hing in” between Davie Bruce and Kirsty.
Abd. 1917  C. Murray Sough o' War 10:
Hing in an' haiste-ye back.
Abd. 1941  C. Gavin Black Milestone vii.:
I'll need to hing in and wark the morn and get things some fordled.
Ork. 1957 5 :
Hingan in like a coo in a harrow, often applied to zeal in courting.
(5) Sc. 1721  R. Wodrow Sufferings I. 142:
[To] keep them hanging on at Edinburgh for some months.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian v.:
Ye dinna ken whether ye are to get the free scule o' Dumfries or no, after hinging on and teaching it a' the simmer?
wm.Sc. 1837  Laird of Logan 275:
There's an unco set of yaupish-looking devils hinging on just noo about the steward.
Ags. 1883  Brechin Advertiser (24 April) 3:
Nae doot it's a meeserable life, but they're no needin to hing on wi't.
Per. 1896  D. Kippen Crieff 123:
They were weel hung on the kirk.
Abd. 1904  Abd. Wkly. Free Press (2 July):
It's a rale langsom' job th' hyow ony wye, an' fin they're tyeuch and winna redd oot amo' idder, 't hings fowk on s'lang.
(6) Per. 1881  R. Ford Hum. Sc. Readings 13:
I've aye the soo-siller in my pouch yet, an' not a farden o't ye get if ye're to hing on a lip like that, mind ye.
Ork. 1957 5 :
Hingan a lip like a mitherless foal.
(8) Abd. 1777  R. Forbes Ulysses 30:
I dinna hing my lugs like ane That has a riven breek.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlv.:
He was hingin' 's lugs like ony supplicant.
(9) Bch. 1832  W. Scott Poems 94:
Just lat me ken whan ye appoint the time, An' I'll be ready to hing ti' wi' mine.
(10) Sc. 1952  Sunday Post (27 Jan.):
The men spend the rest of the day lounging around — or, as the saying is, “hingin' the cat.”
(12) (a) Arg. 1932 1 :
Ther [there are] shoars workin' roon, but it may hing up as lang as the win' keeps.
(b) Rxb. 1924  Kelso Chron. (12 Sept.) 2:
You might see him trotting down to the tavern with a five-pound note fluttering between finger and thumb, and then hear him instruct the ancient douce landlady — “Hing that up, Jen, as lang's it lests.” He treated himself and everybody who entered until the money was finished.

8. Combs. in which the first element is the pr. stem: (1) hang-arse, lazy, idle, unwilling to bestir oneself; (2) hang-choice, a choice between two evils (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also found in Eng. dials.; ¶(3) hang-craig, hang-dog, villainous, destined for the gallows; ¶(4) hang-in-chain, id.; (5) hang-net, a vertical stake-net (Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Bwk., Kcb. 1957). Also reduced dim. form hangie (Bwk. 1957); (6) hing-tee, (a) a mistress, paramour (n.Sc. 1951); (b) an ingratiating person, a parasite (Abd. 1957). Cf. 10. (1); (7) hing-the-gither, clannish (Inv., Per., m.Lth., wm.Sc., Rxb. 1957). (1) Fif. 1802  C. Gray Address to Poor Weavers 6:
For fortune, that cameleon b — h, Ne'er made a hang-arse weaver rich.
(2) Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxx.:
I hope Saint Patrick sung better than Blattergowl's precentor, or it would be hang-choice between the poet and psalmist.
(3) Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 57:
Yon hang-craig workin' carle that wis tane, She wasna lang till she loot gae again.
(4) ne.Sc. 1836  J. Grant Tales 22:
Whare's that hang-in-chain son o' yours?
(5) Dmf. 1812  W. Singer Agric. Dmf. 605:
Hang-nets are larger in the mesh than any other nets, and are stretched upright between stakes of about ten feet long, placed at regular distances of about eight feet.
Sc. 1873  Act 36 & 37 Vict. c.71 § 39:
No byelaw made under the authority of this section shall limit the length of a hang net.
(7) wm.Sc. 1837  Laird of Logan 212:
I ken, Andra, ye like to hae a bit side wipe at the Paisley folks, for the sort o' clannish hing-the-gither kind of feeling that's amang us.

9. Combs. containing the pr.p.: (1) hanging burn, a sheep-mark made by branding with a vertical stroke on the lower part of the cheek or chin so that the mark seems to hang outwards (Bwk., Rxb. 1957); (2) hingin-chafted, having pendulous jaws; (3) hinging chimney, — chumlie, = (10); (4) hingin' ee, see Ee, n., 2. (1); (5) hanging gate, a bar or grating hung across a stream (m.Lth., Bwk., Rxb. 1957); (6) hinging girnel, see Girnel; (7) hingen-heedit, abashed (Cai., ne.Sc. 1957), = (9) (a); (8) hinging lock, a padlock (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.). Obs. in Eng. since 1495; (9) hingin lug, (a) gen. in pl.: drooping ears, as a sign of dejection, or surliness. Hence hingin-luggit, dejected, crestfallen, abashed (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc.; also of weather: dull, overcast, gloomy (Abd. 1957). See 7. (7); (b) in phr. to hae a hingin lug at, to bear (one) a dislike, grudge or ill-will; ‡(10) hingin' lum, a wide old-fashioned wooden chimney which descended from the roof above an open fire to direct the smoke out through the chimney-hole. Gen.Sc., almost obs.; (11) hingin' moot, dejected, sulky, in low spirits (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 77; ne.Sc. 1957); (12) hanging post, a wooden post supporting a roof plaeed parallel to the kingpost and meeting the queenpost where it touches the angle of the roof (Per. 1957); (13) hanging-scaffold, (a) in mining: “a movable platform in a shaft attached to the winding rope or the crane rope” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 35); (b) in building: a scaffold on brackets hung on pins driven into a wall (Kcb.10 1957); (14) hingin scone, a thin kind of scone (see quot.); (15) hanging sets, in mining: “logs of wood to which cribs are suspended in working through soft strata” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 35), or in pit sinking (Edb.6 1944); (16) hingin' shouthered, having sloping shoulders; (17) hanging stair, = (18) (Fif. 1957); (18) hanging steps, steps built into a wall at one end and cantilevered (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 942); (19) hingin stitch, a shoemakers' stitch (see quot.); (20) hingin witter, a sheep-mark consisting of a slanting upward slit in the side of the ear (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1957). Cf. (1). (1) Kcb. 1880  J. H. Maxwell Sheep-Marks 7:
Two back nips on near ear; hanging burn on near cheek.
(2) Peb. 1793  R. Brown Carlop Green (1817) 117:
Wi' hingin'-chafted Johnny Jow, . . . That rings Mass John's kirk-bell.
(3) Ags. 1746  J. C. Jessop Education in Angus (1931) 90:
To a mid Spire Wall and two hanging Chimneys, One Pound twelve Shillings.
Bnff. c.1825  in J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. Keith (1880) ix.:
A fire was set at the gable of a Dwelling; and above it, in the Roof, a Hole, or Timmer Lum, was left for ventilation and for the “reek” to escape . . . Then followed “Hinging Chumlies.”
(5) Lnk. 1831  W. Patrick Plants 191:
Below the hanging gate on Barncluith burn.
(7) Bnff. 1886  Folk-Lore Jnl. IV. 16:
He was proceeding to sea “raither hingen-heedit.”
(8) Fif. 1706  D. Jamie Ballingry (1890) 56:
Ane iron bolt in the inside and a hinging lock.
Slg. 1723  Slg. Burgh Rec. (1889) 357:
For three hinging locks to sheckle the three prisoners sentenced to dye . . . 18s.
(9) (a) Ayr. 1803  A. Boswell Poet. Wks. (1871) 11:
I met four chaps yon birks amang, Wi' hingin' lugs and faces lang.
Bnff. 1955  Banffshire Jnl. (9 Aug.):
Kurns o' lads were lookin' gey hingin'-luggit for the neist fyow days.
(b) Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 269:
A person is said to be hinging-lugged when having an ill-will at any one, and apparently sulky. “Such a one has a hinging-lugg at me,” means that that one is not well disposed towards me.
Gall. 1881  L. B. Walford Dick Netherby v.:
The puir thing is but a feckless body, an's like to hae a hinging lug at us for coming to her auld place.
(10) Abd. 1906  Banffshire Jnl. (10 July):
[They] crackit roun their hingin' lums, The crouse folk noo awa'.
Abd. 1956  Huntly Express (9 March):
There was always plenty of light near the fire by reason of the wide, “hingin' lum.”
(11) Mry. 1872  W. H. L. Tester Poems 197:
An', hingin'-moued, for past transgressions mourned.
(12) Inv. 1728  Inv. Session Rec. (Mitchell 1902) 86:
The lowest part of the breast of the said loft fronting the pulpit floaring and gests included to be no further downwards from the top of the hanging post on the side wall of the Church than ten foot and three inches.
Sc. 1891  H. Stephens Bk. Farm VI. 387:
Hanging posts, in lofts over implement, gig, and tool houses, and in men's sleeping-place, to be 4 inches by 2.
(14) Mry. 1956  Scotsman (10 April):
Hingin'Scones. This recipe is known to be well over 100 years old. One lb flour; ½ teaspoon cream of tartar; 1 teaspoon salt; ¼ lb lard; 2 ozs margarine or butter; milk to mix. Rub in fats to flour. Add dry ingredients. Mix to stiff dough with milk. Roll out one-eighth inch thick in oblong piece. Bake on moderate girdle. Place towel on back rail of a chair and hang scones over.
(16) Peb. 1793  R. Brown Carlop Green (1817) 129:
And crouchy Car, wi' 's humphy gett And 's hingin'-shouther'd Bess.
(17) Edb. 1767  Caled. Mercury (19 Jan.):
There is likewise a private genteel hanging stair in the uppermost lodging.
Rxb. 1825  J. Haig Kelso & Rxb. 137:
The ascent is by a hanging stair of fifty-one steps.
(19) Ork. 1957 5 :
“Hingan stitch,” for repairing a shoe sole that has parted from the upper. A row of stitches are sewed through the upper, not drawing the loops tight, then sewing along the sole, and taking each stitch through the loop of the stitch above it, so lacing the sole to the upper.

10. Combs. with pa.ppl. hangit, hung as one element: (1) half-hung tee, lit. half-attached, i.e. not having the full characteristics or qualities of (a trade, profession, social rank, or the like), not fully-fledged, not genuine, semi-qualified, pseudo- (ne.Sc. 1957); †(2) hangit-faced, looking ripe for the gallows, gallows-faced, villainous (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); †(3) hangit-like, -lookin, shamefaced, having an air of constraint or reluctance, hang-dog (Sc. 1825 Jam.); †(4) hung-milk, a kind of curds or cream cheese formed from milk or cream clotted by heat and hung up in a linen bag until all whey has drained away, Crowdie (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1932 J. Saxby Trad. Lore 167); (5) ill-hung-tee, — thegither, of persons or their appearance: awkwardly knit, clumsily built, dressed without care or taste (Sh., Cai., ne.Sc., Kcb. 1957). (1) Abd. 1952  Buchan Observer (17 June):
She would maintain the barrow was less “sair on the back” than the stooping jobs of spreading and setting the peats to dry. She was among the last of a class of half-hung-tee farm workers, now entirely passed away.
(2) Ags. 1873  D. M. Ogilvy Poems 17:
A cocklaird wi' a pickle gowd, Auld, hangit-faced, pock-marked, and bowed.
(3) Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 106:
Tak aff your dram, elder, and dinna look sae hangit-like; the lift winna fa', though the kirk may!
Per. 1904  R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories (Ser. 2) 77:
He was an ill-shapit, badly-shewn, half-hangit lookin' wirriecow o' a craitur.
(5) Abd. 1880  G. Webster Crim. Officer 27:
Strong, though ill-hung thegither, wi' a bull neck an' great trams o' hough-banes like cairt shafts, an' muckle splay feet.

II. n. 1. Used as Eng. hang, the action of hanging or hanging up (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); a downward inclination, slope; also applied to the act of leaning out of a window for amusement (e. and wm.Sc., Gall. 1957), or hanging on the back of a moving vehicle (Bnff. 1957). Bnff. 1892  Trans. Bnffsh. Field Club 62:
[We] heard the too-tr-oo of the horn, and enjoyed the luxury of a hing.
Ags. 1948 16 :
Hashin' for a hing: i.e. working hard to have leisure to look out of the window.
wm.Sc. 1954  Bulletin (2 Jan.) 6:
They plant their houses down on the bare earth and forget that one of the delights of urban life is a “Guid hing oot the windae” to see the crowds and to be seen.
Ags. 1957 19 :
Hingin on a hingie — leaning out of a window to watch the street.

2. A rope, pulley or other apparatus by which something is suspended. Bte. 1729  Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 721:
To John Moor wright ¥2 for mending the hing of the bell.
Kcd. 1883  Fish and Fisheries (Herbert) 115:
About 18 inches within the hanging brace, and attached to a strong beam resting upon the side-walls, are the “hangs,” between which and the “back reest” the spitted fish are suspended. These hangs are made of good 9-ply sma'-line, and are put on the beam double.

3. Fig.: (1) A drag, burden, deadweight. Also hing-on, (a source or period of) delay, tedium or weariness, an encumbrance, hindrance. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Lnk. 1895  W. Stewart Lilts and Larks 60:
Would ye ken true comfort's leisure? First ken labour's constant hing.
Rxb. 1918  Kelso Chron. (27 Sept.) 2:
After a lang hing on, oo sat doon for a rest on the brae.
Abd. 1929 1 :
I'm some lang o' comin', the bairn wis a hing-on.
Sc. 1935  D. Rorie Lum Hat 49:
Eh, but that's fine, noo; ye've had a sair hing-on! Is't a laddie or a lassie?

(2) A period of idleness or leisure (m.Lth. 1957). Phr. on the hing. Lnk. 1875  T. Stewart Doric Rhyme 198:
Wha the deil wadna sing! we ha'e plenty o' hing; Lord, Adam, are ye gettin' ony ava?
Lth. 1876  S. Smiles Sc. Naturalist 144:
He also contrived to preserve his specimens . . . in his idle times “betwixt pairs”, — whilst, as shoemakers would say, they were “on the hing”.

(3) A fluctuating or indeterminate state. Phr. on the hing, in the balance (Per., m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf. 1957). Gall. 1953  :
Prices are on the hang e'ennoo . . . i.e. in the balance (as between profit and loss).

[O.Sc. hing, v., intr., from a.1350, tr. from 1375, O.N. hengja. The v., orig. wk., has been absorbed into the str. conjug. on the analogy of sing, etc. The form hangit is from the pr. stem hang, Mid.Eng. hangen, in O.Sc. referring gen. only to judicial hanging.]

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"Hing v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Dec 2017 <>



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