Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HINT, n.2 Also hent (Ork.).

Sc. usages:

1. A moment, instant (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Ork. 1889 E.E.P. V. 809; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh. 1957). Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 105:
In throw the thickest o' the crowd he sprang, An' in a hint he clasp't her hard an' fast.

2. In phr. neither hint nor hair, nothing at all, not a vestige (Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 208; ne.Sc., Ags. 1957). Ags. 1899  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy 7:
As for the he tortyshall kitlin', I've never seen hint nor hair o't.
Fif. 1926  I. Farquhar Pickletillie 13:
Fancy a' this gaun on an' us never to hear hint nor hair o't.
Bnff. 1955  Banffshire Jnl. (11 Jan.):
He never saw hint nor hair o' her a' the wye.

[The orig. meaning of hint is prob. = something seized, cf. Hent, v.1, later coming to mean an occasion, an opportunity. Hence 1. above. In 2. the word is an altered form of Hilt, n.2, q.v., with substitution of hint, a slight indication.]

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"Hint n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Mar 2019 <>



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