Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MINT, v., n.1 Also mynt; ment (Cai.); munt; ¶mink (Uls. 1903 E.D.D.).

I. v. 1. (1) intr., with at, or with inf. expressed or understood, as with verbs of motion, or absol.: to intend, purpose, to attempt, aim, venture (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 255; Cai.3 1931; ne.Sc. 1963). Sc. 1703  Letter to a Minister in the Country 50:
I warn and charge you all that hears me on your perril mint not to meddle with edge tools.
Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 78:
But stint your wishes to this frank embrace And mint nae farther till we've got the grace.
Bnff. 1782  Caled. Mercury (14 Aug.):
Cocks, hens, ducks, chuckens are forbidden Now anes to mint ayont the midden.
Dmf. 1810  R. Cromek Remains 152:
Soon at the Tweed he mints to blaw, Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie.
Ayr. 1824  A. Crawford Tales Grandmother 91:
Aft vaunts she o' yer gentle bluid — I darena mint to speak o' mine.
Abd. 1898  W. Brewster Poems 46:
If whiles she may mint frae a chair to the wa', When chasin' the dog or the cat, there's a fa'.
Hdg. 1908  J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 152:
I do howp, whan he backs to the South, As he mints to do soon.
Abd. 1931  I. Burnett The Ravens 30:
I ken fine you didna mint to hurt him, but you are as thoughtless as the birds.
Bnff. 1934  J. M. Caie Kindly North 19:
Fat blecks me is that, efter sic a life, Ye wad mint at number twa, wi' sic a wife.
Bnff. 1939  Id. Hills & Sea 8:
A professor o' philosophy I mintit neist tae spier.

(2) tr.: to attempt (a thing), to plan, plot, scheme, venture on (Abd. 1963). Hence ill-minted, with mischievous intent or purpose (Ork., w.Sc. 1880 Jam.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I.Sc. 1963). Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xxxii.:
I think ye are the first Hieland woman wad mint sic a doom to her husband's kinsman but four times removed.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Entail lxxviii.:
I'll gie you a toast, a thing which, but at an occasion, I ne'er think o' minting.
Sc. 1827  W. Motherwell Minstrelsy lxx.:
Her treacherous and murder-minting lover was an Ecclesiastick.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 100:
Bit what I said wus no' ill minted; Feul trow, that hid s'u'd sae affend thee.
Ags. 1894  A. Reid Heatherland 108:
Ho! Luath, mint the ither side, Bide Kelpie whaur he may.

2. (1) tr.: to make a movement as if to do, etc. (something), to feint, threaten, “offer”, go through the preliminaries of an action, specif. of aiming or striking a blow at (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; ne.Sc. 1963). Dmf. 1810  R. Cromek Remains 13:
My een are bauld, they dwall on a place Where I darena mint my han'.
Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xxv.:
By the hand of my father, I will cleave to the brisket the first man that mints another stroke!
Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 28:
Yon lad that sav'd Lord Randolph frae the kairds, Ye're no to mak' nor mint, wi' deeds or words.
Uls. 1880  Patterson Gl.:
“Mint the gowler,” i.e. hit the dog with a stone or anything.

(2) intr. with sim. meanings (Dmf. 1920; Cai. 1939; ne.Sc. 1963). Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 251, 253:
Mint e'er ye strike . . . Minting gets no Bairns.
e.Lth. a.1801  R. Gall Poems (1819) 26:
An' frae the willow buist did scatter A tate o' meal upo' the water, Nae doubt for fear it should beguile Her whan it minted first to boil.
Rnf. 1813  E. Picken Poems II. 25:
Whan e'er the house mints to rin roun, There let us stap.
Abd. 1828  P. Buchan Ballads II. 282:
Thrice she minted to the brand.
Abd. 1865  G. Macdonald Alec Forbes lxxxix.:
That schochlin' cratur, Bruce, is mintin' at roupin' the mistress for a wheen siller she's aucht him.
Abd. 1903  E.D.D.:
Dee't an' dinna mint.

3. To insinuate, to hint, to suggest (Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 255). Hence ppl.adj. minted, suggested, implied; vbl.n. minting, suggestion, implication. (1) tr.: Dmf. 1823  J. Kennedy Poems 66:
The minted meanin' is as plain As three times seven's twenty-ane.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 331:
A claim to my heart ne'er is mintit, It's a' for the sake o' my haund.
Wgt. 1881  Good Words 403:
Wha e'er minted that Meg was ill-faured till noo?
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr. Duguid 168:
When . . . I heard the weans on the causey speak to ane anither of the “young doctor”, it was to me as the first minting and hint that my day had gaen by.
Sc. 1893  Stevenson Catriona xiv.:
I'm far frae minting that is other than the way that ye believe it.
Ork. 1951  R. Rendall Ork. Variants 17:
The neebors minted what nane wad neem When the knowe cam' under the pleugh.

(2) intr., with at, o, or absol. (ne.Sc. 1963): m.Lth. 1786  G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1801) 20:
At lesser matters now they mint.
Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel xxxiii.:
Idiots about us that cannot understand what we mint at, unless we speak it out in braid Lowlands.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb x.:
“I'm nae a dealer in aul' buiks” — “Eh, forbid 't I sud mint at that, Maister Tawse.”
Abd. 1891  J. Ogg Glints 24:
Some fowk wad mint an' moan Tho' this earth were a' their own.
Ayr. 1892  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 176:
But safe us! when the lad was led in To mint at bridal day an' beddin'.
Fif. 1897  S. Tytler Lady Jean's Son viii.:
What need you mint at ither birth-marks? that is ane that cannot fail.
Bnff. 1929  Banffshire Jnl. (1 Oct.) 2:
I fell in wi' Heedies, an' swappit the time o' nicht wi' him, an' mintit at a drappie.

4. To mention, speak of, broach (a subject), allude to, let slip (a word), utter (Sh., ne.Sc., w.Lth., Kcb. 1963). (1) tr.: Edb. 1791  J. Learmont Poems 58:
An' at a sour leuk, or correction Maun nouther frein nor mint objection.
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Poems 70:
Lang he fear'd his mind to mint it.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Annals v.:
Strictly intending, as I did perform, not to mint a word about my choice.
Sc. 1849  A. Bell Melodies of Scot. 45:
There's wee bit Johnnie scarce can speak. . . . Or mint his father's name.
Abd. 1873  P. Buchan Inglismill 30:
Had ye but mintit what ye had in view.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B., obsol.:
A wad blush ti munt sic a story.
Ork. c.1930 1 :
He never minted a thing aboot it tae me.

(2) intr., with at, o': Sc. 1864  M. Oliphant Katie Stewart xxii.:
Wha ever heard you mint at a sair head before!
Sc. 1936  J. G. Horne Flooer o' the Ling 17:
But when ye hint or mint o' flittin I lie a' nicht wi' e'en begritten.

II. n. 1. An attempt, essay, effort (Sc. 1808 Jam.); aim, intention. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 73:
The lawly Mints of my poor moorland Muse.
Nai. 1762  J. Calder Diary (1875) 16:
The Lord has graciously countenanced this day's poor mint at duty.
Edb. 1788  J. Macaulay Poems 130:
They never mak a mint to spurn The rustic toil.
Abd. 1900  C. Murray Hamewith (1913) 87:
Wi' kindly mint we stilled his fear, Enquired his name an' clan.
Kcb. 1901  R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 422:
A'll brain the first man at maks a mint tae kep me.

2. A pretended blow, a feint (Mry.1 1925; Abd. 1963); a stroke, a blow (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 237:
Long ment [sic], little dint.

3. A word, an utterance, esp. as a hint or indication of one's feelings or intentions (Abd. 1963). Abd. 1924  Swatches o' Hamespun 63:
He wis awfa ull-aboot 'er, bit some bashfu' kin' ye see, Fient a mint she gya te help 'im, sae he beet-te lat 'er be.

[O.Sc. mint, mynt, to attempt, a.1400, to aim a blow, c.1420, to purpose, intend, 1513, mynting, mention, 1508, an aim, an attempt, 1520; O.E. myntan, to intend, think.]

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"Mint v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2018 <>



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