Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
NIT, n.1 Also nitt; nüt; net (Kcd. 1905 A. N. Simpson Bobbie Guthrie 179). Gen.Sc. form of Eng. nut. See P.L.D. § 60.1. [nɪt]
1. As in Eng. (Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 18; Sc. 1825 Jam.; Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–26 Wilson) and fig. Also in Eng. dials. Combs. as in deaf nit, see Deaf, 2., nit-barrow, a nutseller's barrow, -broon, -fresh (Sh., Cai. 1964), -grit, of the size of a nut (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.), -shall, nut-shell, -wud, a hazel wood (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 364). Phrs. to burn nits, see Burn, v. 5. (6); to come to the hert o' the nit, to come to the point, the root of the matter.
Lnl. 1719 Binns Papers (S.R.S.) II. 105:
For two naills fouer inches longe and two nits . . 8s. 0d. Mry. 1749 Pitcalnie MSS. Acct.:
For 4 pints nites at 3s. … … 12s. 0d. For half pund butter and 3 chapines nits … … … … 8s. 0d. Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween vii.:
The auld Guidwife's weel-hoorded nits Are round an' round divided. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 40:
Twa azle fangs — but clean unfit The nits o' sense to crack. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxvi.:
Parliaments, and quality, brown and white, and snaps well peppered, and gingerbread nits. wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 121:
As muckle harns as will be contained in the doup of a nit. Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 264:
The nit maun be withert ere sickerly sweet. Lnk. 1876 J. Nicholson Kilwuddie 71:
Sweetie stan's an' lang nit barrows. Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 12:
Geordie Glen needna hesitate to burn nits wi' you. Sh. 1900 Shetland News (19 May, 25 Aug.):
If we got ony [eggs] aboot dat time, dey wid be nit fresh . . . Der no mony i' da sooth, I tink, 'at's iver tastid fish nit fresh. Gall. 1900 R. J. Muir Mystery Muncraig iii.:
I'm coming to the heart o' the nit now. Abd. 1913 D. Scott Hum. Sc. Stories 12:
I've eneuch ta dee without swipin' up nit shalls. Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 56:
Fan she birzed back the bord o' the sinbonnet a wee, caller fuff o' the wastlin' win' ravelt her nit-broon hair.
2. The nave of a cart wheel (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) N. 15). Also in Eng. dial.
3. A grooved, conical piece of wood, used in ropemaking to lay the strands evenly (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), nitt). Cf. Snott.
4. A notable person, a genius, prob. an extension of colloq. Eng. nut, the head, sc. a brainy person, an intellectual.
Fif. 1865 St. Andrews Gaz. (11 March):
The lecturer gave a fine essay on the genius of Ben Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, W. Thackeray, and Charles Dickens; and spoke at length on the writings and sayings of these clever “nits.”
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Nit n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/nit_n1>
Try an Advanced Search