Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PLAISTER, n., v. Also plester, -ir, plestre. Gen.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. plaster. This spelling is also common in 18th c. Eng. [′plestər]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., in all senses (w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 28). Comb. plaster and form, parge and core (Sc. 1952 The Builder (20 June) 942). Sc. 1703  G. Turnbull Diary (S.H.S.) 427:
Dovs were applyd to his soles, and a blistering plaister to his neck, and a cordial filep given him now and again.
Sc. 1754  J. Justice Sc. Gardiner 9:
It will be convenient to lay on two coats of strong plaister.
Sc. 1794  Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) I. 36:
I ventured to hint the convenience of a roll of diaculum plaister.
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 134:
Some wi' airts, like plaister saws Can smuggle their infection.
Knr. 1886  H. Haliburton Horace 87:
Your herbs an' drogs, your drinks an' plaisters, An' a' your ither unkent slaisters!
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr. Duguid 76:
He . . . saw beside him a daud of plaister from the roof.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) viii.:
Man it [a love-letter]'s the afaest plester o' spooney treacle iver I hard o'.

2. A chastisement, beating, sc. something painful applied to the body (Cai. 1966); transf. a verbal castigation, a dressing-down (Sh. 1966), a malediction, swearing, volley of oaths (Sh. 1966). Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 214:
He underwent a severe tost of the old plaister, before any mercy was shown.
Sh. 1965  New Shetlander No. 75. 16:
Shu'd heard Bob a mony a time lay oot plestirs fur dat aald lamp.

3. One who intrudes himself on the attention or company of others, a fawning or ingratiating person, a nuisance (Per. 1911 Per. Constit. Jnl. (13 Feb.); Kcd., Ags. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Uls. 1930; wm.Sc. 1966); a fulsome flatterer (em.Sc.(a). Dmf., Uls. 1966).

4. A botched or mismanaged job, a mess, “shambles” (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 261; Ags., Per., wm.Sc., Kcb., Uls. 1966); a messy, untidy worker (Slk. 1966).

5. A piece of showy adornment, “anything overloaded with vulgar showy ornament” (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.), a superfluity of jewellery, frills or the like in one's dress (wm.Sc. 1966); an unnecessary fuss or to-do, a piece of fulsome sentiment or senseless ostentation. Hence plastery, adj., gaudy, over-ornamented, showy (Patterson); a showy over-dressed person (wm.Sc. 1966). Ags. 1946  Forfar Dispatch (30 May):
In my walk o' life fowk didna hae honeymunes nor any sic plesters.

II. v. 1. As in Eng. Deriv. plaisterer, a plasterer (Rs. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 X. 586). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1701  Seafield Corresp. (S.H.S.) 339:
I will be very weell pleased that the selean be plestred under Janats chambr.
Sc. 1725  W. McFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 300:
A very convenient inn built by Thomas Alburn an Englishman [sic] and the best plaisterer that ever was yet in Scotland.
Sth. 1753  C. D. Bentinck Dornoch (1926) 304:
The tradesmen present recommended that the “walls and gavels be partly harled and plaistered within.”
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch x.:
Our hearts must be trampled in the mire of scorn . . . in order that a bruise may be properly plaistered up.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxiii.:
Plaister't wi' dubs to the vera croon o' 's heid.
Dmf. 1912  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo vi.:
I hae the smell in my nostrils o' the hair oil that Davie plaistered a' ower his tozzlie hair.
Sc. 1929  Scots Mag. (May) 150:
What ails plaisterers thir days that they shuid be lowsed at this oor?

2. intr. To work or go about in a slovenly, slap-dash way, mess around, “play about” (n.Sc., Ags., Per., Ayr., Dmf. 1966). Cf. Slaister. Ags. 1899  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy xviii.:
Sandy hasna dune a hand's turn for the lest week, but haikit aboot wi' them [his cronies], plesterin' aboot this thing an' that.
Per. 1915  Wilson L. Strathearn 201:
Aye plesterin awa, no' makin naethin o't, like a bee among tar.
Bch. 1930  :
Fat the deuce are ye plaisterin an' clairtin amon the dubs that wye, ye fool unlucky vratch?

3. To make a fuss or useless to-do, to be over-attentive, to fawn, to intrude obsequiously or inopportunely (Kcd., em.Sc.(a), Rxb. 1966). Pa.p. plestered, bothered by someone's unwelcome attentions or demands. Ags. 1925  :
I cannie be plestered wi'm.
Ags. 1946  Forfar Dispatch (14 Feb.):
I flang the piece at the robin. instead of plaisterin wi him as yuisual.

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"Plaister n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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