Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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POINT, n., v. Also Sc. forms pint; peint (Abd. 1862 G. McDonald D. Elginbrod i. xiii.), paynt (Fif. 1916 G. Blaik Rustic Rhymes 167); pount (Fif. 1823 W. Tennant Cardinal Beaton 121, 1853 J. Pringle Poems 100). Sc. forms and usages. [pəint; Fif. ‡pʌunt, see Bowl, Dowt.]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Comb., phr. and deriv. (1) point game, in Curling: a game played by one curler as an individual as opposed to one played in a team, see 1903 quot. (Kcb. 1966); (2) pointie, n., a throw in the game of Knifie (Bnff., Ags., Ayr. 1966). Also two-pointie, a variation on this throw, see quot.; (3) pointy, adj., of a fleece: having wool of unequal length, ragged; (4) to cut before the point, fig. to be over-eager in tackling a matter, to be in too great a hurry, to anticipate, act or speak prematurely; (5) to gie or go at (something) point and heel, to work in a wholehearted energetic way, to go at a thing tooth and nail. This and the previous phr. are appar. metaphors from cutting corn with a sickle or scythe. See Heel, n.1, 3. (1) Slg. 1893  R. M. Fergusson My Village 158:
Point and rink games were played for prizes offered by enthusiastic patrons of the sport.
Gall. 1903  E.D.D.:
Point games are those which each member of the curling club plays by himself, at the various shots, generally for a medal. In the rink games he is one of a band of four players on one side. The medal for “points” is called the single-handed medal, that for rinks, the rink medal, in Galloway.
(2) Ags. 1934  G. Martin Dundee Worthies 179:
[In the game of “knifie”] “pointie” [was played] by gripping the tip of the blade and making the knife turn over and land in the ground. “Two pointie” by a double somersault.
(3) Sc. 1844  H. Stephens Bk. of Farm III. 891:
A good fleece should have the points of all its staples of equal length, otherwise it will be a pointy one.
(4) Sc. 1725  Ramsay Gentle Shep. iii. ii.:
S. Will. Young Man, let's see your Hand; — what gars ye sneer? Pat. Because your Skill's but little worth I fear. S. Will. Ye cut before the Point.
Sc. 1737  Nat. Lib. Scot. MS. 1296:
Mr Justice conceives it is to be Cutting before the point to Comply with the above proposalls before the Entaill . . . be totally reversed by a sentence.
(5) Rxb. 1821  A. Scott Poems 23:
She gied it point and heel The rig that day. Point and heel, is a term used among mowers when they cut as much at a stroke as they possibly can.

2. In a Jacquard loom: one of the needles which select the threads to be picked up (Ayr. 1966).

3. A length of cord, ribbon, leather or the like, gen. metal-tipped, used as a fastening, a lace. Obs. in Eng. In Sc. specif. a shoe-or boot-lace (Lnk. 1825 Jam., pint; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 259: I., n. and em.Sc.(a) 1966). Hence pintless, without laces. Combs. cut-point, a bootlace cut off a strip of leather as required (Ags. 1949); flail-points, strips of untanned sheepskin or the like, used to join the Souple to the handstaff of a flail, a Midcouple (Cai. 1949); point-hole, an eyelet in a shoe or the like. Abd. 1763  Abd. Journal (7 March):
New black leather shoes tied with leather points.
Ork. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 325:
Their shoes of their own leather, tied with good strong sufficient points.
Rnf. 1813  E. Picken Poems I. 126:
Ye want the pints frae baith your shoon.
Ags. 1860  A. Whamond James Tacket xxvi.:
The water in my shoes made a disagreeable jerking noise, and at every step came oosing through the pint-holes.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 64:
Dauvid wi' his pints wallopin' amon' his feet, an' his weyscot lowse.
Sh. 1900  Shetland News (15 Sept.):
Shü cam' inby, an' began to lowse da points o' hir böits.
Abd. 1922  Swatches o' Hamespun 47:
Fae the ledgit at ilky side Hung ledder pints an' seggs.
Bnff. 1939  J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 36:
Doon the road the body shauchles In his gapin', p'intless bauchles.
Bnff. 1962  Banffshire Advertiser (25 Oct.):
Buckie Thistle widna be able tae buy the pints for 'is [footballer's] beets.

4. In the harvest field: the leading member of a team of reapers or Bandwin, the man who worked at the front left-hand-side of the team (Sc. 1869 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 725), also pintsman, id.; the strip of corn cut by him. Also more gen. the leader or pace-maker in any team of field-workers (Uls. 1966). Phr. to hoe (etc.) point, to lead or set the pace in hoeing, etc. (Kcb. 1966). Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Poet. Wks. (1897) 42, 194:
He . . . could shear a point baith fast and slaw, And thresh, and dike, and ditch, and maw. . . . A point at baith shearin' and mawin'.
Dmf. 1821  Blackwood's Mag. (Jan.) 402:
The Highland sickles . . . could not prevent the haft and the point from advancing before them, forming a front like the horns of a crescent.
Gall. 1896  66th Report Brit. Ass. 623:
The first “rigg” was called the “pint”, i.e. point, and the one that reaped was named the “pintsman”. The last “rigg” of those occupied by a set of reapers was called the “heel”, and the reaper bore the same name.
Abd. 1923  Banffshire Jnl. (9 Jan.):
I followed Logan on the pint Sae weel's he laid it doon.

5. The tapering part of a field which is not completely rectangular; the furrows or drills which are shortened thereby (ne.Sc., Lnl. 1966). Kcb. 1966  :
A ploughman says he is “coming into points” when his rigs are not parallel to the dyke.

6. A very small fish, esp. a coalfish (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

II. v. 1. As in Eng., to indicate or turn in a certain direction. Hence pointer, (1) the index finger (Abd. 1931); (2) in tobacco-spinning: a boy who placed all the leaves pointing one way for the next operative to take over. (2) Sc. 1843  Children in Trades Report (2) i. 48:
Every stripper has four boys, a “leazer,” “wheel-boy,” “pointer” who advances the leaves, and “stripper”, who strips the leaf off the stalks.
Abd. 1876  S. Smiles Sc. Naturalist 47–8:
Each spinner had three boys under him — the wheeler, the pointer, and the stripper.

2. In Building: to indent a stone face with a pick or pointed tool (Sc. 1952 Builder (20 June) 942; ne.Sc., Per. 1966).

3. In Fishing: to hook a fish with the point of the rod, a poaching practice. Sc. 1860  Acts 23 and 24 Vict. c.45 § 1:
It shall not be lawful . . . to fish for trout or other fresh water fish . . . with any net, . . . or by striking the fish with any instrument, or by pointing.

4. Ppl.adj. pointit, of persons: precise, punctilious, (over)attentive to detail, fussy, demanding; punctual, exact, accurate (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 104, 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Ork., ne., sn. and s.Sc. 1966). Hence pointedly, pintitly, adv., accurately, punctiliously, precisely, punctually, immediately (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 247; Ags. 1966). Sc. 1727  Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 99:
I doubt nothing of the truth of them in my own mind, though I be not pointed in time and place.
Rs. 1748  W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1909) 189:
I wish we was shoure of pointed payment of there pasage or they leve this cuntry.
Edb. 1812  P. Forbes Poems 78:
Ye're sae precise an' pointet.
Ayr. 1870  J. K. Hunter Life Studies 283:
He's a great han' for splorin' about his punctuality in ordinary transactions, and of what a pointed man his father was.
Cai. 1887  “B. Watten” Stratharran 123:
Be pointit in gangin' to Andrew's on Saiterday nicht.
Fif. 1887  S. Tytler Logie Town I. xi.:
I will cause the green baize door . . . to be steeket pointedly.
Sc. 1893  M. Oliphant Lady William I. viii.:
How often must I tell you not to be so pointed with your half-hours? How can a young man tell, if he strolls out in the evening, exactly to the moment when he's to get back?
Fif. 1897  L. Keith Bonnie Lady iv.:
The minister's very pinted about his parritch.

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"Point n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jan 2018 <>



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