Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
PUIRTITH, n. Also pourtith (Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs (1881) 1), poortith; peertith (ne.Sc.); puirta, poortha, pörta, purta. [′pørtəθ]
1. Poverty, destitution, want (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc., obs. exc. in liter. usage.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 95:
Eild and Poortha is a sore Burthen on one Back. Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1777) 18:
Bear wealth weil, poortith will bear it sell. Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 137:
Sair wark and poortith douna weel be join'd. Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 103:
They're no sae wretched's ane wad think; Tho' constantly on poortith's brink. Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxxv.:
I ken weel, by sad experience, that poortith takes away pith. Slk. 1827 Hogg Tales (1874) 352:
Sair pressed down wi' poortith although she be. Mry. 1852 A. Christie Mountain Strains 49:
Mony a time they shipwreck'd me On purta's coast. Kcb. 1882 G. Murray Poems 53:
Jeanie was a bauld wee wife Wi' poortith waged successfu' strife. Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow i.:
A hantle better puirtith, however griping, than wickedness rampant. Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 143:
In sorrow may dey live an' dee, In pörta may dey pine. e.Lth. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 58:
Poortith is the mither o' a' airts! Abd. 1925 R. L. Cassie Gangrel Muse 15:
A sang we'll sing o' peertith caul', Fan we cam throwe the hard.
2. Weakness or lack of condition in an animal, esp. due to scarcity of food, a poor physical state.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 20:
Their ae beast cow I saw them lately flea, That for plain poortith lairt intill a bogg. Sh. 1897 Shetland News (15 May):
As I cam trow shü [a ewe] made upon her ta rise, an' . . . shü hed twise ta tak till her afore shü wan till her feet, an' dat wi' solid purta.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Puirtith n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Sep 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/puirtith>
Try an Advanced Search