Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SIMMER, n.1, v. Gen.Sc. form of Eng. summer. See P.L.D. § 60.1. [′sɪmər]

I. n. As in Eng. Also attrib., though the possess. case simmer's is also used where mod. Eng. now has summer (Sc. 1812 W. Angus Eng. Grammar 333). Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 206:
Her Presence, like a Simmer's Morning Ray.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Twa Dogs 192:
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's heat.
Per. c.1800  Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 166:
'Twas on a simmer's afternoon, A wee afore the sun gaed doun.
Lth. 1813  G. Bruce Poems 54:
Near yon thick glade, ae simmer's e'en.
Lnk. 1881  D. Thomson Musings 33:
Trees stript o' their simmer's bloom.
Abd. 1922  G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' Doric 61:
Ye dauchle in the gloamin' o' the dusky simmer's nicht.

Combs.: 1. simmer blink, a momentary gleam of sunshine (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., Per., 1970); 2. simmer cloks, the shimmering of sun-beams in the air on a fine summer day (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., Sh. 1970). See Clock, n.4, 2., and Clocks-summer; 3. Simmer-cowt(e), -cout(t), -caut, -colt, (1) = 2., the quivering motion of the air on a hot day, a heat-haze, gen. in pl. (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. (colts), Abd. (cowts) 1939). In dim. form -caulties (Ags. 1938). For the second element see Cowt, n.1, and Eng. dial. phr. “the summer colt rides” for the same phenomenon; (2) “the gnats which dance in clusters on a summer evening” (Lnk. 1825 Jam.); fig. a lively little chap (Ib.); 4. summer dale, ?; 5. simmer-dancing, = 2. and 3. (1); 6. simmer-dim, the twilight of a summer evening, specif. in Sh. where there is no darkness. See Dim, n.; 7. simmer-eild, of a sheep: “that has not been nursed during a particular summer” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). See Eild, adj.2; 8. Summer flaws, = 3. (1) (Ags. 1825 Jam.); ‡9. simmer grimma, id. (Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 16. 11). For grimma see Grimlins and note; 10. summer growth, a general name among fishermen for the various marine zooids, etc., which attach themselves to small stones, seashells, and the like (Sc. 1825 Jam.); 11. summer-haar, “a slight breeze from the east, which often rises after the sun has passed the meridian. It receives this name from the fishers of Newhaven, though not accompanied with any fog” (m.Lth. 1825 Jam.); 12. summer hill, hill pasture to which sheep are sent in the summer months, freq. in place-names; 13. simmer-lift, the summer sky (Sh. 1970); 14. summer lodge, a hut or bothy used by Sh. deep-sea fishermen during the fishing season; 15. simmer-lunts, = 3. (1), “moisture at sunrise” (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S.177). See Lunt, n.1, 2.; 16. simmermal, -mil(t), -mol (Jak.), the first day of summer, popularly considered to be 14th April (Sh. 1897 J. Jakobsen Dial. Sh. 42, Sh. 1970) [Norw. sumarmal, Faer. summarmáli, id., O.N. mál, measure, time]. Combs. simmarmal brim, -ree, -tön, See Brim, n.1, 2., Ree, Tune; ‡17. simmer meiths, = 3. (1) (Bnff., Abd. 1970). See Muith; †18. summer preaching, gen. in pl.: the series of religious services held in connection with the orig. annual summer celebration of Communion in the Presbyterian Church (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.). See Preach, Combs.; 19. Simmer-pyke, a small rick of hay put up by hand (Slk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 287). See Pike, n., 7. and Hand, n., 9. (29); 20. summer rick, the medium-sized rick in which hay is built and kept in the field till it is ready to be finally stacked. Also in Eng. dial.; 21. summer-road, a grassy road used in summer only, specif. a grassy strip verging on a metalled road for the use of horses; 22. summer-scale, the scum or mould produced by acetous fermentation in beer turned sour in the heat of summer, called in Eng. mother, gen. in pl. (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also used as a v., to form such a scum (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 195, 1825 Jam.; 23. simmer-side, summer, the summer season as opposed to winter (Sh., Dmf. 1970, the simmer-side o the year); 24. simmer-snawdrap, the summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum, one of the varieties of amary is (Ork. 1970). Also in Eng. dial.; 25. summer-snipe, the common sandpiper, Tringa hypoleucos, so called because it appears in April and leaves again in September (Sc. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 196). Also in Eng. local usage; 26. summer-sob, a period of frequent slight rain-showers in early summer, esp. in May (Abd., Ags. 1808 Jam.); 27. summer-weed, bovine mastitis (Abd., Fif., Lnk., sm.Sc. 1970). See Weed; 28. simmer wun, dried off in the open air throughout the summer (Abd. 1970). See Win, v.2. 3. (1) Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 93:
Meith, meith was the day; The summer cauls [sic] were dancing brae frae brae.
Ayr. 1780  J. Howie Alarm into a Secure Generation 21:
As these atoms of the sun (which we commonly call summer colts) do in a sun shine day before or after ram in the heat of summer.
Sc. 1819  Scots Mag. (June) 526:
Licht was his heart as the summer cowt I' the sunshine after rain.
Ayr. 1832  Galt Stanley Buxton II. vii.:
Harry Franks was of old a laddie that saw evil spirits in summer couts.
Bnff. 1869  W. Knight Auld Yule 29:
The simmer coutts were dancin' on the sward.
Ags. 1943  Scots Mag. (July) 321:
The blistering “simmer coutts,” as we used to call the earth-shimmer.
4. Sc. 1806  R. Jamieson Ballads I. 165:
And ga'e her a little wee summer-dale wandie, To ding me sindle and saft.
5. Slk. 1874  Border Treasury (15 Aug.) 40:
“Simmer dancing,” when the heated air is seen making its way upwards to the higher region of the atmosphere, with a pretty midge-dance-like motion.
6. Sh. 1891  J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 25:
Hümin dere is still a splendir — Nicht is bit a simmer-dim.
Sh. 1934  W. Moffatt Shetland 45:
The “simmer dim” — those long, lingering summer nights when the sun merely sets to rise again at once.
8. Ags. 1965  Dundee Courier (5 June):
“Summer flaws” is a name I've heard the country folk of Angus give to these shimmering exhalations that rise from the ground in hot weather.
12. Peb. 1829  Trans. Highl. Soc. I. 53:
After they are weaned, they are taken to what store masters and shepherds call the Summer Hill.
13. Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems 57:
If the simmer-lift hauds clear.
15. Sh. 1822  S. Hibbert Descr. Sh. 507:
Huts constructed of rude stones, without any cement, being made no larger than is sufficient to contain a six-oared boat's crew . . . named “summer lodges.”
15. Rnf. 1841  Whistle-Binkie (Ser. 3) 84:
He [the sun] sheuk his sides and sent a feckfu' yeild, And rais'd the simmer-lunts frae loch and linn.
16. Sh. 1932  J. Saxby Trad. Lore 178:
There were three “Rees”, Buggle Ree, Beltane Ree, and Simmer-mill Ree.
Sh. 1949  New Shetlander No. 16. 11:
The weather on Simmermal Day is said to be the forecast of the weather all summer.
18. wm.Sc. 1835  Laird of Logan 132:
Ae Sabbath morn at the summer preachings, mair than thretty years sin'.
20. Dmf. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XXI. 444:
The farmer endeavours to have his sown grass made, and in summer ricks, by the end of July.
21. m.Lth. 1777  Caled. Mercury (3 Feb.):
The summer-road shall be kept in constant repair.
m.Lth. 1782  Caled. Mercury (22 June):
A summer or soft road is to be left on each side of the fourteen feet, of ten feet broad.
24. Slk. 1875  Border Treasury (22 May) 496:
There's the simmer snaw-drap already keeking through its green sheath.
26. Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 80:
Yon summer sob is out. This night looks well, look,'oman, round about.
27. Dmf. 1962  Stat. Acc.3 227:
When in calf, cows and heifers are very subject to mastitis in summer, the local name for this disease being “summer weed”.
28. Abd. 1952  Huntly Express (8 Feb.):
Many farmers and householders dug out the spruce and fir roots of felled trees, and when they were simmer wun, split them up [for fuel].

II. v. 1. To spend the summer (Sh., ne., em.Sc.(a), sm.Sc. 1970). Sc. 1895  A. M. Stoddart J. S. Blackie II. 154:
Dr and Mrs Kennedy, who were summering at Aberfeldy.
Abd. 1918  C. Murray Sough o' War 42:
To lat him simmer i' the toon, an learn to mizzer lan'.

2. tr. and intr., used fig. in phr. to simmer and winter, to go into a matter at length and in detail, to ponder long and carefully, to discuss (a topic) in all its aspects, to be long-winded or prolix in telling a story (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D, Bnff. 155; Abd., em.Sc.(a), Lnk., Kcb., Rxb. 1970); to make oneself thoroughly versed in or familiar with a subject. Sc. 1728  Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 41:
My Views and digested Thoughts, that I have summer'd and winter'd these many Years.
Wgt. 1803  R. Couper Tourifications I. 174:
Summering and wintering it, whether I am quite justifiable in allowing him to speak two minutes and an half of the remaining five.
Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xliv.:
We couldna think o' a better way to fling the gear in his gate, though we simmered it and wintered it e'er sae lang.
Ayr. 1826  Galt Last of the Lairds i.:
Weel, weel, sir, no to summer and winter on idioticals, or sic like matters o' fact.
Dmf. 1835  Carlyle Life in London (Froude 1884) I. 47:
Till we get the thing all summered and wintered talking together freely once more.
Rxb. a.1860  J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 405:
To get ourselves properly summered and wintered into the saving knowledge requisite.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 30:
Simmerin, an' winterin' aboot haen to wait a meenit or twa for his denner.
Rxb. 1897  E. Hamilton Outlaws xv.:
Give us your plan, Agnes, and guidsake dinna summer and winter over it.
Abd. 1924  M. Argo Janet's Choice 25:
I'll simmer and winter this nae langer.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 20:
It'll serr naething now ti stert simmereen-an-wuntereen.

[O.Sc. symmer, summer, a.1500.]

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"Simmer n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/simmer_n1_v>

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