Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SIMMER, n.2 Also symmer; shimmer; summar. Sc. forms of obs. Eng. summer, a beam. [′sɪmər, ′sʌmər]

1. As in Eng. In Sc. specif. a beam or joist in the drying-floor of a corn-kiln, “one of the supports laid across a kiln, formerly made of wood, now generally of iron, with notches in them for receiving the ribs, on which the grain is spread in order to be dried, a hair cloth, or fine covering of wire, being interposed between the ribs and the grain” (Lth. 1825 Jam.). Rs. 1733  W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1909) I. 123:
The Kiln: in the lom 6 cupples. The summars and shackles.
Edb. 1781  Session Papers, Petition J. Johnston (19 Jan.) Proof 1:
It had of late become the practice to place small bars of iron, of about three quarters of an inch of thickness, upon the joists or summers of kilns, in place of wooden kiln ribs.
Inv. 1809  Edb. Ev. Courant (21 Dec.):
The mid shimmer gave way, when three of them were precipitated into the killogy.

2. In Combs.: summer pit, — sque, the lowest stone in the gabling of a house on which the coping-stones rest, the spur stone. See Peat, n.1, 6. and Skew, n.1 Sc. 1741  Session Papers, Donaldson v. Home (25 June) 26:
The Scroll or Summer Sque.
Dmf. 1756  Session Papers. Blair v. Fraser (29 Dec.) 2:
From the neck of the chimney to the Summer Pit.

[O.Sc. summer, a beam, packhorse, 1375, symmer, of a kiln, 1650, Mid.Eng. somer, a beam, Mid. and Mod. Fr. som(m)ier, pack-horse, cross-beam, O.Fr. sumer, a pack-horse, Late Lat. saumarius, id.]

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"Simmer n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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