Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SMIT, v., n. Also smitt. Pa.t. smit; pa.p. weak smit, smittit, -ed; and strong pa.t. smet, smat (Sh.), pa.p. smat, smitten from Smite, v. [smɪt]
I. v. 1. To affect with, alter by the agency of, assail, smite, freq. in fig. expressions bordering on sense 2. Obs. in Eng. exc. n. dial.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Farewell J. Kennedy 3:
If e'er Detraction shore to smit you. Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 17:
O deeply runkled was his brow, His cheeks too smit wi' years. Sh. 1888 B. R. Anderson Broken Lights 87:
I smit a' da bairns wi' madram an' glee. Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 212:
The weirdly spell that smittit me. Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 254:
A sleekie, weel-penn'd billet-doux, Wi' love's burnin' ardour, wad smit them. Abd. 1961 P. Buchan Mount Pleasant 13:
There's cures for ills that smit the hert.
2. Specif. of infectious or contagious disease or patient: to affect by contagion, infect, taint (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 93; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), smitt; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 267; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. and n.Eng. dial. Freq. used fig. and jocularly. Ppl.adj. smittin, infectious, “catching” (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 267).
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1777) 10:
Ae scabbed sheep will smit the hale hirdsell. Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 210:
Is't smittin', like sma' pox? Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister xlv.:
He said “I'm smitted” and went home to die. Sh. 1898 Shetland News (4 June):
If doos slipped dem [sick lambs] ta da hill ta smit da caa. Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 35:
A byre at Kelso that had been smitten. e.Lth. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 59:
A hundred pound cash doun! — besides, gif a' The cattle smat were kill'd, anither ane! Fif. 1912 D. Rorie Mining Folk 405:
“Wha smittit the first ane?” is often said contemptuously as an argument against instructions to isolate an infectious case. Gsw. 1915 H. W. Pryde M. McFlannel's Romance 127:
You French people must be awful polite. I wish you'd smit Mr McFlannel. Abd. 1956 J. Murray Rural Rhymes 10:
I was vera nearly smitted Wi' Mains' disease masel.
Derivs.: (1) smitsome, adj., contagious, infectious (Ork. 1970); (2) smittal(l), smittle also rarely smittable, smittl(e)ish, adj., id. (Sc. 1808 Jam., 1887 Jam., smit(t)lish; Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. and n.Eng. dial. Also fig. and (rarely) as n., infection. Hence smittleness. infectiousness; †(3) smittral, infectious (Fif. 1825 Jam.).
(1) Per. 1878 R. Ford Hame-spun Lays 120:
I' the pulpit, smitsome fair, I saw her face, an' no' the preacher's. Kcd. 1929 Montrose Standard (20 Sept.):
Ye're no that smitsom. (2) Sc. 1705 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 60:
It will not only be dark and sharp, but very smittle. Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 177:
The covetous Infatuation Was smittle out o'er a' the nation. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xii.:
Our trouble seemed a smittal one; the infection spread around. Sc. 1867 N. Macleod Starling xxvii.:
Is't true that Sergeant Mercer has got a smittal fivver? Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 92:
I was laughin' tae mysel' on the smittleness o' slidin'. Kcb. 1895 Pall-Mall Mag. (Aug.) 599:
Whatna trouble did ye say the laddie had on him? Is't smittable, think ye? m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood xii.:
Fearfu' lest ye have got a smittal o' the pestilence. Slg. 1935 W. D. Cocker Further Poems 79:
A smittle thing the mawk, Yae flee contaminates a flock. Gsw. 1951 H. W. Pryde M. McFlannel's Romance 103:
Mumps! That's smittle, is it no'?
3. To hit, strike. Phr. to smit thumbs, “to form a contract by each person wetting the fore-part of his thumb with the point of his tongue, and then smiting or pressing their thumbs together, which confirms the bargain” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Hence n. comb. smit-thumbs, this method of sealing a bargain or pledging one's good faith (Ib.). See Thoum, n., 2.
II. n. 1. A smiting together, a clash, clap.
Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 265:
She heard a smit o' bridle reins, She wished might be for good.
2. Infection, contagion (Sc. 1887 Jam.; m.Sc. 1970), gen. with def. art. in phr. to gie or get the smit, to infect or be infected by a disease. Gen.Sc. Also fig., esp. of falling in love. Combs. smit-feerie, an infectious disease, smitt-sickness, id. (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). See Feerie, n.1
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 275:
Ower uncivileez't tae tak the smit [of gentility]. Rxb. 1912 Kelso Chron. (22 Nov.) 4:
They tell me that ye've got the “smit”. Ags. 1927 Brechin Advert. (25 Oct.) 3:
They spread like the smit ben Clooty Wynd. Lth. 1934 A. P. Wilson Till 'Bus Comes 22:
If I had measles I'd sit on your doorstep till I gied ye the smit! Edb. 1955 Edb. Evening News (23 May):
Awe-stricken children kept a respectful distance away, for fear they “got the smit”. Sh. 1967 New Shetlander No. 83. 24:
Yun smit feerie 'at wis gyaain i'da toon.
3. A smut, smudge, black spot (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.). Also in Eng. dial. Adj. smitty, smudged, smutted, phs. rather a mistake for smutty. Poss. a different word. See note to Smite, n.1
Edb. 1869 J. Ballantine Miller 44:
Would you daur put your sooty smitty blut in comparison wi' the pure blut o' a Ross?
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"Smit v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/smit>
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