Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SPARE, n.1 Also spair, spear. An opening or slit in any garment (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., spair; Cai. 1904 E.D.D., spair; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., spair). Obs. in Eng. Specif.: ‡(1) the opening or slit in a woman's skirt, gown or petticoat, the placket (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; I., m. and s.Sc. 1971). [′spe(ə)r]
Gall. 1706 Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) I. 182:
The said Michael M'Cleland sometymes put his hand in at the spare of her coat. Sc. 1771 The Bonny Hind in
Child Ballads No. 50 x.:
She's putten her hand down by her spare, And out she's taen a knife. Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 446:
Spear — A slit formed in a gown for the pockets; in a petty-coat for the adjustment of its tyers. Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 18:
Her drugget coat, aye wi' the spare o't ajar.
(2) The opening in the front of trousers (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Cai., Rs., Mry., Bnff., em.Sc. (a), wm.Sc., Dmf. 1971). Cf. Spaiver.
Rnf. 1753 Session Papers, Corse v. Cumming (12 June) 11:
He also saw the said Pursuer's Breeches torn from one of the Pocket Lids to the Spair. Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 233:
Get but your hips owre your breeks' spare, 'Till gar you spout ten fa' and mair. Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 125:
When first your spare [of trousers] began to fail. Lnl. 1880 T. Orrock Fortha's Lyrics 34:
They turned his breeks, as folk did see, The spare jist whaur the seat should be.
Combs. back-spare, a cleft or opening in the back of trousers (Sc. 1825 Jam.), front-spare, a cleft or opening in the front of trousers.
Abd. 1898 ,
Back-spares and front-spares are not now used in making trousers.
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"Spare n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Dec 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/spare_n1>
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