Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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VIZZY, v., n, Also viz(ze)y, viz(z)i(e), ¶vizzeh (Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 104), vissie, -y, visey, -ie, visee; veesy, -zy; reduced form veeze (Ork.). [′vɪzi, ′vi:zi, Ork. vi:z]

I. v. 1. tr. or absol. To look (at) closely, inspect, examine, scrutinise (Sc. 1825 Jam.), freq. implying cocking the eye to focus properly, to squint (at) (Sh. 1973). Vbl.n. vizzying in comb. vizzying hole, a spy-hole in a door from which one could see who was seeking admittance, a judas (Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Traditions I. 236). Sc. 1724  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 84:
vissyt him then round about.
Per. 1766  A. Nicol Poems 47:
Wives . . . wi' grains and raxing 'gan to blink And vizzy a' things round.
Abd. 1790  A. Shirrefs Poems 256:
When first your Castles I did vizzey.
Sc. 1827  C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. ix.:
As dark and how as the vizzying hole in an auld castle postern door.
Sc. 1867  J. Grant White Cockade v.:
An eye was seen to vizzy them carefully.
Sh. 1899  Shetland News (29 April):
He blindi'd his left e'e an' vizzied laek a joiner luikin' at da edge o' a clift.
wm.Sc. 1937  W. Hutcheson Chota Chants 30:
The dustman skipped to the bothie ree And vizzied the orra-men.

2. intr. To take aim with a gun, bow or other weapon (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., vizzi, Sh. 1973). Also fig. Slk. 1817  Hogg Works (1874) 150:
He airches an' he vizies for a good while.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 457:
When vizzying first at the nail in the bull's eye of the target.
Peb. 1836  J. Affleck Works 90:
The saul's the mark at which I vizzy.
Rxb. a.1860  J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 45:
Showing me how to vizie to hit a small board.
Sh. 1901  Shetland News (28 Sept.):
A'll vissie as even as some o' da volunteers.

3. To study, pore over (Ork. 1929 Marw., veeze; Sh. 1973).

4. To vise, issue with a visa. Sc. 1868  J. Grant White Cockade v.:
Letters signed and vizzied by the conservator of Scottish privileges at Campvere.

II. n. 1. n. (1) A look, sight, glimpse, scrutiny, survey (Abd. 1925; Sh., ‡Lth. 1973). Comb. vizzie-hole, a peep-hole (see I. 1.) (Ork. 1973). Sc. 1700  J. Clark Christ's Impressions 37:
O the many sweet Visies and Communications of Christ, that Believers have gotten on their Knees.
Sc. 1785  H. Mackenzie Lounger 22:
He tried to see the stage, and got a flying vizzy now and then.
Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lamm. xvi.:
Ye had best take a visie of him through the wicket before opening the gate.
Sc. 1834  Tait's Mag. I. 429:
To take a steady fixed vizzy of any one thing.
Sc. 1850  J. Grant Sc. Cavalier xxxvi.:
Take a gude survey of them through the vizzy-hole.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
His Reverence micht get a vizzie o' me i' the bye-gaen.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxiv.:
To gar Sir Simon tak' a vizzy backar't.
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 68:
A wis wantin' ye tae tak' a vizy o' ma knockie here.
s.Sc. 1898  Border Mag. (Oct.) 191:
A gizened dottle o' a man he was, yince we had a fair vizzy o' 'im.
Sc. 1907  N. Munro Daft Days iii.:
I suppose God took a kind of vizzy down that night.

(2) A view, vista, prospect. Sc. 1723  W. Macfarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 54:
A summer hous and ducat has a small visee to each airth.
Ayr. 1826  Galt Last of Lairds xxxviii.:
It will maybe be sawn down next week, to gie the new-comers a veesy in that airt.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch vi.:
We could have a vizzy of the grand ancient building of George Heriot's Hospital.
e.Lth. 1908  J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 187:
The vizzy o' them frae the cluds.

2. (1) An aim (with a weapon), gen. in phr. to take a vizzy (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh. 1973). Sc. 1720  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 86:
The Thane of Fife, wha lately wi' his flane, And vizy leel, made the blyth bowl his ain.
Gsw. 1725  Letter from the Magistrates of Glasgow, to a Gentleman in Edinburgh (30 June) 2:
The Soldier taking a Vizie, shot him dead.
Per. 1801  Letters J. Ramsay (S.H.S.) 52:
Take a good tizzy [sic] and deil hae him that misses.
Dmf. 1808  J. Mayne Siller Gun 52:
[He] took but ae vizzy wi' his eie — The bullet flies.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Steam-boat 143:
Logan took a vizy, and fired, but his gun flashed in the pan.
Rxb. 1845  T. Aird Old Bachelor 245:
Ambitions of taking a vizzy along the gun.
Ayr. 1913  J. Service Memorables 98:
Takin' a veezy wi' his gun, he backit gradually to the sea.
Uls. 1929  M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 19:
They always closed wan eye when they wud take a vizzy.

(2) The sight or knob on the barrel of a gun. Hence vizyless, without a sight, of a gun. Combs. vizzie-drap (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 457) (see Drap, n., 4.), vizzy-peg (Uls. 1953 Traynor), id. Sc. 1828  Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 288–300:
Thus too, the vizy generally inclined unduly to one side or the other. . . . Our passion could restore thee [sc. Mons Meg] butless, lockless, vizyless though thou be'st to the light of day.

[O.Sc. visy, vesy, to examine, to go to see, a.1400, to view, 1475, to gaze, 1513, to aim, 1582, O.North. Fr. viseer, to visit, Lat. visitare, id. There has phs. been later confusion with Fr. viser, visee, (to) aim, Late Lat. visare. O.Sc. vize, the sight on a gun, 1644.]

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"Vizzy v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Apr 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/vizzy>

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