Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BING, Binn(e), n.1 and v.1 [bɪŋ, bɪn (rare)]

1. n.

(1) A heap. Gen.Sc. Given neither in the Concise nor in the Un. Eng. Dict. Quots. in N.E.D. are mostly Sc. Bnff. 1900 Bnffsh. Jnl. (5 Aug.) 2:
He saw a big bing o' guid sids lyin' idle.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 193:
Syne took them to the big potatoe bing.
Dmb. 1927 J. Mothersole Roman Scotland v.:
An interesting-looking hill which turned out to be an unusually high “shale-binn.”
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 134–135:
The brushers . . . got him lying streekit oot on a bing of stanes by the roadside.

Phr. bing o' a fire, a heaped-up fire. Fif.3 1933:
Pit a guid bing o' a fire on.

(2) (See first quot.) Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry IV. Gloss.:
Bing, binne. A temporary inclosure or repository made of boards, twigs, or straw ropes, for containing grain or such like.
Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sk. and Anecd. of Wgt., etc. 364:
She gaed tae the bing o' prawtas, an' hoakit awa' the boards wi' her nose, till she got at the rotten prawtas.

(3) A company, a large number generally. Sh.(D) 1931 Burgess Geordie Twatt's Bridal in Sh. Almanac Companion 189:
We took aff wir several wys across da hills, a' dem belangin' ta da sam' place in a bing.
Abd.(D) 1916 G. Abel Wylins fae my Wallet 78:
An' fechtin' grim wi' sic a bing O' German fangs.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 59:
Frae hoose to hoose they flit in bings.
“Man, that's a fine bing tae play intae” (often used on the bowling green).
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 381:
There wus an unca bing o' them aboot The Aul' Clachan an Ba'maclellan.

†(4) A hole or pit for collecting urine, to be used for washing clothes. Ork. 1929 Marw.:
The graith-b[ing].

(5) fig. “A lazy fellow” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

2. v. To heap or pile up; to pit (of potatoes); fig. accumulate money. Sc. 1822 Blackw. Mag. XII. 761:
The Hairst was ower, the barnyard fill'd, The 'tatoes bing'd, the mart was kill'd.
Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 48:
Singin upo' the verdant plain, . . . Ye'll bing up siller o' yir ain.
Fif. 1899 “S. Tytler” Miss Nanse vi.:
Leddies, there's a post-chaise at the door with two old gentlemen inside, and the top of the chaise just binged with luggage.
Rxb. 1845 T. Aird Old Bachelor xx.:
His stackyard has just been thatched and his potatoes binged.

[O.N. bingr, a heap; Sw. dial. binge, a heap of corn, but Sw. binje, dung pit; Norse binge, a corn chest; Dan. bing, a box or compartment (Falk and Torp). Eng. dial. (n. and midl. counties and e.An.) gen. has bing, in the sense of a manger, perhaps influenced by Scand. usage; binn and bing have also been confused to some extent in Sc. (see 1 (2) and (4) above). O.Sc. has bing, n., a heap, and v., to pile up; used also by Douglas to mean a funeral pile. O.E. binn = a manger.]

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"Bing n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Apr 2020 <>



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