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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

BLIN, BLIND, v.2, n., adj. Also blinn; blend (Sc. 1894 Stevenson W. of. Hermiston viii.). Gen. used like Eng. blind. [blɪn(d), blɪ̢n(d). See P.L.D. § 64] Sc. forms and usages.

1. v., tr. and intr.

Sc. form of Eng. blind. Also ppl.adj. blinnin.Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 52:
Aa o a sudden there wis a muckle blaff frae the airt o Aiberdeen. Syne, there wis a blinnin fire-flaucht. I thocht the sun hid faaen ooto the lift!
Arg. 1998 Angus Martin The Song of the Quern 55:
There's thir shottin licht on
an there's thir en awa;
they're ringin on a puckle
throu win an blinnin sna.

(1) To close; spoken of the eyes, as in sleep.Sc. 1840 G. Webster Ingliston xxx.:
I could neither blind in my bed, nor let a mouthfu' o' onything ower my throat.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
“To b[lind] de een,” to slumber; close the eyes; also with object omitted: I'm [I have] no blinded de night, I did not sleep a wink last night.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Blind di een.
Sh. 1993 New Shetlander Sep 22:
"It's a year since he was taen and, ever sin sine, what atween the croft and the bairns, I'm hardly had time to blind my een. ... "
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xiii.; Bnff.2, Abd.19 1934:
She thought of the number of times the clock would strike before ever she blin't an e'e.
m.Sc. 1991 Donald Goodbrand Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 136:
He's written her a letter:
'My hairt, O come til me,
Withoot ye, I canna thole ....'
She laucht till the tear blint her ee.
Fif. 1894 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin, Swatches o' Hodden-Grey xxvi.:
I'm sure I've never blindit nicht nor day for twa or three weeks.

(2) To surpass, outdo. m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 257:
Losh me! this dochter o' yours, comin, as it was frae the ither world, blinds everything I've heard o'.

(3) To pack the large stones forming the bed of a road with smaller material to give strength and firmness. Gen.Sc. and now St. Eng. Sc. 1812 J. Sinclair Systems Husb. Scot. 66:
No large stones to be employed on pretence of blinding.
Kcd. 1841 Trans. Highl. Soc. 179:
Breaking the face of a mass of stones driven by the tenant, and blinding the same for giving access from the main road.

2. n.

(1) A wink (of sleep).Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
I'm no sleepet [“slept”] a b[lind] de night [last night].
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh.7, Bnff.2 1934:
A'm no gotten a blind da nicht.

(2) A gleam (of light). Prob. influenced by blink.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Der'r [“there is”] no [“not”] a b[lind] o' light within de door; no a b[lind] o' fire, o' oil (lamp-oil).
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Bnff.2 1934:
De'r no a blind idda kolli [oil lamp].

3. adj.

Sc. form of Eng. blind.wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 183:
" ... We hae to face that, like it or no'. We cannae turn a blin' eye on it."
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 45:
Well, Ah'm faur fae blin', unfortunately fur you!
Valère's a nice lukkin' young fella, eh?
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 41:
I gaithert berries whaur the brammles mark
the faurmaist mairches o the lave that's free,
feart for aw human daurkness, fell an blinn.

Sc. usages:

Excluding light, wholly or partially. Hence: (1) Dense.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Bnff.2 1934; Abd.19 1935:
A b[lind] mist.

(2) Having no opening, closed. In gen. use among farmers as applied to a cow's nipple.Sc. 1924 R. W. Campbell Spud Tamson out West vi.; Bnff.2 1934; Arg.1 1933:
“An' did ye no ken she [the cow] was blin' in three tits?” inquired Spud.
Abd. 1928 Farm Service in Olden Days in Abd. Press and Jnl. (21 Dec.) 6/4; Cai.7 1935:
After Mr Dunbar had weighed what he thought enough, he prepared to put it and the turnip seed together into the “blin” (close) sieve.

(3) Of rain or snow: threatening but coming to nothing.Arg.1 1929:
Ye wad think we were in for heavy rain, but there's naethin' bat a lot o' blin shooers in it.

4. Combs.: (1) blin bargain, “a bargain thoughtlessly made, a pig in a poke” (Abd.2, Abd.9 1934; Kcb.1, Kcb.9 1935); ‡(2) blinbarnie, “blindharry [see (20) below]. The game” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 75; Kcb.9 1935, obsol.). Also in form blin'-barley (Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 87); (3) blin' barrow, a game in which a player was blindfolded and chased his playmates while pushing a barrow; (4) blindbell (see quot.); (5) blind bitch, “the name given to the bag formerly used by millers” (Slk. 1825 Jam.2), see Black Bitch; (6) blin blawn, “a snowstorm with thick drift” (Mry.1 1925); (7) blind-bole, “blind man's buff” (Strathearn c.1914 J. Wilson W.-L.); †(8) blind brose (see quot.); (9) blinchamp (see quots.); (10) blind-coal, a kind of anthracite, a coal deficient in bitumen, either naturally or by carbonisation by a neighbouring igneous intrusion (Ayr. 1932 Econ. Geol. Ayr. Coalfield IV. 157); (11) blind craw, blind man's buff (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) B. 291); (12) blind dorbie, “the purple sandpiper, Tringa striata” (n.Sh. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 194); (13) blin'-drift, drifting snow. Gen.Sc.; (14) blin(d)-ee, the dogfish. See also Ee, n., 4.; (15) ‡blind-een, pl., used adv. and in adv. form -eens (after -in(g), suff., 3.), with the eyes shut, blindfolded, without needing to look (Abd. 1975); (16) blind fair, of extreme fairness. The word is freq. applied to albinos (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 27; ne., em.Sc. 1899 Proc. Philosoph. Soc. Gsw. XXXI. 40); (17) blindfish (see quot.); (18) blin' fou', very drunk. Gen.Sc.; (19) blin Geordie, “flounder with a black back” (Avoch, Rs. 1914 T.S.D.C. I.); (20) blind Harrie, -Hairry, (a) blind man's buff. Also the blindfolded seeker in the game; (b) “a game of ‘confidence' in which one boy offers to another to exchange for a similar one an article held in his clenched hand or behind his back” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., -Hairry); (21) blin-heidin, a cul-de-sac in a coal-mine (Dmb. 1972 Patterns in Folk-Speech (Wakelin) 3). (22) blindhive, a species of dog-fish, Squalus acanthias; (23) blind-hoe, -ho, bland-hoe, rabbit-fish, Chimera monstrosa (E.D.D.). See Ho; (24) blin'-hooie, -hoy, -hughie, (a) “to exchange” (Bnff.2 1914); (b) an exchange; (25) blin Leezie, “the rough Hound Dog-fish” (Ayr.4 1928); (26) blînd litt, “a dye of a mixed or indiscriminate colour got from a soft white stone” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). See Litt; (27) blin' lump, blind lump, a boil that does not come to a head. Gen.Sc.; (28) blind man's ball, blinmen's baw, “Devil's snuff-box, Common puff-ball [Lycoperdon bovista]” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); †(29) blind-man's-bellows, idem (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B.); (30) blind-man's-buff, blin'-, “the puff-ball, Lycoperdon bovista” (Abd.15 1928; Kcb.9 1934; n., centr.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (31) blind man's een, blin' men's een, “Blind man's ball . . . is also called Blind man's een” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore of N.-E. Scot. 148, blin' men's een); (32) Blind man's stan, “a boy's game, played with the eggs of small birds” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.). See (9) blinchamp; (33) blind nail, a headless nail; (34) blin'oors, “the late hours of night, the hours when most people are asleep” (Bnff.2 1934; Mearns 1934 (per Lnk.7)); (35) blind palmie, -pawmie, “one of the names given to the game of Blindman's-buff” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2, †1923 Watson W.-B.); (36) blind parables, blin'-, “speech by signs and whispers” (Bnff.2 1934; Abd.4 1929); (37) blind-road (see quot.); (38) blind sieve, a basket or tray for carrying corn, a Wecht (Bnff. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XIII. 39; Ork. 1975). (39) blin' smash, = blinchamp (40) blind stabbin', stitching of uppers of boots and shoes; (41) blind staff, -stuff, “same as Blind Champ [s.v. blinchamp]” (Abd.9 1934; Gall. 1898 E.D.D.); (42) blin-stam, blind man's buff. Prob. same as blinchamp; (43) blin-stane, “same as Blinchamp: only, a stone is used instead of a stick” (Clydes. 1887 Jam.6); (44) blin'-swap, “the exchange of articles by schoolboys with the eyes shut or the articles in closed hands” (Cai. 1911 John o' Groat Jnl. (16 June)). Cf. (24) blin'-hooie, Gen.Sc.; (45) blind Tam, “a bundle of rags, carried by female mendicants, made up so as to pass for a child, in order to excite compassion and secure charity” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2). (46) blind tongue, see quot.(1) Lnk. 1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 11:
Am no to make a blin bargain wi' you nor nae body.
(3) Ags. 1895 Caledonia I. 2:
Games o' yore noo hae nae marrow- Nae hurlin' noo o' the blin' barrow.
(4) Bwk. 1825 Jam.2:
Blind-bell. A game formerly common in Berwicks., in which all the players were hood-winked, except the person who was called the Bell. He carried a bell, which he rang, still endeavouring to keep out of the way of his hood-winked partners in the game. When he was taken, the person who seized him was released from the bandage, and got possession of the bell; the bandage being transferred to him who was laid hold of.
(5) Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. 39:
Ane had better tine the blind bitch's litter than hae the mill singed wi' brimstone.
(8) Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Blind brose, brose without butter; said to be so denominated from there being none of these small orifices in them, which are called eyes, and which appear on the surface of the mess which has butter in its composition.
(9) s., w.Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Blinchamp. A game or amusement of country boys in the South and West of Sc. It consists in champing or breaking birds' eggs blindfold.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 75:
Blinchamp . . . when a bird's nest is found, such as a Corbie's or Hoodicraw's, or some such birds that the people dislike, the nest is herried, that is to say, the eggs are taken out of it, and laid in a row a little from each other on the grass; one of the players has then something bound over the eyes to blind them, a stick is put in his hand, so he marches forth as he thinks right to the egg-row, and strikes at it; another tries the champing after him until they thus, blindfolded, break them; hence the name blinchamp.
(10) Fif. 1793 Earl of Dundonald Descr. Culross 31:
In other places Blind, (as it is here called) or Welsh Coals.
Arran 1837 Trans. Highl. Soc. 134:
Blind or glance coal was also at one time worked at the sea, principally for the purpose of making salt from sea-water.
Rnf. 1880 W. Grossart Shotts 243:
The Virtuewell coal, from its proximity to trap rock, has been changed to blind-coal or anthracite.
(13) Abd. 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 204:
This Sunday nicht, she wis bicyclin hame tae Culter Cullen - aboot twenty miles - an it came on fit ye caa blin drift an she wis overcome wi exhaustion at a place they caa the Dam Brigs, which wis only half a mile fae ma father's place.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 2:
... an kent them as friens an neebors throw blin-drift, birsslin het an the on-ding o drookin thunnerplowts, frae bairn tae halflin, tae bodach an back again.
Ags. 1846 A. Laing Wayside Flowers (1857) 49:
An' drearie an' eerie the blin'-drift blaws.
(14) Ags. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XI. 256:
The blind-eye, so called from a membrane passing over its eyes when caught.
(15) Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller 263:
Kenn'd a' the road blind-een.
m.Lth. 1887 Misty Morning 249:
I think they meant tae get me sent hame tae Brummel-Green blind-eens in a week or twa after this.
(16) Sc. 1858 The Scotch Haggis 105; Bnff.2 1934; Abd.9 1935:
His [Prince Charles Edward Stuart's] eyes were large and rolling, and of that light blue which is generally found in people who are, what is called in Scotland, blind fair.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 23:
"Mr Burnett," cooed the blin-fair peintit courier, Dolores Johnston, "Yer apairtment's the Flamingo, five fleers up - Room 77. Here's yer key. Hae a rare holiday."
(17) Sc. 1875 W. A. Smith Lewsiana 246–247:
The rough hound (Squale roussette), here named “Blind fish,” from its habit of closing the eyes when captured, by drawing up the lid from below over the eye, is the only other species of dog-fish we have observed.
(18) m.Sc. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 114:
Nae douce folk noo first-fittin' rin, . . . Wha get blin' fou' at Ne'r day, O!
(20) (a) Sc. [1769] D. Herd Sc. Songs (1776) II. 29; Lnk.3 1935:
Some were blyth, and some were sad, And some they play'd at blind Harrie.
Ayr. 1845 Ayrshire Wreath 134:
The bailie got haud o' the lang doctor's coat-tail, an' held him firm an' fast till he was made blin-harry next.
(22) Skye 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scotica I. 52:
Picked Shark . . . called in Sky the Blind-hive, and is supposed to be a great restorative.
(23) Sh. 1898 E.D.D.; 1914 Angus Gl., blînd ho:
Blind-hoe. The name is said to be given to this fish from its moving about as if blind.
(24) (a) Abd.14 1915; Lnk.3 1935:
To exchange, to niffer. “I'll blin-hughie knifes wi' ye.”
Wgt.3 1930:
She wudna lend a wing To blin hoy a bit o' string.
(b)Abd.7 1925; Lth., Lnk. 1933 (per Lnk.3); Ayr.8 1934:
Blin'-hooie, sale or exchange of articles unseen as with children who may have a pocket-knife without a blade which they offer to blin-hooie with another by holding the knife in the closed hand and uttering the old rhyme “nivvy, nivvy, nick nack, Which han' wull ye tak', Tak the richt or tak the vrang, An' I'll beguile ye gin I can.”
(27) Abd.(D) 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 61:
Cured the muckle blin' lump i' the back o' my neck.
w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
“A blind lump” (= a carbuncle).
(28) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 114:
Binwud leaves, and blinmen's baws, Heather bells, and wither'd haws.
s.Sc. 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scotica II. 1132; s.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Lycoperdon Bovista. The blind Man's Ball.
(33) Edb. 1991:
You need to put blind nails into the skirting-board so that they won't show - you know panel pins.
(34) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 218:
They ranted, they said, a' the blin' oors o' the nicht.
(36) Mearns4 1934:
“None o' yer blind parables.” This meant speech or references in speech used intentionally so as to be unintelligible to one or more of a company.
(37) Sc. [1820] Scott Monastery (1895) xxiii. Footnote:
This sort of path, visible when looked at from a distance, but not to be seen when you are upon it, is called on the Border by the significant name of a Blind-road.
(39)Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Wigtown & Whithorn 263:
Tae harry a piet's nest and hae blin' smash wi' the eggs.
(40) Ags. 1879 G. W. Donald Poems, etc. 45; Kcb.9 1935:
The graff [grave] below hauds John McNab in Fam'd for his stitchin' an' blind stabbin'.
(41)Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 188:
The young, (or fledg'd or naked all the same) He either dooms to 'blind stuff's' barb'rous end.
(42) Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums 125:
Does ony bit nir o' a critic want a ggem [gyem] at blin'-stam amang the books?
Ayr. 1845 Ayrshire Wreath 134:
He gart his youngest dochter, Robina, tie a white napkin about his een-then commenced an awfu stramash wi' a game at blin-stam.
(46)Fif. 1938 Proc. Sc. Anthrop. Soc. III. i. 9:
"Blind tongue" which is played by rasping a goose-grass leaf on the tongue of the unwary innocent-a proceeding we in our unregenerate schooldays in Fife called a "cuddy's kiss".

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"Blin v.2, n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Jun 2022 <>



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