Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLIN, BLIND, v.2, n., adj. Gen. used like Eng. blind. [blɪn(d), bln(d). See P.L.D. § 64] Peculiar Sc. usages:

1. v., tr. and intr. To close; spoken of the eyes, as in sleep. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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 (15) below]. The game” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 75; Kcb.9 1935, obsol.); (3) blindbell (see quot.); (4) blind bitch, “the name given to the bag formerly used by millers” (Slk. 1825 Jam.2), see Black Bitch; (5) blin blawn, “a snowstorm with thick drift” (Mry.1 1925); (6) blind-bole, “blind man's buff” (Strathearn c.1914 J. Wilson W.-L.); †(7) blind brose (see quot.); (8) blinchamp (see quots.); (9) blind dorbie, “the purple sandpiper, Tringa striata” (n.Sh. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 194); (10) blin'-drift, drifting snow. Gen.Sc.; (11) blind fair, of extreme fairness; (12) blindfish (see quot.); (13) blin' fou', very drunk. Gen.Sc.; (14) blin Geordie, “flounder with a black back” (Avoch, Rs. 1914 T.S.D.C. I.); (15) blind Harrie, -Hairry, (a) blind man's buff; (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); (16) blindhive, a species of dog-fish, Squalus acanthias; (17) blind-hoe, -ho, bland-hoe, rabbit-fish, Chimera monstrosa (E.D.D.). See Ho; (18) blin'-hooie, -hoy, -hughie, (a) “to exchange” (Bnff.2 1914); (b) an exchange; (19) blin Leezie, “the rough Hound Dog-fish” (Ayr.4 1928); (20) blînd litt, “a dye of a mixed or indiscriminate colour got from a soft white stone” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). See Litt; (21) blin' lump, blind lump, a boil that does not come to a head. Gen.Sc.; (22) blind man's ball, blinmen's baw, “Devil's snuff-box, Common puff-ball [Lycoperdon bovista]” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); †(23) blind-man's-bellows, idem (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B.); (24) blind-man's-buff, blin'-, “the puff-ball, Lycoperdon bovista” (Abd.15 1928; Kcb.9 1934; n., centr.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (25) 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); (26) 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 blinchamp (8) supra; (27) blin'oors, “the late hours of night, the hours when most people are asleep” (Bnff.2 1934; Mearns 1934 (per Lnk.7)); (28) blind palmie, -pawmie, “one of the names given to the game of Blindman's-buff” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2, †1923 Watson W.-B.); (29) blind parables, blin'-, “speech by signs and whispers” (Bnff.2 1934; Abd.4 1929); (30) blind-road (see quot.); (31) blind stabbin', stitching of uppers of boots and shoes; (32) blind staff, “same as Blind Champ [s.v. blinchamp]” (Abd.9 1934; Gall. 1898 E.D.D.); (33) blin'-stam, a game. Prob. same as blinchamp; (34) blin-stane, “same as Blinchamp: only, a stone is used instead of a stick” (Clydes. 1887 Jam.6); (35) 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. blin'-hooie (18) supra. Gen.Sc.; (36) 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). (1) Lnk. 1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 11:
Am no to make a blin bargain wi' you nor nae body.
(3) 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 rung, 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 posesssion of the bell; the bandage being transferred to him who was laid hold of.
(4) Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. 39:
Ane had better tine the blind bitch's litter than hae the mill singed wi' brimstone.
(7) 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.
(8) 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 eggrow, and strikes at it; another tries the champing after him until they thus, blindfolded, break them; hence the name blinchamp.
(10) Ags. 1846 A. Laing Wayside Flowers (1857) 49:
An' drearie an' eerie the blin'-drift blaws.
(11) 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.
(12) 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.
(13) 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!
(15) (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.
(16) Skye 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scotica I. 52:
Picked Shark . . . called in Sky the Blind-hive, and is supposed to be a great restorative.
(17) 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.
(18) (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) An exchange. 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.”
(21) 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).
(22) 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.
(27) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 218:
They ranted, they said, a' the blin' oors o' the nicht.
(29) 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.
(30) 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.
(31) 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'.
(33) Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums 125:
Does ony bit nir o' a critic want a ggem [gyem] at blin'-stam amang the books?

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"Blin v.2, n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2022 <>



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