Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLINTER, v. and n.

I. v.

1. To glimmer, to flicker. Mry., Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
Blinter. To shine feebly, or with an unsteady flame, like a candle going out.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas, etc. 35; Abd.2, Abd.9 1935:
Will o' the wisp was blintrin' in the vale.
Ags. 1929 J. S. Buist in Scots Mag. (May) 151:
The firelicht blintered on her face.

ppl.adj. blinterin', blinking, flickering. ne.Sc. 1929 M. W. Simpson Day's End 14:
An' the blinterin' starnies winner an' glower.

2. “To bring the eye-lids close to the pupil of the eye, in consequence of a defect of vision [or as a result of internal or external stimulus] . . . to blink” (Mry., Abd. 1825 Jam.2). Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 20:
That he's acquaint wi' ane like you; Whase lilts wad gar a Quaker blinter.

ppl.adj. blint'rin', short-sighted; blinking. Nai. 1828 W. Gordon Poems 241:
My blint'rin' een I rubb'd them sair.
Abd.(D) 1916 G. Abel Wylins fae my Wallet 139:
As airm in airm they brocht their blint'rin' brither back to hame.

Hence blinterer, “a person with weak eyes” (Bnff.2 1935; Abd. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.).

II. n. The shimmering haze often seen in the strong heat of summer. Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 22:
An' fend the heat o' simmer's blinter.

[D.O.S.T. gives blent, n., a glance, a look, and v., to glance at, as a variant of blenk, based on the pa.t. blenkt. A frequentative *blenter would give rise later to blinter, as blenk to blink.]

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"Blinter v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2021 <>



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