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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BOUET, Bouit, Bowat, Bowit, Bowet, Buat, Buit, Booet, n. Also buet (Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders VI. 22). A hand lantern. Gen.Sc. [′buɪt, ′buət, ′bʌuət]Sc. 1701–1731 R. Wodrow Analecta (Maitland Club 1842) I. 58:
They mett a souldier, shearing grass, with a bouet.
Sc. 1827 J. Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 294:
And the wilderness is guarded by the rattlesnake, fearsome watchman, wi' nae ither bouets than his ain fiery eyne.
Sc. 1912 W.T. in Scotsman (31 Jan.):
Bowit. The writer has seen an oldfashioned lantern so named, with a horn pane for the light to shine through, instead of a glass one. It was used by an old farmer.
Abd.2 1933:
Within memory booet was quite a common term for a wooden case fitted with glass panes and a side door. A candle was placed in a socket inside. Even the later tin case was called a booet.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 134:
High she held her bouet gleamin'.
Gsw. 1864 R. Reid Old Glasgow and Environs 395:
In short distances, ladies frequently made use of hand bowets, having plates of horn in lieu of glass.
Rxb. 1711–1725 Par. and Kirk of Hawick in Trans. Hawick Arch. Socy. XXXII. (1900) 96:
Cautious burghers required to light themselves in the darkness by carrying “bowats” or lanthorns in their hands. Dim. buitie.
Abd. 1932 Sc. Notes and Queries X. No. 1 (Jan.) 11:
Gie me the buitie, Peter; I'll haud the buitie. In phr. McFarlane's buat, — bowat, the moon.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley (1817) xxxviii.:
He muttered a Gaelic curse upon the unseasonable splendour of M'Farlane's buat (i.e. lanthorn).
Sc. 1927 R. B. Cunninghame Graham Redeemed, etc. 105:
Was not the moon known as McFarlane's Bowat?

fig. a gleam.Abd. 1827 J. Imlah May Flowers 132:
Bring me the deoch an' dorus' gill, 'Twill light a bouit in my e'e.

[O.Sc. bowat, bowet, a lantern; Mid.Eng. bowett, id. (D.O.S.T.); Fr. boîte (pronounced [buɛt] in 17th cent. and still retained in some dials., e.g. Berry, sometimes also written bouet(te) (Littré)); O.Fr. boiste, pop. Lat. *bŭtxta (Hatz. and Darm.).]

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"Bouet n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



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