Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BOUT, BOWT, Boot, n.2 Used as in St.Eng. to signify a spell or turn at work or exercise, fit of drinking, trial of strength; an occasion; but note the following Sc. usages. [bʌut, but]

1. “A row in knitting “ (Mry.1 1914). Abd.13 1910:
A boot o' the shank is just a round of your knitting. [Abd.2 gives bout.]

2. The extent of ground covered as the mower, driller, or ploughman moves to the other end of the field; sometimes used also to include the return action. Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Gen. Report of Agric. of Scot. 455:
The [drilling] machine has a lateral implement or drag connected with it . . . which makes a deep scratch or slight furrow in the ground . . . by means of which each successive bout is regulated.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Bout . . . the rectangle included in the length of the field to be mowed . . . as, “That rake'll tak in your hale bout “; said ludicrously.
Mearns 1933 “L. G. Gibbon” in Scots Mag. (Feb.) 335:
Through the window she could see him scything a bout.
Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Sel. of Poems and Songs 20:
The men are cuttin' doon the girse in bouts.
Arg.1 1933:
A bout. Two furrows — one away from the starting point and the other back to it. Also one furrow right round the field when ploughing head-rig.

3. “The sweep or curve made by a scythe“ (Ork. 1929 Marw.); the amount of corn, etc., cut by one such sweep. Abd.9 1934:
In the days of the scythe . . . a following wind made the cut corn fall away from the scythe and form a neat bowt.

4. Phr.: lying in the bout (see quot.). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.1 1935. Mearns 1825 Jam.2:
Corn or hay, when cut by the scythe, and lying in rows, is said to be “lying in the bout.“

[This and preceding word are of same origin as Eng. bout, a turn, a spell, etc.; O.E. būgan, to bend (cf. also Boucht, n.1, Eng. bight, O.E. byht); but n.2 has been influenced by bout, aphetic form of about, as in Boutgate, q.v.]

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"Bout n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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