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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.

BOWT, BOUT, Boot, Bowte, n. and v. Sc. forms of Eng. bolt. [bʌut Sc., but Sh. + but]

1. n. (1) A bolt, a shaft.Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 2:
A Fool's Bowt is soon shot.

(2) A sudden spring; forcible action.Sh.(D) 1931 W. J. Tulloch in Shetland Almanac 193:
I made a boot oot da door, da hinder pert o' my anatomy as weel as my speerits, considerably damped wi' sillock bru.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh 45:
They tak the rout, when wi' a shout The Guard rush out, an' wi' a bout Ding bauld rebellion down, man.

Used adverbially.Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Rem. Nithsd. and Gall. Song 285:
The boat played bowte again the bank, an out lowpes Kimmer, wi' a pyked naig's head i' her han'.

†(3) (a) “A roll of cloth, especially of fustian, canvas, etc., containing twenty-eight ells” (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.6, s.v. bout).Sc. 1935 Old Weights in Scotsman (31 May) 15:
The most venerable of country drapers does not know that a “bout” was a roll of cloth containing 28 ells.

(b) A club-foot. Cf. Boltfoot, a club-footed person.Ags. 1912 A. Reid Forfar Worthies, etc. ii.; Ags.1 1935:
His “bout,” or clubfeet drew much sympathy toward him.

Comb.: boutfitted, club-footed.Rxb. 1833 Mrs Hall Sc. Borderer (1874) 28:
But it wadna be a bad joke to gie the boutfitted writer a fleg this morning.

(4) A device fitted on a slater's ladder for hooking it on the ridge of a roof (Fif. 1952).

(5) An outlet for water, a place where water gushes out. Cf. v. Per. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 X. 73:
On the east bank of the lade there is a stone wall through which there is a hole or perforation called a boot or bout, having a strong ring of iron at both ends, 32 inches in circumference. Through this boot there passes a considerable body of water, which forms the aqueduct that supplies the mills of Balhousie.

2. v. To spring, rise with hasty movement; of liquid: to well up.Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 17:
An' sternies boutit oot in blinks, To dance an' glance an' play the jinks.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 8:
The vera dead men's mooler't banes . . . Amaist caught life aneath their stanes, And bowtit up amang the rest.
Dmf. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 83:
He has na seen the wally dreg Sin' in her wame it bouted.

Hence bowt fou', bout fow, welling full, full to the brim.Sc. 1718 Ramsay Chr. Kirke iii. xii. in Poems (1721):
A Creel bout fow of muckle Stains.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 271:
Her rosie Cheek and rising Breast, Gar ane's Mouth gush bowt fou' o' Water.

[Bolt and boult are the first forms in O.Sc., but bout, bowt began to replace them early in the 15th cent. The n. meant a short, heavy arrow and a bolt for fastening, and the v. to start or spring up. See D.O.S.T. s.v. bolt, bout. Bolt, v., is derived prob. from the n. in the sense of “cross-bow, arrow.”]

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"Bowt n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2024 <>



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