Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BUIST, Büest, n.1 [bust Sc.; bøst I.Sc., sn.Sc.; b(j)ust ne.Sc., but Abd. + buʃt; byst m.Sc.]

1. “A box or chest” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “a small box” (Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 95; Ork., Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.: Abd.2, Ags.1 1937, obs.). Sh. 1888 Edmonston and Saxby Home of a Naturalist 39:
The “Büest” . . . was an oval box, prettily carved and stitched (as it were) together by withes. . . . In it our mother kept her baby-gear.
Abd. 1900 A. F. Moir in Scots Mag. (March 1934) 440:
Few houses were without the “buist,” an open box containing a very varied collection of tools.
Mearns 1822 G. Menzies Poems (1854) 136:
O' a' the various kinds o' sorrow Within the buist o' famed Pandora.
Hdg. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 26:
An' frae the willow buist did scatter A tate o' meal upo' the water.

Comb.: tar-buist, “the box in which the tar [for branding sheep] is kept” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, s.v. buistin'-iron).

2. “A coffin; nearly antiquated, but still sometimes used by tradesmen” (Lth. 1808 Jam.).

Hence buist-maker, “a coffin-maker; a term now nearly obsolete” (Ib.).

3. fig. A strong, coarse person or animal. Ags. 1930 “A Kennedy” Orra Boughs xxiv.:
It's hard to be the first o' a breed o' buists and trallops that ever had a thocht tae clink against anither.
Lnk. 1825 Jam.2:
He's a buist of a fallow, He is a gross man; That's a buist of a horse, a strong-bodied horse.

[O.Sc. boist, boyst, buist, bust(e), a small box (D.O.S.T.); Mid.Eng. boiste, buiste, O.Fr. boiste, Mod.Fr. boîte, id. Gr. πυξις, Lat. pyx-is, -ida, late Lat. bossida, a box.]

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"Buist ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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