Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
CAST, Kast, v.
A. Sc. forms. These forms are employed whether the word is used with St.Eng. meanings or with distinctively Sc. meanings. The English form cast is also found with Sc. meanings. Pa.t.: coost, cuist, cust, keust, küst; ciest, keest, queest; kest. [kust Sc.; kyst, køst I.Sc., sn.Sc., m.Sc., + kɪst s.Sc.; kist + kwist (old) ne.Sc.] Pa.p. and ppl.adj.: casten, cass(e)n, cas'n, kas(s)en; coosten, cuist(en), keust, cuissen. [kas(t)n Sc.; kus(t)n n.Sc., Dmf.; kʌsn Rnf.; kys(t)n Per., Edb., Lnk., Ayr., Kcb., but m.Sc. + kɪst(n)]
B. Sc. usages.
1. To sow (seed, corn, etc.). Now obs. in St.Eng. (N.E.D.). Known to Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938.
Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne in Glasgow Herald (13 May) 11/7:
Frae his waukit luif, The plooman cuist abreid The haver-seed. Knr. 1891 “H. Haliburton” Ochil Idylls 45:
We did oor pairt; we teel'd the laund, An' cuist oor corn into the yird.
2. To toss (the head). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.22, Ags.1, Fif.10, Slg.3, Lnk.3 1938. Obs. in St.Eng. since c.1500 (N.E.D.).
Ayr. 1792 Burns Duncan Gray, Second set (Cent. ed.) i.:
Maggie coost her head fu' high, Look'd asklent and unco skeigh.
3. To twist (the ankle).
He cuist his ankle.
4. To reject, defeat. Always in passive. Now only dial. in Eng. Known to Bnff.2 and Abd. correspondents (1938).
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxii.:
Their enterdick to keep oot Maister Dewar . . . was cas'n by a hunner an' seventy-three votes to seventy-sax.
5. “To discharge the fish of a catch, or of a season's catch, at a fishing station” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kast).
We küst wir fish at Stenness dat year.
Phrase: to cast a shot, “to throw back a ‘shot' of herring into the sea (when there is a glut)” (Cai.7 1938).
6. Of a horse: to throw his rider. Known to Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938. Arch. or dial. in Eng. (N.E.D.).
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 166:
He's a gentle Horse that never cust his Rider.
7. Of clothes, shoes, etc.: to throw (off) (Bnff.2, Abd. and Ags. correspondents, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938). Gen. followed by aff, off, but sometimes with a direct obj. Given in N.E.D. as “chiefly dial. (esp. Sc.).” Once Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1904 Beggar Laddie in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 280 A v.:
He cust off his cloutty coat, An he patt on her scarlet cloke. Ork.(D) 1904 Dennison Orcad. Sk. 1:
First de men keust aff deir waistcoats. Bnff.(D) 1917 E. S. Rae Private J. M'Pherson (1918) 30:
An' he ciest the gown an' cassock, an' gaed watchin' wi' the drum. Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings 47:
I queest aff my shoen and hose. Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake, etc. 23:
Ere I had cuist my hodden coat, A tremblin' hand, wi' waefa touch, was on my shouthers laid. Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 129:
To sha his mettle for her sake, Now coost his coat to fight the chiel.
Hence †castings, vbl.n., pl., “old clothes, cast-clothes; the perquisite of a nurse or waiting-maid” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2).
Abd.  A. Ross Helenore (1866) 198:
Then should she gae frae head to foot in silk, With castings rare, and a gueed nourice-fee, To nurse the King of Elfin's heir, Fizzee.
8. Of animals: to give birth to (Abd.22, Ags.1, Fif.10 1938). Now only dial. in Eng. (N.E.D.).
Sc. 1769 D. Herd Sc. Songs (1776) II. 7:
I'll gie ye four-and-twenty gude milk kye, Were a' cast in ae year, May.
9. Of soil: to blight; applied when oats wither away before reaching maturity.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 23:
That park eye casts the corn.
10. Of bees: to throw off a swarm; to swarm (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 127). Given in N.E.D., but the latest Eng. example is dated 1609. Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1747 R. Maxwell Bee-Master 34:
When the Hive grows very throng, and yet not quite ready to cast, the intense Heat of the Sun upon it, when uncovered, so stifles the bees within it, that they come out, and hang in great Clusters about the Hive. Abd.(D) 1867 Mrs Allardyce Goodwife at Home xxix.:
Wer nain bees, fernyer, never keest, Bit hang at the skep-moo. Bwk. 1761 G. Ridpath Diary (S.H.S. 1922) 389:
Attended the bees, which for a while were very like to cast.
11. Of colours: to fade (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.1, Lnk.3 1938). Also in Eng. dial. Gen. as ppl.adj. cassen, casten, cuisten, cuissen, faded.
Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' the Ling 46:
An' owre the lan', On ilka han' — For cuisten broon, A wally goon O' vievest green is comin. Mry. 1921 M. M. Dawson Tinkers Twa 81:
The ribbon's casten white as snow. Abd.(D) 1928 J. Wight in Word-Lore III. No. 6, 149:
It wis a sicht for sair een, Meggie louderin' ower the leys,'er aul grey cassen plaid aboot 'er. Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 109:
Hiz peenee'z aw cuissen wee sun. His pinafore is quite faded (cast) owing to the sun.
12. To vomit, eject from the stomach. Also with up (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Fif.10 1938). N.E.D. says “now only of hawks or other birds (exc. dial.).”
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 51–52:
But some way on her, they fuish on a change, That gut an' ga' she keest wi' breakings strange.
13. “To cut peats out of the ground and cast them on to the bank to dry” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl. s.v. kast). A specific use of obs. Eng. cast, to throw up (earth, etc.), see N.E.D. Also to cast divots (e.Lth. 1893 P. H. Waddell Old Kirk Chron. 166), to cast faill and divot, to cut turf, sods, etc. Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1880 Jam.5:
He kest peats a' day. Sh. 1764 Rev. J. Mill Diary (S.H.S. 1889) 156:
John Bruce Stewart . . . has had the assurance . . . to send his factor and officer with a considerable number of his tenants to cut and destroy my peats after they were casten. L.Bnff.(D) 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 48:
I howkit peats an' keest them fae the lair. Hdg. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 II. 166:
To cast faill and divot on the common, for upholding and repairing their houses. w.Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 20:
We coost peats doon there twae 'ear sin'.
Hence casting, vbl.n., a certain quantity of peats (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.17 1938).
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 121:
I had to content mysel' with . . . a casting of peats from Mossmulloch.
Comb.: cass'n dyke, “a turf wall” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).
†14. Of ploughing: to plough so as to make the ridges high in the middle (see quots.). Vbl.n. casting. “With modern drainage this practice is no longer retained and the word is not in gen. use” (Bnff.2 1938).
Mearns 1809 G. Robertson Gen. View Agric. Kcd. or the Mearns (1814) 248:
In fields where the soil is damp or adhesive, the ridges are laid higher in the middle by repeated gatherings on the furrows towards it; and are afterwards retained in that form by a mode of tillage called casting; by which the ridges are ploughed in pairs; beginning the tilling in the middle between the two ridges, called casting inwards, in one season; (but still keeping an open furrow in the middle), and in the following year, commencing at the outside, and reversing the operation, by casting outwards.
15. Of a ditch or drain: to dig or clear out (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9 1938). Now obs. in Eng. (N.E.D.). Cf. Cast, n., 8 (1).
Abd.(D) 1924 J. Coutts in Swatches o' Hamespun 64:
John wis castin' drains ootower there — hairst, ye see, wis a' bi-han. Gsw. 1704 Records Burgh Gsw. (ed. Marwick 1908) 384:
Considering that the ditch in Provand . . . stands in great need of casting and cleansing.
16. Of a stack: to remove the grain from a stack sheaf by sheaf so that it may be thoroughly dried. Known to Ags.1 1938.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
When a stack of grain begins to heat, it is casten in order to its being aired and dried.
†17. Refl.: to set oneself with resolution. Obs. in Eng. since 1579 (N.E.D.).
Abd. 1768 A. Ross To the Begging . . . xxvi.:
When I of any weddings hear, I'll cast me to be there.
18. Applied to wind: to veer; “to chop about” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw.). Cf. Cast, n., Phrases 4.
†19. To plaster, to give a coat of lime. Obs. in Eng. since 16th cent. except in the expression rough-cast.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
A house is said to be cast.
20. To spread dung over a stable floor (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Ork. Par. (1922) 16), “or on a field” (Cai.7 1938).
21. To tie; “of a rope: to make fast by means of a hitch” (Cai.7 (obsol.), Kcb.10 1938). Obs. in Eng. since 1691 (N.E.D.).
Cast a knot at the eyn o' that rope t' keep it fae slippin throw yir han's. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 102:
Quo Lindy, sir, sick knots are easy casten, I'm yet but half resolv'd that gate to fasten. Abd.9 1938:
As boys [c.1875] we used to take the hairlike elvers in our palms and, as the creatures wriggled and made knots of their thread-like bodies, we repeated this incantation: “Eely, eely, cast yer knot An' I'll pit ye intil a water pot.”
†22. Of the sky: to clear. Cf. II. 8 (3) (a).
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 65:
Piece ye be tyr'd, ye'll need to rise an' gang, I' this short night, the sky will cast or lang.
23. Of eggs: †(1) “To beat them up for pudding, etc.” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2).
Sc. 1791 Mrs Frazer Practice of Cookery v.:
Take a dozen of eggs; keep out four of the whites, and cast them with six spoonfuls of flour, quite smooth.
‡(2) “To drop them for the purpose of divination; a common practice at Hallowe'en” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2); “in my boyhood [c.1875] each member of a household was given a glass vessel containing water into which the contents of an egg were dropped and, from the figure formed, the fortune of each individual was read” (Abd.22 1938). Known also to Bnff.2 1938.
Sc. 1825 MS. Poem in Jam.2:
By running lead, and casting eggs — They think for to divine their lot.
24. Of fish or flesh: to be tainted, to begin to decay (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., cassen; 1908 Jak. (1928), kasen, kassen; 1914 Angus Gl., kassen; Ork. 1929 Marw.). Cf. Cast, n., 6. Found only as ppl.adj.
I coodna ös da bit o' beef fir hit wis cassen.
II. In combination with adverbs and prepositions.
1. To cast aboot, — about, (1) to manage, to arrange; look after; known to Abd.22, Ags.1 1938; (2) to make an exchange of.
(1) Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. ix.:
I wad cast about brawly for the morn. Sh. 1932 J. M. E. Saxby Sh. Trad. Lore 129–130:
Noo, Mam, mind ye hae the puir tings o' lasses well keust-aboot when the grey wumman-stealers are oot upon der pranks. (2) Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Dey cuist aboot deir kye, they exchanged cows.
2. To cast aff (off), (1) with wi': to cut oneself off from (Abd.19, Abd.22 1938); (2) to recover from (an illness) (Abd.22, Ags.1, Fif.10 1938).
(1) Abd.(D) a.1807 J. Skinner Lizzy Liberty ix. in Amusements (1809) 78:
They've casten aff wi' a' their kin. (2) Arg.1 1929:
It'll no be easy for an owld man laik hum tae cast it off.
3. To cast at, (1) “to spurn, to contemn” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2); vbl.n. casting (at), censure (of); (2) to reproach one (with anything); known to Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.10 1938.
(1) Sc. c.1715 H. G. Graham Soc. Life Scot. 18th Cent. (1899) II. 101:
Did he keep a Fast which the State ordained, and thus show Erastianism? Did he take the oath of adjuration? — then “there was a casting at the ministers.” Sh.(D) 1916 J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr, Jooly 17:
A aald wife's cör [cure] is no aye ta cast-at. (2) Ags. 1889 J. M. Barrie W. in Thrums vi.:
It was an awfu' business on him to hae a young wife sae helpless, but he wasna the man to cast that at me.
4. To cast by (with refl.), to lay (oneself) up (Bnff.2 1938); cf. Eng. laid by (through illness).
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 23:
He vrocht sae hard, it he keest himsel' by for a lang time.
5. To cast down, to bring shame on (Bnff.2 1938).
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 102:
The lasses, left them lane, began To won'er gin the lad Wad marry her he'd casten down, Wha in the session had Appear'd that day.
6. To cast oot (out), to disagree, quarrel, fall out. Also in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 12:
Better kiss a knave than cast out wi' him. Bnff. 1923 W.C. in Bnffsh. Jnl. (24 July) 2:
Ye're seerly in an ill teen the day. His the wife an' you cassen oot? Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Chron. of Glenbuckie vi.:
Do you think because I had cuisten oot wi' you, I had cuisten oot wi' your sheep too? w.Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 20:
We coost oot aboot naething at a'.
Hence cast oot, n., a quarrel.
Kcb. 1893 S. R. Crockett Stickit Minister xx.:
“Maister Cartwright,” he said, “you and your Maker had an awfu' cast oot!”
7. To cast owre, to think over, consider (Bnff.2, Abd.22, Fif.10, Slg.3 1938). Also in Eng. dial. (E.D.D.).
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Thir Notandums 6:
Cast it owre in your mind.
8. To cast up (till).
(1) To taunt, reproach; to cast in one's teeth. Also in Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act III. Sc. ii. in Poems (1728):
What Reason can ye have? There's nane, I'm sure, Unless ye may cast up that she's but poor. Ags.17 1938:
“What did you do when you thocht you were to be drooned?” “I prayed . . . I just cuist it up till Him aboot takkin' advantage o' an auld man a' by 'imsel' oot in a boat on the watter.”
(2) To appear, “turn up”; befall. Also in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.
Sc. 1749 R. Forbes Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S. 1895) II. 297:
Till a proper bearer should cast up, and at last . . . this honest cock came in my way who was my fellow prisoner. Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 11:
But aye, whatever I bought wi' that siller, I garred him say that it was mine, for a body never kens what may cast up. Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 174:
Jamie Bryden, after being awanting for some days, had casten up again.
(3) (a) Of the weather, the sky: to clear (up). Known to our Ags. correspondents only (1938). Cf. I. 22.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
It's casting up, the sky is beginning to clear, after rain, or very lowering weather.
(b) Of clouds: to gather for a storm (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10 1938).
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
The clouds are said to cast up, or to be casting up, when they rise from the horizon, So as to threaten rain. ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore of N.-E. Scot. 153:
It was a common saying in parts of Banffshire that the snow of the coming winter made its appearance — “cast up” — during harvest in the large, white, snowy-looking clouds that rise along the horizon. Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 10:
Thae derk cluds ir castin up for rain.
†(4) To dig (up). Obs. in Eng. since 1660 (N.E.D.). Cf. I. 13, 14, and 15.
Ags. 1722 (per Fif.1):
They shall not cast up or spoyle any meadow or swaird ground.
†9. To cast (a person) wi', to cast (something) upon (a person).
Per. 1835 R. Nicoll Poems (1843) 141:
He had plenty o' news, And he clatter'd, and coost me wi' glamour.
III. Proverbial sayings:
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 204:
I had but little Butter, and I cast that on the Coal. That is, the little Thing I had, I mismanaged. Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 24:
He has coosten his Cloak on the other Shouder. [He has gone over to the other side.]
IV. Phrases: 1. castin(g) the heart, “a mode of divination formerly used in Orkney” (Sh., Ork. 1866 Edm. Gl., casting —; 1701 J. Brand Descr. Ork., Zetland, etc. 62); “known to be practised as recently as 1910” (Cai.7 1938); for full description, see quot., and for a similar superstition, cf. Aber Heart Cake; 2. to cast a clod, — cloddie, †(1) with betweesh: to make a breach (between two people); (2) with at: to reproach (a person); known to Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.9 1938; (3) with adv. phr. of motion towards: to make friendly overtures (towards a person); 3. to cast a dash, to make a great show; known to Abd. correspondents only (1938); cf. Eng. cut a dash; 4. to kast aff o' one's feet, to take off one's boots; †5. to cast a lagen gird, — leggen girth, see Laggin; 6. to cast a shae, see Shae; †7. to cast a stone at one, “to renounce all connexion with one” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); 8. to cast cavels, see Cavel, n.1; †9. to cast count, “to make account of, to care for, to regard” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2); 10. to kast de door, “during a snow-storm: to heap up snow in the doorway to prevent drifting snow from penetrating into the house” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); cf. 15; 11. to cast glasses = I. 23 (2) (Cai.7 1938); †12. to cast ill on (one), “to subject one to some calamity, by the supposed influence of witchcraft” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2); †13. to cast one's heels (at a person), to desert, to leave (someone); 14. to cast saut upo' (a person's) tail, see Saut; 15. to cast snow, “to clear a snow-drift” (Lnk.3 1938); cf. 10; 16. to cast the call, — cool (o(f)), see Call and Cool, n.1; 17. to cast the clew, to drop a ball of wool down the chimney of a water-mill, at dead of night; a Hallowe'en custom by which the name of one's future husband or wife was supposed to be divined (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Sh. Folk-Lore 191); †18. to cast the creils, see Creel; 19. to cast the cup (see quot.); known to Bnff.2, Abd.9 1938; 20. to cast the glaiks in one's een, see Glaik; 21. to cast through one's mind, to consider (Slg.3 1938); †22. to cast to (at) the cocks, to squander, to waste; 23. to cast upon the line, a fishing term (see quot.); known to Bnff.2 1938; †24. to cast words, “to quarrel” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).
1. Cai. 1921 J. Mowat in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. IX. i. 16–17:
The custom of “castin the heart” was a superstitious ceremony which lingered long. It was considered necessary as a cure for all who suffered from the result of a fright or from a lingering sickness. . . . The performance, with slight variations, was carried out as follows. Over the head of the patient was held a common sieve, and under it a wooden “bicker” containing newly drawn spring water. Molten lead was then poured through the eye of a scissors, which passed through the sieve into the water and separated into small pieces. These were carefully examined to find one of the shape of a heart. If not successful the process had to be repeated on alternate days. . . . When the leaden shape of the heart was secured it was sewn into the clothing of the sufferer, or hung around the neck until recovery was complete. 2. (1) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 101:
This pleas'd the squire, an' made him think that he, At least frae Lindy wad keep Nory free, An' for himsell to mak the plainer rode, Betweesh them sae by casting of a clod. (2) Cai. 1905 E.D.D.Suppl.:
'Ey canna cast a clod at ane anither. (3) Abd.(D) 1922 J. Wight in Swatches o' Hamespun 60:
Ye be-tull-'a clochert some wi' him, or cassen antrin cloddies his wye. 3. ne.Abd. 1871 Notes and Queries (4th Series) VII. 105:
An individual who has donned any very smart or gay article of apparel is often addressed in a bantering way: “You cast a dash at a distance, like sharn on a lea rig.” Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 88:
Are ye come here to shew your face, Bowden wi' pride o' simmer gloss, To cast a dash at Reikie's cross? 4. Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 4:
Bees-will he keust aff o' his feet, an' he raised himsel' bae his taes an' fingers i' the nerrow seams o' the rock. 12. Ags. 1885 A. Jervise Memorials of Ags. II. 248:
Subdue “the ill” that had been “cassen” [by a witch] upon a cow at the manse. 13. Abd. after 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. 43:
Ne'er mind him mair, he's casten his heels at you Sae ye at him the like may safely do. 19. Sh.(D) 1877 G. Stewart Sh. Fireside Tales vi. 46–47:
Holding the empty cup now by the handle, she slowly drained off any remaining drop of liquid, and then proceeded to “cast” the cup. This consisted of giving it several professional taps on the palm of the left hand, — first the sides of the cup, then the bottom, and last the brim. This was to give fortune the opportunity of arranging the stalks and dots of the tea grounds into hieroglyphic pictures. 21. Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost o' Glendookie 75:
Cast what I was sayin' through yer mind. 22. Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 276:
Sair have we pelted been with Stocks, Casting our Credit at the Cocks. Sc. 1825 J. Mitchell Scotsman's Library 182:
All the money he had received . . . would soon have been cast to the cocks. 23. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 23:
When a hook gets entangled on the bottom, the line is pulled with as great a strain as it will bear and then suddenly let go, and the hook commonly springs; as, “Cast upon the line, man, an' nae brack'ir.”
V. Combs.: 1. castawa', a waste (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.1 1938); 2. cast-back, a set-back; a relapse (Abd.9, Fif.10, Slg.3 1938); 3. cast-bye, a person cast aside, an outcast; 4. cast line, “the thin casting-line of gut or hair attached to the reel-line of a fishing-rod” (Fif.1 1938).
1. Fif. 1894 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin, Swatches o' Hodden-Grey xxviii.:
The maitter o' auchty or a hunder pounds i' the kist-neuk to set up house wi' wadna be a castawa'. 2. Sc. 1889 R. L. Stevenson M. of Ballantrae x.:
My life has been a series of unmerited cast-backs. e.Dmf.2 1932:
The guidman was getting on weel eneuch until the ither day, when he got a drookin that gaed him a nasty “cast-back.” 3. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xx.:
“Wha was it? —. . .” said Effie, seating herself upright. — “Wha could tak interest in sic a cast-bye as I am now?” 4. Slg. 1829 G. Wyse Orig. Poems and Songs III. 141:
Let your cast lines be knotted true, Lest any knot should slip. Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 157:
May thy set line ne'er be fanked wi' eels, or thy cast line catch on allers.
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