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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CRABBIT, Crabbet, adj. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. crabbed. Also crabbitly, crabbitness.

1. In a bad temper, out of humour. Obs. since 16th cent. in St.Eng. but still in use in Eng. dial.Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 96:
He that's crabbit without cause should mease without amends.
Sc. 2000 Herald 6 Mar 16:
Snapshots of days spent doggin' school, late nights spent queueing for chips, taxis, and buses, crabbit wee nyaffs of pawn-brokers ...
Abd. 1895 G. Williams Sk. Scarbraes 52:
Kirkton was quite “crabbet” at the step he had taken and Mrs Ross hoped he had got a good place.
Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 117:
For tho' we may na get our fill O' what our nibour has at will, — It shaws we hae na muckle skill, Gin we be crabbit.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 21:
You're that crabbit, you're no offering
Much help or pity for me in my suffering.
Gsw. 1984 James Kelman The Busconductor Hines 86:
For each individual a guise exists but this guise is shabby, it can be seen through; face upon face, the tired the sullen the crabbit, the timid the cheery and so on.
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 24:
The crabbit wumman in there wis always knittin' shawls,
Jist get away fae ma windae, she wid always bawl.

2. Rough, boisterous (of land or weather). Obs. since 17th cent. in Eng. but still found in n.Yks. dial.Gall. 1900 R. J. Muir Mystery of Muncraig 56:
I then left the road and crossed some crabbit grun' an' syne began to spiel.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 52:
Aft hae I thought fate meant to kill us a', Whan crabbit north winds fling the drivin' snaw.

[O.Sc. has crab(b)it, etc., ill-natured, cross, from a.1400; also crabitly and crab(b)itnes (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Crabbit adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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