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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CUT, v. Used as in Eng. The following forms and meanings are peculiar to Sc.

I. Sc. forms.

1. pa.t. cutted, cuttit (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2, Fif.10, Lnk.111941). [′kʌtɪt]Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 24:
With his ain hand he cutted aff an' gae, An' eated wi' her, an' gar'd her do sae.
Edb. [1893] W. G. Stevenson Wee Johnnie Paterson, etc. (1914) 184:
But David jist ran awa' roond an' got oot his sword an' cuttit aff his heid.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Ayrshire Legatees v.:
A pocket-picker, as I thought, cutted off the tail of my coat.

2. ppl.adj. and pa.p. cuttit, cutted, cuttet, cuttid (Bnff.2, Abd.27 (cuttit), Lnk.11, Kcb.1 (cutted) 1941). Also cutten (rare).Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Sketch Bk. 12:
An' abeun de yett wus a bonnie square free-steen wi' letters cuttid on him.
Cai.(D) 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 4:
He cam' doon a blin' fowg at ye could hev cutten wi' a knife.
Abd.4 1929:
“A sheeve aff o' a cuttit loaf's never miss't.” (Retort by a ploughman if caught kissing another man's sweetheart.)
Fif. 1896 “G. Setoun” R. Urquhart xix.:
Ye've cuttet your head on your skates.
e.Dmf. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn 59:
I canna pray the nicht for I've a cuttit thoomb.

II. Sc. meanings.

1. In the game of handball as played in the Border Counties: to put the ball in the river to score a cut (Rxb. 1941 (per Lnk.11)).Rxb. 1932 Jedburgh Celebrations in Scotsman (4 Feb.):
The third ball was “cut” in the river for the “Doonies” by Adam Watson.

2. “To tack from side to side up an inclined plane; to move a heavy object forward by pushing each end alternately” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.).

3. Phrs: (1) cuttin breid, = (2) (Bnff., Edb., Ayr., Dmf. 2000s); (2) cutting loaf, a loaf at least one day old and hence more easily cut (Cai.7, Abd.26 1941; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 241; Fif.13, Arg.1, Gsw.1, Kcb.11941; Ags., Uls. 1990s); (3) cuttin the beef, the fast turning of a skipping rope (Abd. 1949); (4) to be cuttin' o' hunger, to be very hungry (Cai.7 1941); (5) to cut before the point, to anticipate (Kcb.10 1941); (6) to cut the churn, see Kirn, n.2; (7) to cut (someone's) girds, to make (someone's) position insecure; (8) to cut the hare, see Hare, n.2; (9) to cut harrows, “to cease being on speaking terms” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Rxb. 1941 (per Lnk.11)); cf. to draw the cat-harrow s.v. Cat Harrow; (10) to cut the King's langitch, to speak (Bnff.2 1941); (11) to cut meat, to eat; (12) to cut off, to excommunicate (Bnff.2 1941), found in vbl.n. cutting off, excommunication; (13) to cut out, to cut off (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 22; Fif.10 1941); (14) to cut the (one's) wind, (a) a term expressive of extreme hunger; (b) to make (a person) short of breath; (15) to cut one's wizzen, = (14) (b); (16) to stand good cuttin', to last well.(4) Ags. 1892 F. F. Angus Susie xv.:
I'm sure you are fair cuttin' o' hunger.
(5) Bch. 1898 J. R. Imray Sandy Todd vii.:
I'm some dootin' we hae baith been cuttin' afore the p'int in thinkin' they war merrit.
m.Lth. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh 147:
“I took the workshop from Mr. Cauldwell yesterday.” “Indeed! Ah! that was cutting before the point,” said the miller.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. xi.:
“Your grace,” cried Andrew, interrupting her, “is cutting far before the point.”
(7) Ags. 1815 Montrose Review (5 May) 142/1:
The first thing he did was to do all he could to cut his [opponent's] girds.
(9) Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Him an' me's cut harrows.
(10) Ags. 1853 W. Blair Chron. of Aberbrothock xxii.:
Gif ony ane offendit 'm he wadna cut the King's langitch wi' them for months an' years to cum.
(11) Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
“They never cut meat from Saturday till Wednesday”: said of a lot of sheep which were in transit from Ireland to England.
(12) Rnf. 1871 D. Gilmour “Pen” Folk (1873) 45:
Cases of separation from fellowship, or “cutting off,” were to me at all times alike fascinating and painful.
(13) Sc. 1825 J. Mitchell Scotsman's Library 361:
I have cut out my hair, and got a wig.
(14) (a) Mry.1 1925:
I'm like tae cut the wind wi' hunger.
(b) Lnk.11 1941:
A trombone player: “I never smoke in the intervals; it aye cuts my wind.” Used also of a bad cough.
(15) Dmb. 1777 Weekly Mag. (3 July) 20:
For a' the gait be scarce twa tether length, It cuts my wizzen sair an' bangs my strength.
(16) Ant. 1898 E.D.D.:
That bag o' meal has stood good cuttin'.

4. Combs.: (1) cut chain, “a chain used on inclines, which may be cut at different places, to suit various levels” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Sc. Mining Terms 22); (2) cut chain brae, “an incline on which cut chains are used” (Ib.); (3) cut coal, “in stoop-and-room working, coal cut on two sides where two rooms at right angles to each other meet” (Ib.); (4) cut-finger'd (-'t), ‡(a) “a ludicrous term, applied to one who gives a short answer, or replies with some degree of acrimony” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2; 1923 Watson W.-B., obsol.); †(b) “applied also to one who leaves a company abruptly, or makes what is termed a stown jouk” (Ib.); †(5) cut-luggit, -ed, cutt logged, crop-eared; †(6) cutlugs, a crop-eared horse; phr.: ca me cutlugs if . . ., used asseveratively = Eng. 'I'm a Dutchman' (Fif. 1960). Cf. n.Eng. dial. cutlugs, a soubriquet for the Devil or a donkey; (7) cut-meat, see quot.; (8) cut-throat, †(a) “a dark lantern or bowet, in which there is generally horn instead of glass; but so constructed that the light may be completely obscured, when this is found necessary for the perpetration of any criminal act” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Frf. 1738 Valuation (per Fif.1)); only ref. in Eng. is Bailey, 1783 (N.E.D.); (b) a kind of sweet (Bnff.9 c.1927); (9) cut-worm, a grub which attacks the roots of plants; a cabbage-root grub (Sc. 1808 Jam.); also fig.(4) (b) Rxb. 1825 Jam.2:
He's gane away unco cut-finger't-wise.
(5) Sc. c.1700 P. Birnie in R. Ford Vagab. Songs, etc. (1904) 281:
She [mare] was cut-luggit, painch-lippit, Steel-wamet, stauncher-fittit.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. (1817) xxxvi.:
A muckle great saucer-headed cutlugged stane, that they ca' Charlies Chuckie.
Rnf. 1724 W. Hector Judicial Records (1876–78) I. 225:
The said Defer [defender] hath stollen . . . ane young bull-dogg, black mouthed, cutt logged and cutt tayled.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Brownie of Bodsbeck, etc. II. 186:
Whar ir ye gaun sae early i' the morning on that grand cut-luggit beast?
(6) Peb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Descr. of Tweeddale and Sc. Poems 22:
Kind Calins with his Cutlugs, next appears. [He rode a cutlugged horse.]
 Fif. 1975:
Caa me cutlugs gif that's no him = If that isn't him, I'm a Dutchman.
(7) Sc. 1814 Farmer's Mag. (Aug.) 326:
In some districts, they cut oats in the straw, into a species of fodder, which they call "cut-meat." That is given not only to horses, but to cattle, especially fatting cattle.
(8) (b) Edb. 1828 D. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) iv.:
The thrums were a perquisite of my own, which I niffered with the gundy-wife for Gibraltar rock, cut-throat, gib, or bull's eyes.
(9) Sc. 1775 Weekly Mag. (2 Feb.) 169:
The cut-worm, that in some seasons destroys the oats very much in this country.
Rnf. 1850 A. McGilvray Poems 160:
Those vile cut-worms [infidels] to kirk and State.

[The above meanings are mostly extensions of Eng. cut, v.; cut-luggit, 1614, and cut-thro(a)t, a dark lantern, 1668, appear in O.Sc. (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Cut v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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