Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DIB, Dybe, n. A small pool of rain-water, a puddle (Lth., Ayr. 1825 Jam.2; Ayr.4 1928, obsol.). Used humorously in comb. with great, muckle, = the sea. Variant forms of Dub, q.v. Per. 1821  T. Atkinson Three Nights 24:
It's a hantle easier, ye ken, to hap ower a dib than to flee to the moon, ony day.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick v.:
An' see ye keep oot o' the dibs an' no' draible your buits.
wm.Sc. 1885  Folk-Lore Jnl. III. 53:
The Irish Channel is called “the Dib,” i.e. the Pool; and “To cross the Dib” means to go to Ireland.
Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems, etc. 38:
Through glaury holes an' dybes nae mair Ye'll ward my pettles frae the lair.
Gsw. 1797  J. Strang Gsw. Clubs (1856) 575:
I would na like to gang o'er the great dib (sea) like Tam Muir and the like o' them.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Ann. Parish xxxix.:
The spring was slow of coming, and cold and wet when it did come; the dibs were full, the roads foul.
w.Dmf. 1899  J. Shaw in Country Schoolmaster (ed. Wallace) 372:
Sae owre the muckle dib he swam, . . . Landed ae day in New South Wales.

[For interchange of [ʌ] and [ɪ], see P.L.D. § 60.1.]

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"Dib n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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