Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DRINK, v., n. Sc. usages.

I. v.

1. In phrs. (1) to drink before one, (see quot.); (2) to drink in, of fabrics: to shrink (Mry.1 1925); of the day: to draw in; known to Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940; (3) to drink out, to drink up, drink dry; also in n.Cy. dial. (1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 388:
You will drink before me. You have said just what I was going to say, which is a Token that you'll get the first Drink.
(2) Abd. 1903 Abd. Wkly. Free Press (12 Sept.):
The day's drinkin' in a gweed bit.
(3) Sc. 1800 Monthly Mag. I. 323:
Drink out your glass.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xl.:
A' Saunders's gin, puir man, was drucken out at the burial o' Steenie.

2. In comb. drink-a-penny, (1) the little grebe, Podiceps ruficollis (Dwn. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 216; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.); (2) the black guillemot, Uria grylle (Ayr. 1928 (per Ayr.4) Ayr. 1948); (3) the bald coot, Fulica atra (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.).

3. Vbl.n. drinking, (see quot.). Dmf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 59:
When any of the lower people happen to be reduced by sickness, losses, or misfortunes of any kind, a friend is sent to as many of their neighbours as they think needful, to invite them to what they call a drinking. This drinking consists in a small beer, with a bit of bread and cheese, and sometimes a small glass of brandy or whisky, previously provided by the needy persons, or their friends . . . after collecting a shilling a-piece . . . they [guests] divert themselves . . . with music and dancing. . . . Such as cannot attend themselves, usually send their charitable contribution by any neighbour.

II. n.

1. In phr. nae sma' drink, of no little importance; cf. Eng. no small beer; Gen.Sc. Also to think nae sma' drink o' onesel', to think oneself of no little importance (Lnk.11, Kcb.10 1940). Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 117:
But I'se assure you, Helen's nae sma' drink! It's nae to ilka chiel she'll gi'e her niece.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 42:
Our Johny's nae sma' drink you'll guess.
Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption iv.:
Mrs Renshaw thought herself “nae sma' drink” when the Laird himself gave her his arm.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 253:
An' faith ye're nae sma' drink yersel, lassie.

2. In combs. †(1) binding drink, (see quot.); †(2) booking drink, (see quot.); (3) drink-siller, a gratuity given to be spent on drink, Eng. drink-money (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sc. a.1873 F. Grose Gl., MS. Add.; Abd.27 1950; Slg.3 1940); †(4) speaking drink, (see quot.). (1) (2) (4) Slk. 1791 T. Craig-Brown Hist. Slksh. (1886) II. 188:
Stress is put [in the regulations of the Selkirk Incorporation of Weavers] on the regular payment of 1s. 6d. as the “speaking drink” by the master, and of 3s. as the “binding drink” by the intended apprentice . . . besides four shillings . . . for “booking drink” (when a freeman is entered).

3. With lang (long): a tall, lanky person. Also a lang drink o' water, id. Gen.Sc. Per. 1900 E.D.D.:
He's gotten a lang drink o' a wife.
Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie 103:
“Dod,” said she, “what a long drink-o'-water.”
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid xvi.:
Stair had grown up into a great lang drink, and would fankled . . . if he fell.

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"Drink v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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