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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

EEM, IME, n.1, v.1 Also eime (Cai.7 1943); em, eum, eam(e). [eim, im Cai.; em Ork.]

I. n.

1. The condensation of moisture, esp. that rising from the ground or the sea-shore in frosty or still weather (Cai.3 1940).Cai. 1920 in John o' Groat Jnl. (9 Jan.):
Ime is . . . the damp sea winds condensing on the window pane, moisture condensing on walls after extreme frost, even the damp in the atmosphere, particularly associated with sea-brine, or the condensation on the stones left by the receding tide.
Cai. 1940 Ib. (26 Jan.):
An eame of frost. . . . In old weather lore this rising vapour was a sure sign of an “ooterly” gale.

2. A hot fœtid smell such as that from a stuffy atmosphere (Ork. 1929 Marw., em; Cai. 1919 T.S.D.C. III., ime, 1940 P. W. Miller in John o' Groat Jnl. (15 March)). See also Aim, Ayme, Uim, Yoam.Ork.1 1941:
There was a eum that came oot o the bus when the door opened, for it was full, and there was little ventilation.

II. v.

1. Of frost: to spread.Cai. 1940 John o' Groat Jnl. (26 Jan.):
The frost is eaman doon.

2. To flow out gently, as smoke from a sluggish vent (Ork. c.1920 D. Houston W.-L.; Cai. 1940 John o' Groat Jnl. (19 Jan.)). Cf. Oam; Yoam.

[Norw. eim, steam, vapour, ema, to steam, O.N. eimi, eimr, reek, vapour.]

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"Eem n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2023 <>



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