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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.

ETIN, Etyn, n. A giant; also used to denote a fury, witch, devil. Now only arch.Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 281:
The red-etin is a monstrous personage, supposed by the common people to be so named on account of his insatiable penchant for red or raw flesh.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ancient Sc. Ballads 229:
Till up started the Hynde Etin, Says, “Lady, let thae alane!”
Knr. 1925 “H. Haliburton” Horace in Homespun 190:
Lauchs till himsel', an' nods his pow, An' chuckles like a wee red etyn, “Ho! Ho! the famous winter shootin'!”
Sc.(E) 1929 L. Spence in Holyrood (ed. W. H. Hamilton) 47:
The tempests grey o' Norroway, Yon etins fell and dour, Hae blawn her hempen strands to strae.

[O.Sc. etyne, c.1515, reid etin, etc., from 1528; Mid.Eng. etene, etin, O.E. e(o)ten, giant; O.N. jǫtunn, id.]

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"Etin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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