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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

GLAIM, n., v. Also glaeme, ¶gleum (Ags. 1909 Arbroath Guide (9 Jan.) 3). n.Sc. forms and Sc. usages of Eng. gleam:

I. n. 1. A flash (of lightning). Also in n.Eng. dial.Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 75–76:
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd; Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd.

2. A flame (Ags. 1954). Used adv. in phr. to gae gleam, to catch fire, to go up in a blaze.Abd. 1777 R. Forbes in Sc. Poems 27:
In spite o' Ajax' muckle targe, The barks had a' gane gleam; If ither fouk had na been there, He'd been sent roasten hame.
Ags. 1853 W. Blair Chron. Aberbrothock 10:
His face was like the glaeme below the parritch pat.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 65:
Fin the hoose gede on fire, the glaims gede oot our the riggan o't.
Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs & Ballads 39:
Dowsed noo are the glames o' passion, Cauld my hert, and fu' o' sadness.

II. v. To burn with a bright flame.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 65:
We wiz sittin' in the gloamin at the cheek o' a fine glaimin' bit firie newsin' awa wee ane anither.

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"Glaim n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jun 2022 <>



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