Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GLIM, n.1, v. [glɪm]

I. n. 1. A gleam, a faint streak of light (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh., Cai., Uls. 1954); “a glimmer, small speck of light or fire” (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Also fig. Ags. 1815 G. Beattie John o' Arnha' (1826) 36:
The thunder roar'd — the sweepin blast Their reekit, riven rags blew past, An' showed their parchment through the glim.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxx.:
Now, old Meg, d—n me, if I can understand a glim of this story of yours.
Sh. 1897 Shet. News (13 Nov.):
Her sight is no muckle wirt wi' day, lat alane da glim o' da lamp.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
She was sittan withoot wan glim o' fire.

2. “A glimpse, a sight of something hastily disappearing” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh.10 1954). Ork. 1929 Marw.:
I never catched a glim o' it.

3. The moon (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Cf. slang glim, a lamp, lantern.

II. v. 1. intr. “To shine faintly; to shine with a clear light, of fire; de fire glims” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

2. To light up, illumine. Rare. Hdg. 1905 J. Lumsden Croonings 326:
It will glim life's chequered way, And illume wi' ray divine Sorrow's dreariest, darkest spat!

[O.Sc. has glim, a glance, a glimpse, c.1616. Cf. Norw. dial. glim, a glimmer, lustre, glima, to glimmer, glitter, Sw. dial. glim, a gleam, cogn. Eng. gleam.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Glim n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2022 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: