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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

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.]

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"Glim n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2024 <>



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