Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOAT, n. Sc. usages in com bs.: †1. goat chaffer, the nightjar or goatsucker, Caprimulgus europæus (Sc. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 97), so called from the popular superstitious belief that it sucks from udders of goats; 2. goat-gress, “a hill-name for the spiked wood-rush, Luzula spicata, or closely related species” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). In Abd. in form gyte-girse; see Gait, n.1 and note to Gait, n.2; 3. goat('s) hair, feathery or streaky cirrus clouds. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.; also in Nhb. dial.; †4. goat-milk, with the def. art.: an establishment or resort where goat's milk was drunk as a recuperative; †5. goat-whey, the whey of goat's milk used as a health drink; = 4.; also used attrib. 3. Sc. 1863  Edb. New Philosoph. Jnl. XVIII. 221:
Continuous cirro-strati gathering into unbroken gloom, and also the cloud called “Goat's Hair” or the “Grey Mare's Tail,” presage wind.
Sc. 1895  Edb. Review (April) 531:
It is the cloud known to seamen . . . as “goats' hair” or “mare's tails.”
4. Sc. 1726  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) III. 226:
In June most of the ministers of Glasgow were out of town at the goat-milk.
5. Sc. 1731  Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families (1908) II. 381:
Mr Dundass of Arniston haveing proposed to be at Kincraigie all the moneth of May, to drink the goat whey.
Sc. 1741  Caled. Mercury (March) 3:
The House is but a Mile from a good Market-town; so that if the Tenant inclines to set out the same for Goat-whey Quarters, it lies most convenient for that purpose.
Sc. a.1814  J. Ramsay Scot. & Scotsmen in 18th Cent. (1888) I. i.:
In the summer of 1770 I was at the goat-whey in Rannoch.
Sc. 1824  Scott St Ronan's W. iii.:
Mr Meredith was fain to go to goat-whey quarters.

[For correct Sc. form, see Gait, n.1, and cf. Bait, n.4, a boat, which has also been long superseded by the Eng. form.]

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"Goat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Nov 2019 <>



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