Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GRUTE, n., v. Also grut, groot, grout; grøt (Jak.). [Sc. grøt, Ork. grut, grʌut]

I. n. 1. Thick sediment, esp. the sediment of oil made from fish-livers (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., grute, 1914 Angus Gl., grüt; Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 151, groot, 1929 Marw.; Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 73, Cai. 1955); any thin liquid mess of food, mud, etc. (Ork.4 1955); “oil for wool-carding” (Sh. 1913 J. M. Hutcheson W.-L., grüte; Cai.4 c.1920).

Hence (1) grootie, adj., of oil: full of sediment, dirty (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1955, grootie); (2) grootins,, any dirty, oily thing (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.). Also in combs. grootie barrel, grooty-pig, a barrel or jar for holding oil rendered from fish livers (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Sh. 1955), grootie kettle, the pot or cauldron in which the livers were boiled (Sh. 1955), also grotty-, grutty- (Ib.); (3) gruito, the drain or channel in a byre, the Gruip (Ork. 1929 Marw.). (1) Ork.1 1940:
Thir's some grooty oil in yin flask.
Sh. 1953 New Shetlander No. 35. 5:
An weel I mind whin I was young, Da kollie hingin doon, aa gröttie.

2. Extended to denote “any dirty evil-smelling substance” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 74), an unseemly mixture (Cai.3 1940); “potato soup” (Fif. 1916 T.S.D.C. II., grout).

Hence groutie, adj., roughish, gritty (Upper Cld. 1825 Jam.). In Yks. dial. = full of sediment.

II. v. To grub, poke about amongst muddy or messy matter (Cai.9 1939, groot; Ork., Cai. 1955). Hence grootin, messy (Ork.5 1955, “a grootin job”).

[I.Sc. and Cai. forms derive from Norw. grut, sediment, grounds, Icel. grútur, the dregs of train-oil. The Fif. and Cld. forms = Eng. grout, coarse meal, sediment, O.E. grūt.]

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"Grute n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2020 <>



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