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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).

HUMMIE, n.2, v. Also hummock, -ick, hummag (Cai.); hoomie, -ick (Abd.); humma (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). [Sc. ′hʌme, ′hʌmɔk, ne.Sc. + ′humi, ′humɪk]

I. n. †1. The closing of the hand so that thumb and four finger tips are placed together, the space thus enclosed (Lth., Dmf., Rxb. 1825 Jam., hummie, hummock). Phr. to mak one's hummie, to place the four finger tips upon the thumb, as a test of the suppleness of the fingers on a cold day (Slk. 1825 Jam.).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 277:
People in frosty weather try who stands cold best, by the way the hummock can be made.

2. A pinch of anything, as much as can be taken up between the thumb and four fingers, used gen. of meal, salt, etc. (Ags. 1825 Jam., hummie, hummock; ‡Cai. 1957); also hummock-fow (Cld., Dmf. Ib.).Abd.6 1910:
Strinkle a hoomie o' meal on the tap o' the pottage.

II. v. To lift up by means of the thumb and four fingers placed together (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 226); also comb. hummiefou, id. (Ib.).

[O.Sc. hummock, id., from 1638. Orig. obscure. For a similar sense-development cf. Cromack. The word may doubtfully be associated with Eng. hummock, a small mound, from the heap which may be scraped together by this motion of the fingers.]

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"Hummie n.2, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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