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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

KNOIT, n.1 Also noit, noyt (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 320), nuit; knite, knyte; and derivs. noityon, nutyeen, for the second syllable of which compare bunion. [(k)nɔit; ne.Sc. knəit]

1. A big bit, a large piece, a chunk, a hunk, lump (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1960, knyte); fig. a strong, sturdily built person (ne.Sc. 1960). Also dims. knytie, knytach(ie) (Bnff.3 c.1925), knitelich (Abd.15 1924), knoitle (Ags. 1919 T.S.D.C.).Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 180:
He tried to tak' 'er up for sellin' butter wi' a knyte o' croods i' the hert o' ilka pun' o't.
Rnf. 1884 J. Nicholson Willie Waugh 20:
Big knoits o' chuckies, causey stanes o' granite.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Robin and Marget 82:
I gaed an' got the wee goblet, put in water, a wee knoit butter, an' a tick meal.
Mry.1 1925:
A knite o' a loon.
Abd. 1957 People's Jnl. (9 Nov.):
The awfaest knyte o' beef ye ever saw.

Hence knoity, of a person: sturdy, stocky.Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 47:
The watch-dog o' the wee toun Is nappy, knoity Donal' Mac.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 15:
Great knites o' breed are served wi' broth
An' butteries wi' a snack

2. A lump of wood used as a ball in shinty.Hdg. 1883 J. Martine Reminisc. 84:
Many a tough game has been played there, and many hard knocks and sore shins had to be endured before the “nuit” was “doulled.”

3. A knob, a lump, bump, a swelling on the joint of the big toe, a bunion (Ayr. 1880 Jam., noit(yon); Uls. 1905 Uls. Jnl. Archæol. 125; Kcd. 1960), a rounded protuberance such as a knuckle-joint (Kcb.4 1900). Hence knoited, -y, adj., knobby, knotted, noytit, nutit, lumpy, having prominent bones (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 320). Also fig. gnarled, rugged, of language.Sc. 1834 A. Picken Black Watch I. 271, 273:
He's rough and uncouth for a' his quality, besides having big knoity knees o' his ain. . . . It would gravel me to the bottom o' my stomach, to see that knoity-kneed Crombie win the day.
Kcb. 1947 A. McCormick Galloway 52:
If ye canna read Barbour's aul' knoited language.
sm.Sc. 1979 Alan Temperley Tales of Galloway (1986) 1:
Roun' his hairy form there was naething seen,
But a philabeg o' the rashes green,
And his knotted knees played ay knoit between:
What a sight was Aiken-drum!

Deriv.: nittle [ < knuitle], a horn just appearing on an animal's head, one of the small stunted horns of a sheep (Cld. 1825 Jam.). Hence nittled, having such horns (Ib.) 4. A small rocky hill (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 366). Now only in place-names (Kcb.).

[An altered form of knot, cf. Dotter, Doiter; Gote, goit; Stot, Stoit; Tot, Toit. The diphthongisation is appar. felt to add emphasis. There may also be some influence from Knoit, v., n.2]

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"Knoit n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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