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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

KNOIT, v., n.2 Also noit, noyt; (k)nite; (k)nyte, neit, nuit, nyat (Fif. 1825 Jam.), nyit, and freq. knoiter. There is also a rare by-form (k)nowt (Mackay). Cf. note to Dowtit. [(k)nɔit, ne.Sc. (k)nəit]

I. v. 1. tr. (1) To knock (about), beat, strike sharply, rap with the knuckles (Sc. 1883 C. Mackay Poetry and Humour Sc. Lang. 218; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd. 1960). Vbl.n. kneitting, noiting, a beating (Lnk. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 126:
When thou inclines To knoit thrawn gabbed Sumphs that snarl At our frank Lines.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 93:
Mirk was the night — out Rabby doitet, Whiles owre big stanes, his shins he knoitet.
Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 21:
An' sae yir pows wi' satire knytit, Sic capers dang ye downright dytit.
Sc. 1812 Scots Mag. (March) 171:
They were joined by two others, and Johnstone asked them to assist in giving the police a kneitting.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxxix.:
I noited thegither the heads of twa false prophets.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck vi.:
If it warna for the blood that's i' your master's veins, I wad nite your twa bits o' pows thegither.
Sc. 1858 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 46:
If we fecht as he'll fecht, whether for auld feid or new, noytit pows and broken banes will tell the fortune o' the nicht.
Crm. 1869 H. Miller Tales and Sk. 123:
I hae noited their twa heads thegither!
w.Sc. 1887 Jam.:
“The book's sair noitit”, i.e., much worn or marked through use.
Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 191:
Owre clods did I prance — Noitin' my shins, an' skinnin' my knees!
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 10:
The Auld Cross — sair duifft an neiteet an nickeet wui Teime an the waather.

†(2) To nibble, gnaw; “a term expressive of the manner in which infants eat, who have not got teeth” (Ags. 1808 Jam.).

2. intr. †(1) Of the knees: to knock.Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 12:
For ilka' limb an' lith o' him 'Gainst ane anithir knoited.
Ags. 1815 G. Beattie John o' Arnha' (1883) 172:
An' aye as on the road he stoitit, His knees on ane anither knoitit.
Clc. 1885 J. Beveridge Poets Clc. 43:
My knees they knoit thegither sae, And down I daurna sit.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Tam's knees knoitered thegether at the look of him.

(2) To hobble, to walk stiffly and jerkily (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ‡Fif.10 1942), to plod on.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vii.:
He knoitit awa at a steady pace, when . . . doon he plumpit into a peat hole.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 143:
An' hame he cam' knowtin', his neb at his knee, His heart at his mou', an' a tear in his e'e.

II. n. A sharp blow, a knock, rap, jerk (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Cai., Abd., Slg., Kcb. 1960).Per. 1766 A. Nicol Poems 48:
The carles did baith rant and war, And delt some knoits.
Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 99:
An' whiles yir heavy noddle fa' in , Wi' lazy knyte.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 150:
If he a word but to them spak, They'd a' gie him a knoit.
Fif. 1825 Jam.:
He gae me a nyit i' the neck.
Slk. 1830 Hogg Tales (1874) 439:
Scott lent him another knoit, which again laid him flat.

Phr.: to cry or play knoit, to emit a sharp sound in striking or being struck (Abd. 1960), to go crack or smack.Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 25:
She gart my head cry knoit upo' the coach door.
Kcb. 1828 W. Nicholson Poems (1897) 78:
And his knotted knees played ay knoit between: What a sight was Aiken-drum.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xlvi.:
I can hear his knees playin' knoit thegether at the back o' the hedge.
Bch. 1930 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 106:
Div ye min' foo her and Colin swang een anidder at the Reel o' Tullich tull's heid cried knyte o' the jeest?

[Etym. uncertain. Phs. for *nite, with k on analogy with Knap, Knock, etc., O.E. hnītan, to butt, clash, though the word is not recorded for the intervening period.]

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"Knoit v., n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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