Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
LEEM, n.1 Also liem. n.Sc. variants of Eng. loom. See also etym. note and Lume, and cf. P.L.D. §§ 118, 146, 157. [lim]
1. A tool, implement or instrument of any kind (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 103; ‡ne.Sc. 1960). Obs. in Eng. Also fig.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Lat some ane 't's been a wutness to the ootrages o' the ceevil poo'er, as Gushets says, tak' up the leems. Abd. 1884 D. Grant Lays 72:
Forks an' futtles were to hantles Leems nae handlet ilka day. Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 12:
He'd wallets fu' o' queer oonchancie leems. Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 81:
Sic maugersome billies an' sic limmers te fley Teuk a' o' my can an' my ugliest leems.
‡2. A weaving loom (Cai., ne.Sc. 1935).
Abd. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 90:
I wyt they are as protty hose As come frae weyr or leem. Bnff. 1853 Banffshire Jnl. (11 May):
The weaver aye sits at his leem. Abd. 1884 D. Grant Lays 8:
The wyever o' the Strathy's leem. Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 21:
The smith cam' sweatin' fae the fire, the weaver left his leem.
3. A vessel, basin, or other receptacle, usu. of earthenware (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 78; n.Sc. 1960); in pl. dishes, crockery (Id.).
Abd. 1817 J. Christie Instructions 35:
To heat water to wash the liems. Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife 10:
Noo, Mem, ye'll jist pit in yer speen, An' never min' the leem. Cai. 1915 John o' Groat Jnl. (25 June):
Ye entered by the hallan door, an' syne ye saw the bink Wi' bowls an' bickers, skellat joogs, an' siccan leems, for drink. Bnff. 1918 M. Symon Wir Roup 3:
Syne there wis leems an' sic-like trok — They ca' them noo “Anteeks”. Rs. (Avoch) 1949 Gsw. Herald (7 Feb.):
Dishes are “leems.”
4. Fragments of earthenware, sherds (Bnff. 1960). Used fig. (see note).
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 13:
Ye've waefu' waukin' dreams fan yer wardle's a' in leems.
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"Leem n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Jul 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/leem_n1>
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