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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LICHTLIE, v., n., adj. Also -ly, lightlie, -y; lightilly (Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs I. 144). [′lɪçtlɪ]

I. v. 1. To make light of, to scorn, belittle, slight, disparage (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Lnk. 1960).Mry. 1715 E. D. Dunbar Documents (1895) 18:
No burgess or inhabitant misregard condemn or lightlie any Magestrate or Counsellor of said Burgh.
Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 211:
The man who is prudent, ne'er lightlies his wife.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 86:
Some daft lightlyin quean had stow'n your heart.
Ayr. 1791 Burns O Whistle an' I'll come iii.:
Whyles ye may lightly my beauty a wee.
Ags. 1815 G. Beattie Poems (1882) 168:
They'd gar'd a lightlied lover greet.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxxiv.:
She kend far ower mony secrets to be lightlied in a matter o' that kind.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod xiii.:
I dinna thenk I can be in muckle danger o' lichtlyin' him.
Fif. 1895 G. Setoun Sunshine & Haar ix. iv.:
Ye mauna lightly a hoast.
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch (1935) 124:
If I thought there was a slight and that I was being lightlied.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness xii.:
Never a responsible person to see that she wasna lichtlied by thae city folk!
m.Sc. 1924 O. Douglas Pink Sugar xxvii.:
I'm no' lichtlying the laird … but for a' that I wadna fancy him masel'.

2. Of a bird: to forsake (its nest) (Sc. 1825 Jam.).

II. n. 1. The act of scorning or disparaging, a slight. Hence lichtliefow, haughty, slighting, scornful (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 105; ne.Sc. 1960). Adv. ¶lichtlifee (by confusion with Lichtlifie,v.), scornfully.Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
As good give the lightly as get it.
Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers xxvi.:
I never kent what it was to get the lichtlie mysel'.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 73:
Aw winder at ye flinging by sae lichtlifee, sic a bonnie, dacent lassie as yon!
Abd. 1952:
Ye're awfu lichtlyfu o't = You are making little of it, you are contemptuous of it, you are not very grateful for it.

2. That which makes light or pleasant; specif. a relish, a Kitchen to a meal, as meat or butter (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.). Rather an independent deriv. from Licht, adj.2

III. adj. Contemptuous, depreciatory (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Obs. in Eng.Sc. 1794 "Tam Thrum" Look before ye Loup II. 18: 
The lightly way that he spoke about Religion.

[O.Sc. lichtly, to disdain, a.1400, lychtly, scornful, 1456, O.E. leohtlic, slight, unimportant, contemptible. From Licht, adj.2]

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"Lichtlie v., n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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