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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MICHT, v. Also mought (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 26; Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains 285), mught (Sc. 1712 Fountainhall Decisions II. 729); mich (Kcb. 1898 T. Murray Frae the Heather 92); mith (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 40, Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 100, Ags. 1819 A. Balfour Campbell I. xviii., Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 144; Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 35, ne.Sc. 1962); meith (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 10). Sc. forms of Eng. might, pa.t. of May, q.v. Gen.Sc. Freq. joined to the unstressed form a of the inf. Hae, and the neg. suffix -na(e) as michta, mitha (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xx.; Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) i.; Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 11; Ags. 1822 Caled. Mag. I. 401); mich(t)na(e); mithna; mittina (Abd. 1903 Banffshire Jnl. (13 Jan.)), miteno (Ork. 1909 Old-Lore Misc. II. i. 29); mithnin (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb x.).

 Sc. forms:wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 5:
She micht mean nae herm, but she's the talk o' the pairrish.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 6:
"We micht an we michtna," cam his son's repon. "That wad be tellin."
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 95:
'That auld bastart Andra Ramsay was feart that somebody would hae a crack at pistollin Sharp or cuttin his thrapple, and he would get the wyte for no lookin eftir him,' said Tammas. 'So ye michtna hae been the first tae try it, and ye'll no be the last,' ...

Sc. usage in phr. but so I, etc. micht, used as the second of two coordinated clauses to indicate 'but in vain, but I, etc. could not' (‡Abd., Ags. 1975).Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 10, 140:
I tried to get roond his saft side, but yea wid, so I micht. . . . I tried to speak, but so I micht.

[O.Sc. micht, mocht, mowcht, from 1375, Early Mid.Eng. meahte, later mihte, muchte, moht, mought.]

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"Micht v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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