Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MISHANTER, n., v. Also misshanter, mischanter, mishaunter, meschanter, muschanter; misanter, -ir, messanter. [mɪ′ʃɑntər, Sh. mɪ′s-]

I. n. 1. A mishap, an unfortunate accident, a disaster (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; I. and n.Sc., Ags. 1963); a state of misfortune or hardship. Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 27:
For fan they saw us a' in a bourich they had some allagust that some mishanter had befaln us.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 53, 210:
What black mishanter gart ye [Mons Meg] spew Baith gut and ga'? . . . The Priest, to bang mishaunters black, and cares, Has sought me in his closet for his prayers.
Ayr. 1784 Burns Poet's Welcome i.:
Mishanter fa' me, If thoughts o' thee, or yet thy mammie Shall ever daunton me or awe me.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 39:
Or if she heard o' Rob's mischanter, That through the town began to canter.
Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Confessional 184:
She'll gie me nae supper, but gollar an' flyte; Of a' her mischanters she'll gie me the wyte.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 247:
She met a sair mishanter yince at the hans o' Lord Kenmur.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 323:
He's hed a sair misanter an' cinna loot for hostan.
Fif. 1939 St. Andrews Cit. (28 Jan.) 5:
Mischanters come at ony time Tae them that hannel rod and line.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 31:
Trath, I tink I never hed sic a misanter i' me days.

2. A physical hurt or injury (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Sh., Bnff., Abd., Ags. 1963). Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 114:
He fell oot o' the cairt an' got a mischanter on's knee.
Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm I. xix.:
“I hae gotten a sma' mishanter, Miss Horn.” . . . When she had bathed and bound [his hand] up, she laid it in a sling.
Gsw. 1884 H. Johnston Martha Spreull 40:
The Doctor, puir body, had met wi' a mishanter when he wis young, and wis hump-backet.

3. Also the mishanter, Auld Mischanter (Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems Gl.), used in imprecations = the devil. Sc. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 25:
What the mishanter, than cried John.
Slg. 1804 G. Galloway Luncarty 77:
I gaed straight to the mishanter (When press'd frae the arms o' sweet Bell).
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xii.:
Mishanter on the auld beard o' ye!
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xviii.:
“The least discoont I can be justified in charging is five and a half per cent.” “Five and a half mishanters!” exclaimed Stiffrigs in a towering passion.
Bnff. 1853 Banffshire Jnl. (23 Aug.):
Mishanter tak' his ourlach dame.
Gsw. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 44:
Mischanter lick me wi' a rung.

II. v. To hurt, to bruise, to meet with a painful accident (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 114). Hence vbl.n. mischanteran, a severe hurt or injury (Ib.); ppl.adj. mishantert, injured, badly hurt, also in comb. ill-mishanter't, id. Abd. 1918 W. B. Morren The Hert aye 8:
An' een wi' ill-mishanter't legs Upon a merchan's hurley lay.
Bnff. 1937 E. S. Rae Light in the Window 9:
He has gotten his leg gey mishantert at a place caud Mons awa' out owre the sea.

[Reduced form with vocalisation of v, of O.Sc. mysawentoure, a.1400, Mid.Eng. mesaunture, O.Fr. mesaventure, misadventure. Cf. Mid.Eng. misaunter, id. For -sh- cf. Ashet, Offish, Veshel, Minch.]

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"Mishanter n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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