Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NIBBIE, n. Also nibby, knibbie (Rxb. 1916 Kelso Chron. (29 Dec.) 3). A walking stick with a hooked head, a staff, a shepherd's crook (Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 152; Kcb. 1911 Gallovidian XIII. 40; Rxb. 1954 Hawick News (18 June); sm. and s.Sc. 1964), a blow with such a stick. Also in Cum. dial. Cf. Kebbie, n. Edb. 1812 W. Glass Caled. Parnassus 53:
The father an' mother first led aff the dancin', By help o' their nibbies they fittet it weel.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
Gin I get had o' my nibbie, I'se reesle yer riggin for ye.
Slk. 1886 J. Russell Yarrow 170:
Two or three shepherds had to . . . use their nibbies unmercifully.
Lnk. 1895 W. C. Fraser Whaups xiii.:
Jock took the legs frae him wi' his nibbie.
Gall. 1898 A. J. Armstrong Revellers 195:
It was rale guid to let me get mairrit at the same time as him and Jeanie. Twa kills wi' ae nibby.
Rxb. 1913 J. Byers Hamely Musings 151:
Rax doon his weel-worn hazel nibbie.

Combs.: 1. nibbie-end, the knob-end of a staff (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); 2. nibbyiron, a golf-club of a particular kind, a Niblick; 3. nibbie-staff, -stick, a walking stick (Ib., 1942 Zai, Rxb. 1964). 2. Fif. 1869 St. Andrews Gaz. (15 May):
Strath, having laid his ball by his “teed” shot in the cart track, Tom played a beautiful shot out with his nibby iron.
3. Dmf. 1866 Carlyle Reminisc. (1881) II. 260:
She was in her Indian dressing-gown, absolutely beautiful, leaning on her nibby staff (a fine hazel, cut and polished from the Drumlanrig woods, by some friend for my service).

[From Nib, the hooked end resembling a beak, + deriv. suff. -Ie.]

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"Nibbie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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