Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
PLET, v., n. Also plett; plat. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. plait. [plɛt, plet, plæt]
I. v. 1. As in Eng. Pa.t. and p. plettit, -ed, plet(t) (Slk. 1825 Jam.), plait (m.Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 151), and pleet, pleit from the collateral Eng. form pleat; pr.ppl., vbl.n. pletting. Sc. combs.: †(1) plait-backie, n., “a kind of bed-gown reaching down to the knees, commonly made of blue camlet or serge, with three pleats on the back” (Abd., Ags. 1825 Jam.); †(2) plettin-house, a building where the young girls of the township met in the evenings to plait straw or bent for the making of bonnets, etc. (Ork. 1966); (3) plaitit-strae, the twist of straw formerly worn in the button-hole or hat of a farm-worker at a feeing market to indicate that he was available for employment; (4) plait-row(ie), a bread roll made of plaited strands of dough.
Sc. 1719 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. ( 1876) II. 226:
Hir silken cords of twirtle twist, Weil plet with silver sheen. Ork. 1771 P. Fea Diary (Aug.):
Jo Hay pletting bent for the house use. Sc. c.1800 Sweet William's Ghost in Child Ballads No. 77. G. i.:
Plett a wand o' bonnie birk, An lay it on my breast. Sc. 1802 Prince Robert in Child Ballads No. 87. A. xx.:
And thae twa met, and thae twa plat, The birk but and the brier. s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 169:
The aged dames, in pletted toys, singing “Tarry Woo”. s.Sc. 1885 W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 157:
Three fadom o' pleit gut at the end of it [a fishing line]. Sh. 1901 Shetland News (8 June):
As shüne as A'm plet me back hair. Gall. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 132:
Whun we wur weans we use't tae mak wee water-mills wi rashes plettit thegither. Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 2:
Derk fir planteens that . . . aamaist pletteet ther brainches abuinheed. (3) ne.Sc. 1953 Mearns Leader (6 Nov.):
Ay, ay, Tam, I see ye're still weerin' yer plaitit strae — hinna ye gotten the offer o' a fee yet? (4) Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce III. xi.:
Whigs, cookies, plait-rows, petticoat-tails.
2. To fold or pleat (cloth or the like) (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Sh., Ags., Kcb. 1966); of the skin: to wrinkle, pucker.
Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 111:
Wi' unchristened fingers maun plait down the breeds. Note: This is an allusion to the Scottish Brownie, whose unbaptised fingers loved to plait and fit on the ladies' frills. Dmf. 1861 R. Quinn Heather Lintie 106:
Care in wan wrinkles deeply plettin' Nell's bonnie face.
3. To cross (the legs or arms), place one limb over the other (ne.Sc., Per., Kcb., Rxb. 1966). Combs. ¶hough-pletter, one who crosses his legs when seated, plait-legged, cross-legged.
Abd. c.1803 D. Anderson Sawney and John Bull 12:
To ca' our tars a' nae better Nor poor gangin' proud hough pletter. s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 251:
He sits down beside you on a sofa — plets his legs. ne.Sc. 1958 Scottish Studies II. i. 52:
He sits plait-legged, and folds his arms.
4. intr. (1) To twist, cross. Obs. in Eng. Freq. of the limbs: to intertwine as a result of weariness, nervousness, drink, or the like, to fold under one (ne. and em.Sc.(a) 1966).
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 69:
For very faut her legs began to plett, She wi' her journey had got sick a sett. Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 106:
There was a very little taylor, sitting on a table . . . with his legs plet over other. Slk. 1802 Hogg Poems (1874) 69:
His hand claive to his hivvye sword, His knees plett lyke the wande. Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 92:
Wi' swaggerin' gait and plettin' legs Now hame the clowns are steerin'. Mry.5 1928:
In her nervousness at the organ, her fingers jist pleet ower ither. ne.Sc. 1956 Mearns Leader (23 March):
In a deep mids, his legs plaitit an' doon he sank.
(2) of a horse's hooves: to curl back into the flesh when left too long untrimmed, to become ingrown.
Per. 1799 J. Robertson Agric. Per. 540:
A too quick growing of the hoofs, which plaited under his feet and made him lame.
(3) of a weaver's web: to become matted and tangled through faulty dressing.
Rnf. 1876 D. Gilmour Pen' Folk 15, 16:
Soft organzine, which material, if not carefully handled when being “dressed”, is liable to “plait”. . . . She, poor thing, had to wade bare foot through the snow another week or more in consequence of the “plaiting”.
5. To walk in an unsteady, corkscrew or in-toed manner as if the legs were weak, to “weave” about (Cai., of men and horse Per., Fif., Knr. 1966); to stagger, as in drink (em.Sc.(a) and s.Sc. 1966), esp. in ppl.adj. plettin. Cf. 4. (1) above.
Abd. 1900 J. Milne Poems 4:
As he gaed platin' out the gate, A carlin cried, “Ah, Neil, yer late.”
II n. 1. A pleat, fold, crease ( I.Sc., Cai. Ags., Per. 1966).
Slk. 1810 Hogg Tales (1874) 75:
“Ye hae settled the pletts o' your sark,” said Barnaby.
2. Fig. an untoward frame of mind, a perverse mood or humour, a kink (Kcb. 1966). Cf. obs. Eng. plait, id.
Kcb. 1898 A. J. Armstrong Levellers 84:
He's in ane o' his queer pletts the noo, . . . an' the cowpin' o' the dykes has much to do wi't.
3. A predicament, quandary, “pickle” (s.Sc. 1966).
I'm in a fair plet.
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"Plet v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/plet>
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