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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RIN, v., n. Also rinn. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. run.

I. v. A. Forms: Pr.t. rin. Pa.t. ran; run (Abd. 1726 Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 319; Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 76), †rune (Sc. a.1714 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 485). Pa.p. run; ran (Slg. 1862 D. Taylor Poems 13; Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 19).

Pr.t. Sc. form of Eng. runsm.Sc. 1979 Alan Temperley Tales of Galloway (1986) 1:
"I lived in a lan' where we saw nae sky,
I dwalt in a spot where a burn rins na by; ... "
m.Sc. 1982 Douglas Fraser in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 8:
My bluid rins sluggish noo;
Nae mair my hert is like to stert
The flush upon my broo.
ne.Sc. 1991 Lilianne Grant Rich in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 23:
Syne, gin its creep micht catch their swippert feet,
They loup and rin.
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 16:
In this citie o whispers
Doon daurk, smokey vennels
Windin, we reached the Jewish quarter.
A Golem rins fae the graveyard
An the win is readin quate
In the sma synagogue.

B. Usages:

1. As in Eng., Sc. combs., phrs., and derivs.: (1) combs. with advs. and preps.: (i) rinabout, adj., runabout, roving. Gen.Sc. Also as a n., a vagabond, rover; a restless gadabout person. Gen.Sc.; (ii) rin ahin, to run behind or at the heels of, to dog closely (Cld. 1880 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; fig. to be in arrears, to fall into debt (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Abd., em. and wm.Sc. 1968). See Ahint, 1. (5); (iii) rin apin, -apo, see (xiv) (Sh. 1968); (iv) rin(n) awa, adj., runaway (Ags. 1886 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 31). Gen.Sc. As a n. applied to the third or ring finger in children's rhyme about the fingers (see quot.); (v) rin by, of a bill, etc.: to become overdue (Abd. 1968); (vi) rin doon wi, to pour milk down the throat of (an animal being reared by hand) (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1968), esp. of young pigs; sim. of giving medicine (Ork. 1968); (vii) rin in by or to, to pay a short call on (a person). Gen.Sc.; (viii) rin on, (a) to push or butt with the head, to attack, to gore, of an enraged bull (Cld. 1825 Jam.); (b) to be of engrossing interest to, to occupy one's mind fully; (ix) rin out, (a) of a vessel: to leak (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. till late 18th-c. when it was considered to be a Scotticism (Sc. 1800 Monthly Mag. IX. 322); (b) to fill up (one container) by pouring from another (Sh. 1968); (c) of land: to impoverish or exhaust with overcropping. Also in Ir. dial.; (d) to draw off the ash in kelp-burning by raking, gen. in vbl.n. (Ork. 1964); (e) to run down, of a mechanism; (x) rin ower, -oure, (a) to continue without interruption, to run on (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (b) of a horse: to rub down quickly; ‡(xi) rinthereout, -throut, -theroot, a vagrant, vagabond, roving person (ne.Sc., Ags. 1968), also attrib. and as a v., to wander aimlessly about. See thereout s.v. There, 3. (12). The form was later misunderstood and hence nonce unhistoric variants rin-the-rout, -reet, the latter by confusion with root, Ruit; (xii) rin through anesel, to make a slip of the tongue; to contradict oneself (Gall. 1968); (xiii) rin up, to fill up with liquid (Sh. 1968); (xiv) rin upo(n), -apin, -apo, (a) to drip over, shed water on (Sh. 1968); (b) to strike or impress forcibly; (c) to discuss, talk over in detail or at length.(1) (i) Sc. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (May) 163:
Some handy rinabout had emptied the laird's henbawks.
Ayr. 1883 W. Aitken Lays of Line 45:
A wee crood o' steerin', heart-breakin', fat, rin-aboot rattlin things.
(iv) Sc. 1825 Jam. s.v. Pirliewinkie:
Here's Haud-Watch [the middle finger]; Here's Rinn-awa' [the ring finger]; And little wee, wee Cronachie pays for a'.
(vi) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (13 May):
Doo's be tristy afore I rin doon wi dee agen.
(vii) Lth. 1892 M. Oliphant Marriage of Elinor xvii.:
It might be a relief to her to run in to me whenever she pleased.
(viii) (b) Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) L.9:
She represented that he had a taste for letters from his early days, thus: “Lair rinnan on him aw his days”.
(ix) (a) Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 39:
To fill the Tub that ay rins out.
Uls. 1890 Simmons Gl. (E.D.D.):
The kettle runs out.
(b) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (12 Feb.):
Shü blew da aes aff o' da boddom an' sides o' da taepot afore she ran oot da cups.
(c) Per. 1799 J. Robertson Agric. Per. 139:
By this management however, it is impossible they can run out the land.
(e) Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 118:
They're wun up, an' they maun gyang tull they rin oot.
(x) (b) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. lv.:
Just to rin the beast ower wi' a dry wisp o' strae.
(xi) Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley lviii.:
The ne'er be in me, sir, if I think you're safe amang thae Highland rinthereouts.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian v.:
Ye little rin-there-out de'il that ye are, what takes you raking through the gutters to see folk hangit?
Kcd. 1827 G. Menzies Poet. Trifles 86:
For fear some ragged rin-there-out, Or hungry wean, sud get a glaum o't.
Ags. 1831 Per. Advertiser (17 Nov.):
Infested by desperate gangs of gipsies, tinkers, and “sic like rinth' routs.”
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 35:
The Sheriff-Officer, alias The Beagle, alias Rin-the-rout, however necessary as a limb of the law, has not the most reputable character for honesty and sobriety.
Abd. 1874 W. Scott Dowie Nicht 36:
Ghosts hiz ran th' reet fae the days o' Ossian, the son o' Fingal, till noo.
Abd. 1879 G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie i.:
Ye maun hae little to say to sic rintheroot laddies.
(xii) Dmf. 1953:
She aye rins through hersel'. I ran through masel' there.
(xiii) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (29 Jan.):
Takin' da gless an' rinnin' him up ta Sibbie.
(xiv) (a) Sh. 1900 Shetland News (30 June):
Will doo tak' my skin cot apo' dee, Sibbie? Da piltiks 'ill rin apo dee.
(b) Sh. 1901 Shetland News (12 Oct.):
Hit ran apo' me ta hear da wye 'at da folk wid geng on.
(c) Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 75:
Guid kens gin dere waas onything i' id [Horseman's Word] ava, bit hid waas weel aneuch spoken o' an' rin apin.

(2) in combs. rundale, rendal(l), rennal, erron. rennet; run-field; run-rig, anglicised -ridge; run-shade, a system of land tenure in which each tenant was allocated several detached portions and rigs of land each year by lot and rotation, so that each would share in turn in the more fertile areas; a portion of land thus cultivated, those in rundale being larger than those in runrig. Also attrib. and adv. and in ppl.adj. runrigged, of land: held under this form of tenure. Phrs. rig and rendal, running rigs, id. See Dale, n.1, 1., Rig, n.1, 4., Shade. “The name seems evidently derived from the circumstance of these lands or ridges running parallel to each other” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Now practically obs. except in the Hebrides.Rxb. 1732 Caled. Mercury (14 Dec.):
The Lands of Maxtoun, which ly at present mix'd and runrig with the lands of the other Heritors.
Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest Scot. 47:
The arable Land or Grounds for Tillage are divided by Runrig equally amongst them.
Sc. 1747 Forfeited Estate Papers (S.H.S.) 62:
Several of the Farms in this barony are runrigged, and should be properly divided.
Peb. 1748 Session Papers, Geddes v. Nasmyth (1 Nov.) 4:
The Lands of the middle Onstead do indeed ly interspersed through the whole Lands of Rachan, but in the way of Run-dale, not Run-rig, having several Parcels, consisting of sundry Rigs, lying separately by themselves.
Rxb. 1751 Session Papers, Ramsay-Kar v. Rutherford (26 Feb.) 2:
The Infield is always tilled in run-rig, the different Breaks of the Out-field have always been tilled in run-rig, and the Meadow has been constantly possest in run-rig or run-shade, each Heritor having his distinct and separate Portion.
Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute iii. iii. § 59:
The division competent to landholders . . . is not in practice confined to runrig lands in a strict sense of the word.
Sc. 1778 A. Wight Present State Husbandry I. 24:
James and David Millars possess these lands, in run-field, or kevel.
Cai. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 32:
There is an old practice, which still prevails in some places, and which is very detrimental to husbandry. It is commonly termed “rig and rennet” [sic]. Instead of everyone having his land in one place, it is scattered here and there, several tenants having different shares in one field, or a rig apiece alternately.
Sc. 1805 R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. II. 443:
[The land] was often run-rigged or mixed property.
Sc. 1811 A. Grant Superstitions II. 26:
Farms held in a kind of partnership, called in Scotland, running rigs; that is, ploughing alternate ridges with a common plough, which the peasants of one hamlet hold by turns, and to which each furnishes a horse.
Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. I. 99:
Arable land held in common, like the common fields of England, is, or rather was, known in Scotland, under the names of Run-rig and Run-dale; being a number of small allotments, either in narrow or broad irregular strips, interspersed among each other, with divisions between them consisting of slips, or patches of uncultivated land. The narrow strips were termed run-rig, and the broad ones run-dale.
Kcb. 1814 J. Train Mountain Muse 40:
Yon old hind, who taught him how The run-rig of his sire to plow.
Sc. 1826 Morison Decisions 1365:
Lands lying mixed in larger parcels are not divisible as run-ridge.
Sc. 1880 W. F. Skene Celtic Scot. III. 379:
In Uist and Barra the arable land is divided, in part into crofts, and in part worked in runrig.
Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood i.:
The run-rigs of the outfield feathered with very green oats.
Sc. 1934 N. M. Gunn Butcher's Broom 89:
Up beyond the riasgan in Lomich, where the land was worked on the run-rig system.
Sh. 1939 A. C. O'Dell Hist. Geog. Sh. Isl. 52:
The run-rig or rig and rendall system was almost the same in 1750 as it existed immediately after the Norse displaced their predecessors.
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 61:
Three hundred years later there were still Howiesons there, and the families of that name that are in Cramond yet, are surely kin to those that farmed its run-rigs long ago.

(3) Combs. with ppl.adjs. — Pr. p. rinnin: (i) rinnan-bill, an enraged bull (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.); (ii) rinnin darn, a disease of cattle accompanied by severe diarrhoea (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). See Darn; (iii) running days, consecutive days, as opposed to “working days,” which excludes Sundays and holidays; (iv) running line, in psalm-singing: see quot. and (i) (d) below; (v) rinning shot, in Curling: a shot played strongly to dislodge an opponent's stone, without any consideration of its own final position (Sc. 1911 B. Smith “ShillingCurler 14); (vi) running stock, a system of store farming in which a continuous breeding flock is not maintained with the pick of the young female stock being retained to replenish it, but stock are sold off and bought in at regular intervals (Ayr. 1930): (vii) running ticket, see under run (i) (g) below.(iii) Sc. 1741 Acts of Sederunt (10 Nov.):
8 running days.
Sc. 1816 G. J. Bell Comm. Law Scot. (1826) I. 577:
In settling the lay-days, or the days of demurrage, the contract generally specifies “working days”, or “running days”. . . . Under the latter the days are reckoned like a bill of exchange.
(iv) Ags. 1881 J. S. Neish Byways 95:
The original plan was to read only one line before singing, but an innovation called the “running line” began to be adopted. The running line was simply the reading or chanting two lines together on the key of the tune.
(vi) Kcb. 1794 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 65:
As to the number of black cattle disposed of yearly, it is impossible this can be fixed, with any precision, as many farmers keep what are called running stocks, i.e. buy in and sell out several times in the year.
Lnk. 1824 Farmer's Mag. (Feb.) 16:
Some of the storemasters in this district keep, what in the technical language of the profession is termed a running stock; but the greater part of them keep a breeding stock, and sell off, in August or September, the whole lambs that are not needed to keep up the stock on the farm.
Gall. 1875 Trans. Highl. Soc. 48:
There are two systems of sheep farming . . . the one is where what is called “a ewe stock” is kept; the other, where a “running stock” is kept. Under the former system. the top wedder and second ewe lambs are sold each year in the end of summer. Under the latter, the wether lambs are all kept and disposed of at three years old, and in a few instances at two years old, the top ewe lambs being kept to fill up the place of the draft ewes.
Sc. 1886 C. Scott Sheep Farming 28:
By a running ewe stock is understood the practice of buying-in ewe lambs to maintain the flock, and selling all the produce.

Pa.p. run: (i) in gen. combs.: (a) run deil, an utter villain, a complete out-and-out rogue. Freq. as a reminiscence of Burns; (b) run-knot, a slip knot that has been drawn tightly (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Sh., ne., em. and wm.Sc. 1968); (c) run lime, mortar prepared in a liquid consistency, poured into the crevices of the stonework and left to set (ne.Sc. 1968); (d) run-line, in congregational singing: the singing of a psalm in two or more continuous lines instead of the earlier practice of one line at a time after the precentor had read it aloud. Also adv. See Line, I. 4.; (e) run-rubble, masonry consisting of small undressed stones bound together by pouring liquid mortar over them and allowing it to solidify. Cf. (c); (f) run soil, soil that has been deposited by river action, alluvial soil (Ork. 1968); (g) run ticket, a continuous ticket, a season ticket, one that can be made use of at intervals over a period of time. In a repeat of the advertisement in quot. in the Edb. Ev. Courant of the same date the form running ticket is used.(a) Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 221–2:
But hear their absent thoughts o' ither They're a' run deils an' jads thegither.
Id. Inventory 35:
For men, I've three mischievous boys, Run-deils for fechtin an' for noise.
Bnff. 1827 Aberdeen Star (20 July) 313:
That confoundit trash o' whisky, which maks them delerious an' run deels a' thegither.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 158:
The farrest aff, as much fear-fangit Like run-de'ils boltit aff and spangit.
Kcd. 1900 W. Gairdner Glengoyne I. 19:
Rob Collie, fa was mair o' a run deil nor you.
(b) Fif. 1882 S. Tytler Scotch Marriages I. iii.:
And tie their strings in such desperate speed and confusion that they at once fell into “run knots”, which must be cut or torn asunder before she should be freed.
(c) Sc. 1806 R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. IV. 430:
A wall cemented with lime after the manner of what is commonly called run-lime.
Abd. 1819 P. Buchan Annals Peterhead 52:
Its walls are so thick and substantial, being cemented with run lime.
(d) Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. De Bruce I. viii.:
Instead of the old reverend way of twanging out the psalm, line by line, “their rants”, David said, “ran straight on run-line”.
Sc. 1873 W. MacKelvie U.P. Church 16:
“The run-line” as it was popularly called, (that is, singing continuously, instead of singing and reading alternately).
Slg. 1883 W. Gibson Reminisc. Dollar 106:
A stranger precentor . . . sang straight on without reading, or as it was called in those days, singing “run-line”.
Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls iii.:
Where run line holds, however, the psalm is read out first, and forthwith sung.
(e) Abd. 1908 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. I. 187:
As the masonry was akin to that of the castle itself, namely run-rubble”, it must have been built at an early date.
(f) Dmb. 1794 D. Ure Agric. Dmb. 8:
Some level fields, especially near the rivers and lochs, are composed of a light loam, or what is called a run soil, because it is an alluvion of water.
(g) Sc. 1746 Caled. Mercury (29 April):
The Mrs. Wightmans having been in Business these five Years, keeping Boarders and teaching Day Scholars all manner of coloured Work and white Seam. . . . at £2 Perfecting, or 5s. per Quarter, and run Tickets.

(ii) Specif. in combs. used in building to denote a timber, wall, etc., which extends continuously without a break: (a) runbead, a continuous beading; (b) runbeam, a beam running the width of a building, parallel to the side walls; any continuous horizontal beam acting as a support; (c) run-je(a)st, -joist, a beam running along the side of the roof of a house across the rafters to act as a support for the thatch, a purlin; (d) run-roof, the roof over the main part of a building, the continuous part of a roof as opposed to a flank; (e) run timber, a beam extending the whole length of a boat; (f) runtree, a continuous horizontal bar or beam, gen. one which holds vertical posts firm, as in a fence, a stable- or byre-stall, the framework of a partition, etc., a run-beam (see (b)); (g) run-wall, rin wa(w), a light partition wall extending from one side of a house to the other (Sc. 1808 Jam.).(a) Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. Farm I. 219:
Plain cornices, runbeads, and arises.
(b) Sc. 1833 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Archit. § 1214:
The mangers to have a run-beam fixed along the top of the racks, with rings for securing the horses.
Sc. 1851–3 Trans. Highl. Soc. 115:
The flooring for stable loft to be 1½ inch thick, resting on the runbeams at each end. The runbeam 6½ x 2 inches, to run parallel with the side-walls of stable, and to be nailed down on the top of the head and heel posts, and also checked into the tee-beams above.
(c) Abd. 1742–7 Powis MSS.:
To a tree for Rinjest and Garron in Mr. Bradfots house. . . . To Inputting a Rinjeast and two Standards.
Sc. 1788 Aberdeen Mag. 338:
Pillars of wood, brick, or stone, and runjoists to support the roofs.
Abd. 1811 G. S. Keith Agric. Abd. 129:
Strong spars, called run joists, were laid along side of the roof.
(d) Sc. 1758 Session Papers, Schaw v. Smith (19 Dec.) 2:
The Flankers and the Run-roof was in a ruinous Condition.
e.Lth. 1808 Foord Acct. Bk. MS. 38:
To sarking the run roof of barn.
(e) Sh. 1771 Session Papers, Torrie v. Stewart (13 July) Proof 5:
He did not judge all the wreck wood he saw would have been sufficient for building such a vessel without the help of run and entry timbers and some planks.
(f) Slg. 1769 Session Papers, Drummond v. Erskine (30 June) 142:
Where the aforesaid Paling joined it, there were Run-trees put up, which were taken out, and replaced at pleasure.
Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. App. I. 290:
The byre to be fitted up with stakes, sole, and runtrees in the usual way.
Sc. 1833 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Archit. § 1103:
The back posts of the trivesses to be mortised into a run-tree (a rail fixed along the top of the tie-joists) at top.
Ayr. 1849–51 Trans. Highl. Soc. 280:
The partitions are of rough standards 1½ inch thick, fixed on stones at the bottom, and runtrees at top with warpens.
(g) Hdg. 1796 Session Papers, Petition J. Tait (26 May) Proof 47:
[The] said house was divided from that of Mr. Ker's by a run-wall.
Kcd. 1823 J. Burness Ghaist o' Garronha' (1887) 32:
Back frae that room there was anither, A rin' wa' sep'rate them frae ither.

(4) Other Combs.: (i) rin-a-mile, a children's game (see 1930 quot.) (Lnk. 1968); (ii) rin-grin, a running snare or noose (Kcb. 1968). Cf. (3) run (b); (iii) rin-'im-o'er, a children's game (see quot.); (iv) rin-shackle, see quot.; (v) rin-sheep-rin, a children's game (see quot.); (vi) rin-the-country, a fugitive, a deserter from justice (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Kcb. 1968); (vii) rin-the-cutter, see Cutter, n.2; (viii) rin-the-hedge, a skulking vagabond; (ix) rin-the-warl, an unsettled, roving person, “a rolling stone” (Mry.1 1925); (x) rin-the-wuddy, a rogue, a “gallows knave”; (xi) rin-water, a natural flow of water, esp. one used to drive a mill without the necessity of a dam (Abd. 1968). Cf. gang-water, s.v. Gang, II. 4.; freq. fig. = a steady supply of means, a sufficiency.(i) Mry. 1930:
One child stands with his back to all the others. The others try to creep up and touch him unobserved. If he turns round and sees one moving, the mover is sent to collect a number of objects — e.g. an oak-leaf, two pebbles, etc. While he is doing this, the others all hide, and when he comes back ordinary hide-and-seek ensues. If someone manages to creep up on child No. 1 without being seen moving, he takes the place of child No. 1.
Gsw. 1948 Glasgow Herald (13 Sept.):
We liked Run-a-Mile ourselves.
(ii) Kcb. 1888 G. G. B. Sproat Rose o' Dalma Linn 69:
She laid twa-three rin-grins o' cheens on the road To trip him an' gie him a fley.
(iii) Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
Rin-'im-o'er. A game among children, in which one stands in the middle of a street, road, or lane, while others run across it, within a certain given distance from the person so placed; and whose business it is to catch one in passing, when he is relieved, and the captive takes his place. It nearly resembles Willie Wastle.
(iv) Fif. 1808 Jam. s.v. Shangie:
A shackle that runs on the stake to which a cow is bound in the byre; hence also called rin-shackle.
(v) ne.Sc., Fif., w.Lth. 1968:
Rin-sheep-rin. A variety of hide-and-seek in which the leader of the hiding side remains unconcealed, draws a “plan” on the ground purporting to show where his side are hidden, follows the movements of the pursuers and calls out warnings in a pre-arranged code. When discovery is imminent, he cries “Rin, sheep, rin” and his side then rush out and try to reach base before the seekers.
(viii) Sc. 1882 Stevenson New Arab. Nights (1884) 108:
Perhaps you think I don't know a gentleman when I see one, from a common run-the-hedge like you?
(x) Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 37:
Sic an idle, drunken, thievin', Feckless, haveless rin-the-wuddy.
(xi) Abd. 1910 Ev. Gazette (12 March):
Gin aw hidna rin-water, aw think aw wid gie up the bisness a' thegither.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 201:
Aw hae nae awfu' likin' for siller for its nain sake. Gin aw cud aye get rin-watter aw widna fash masel' muckle.

(5) Phrs.: (i) rin dog rin diel, whatever may betide; (ii) to rin dykesides (sidedykes, ¶a dyke) wi, to have a common boundary with, march with, be a neighbour to; hence fig. to be in agreement with, proceed amicably and fairly in one's dealings with. Gen. in phr. (an) ill-run dyke(sides), a mismanaged business, a fiasco, “a poor do”, hard lines; (iii) to rin in one's head, of liquor: to befuddle, make one's senses swim (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (iv) to rin in the nicht, to go out on a nocturnal adventure, esp. in courtship (Ork. 1968); (v) to rin neeps, — neep dreels, to hoe between drills of turnips with a horse-hoe (ne.Sc., m.Lth. 1968); †(vi) to run one's letters, see Letter, 2. (21) and 1946 quot.; (vii) to rin one's way, to comply with one's wishes; (viii) to rin stockings, to strengthen the heels of stockings by darning them with a running stitch before wearing (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1968); (ix) to rin the cutter, to evade the revenue cutter in a smuggling expedition (Sc. 1880 Jam.); jocularly, to carry home liquor unobserved. Gen.Sc. See Cutter; (x) to rin the dykesides, see quot. (Kcd. 1968); (xi) to rin the gates, to open harbour gates to give an increased flow of water below (Fif. 1968); (xii) to run the glass, to use up the time allotted in the running of a sand glass, esp. of a preacher; (xiii) to rin the heart, see Hert, n., A. 1. (8); (xiv) to rin the hills, to roam about in a wild unrestrained manner, to rush hither and thither in a frenzy, to gad about on some escapade, as in courting (ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1968); (xv) to rin the rig(gie), see Rig, n.2, 8.; (xvi) to rin the shores, to engage in smuggling.(i) Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 206:
A hantle o' fowk took the ae side or the idder, an' syne beet to haud it up, rin dog rin de'il.
Abd. 1961 Buchan Observer (14 Feb.):
Rin dog rin diel, I'll mak' a point o' bein there, be't weet or dry.
(ii) Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 16:
It's ill rinnin' side-dykes wi' you, I maun say't, Gin ye swap na wi' Benjie the Bookman.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS. xi.:
I thocht it wad be ill run dicksides gin we didna get a wird spoken thegidder.
Abd. 1935 Abd. Press & Jnl. (7 Feb.):
It's an ill-run dyke ye canna see the scared myauken for jinks!
(iii) Sc. 1825 Jam.:
I darna tak that wine in the forenoon, it wad rin in my head.
(iv) Ork. 1929 E. Linklater White Maa's Saga 91:
Only once had he gone “running in the night” and then the adventure had ended gloriously with an escape by ladder from the bedroom window.
(v) Abd. 1950 Buchan Observer (4 July):
The greatest drawback to the tractor as a pony to “rin the neep dreels”, lies in its action of the wheels, which consolidate the soil.
(vi) Edb. 1739 Caled. Mercury (23 July):
All Criminals are to be indicted in 60 Days after Intimation of their running Letters.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvi.:
They'll run their letters, and be adrift again.
Sc. 1846 J. R. McCulloch Acct. Brit. Empire (1854) II. 224:
A prisoner . . . may protect himself from undue delay of trial by the remedy called “running his letters”; a process in force since 1701.
Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 79:
To run letters was to apply in writing to a judge to call on the prosecutor to fix a time for trial: if this was not done within sixty days the accused was set free. Now obsolete, being replaced by simpler procedure.
(vii) Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 167:
Mak'st her pliant an' alert, To rin thy way.
(ix) Sc. 1880 Jam.:
The term is also used to express bringing drink into a workshop, or to servants, without the knowledge of the employer: the one who does so is said to “rin the cutter”.
(x) Abd. 1935 Abd. Press & Jnl. (7 Feb.):
Running the dykesides is an expression sometimes applied to “squeeryin'” young fellows, “on the rig”, larking, sweethearting or fooling around.
(xi) Fif. 1865 St. Andrews Gaz. (25 Nov.):
The last stream tide was a good one, and advantage was taken of it to “run the gates”, and thereby to clear off the accumulated sandbanks.
(xii) Sc. 1717 D. Lindsay Sermon Synod Lth. 14:
Not to spend only an Hour or Two upon Saturday or content our selves with anything to run the Glass.
(xiv) Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 70:
Monie a day he ran the hills, He was sae sairly fleggit.
Abd. 1847 Gill Binklets 73:
Maddy Farloch, who was at this time at what we term “running the hills”, and had her head adorned with all the different kinds of wild flowers that she had found in the fields during her rambles.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS.:
I winna hae ye runnin' the hulls comin' hame at a' hoors.
(xvi) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 456:
There are many who make a practice indeed of “rinning the shores” of the south of Scotland.

(6) Derivs.: (i) rinner, (a) a runner. Gen.Sc.; (b) a small water-channel, a streamlet, whether artificial or natural (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 410; Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 152; Ork., Fif., sm.Sc. 1968). Also attrib. Freq. in n.Eng. dial.; (c) a thin cut of meat, “the slice across the forepart of the carcase under the breast” (Sc. 1825 Jam.), called in Eng. the rib, the thick runner covering the upper seven ribs, the thin runner the remainder (Sc. 1949 Bk. of Meat Trade I. 251); (d) a man employed at a fishing port to carry news of catches, samples, etc., to the auction-mart (Abd. 1968); (e) a small ball of wool (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); (f) an instrument for cutting out dough; (g) butter melted with tar, used for smearing sheep (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 410); (h) in comb. rinner-girse, couch-grass (Abd. 1968).(i) (b) Dmf. 1757 in J. & R. Hyslop Langholm (1912) 876:
Up the side of the said water to the foot of a little syke or runner.
Lth. 1761 Session Papers, Petition G. Loch (27 July) 2:
By keeping open the Runner of Water, it drained the Grounds on both Hands.
Rxb. 1767 Craig & Laing Hawick Tradition (1898) 220:
On the other side of the runner of the bog along the march.
Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life 85:
A wee bit runner that a herd had cut to keep the grun' dry about it.
Gall. 1875 Trans. Highl. Soc. 9:
The ebb tide formed gullies or “runners” in the sand through these openings.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 121:
An, clashan' i' the rinner hol' Sheu tumbled tapsalteerie.
(c) Sc. 1723 Edb. Ev. Courant (9 May):
His back-sayes, his fore-sayes, breasts. runners, flanks, hook-bones, narrow-bones, collop-pieces, and rump-pieces all at 4s. Scots per pound.
Sc. 1826 M. Dods Manual II. 207:
Choose the thin part of the flank, or what in Scotland is called the nine-holes, or runner.
Sc. 1855 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 693:
The foreparts of the runners have a piece of the shoulder-blade in them.
(d) Abd. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 77:
The runner is a nipper, weel kent by ilka skipper.
(f) Per. 1766 H. Robertson School of Arts 41:
Sippets are made of fine crisp paste cut with a runner.

(ii) rinnick, a small water-channel or drain used to drain away water, esp. from a byre (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1968). Cf. (i) (b) above. See Runnick, n.; (iii) rinnin, (a) in pl.: the principal points of a story, event, sermon, etc., the outline, the gist (ne.Sc. 1968); the principal features of a place; (b) a strong wind.(iii) (a) Fif. a.1850 R. Peattie MS.:
Outlines, as of a sermon, a tale or legal document = principal points, the heads. “A gat the rinnins o't”.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
The rinnins o' fat the Culsalmon' mannie taul's.
Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 26:
He had gaen roon' sometime afore an' made out the rinnms o' the place.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 107:
The rinnins o' the shirrameer, an' hoo it a' fell oot.
Kcd. 1958 Mearns Leader (2 May):
I micht as weel cairry on an' gie ye the rinnins o' the marriage itsel'.
(b) Sh. 1892 Manson's Sh. Almanac:
Blawin a gude rinnin frae da sudwaast.

2. To proceed hastily on foot, as distinct from on horseback, contrasted with ride. Chiefly in ballad use.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 82:
O fy gar ride, and fy gar rin.
Sc. a.1802 Jamie Telfer in Child Ballads (1956) IV. 7:
The Scotts they rade, the Scotts they ran.

3. Of a dog: to move sheep at a brisk pace; to range out in herding sheep (Ayr., sm. and s.Sc. 1968), in ppl.adj. running, applied to a dog: a sheep-dog that shows readiness to leave the shepherd and move round sheep (Dmf. 1951).

4. Of an animal, esp. a female: to be in heat, to rut (Ork. 1929 Marw., of a pig; Ork., Abd. 1968). The Ork. form however has a variant reen which is perhaps to be associated rather with Reen, v.

5. Of a bird: to leave its nest after the eggs have been hatched. Ppl.adj. run, of a nest: abandoned, empty.Dmb. 1872 Proc. Nat. Hist. Soc. Gsw. 189:
The gamekeeper brought me word that the nest was “run”, and that he had seen the old bird sitting within a few feet of the nest, all the eggs having come out.
Rnf. 1908 Zoologist (12 Ser.) XII. 232:
The keeper told me he found in the last week of April a woodock's nest which was “run”.

6. To be at or near a certain age, to attain, come up to.Gall. 1742 Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) II. 397:
James Cowan, running eighteen years of age.

7. From the sense of flowing: (1) intr. (i) to be covered with water, mud, etc., to be awash; to leak, admit rain, to cease to be watertight (Sh., Cai., Ags., Per. 1968). Phr. to run foul, in distilling, of the still: to boil over.Sc. 1849 T. Thomson Brewing 358:
To lessen the risk of the still boiling over, or running foul.
Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife xlix.:
The road's rinnin noo, leyk mortar thick.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (17 March):
If ye mind wir byre ran, an' we pat on a new röf ere fernyear.

(ii) of milk: to coagulate, curdle (I.Sc. 1968). Also in Eng. dial. Hence run milk, curdled or coagulated milk (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; I.Sc. 1968), freq. mixed with oatmeal as a dish (Ork. 1968). See Earn, Yirn and etym. notes.Sc. 1808 Jam. s.v. Yyrne:
Milk is still said to rin . . . when it breaks and forms into knots, in making of pottage, puddings, etc.
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 79:
Liza got him a drink o' runn milk.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (13 May):
I tell'd dee 'at da mylk wisna runn.
Sh. 1962 New Shetlander No. 61. 13:
Run mylk an' aitmael.

(2) tr. (i) to draw (liquor); to distil (whisky) (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 19:
She never ran sour Jute, because It gee's the Batts.
Abd. 1877 W. Alexander Rural Life 184:
Some of the “sma' goodwives” who had got into the habit of “rinnin' a drap”, and getting it marketed as they best could.

(ii) to hold (the hands, etc.) under running water, to swill. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1921:
To run one's hands under the tap.

8. In Bowling: to drive another bowl or the jack away with a strong shot. Sim. used in curling.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 42:
All you run you win. Taken from playing at Bowls; applied to Endeavours about a Project that seems not feasible, where what you can make is clear gain.
Sc. 1861 Chambers's Encycl. II. 289:
The last player frequently endeavours to run the jack.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 92:
Could draw a shot or rin the jack.
Dmf. 1954:
Rinnin' the winner in Carpet Bowls is the same thing as chipping the winner.

9. Baking: to put a batch of loaves, etc., in the oven for baking, to “set” (Ayr. 1900; Fif. 1968). Hence runner, the oven-man in a bakery (Id.).Sc. 1927 J. Kirkland Bakers' ABC 30, 289:
The Scottish “French” [loaf], if baked on the oven bottom, is “set”, or as the Scottish bakers say “run”, in the oven singly. . . . “Runner”. A Scottish technical term used to describe the workman who sets the loaves in the oven.

10. In peat-cutting: see quot.Sh. 1964 Folk Life I. 6:
Where the peat tended to be rough, a foot-peg or heel like that on the Shetland delving spade was added to the tushker, and the peats were delled (delved) out. On a good peat moor, no heel was needed, and the tushker was thrust in by the arms alone. This was called running the peat.

11. To fall or tumble down, to slip, of a wall, bank of earth, etc. Poss. orig. a different word (Norw. dial. reynja, O.N. hrynja, id.) assimilated to rin. Norw. renna (cogn. with Eng. run) however can also mean to slip, slide. Gen. in ppl.adj. run (Sh. 1968).Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De dek is run.
Sh. 1967 New Shetlander No. 83. 24:
Dey wir dat mony discs slippet at me rig most a büne like a run daek-end.

II. n. 1. A small stream, a rivulet, a water-channel (Sc. 1808 Jam.), also in Eng. dial. and U.S.; a shallow ford where the water is seen to ripple (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Fig. in dim. rinnie, the gullet (Ags. 1968). Phr. rin of watter, a stream, waterfall (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Cf. I. 1. (6) (i) (b).Abd. 1741 Session Papers, Buchan v. Moir (April) 22:
A Grip or Rin which separates the Moss of Cairnbulg from the Moss of Hillhead.
Sc. 1768 Boswell Corsica 36:
A run from a sulphurous spring.
Per. 1819 Edb. Ev. Courant (9 Aug.) 1:
A run of water, driving machinery, passes through part of the estate.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Songs 28:
Until a hairie o' the doug, Was tummilt owre the drouthy craig Syne up the rinnie wirked.

2. A flow of water (Gen.Sc.); a strong current or tide; the heavy surge of rollers (Sh. 1904 E.D.D., Sh. 1968); a fast-flowing stretch of a river (Cai. 1968).Sc. 1814 Scott Diary (2 Sept.):
In the passage or sound between Scarba and the extremity of Jura, is a terrible run of tide.
Ags. c.1870:
A fell rin o water — of a big leak.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Merry Men iii.:
Along the curve of Sandag Bay there was a splashing run of sea.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 141:
They [trout] used to lie and feed in the rin o' the water.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (6 Oct.):
Whin da run gengs oot try an' get haud o' da tangle.
Slg. 1902 W. C. Paterson Echoes 35:
I had wap't the Endrick, pool an' rin.

3. The course of a river or stream, freq. including the lands bordering it, a river-valley (ne.Sc., Slk. 1968). Cf. Gael. ruith, a run, id.Abd. 1782 F. Douglas E. Coast Scot. 68:
Here the eye of the traveller is refreshed by the run of the Dee.
e.Lth. 1794 Stat. Acc.1 XIII. 354:
This water was prodigiously flooded and had it not cut out a new run for itself, the whole village would have been infallibly swept away.
Gsw. 1805 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1914) 466:
A new stone should be put in above the run of the burn.
Lnk. 1831 W. Patrick Plants 164:
Old run below Hamilton Bridge.
Abd. 1928 Abd. Book-Lover VI. 14:
Wi' the brawest big laird in the hail rin o' Don.

4. A gust of wind, a short sharp shower blown on the wind (Sh. 1968). Cf. I. 1. (5) (iii) (b).Sh. 1901 Shetland News (26 Jan.):
Hears doo no da wind apo da hoos, an' da wan run is no aff fil da tidder is on?
Sh. 1904 E.D.D.:
Of an approaching shower we say, “He's comin' in runs”.

5. Golf: a shot in which the ball is not driven into the air but made to roll along the ground; of a golf ball: the capacity for rolling along the ground.Sc. 1901 Scotsman (5 Sept.) 7:
He followed up by a fine run to within a yard of the pin.
Sc. 1902 Westminster Gaz. (17 Oct.) 4:
It is claimed for this latest production that it flies far and truly, [and] has more “run” than other golf balls.

6. See quot. A translation of Gael. ruith, a run(ning), id.Highl. 1890 D. MacInnes Folk & Hero Tales 448:
“Runs”, that is to say, stereotyped descriptive passages in verse or rhythmic prose, of a general character, so that they can be used indifferently with various incidents — are necessarily common in all bodies of myth or romance preserved orally. . . . Celtic story-telling is extraordinarily rich in them.

7. In Masonry: a layer or course of stone (Sh. 1968).

8. Comb. rin-on, a recommendation, a testimonial by word of mouth.Abd. 1968 Huntly Express (9 Feb.) 2:
I could gie ye a rin-on.

[O.Sc. ryn (as opposed to ride), 1375, rine jest, 1670, rin rig, 1437, ryndale, 1428, ryn rufe, 1506, rin, a stream, 1581, Mid.Eng. rinnen, O.N. rinna, to run. The weak conjugation, from O.N. causal renna, with transitive senses, has not survived in Sc.]

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"Rin v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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