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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ROYET, adj., n., v. Also royat, royit, royot (Fif. 1912 Scotsman (26 Jan.)), roit, royt(e), roet (Ayr. 1828 D. Wood Poems 152); roid, royed, royd. [′roɪ(ə)t; Sh. roɪd]

I. adj. 1. Wild, unruly, mischievous, boisterous, esp. as applied to children (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1968); riotous, dissipated. Hence derivs.: royetness, romping, boisterousness, irresponsibility (Sc. 1808 Jam.); royty, wild, romping.Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 60:
Royet lads may make sober men.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 194:
Ye royit lowns! just do as he'd do.
Abd. 1781 Session Papers, Earl of Aboyne v. Earl of Aberdeen (21 July) Proof 7:
A royet, or riotous boy.
Sc. 1813 The Scotchman 89:
They soud hae wytit the roytness o the government.
s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 91:
Mony a sober Christian an' mony a roy't callant.
Ags. 1874 C. Sievwright Love Lilts 50:
The bairnies gude bless them, are royed an' rough.
ne.Sc. 1894 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 183:
He was nae waur nor ither lads — a kind o' royty like maybe, an mischeevious.
Gall. a.1897 R. Ringan's Plewman's Cracks 8:
He was fell doure on us bairns when we happen't to be royd.
Bnff. 1935 Abd. Press and Jnl. (1 Oct.):
The douce aul' body an' the royd bit quine.

2. Angry, enraged.Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 298:
Colonel G—n wus that roy't ye micht'a' lichtit yer pipe at his heid.

3. Of the weather: wild, stormy, variable (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 146; ne.Sc. 1968).Abd. 1954 Buchan Observer (19 Oct.):
An' yet it canna be the furth on a royt nicht like 'is.

4. Irregular, undisciplined, turbulent.Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems x.:
But fruit o' rough royt rhymin' function, That kentna adverb frae conjunction.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 80:
His heart gied twa're royit hotters.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxviii.:
“Royt times, sir,” . . . “A'm jaloosin' ye'll be bappin hamewa'th aifter 'e fechtin.”

II. n. 1. A great deal of noisy talk, an uproarious din, noisy fun (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) R. 57).

2. (1) An unruly troublesome person, one who causes quarrels (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) R. 57); freq. applied as a term of contempt to a bad-tempered woman (Lth. 1825 Jam.); (2) also of animals, esp. of a roaming or noisy cow (Lth. 1825 Jam.; Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) R. 57).(1) Lnk. 1838 A. Rodger Poems (1897) 42:
A randy royt ca'd Barmy Betty.
Dmf. 1912 Scotsman (18 Jan.):
One of the sons exclaimed to his old granny who was often the originator of family quarrels: — “Go into the house, you old royot”.
(2) Uls. 1726 in Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 72:
But, Lad, neist Mirk we'll to the Haining drive . . . The Royts will rest.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 9:
Our meikle Riggy is sic a rambling royte . . . my mither is nae able to had her up to her ain stake.
Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems 17:
The coupers bring their fattit kye . . . An' while the roits fu' sair will trade Upo' their taes an' corns.

3. A garrulous person, a babbler (Rnf. 1825 Jam.).

III. v. 1. To be troublesome, to cause confusion or strife (Cld. 1880 Jam.).

2. To romp (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 146).

3. To feast well, only in vbl.n. royating (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 414).

4. To run wild, of a cow. Cf. II. 2. (2).n.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
A beast that runs through the fields, instead of keeping to its pasture is said to royt.

[Orig. uncertain. O.Sc. royet, extravagant, nonsensical, 1553 (MSS. 1513, have riot, ryot) royt, a riotous fellow, a.1585. The latter forms may be the same word as Early Mid.Eng. riot, wanton, licentious, an adj. use of riot, n., which in Sc. may have been thought of as a ppl.adj. The alternative forms in -d suggest a connection or conflation with O.Sc. royde, strong, violent, rough, 1420, O.Fr. roide, stiff, rigid, Lat. rigidus. There is, however, also †roy, v., O.Sc. roy, to talk nonsense, 1508, Eng. dial. roy, to bluster, swagger, behave uproariously, of unknown orig., which may be connected.]

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"Royet adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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