Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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RUIT, v.2, n.2 Also rüt (Sh. 1899 Shetland News (2 Sept.)); rutt (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.), röt (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (20 Aug.)); reet (Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables frae French 77; Cai. 1961 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc. 6). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. root, of a pig, to dig up with the snout. [røt, rɪt; n.Sc. rit]

I. v. 1. To poke about, to rummage, to leave things in confusion as a result of searching (I., n.Sc., Ayr., Kcb. 1968). Dial. or colloq. in Eng. Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man 241:
There I was rooting and exploring.
Cai. 1902 J. Horne Canny Countryside 57:
Bunyan writes o' a man wi' a muck-rake reetin' amang dirt.
Sh. 1924 T. Manson Peat Comm. 100:
Rütin an stimin inta books.

2. To work in a clumsy, ineffective manner, to fiddle about (Cai. 1968), freq. in phr. reet and fyke. Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (21 Feb.) 2:
“Reetan an' fykan”, working in a somewhat laborious but desultory manner.
Cai. 1961 “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 22:
She wis reetan' 'iss wey an' 'at wey bit id wis no use.

II. n. In comb. reet an' fike, clumsy, ineffective work (Cai. 1968). Cf. 2. above. Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (21 Feb.) 2:
Eftir many a deugan reet an' fike.

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"Ruit v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2021 <>



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