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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SICHT, n., v. Also †sycht. Sc. forms (now rare in I. and s.Sc.) of Eng. sight. See P.L.D. § 74. [sɪçt]

Sc. forms:wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 34:
Because God made the world for oor delight.
The pleasure o' the sicht, say, o' some wummin who is
Really Nice
Is the nearest glimpse us pair, vile man get o' paradise.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 66:
' ... Hedges would be grand shelter for the sheep.'
'Take a while to grow.'
'Aye, but it would be a fine sicht.'
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 6:
'Twixt Ruberslaw an Warbla Knowe
Yince, Christopher we'd meet
For ae sicht o' the tither
Asklent burn water rummlin at oor feet!
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 112:
'That's where we cam fae this mornin, Andra. Oot o sicht awa yonder.'

I. n. 1. As in Eng.: (1) hence sichtless, sightless (Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 187). Phrs. (i) ill-sicht be seen apo(n), used in imprecations = “bad cess to . . ., devil take . . .!” (Sh. 1970); (ii) out of sight, by far, far and away. Cf. 2.; (iii) upon sight, straight-way, immediately thereafter; (iv) within (the) sicht o' yer ee, anywhere, gen. in neg. expressions (Cld. 1880 Jam.).(1) Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 7:
The teem ee sockets glower at sichtless vistas,
An anatomical sculpture, dreich an deid.
The wame wi wachts o snaw is cauldly fillin,
Thon laired loins far wummlin maggots feed...
(i) Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 593:
Ill sycht bee seen apo dat fes.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (3 March):
Ill sight be seen apo' der sanitary laws.
(ii) Slk. 1914 H. J. C. Clippings from Clayboddie (1921) 93:
Clogs are out of sight to be preferred to any kind of boot or shoe.
(iii) Sc. 1715 Lochlomond Expedition 36:
We began to think ourselves safe. But upon sight we are cast doun.
Sc. 1750 Scots Mag. (March) 113:
E'en sit ye down, I'se tell ye upo' sight The hale affair . . .
(iv) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 155:
Ye winna get a bonnier lassie within the sicht o yer ee.

(2) Specif. with def. art.: second sight. See Second.Sc. 1928 W. Duke Scotland's Heir x.:
At the last the Sight came upon him, and he reared upright, crying with outflung arms that he saw bloody claymores.

2. As in colloq. Eng., a number, quantity, a (great) deal, measure, amount (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Deriv. sichter, a great quantity of small objects seen at once “as of birds, motes, etc.” (Lnk. 1825 Jam.). Phrs. a wee sicht, a little drop (of liquor); by a guid sicht, by far, by a long chalk. Cf. 1. (1) (ii).Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Traditions II. 103:
Respecting the ale, however, we would think it foul shame to forget, that, what with their wee sichts and wee thochts of correction, the third of it was brandy!
Rnf. 1929 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 106:
She's no' feenished by a guid sicht yet.

3. A close look, examination or scrutiny, an opportunity of this. Gen.Sc., rare or obs. in Eng. Deriv. †sightment, survey, inspection. Phrs. at the sight of, under the supervision or scrutiny of; on sicht, on approbation, for examination, by an intending purchaser (Abd. 1954).Abd. 1716 Abd. Burgh Records (1872) 359:
The said four cannons to be put aboard two boats at the shoar, at the sight of baillie Burnett and the dean of gild.
Hdg. 1729 J. Miller Lamp Lth. (1900) 196:
To provide trees and dales, and other materials for the stage, at the sight of the magistrates.
Edb. 1734 Caled. Mercury (18 Nov.):
Whoever sends Lint, may have it done at their Servants Sight.
Ayr. 1739 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (6 June):
The heretors having got a sight of the workmens Accompts before they were deponed.
Rnf. 1745 Crawfurd MSS. IV. 262:
Sightment of The Milns of Calder.
Ork. 1773 P. Fea MS. Diary (16 Oct.):
For which payed the Capt. att Wm. Strang's sight.
m.Lth. 1779 Cramond Session Rec. MS. IX. 156:
Desired Mr. Bathgate to send him a Sight of his Books.
Kcd. 1820 Montrose Chron. (21 April) 184:
Public Roup to take place at the Sight of a General Meeting of Trustees.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo i.:
Lookin' roon to get a guid sicht o' the medals.

4. A post or station on the bank of a salmon river from which the movements of the fish in the water can be watched. Hence sight(s)man, one who watches at such a place, a look-out.Abd. 1795 Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 79, 138:
Going to places to see the fish, called sights. . . . The sight where the sightsman sat and directed the fishers who wrought the net.
Kcd. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 93:
They are also with proprietv called sightmen; because from habit and attention, they became wonderfully quick-sighted in discerning the motion and approach of one or more salmon.

5. The pupil (of the eye) (n.Sc. 1825 Jam., s.v. sheen; Sh., Ags., Fif., Lnk. 1970). Now only dial. in Eng.Fif. 1899 Proc. Philos. Soc. Gsw. XXXI. 39:
A foreign body in the eye may be described by the sufferer as being “fair on the sicht o' the ee.”
Lnk. 1960:
A skelp on the vera sicht.

II. v. 1. To examine, inspect, scrutinise, in gen. (I., n. and m.Sc. 1970); specif. to inspect a newly-born animal for its sex (I.Sc., Abd., Edb. 1970), also of human beings in an indecent sense (Ib.). Deriv. sighter, one appointed to supervise or witness some act.e.Lth. 1708 J. Paterson Musselburgh (1857) 22:
The two present magistratts and sighters to be present at the cutting and selling thereof.
Fif. 1713 Trans. Bnff. Field Club (1933) 73:
To Doctor Blair for sighting the defunct's corp.
Abd. 1747 Rec. Old Abd. (N.S.C.) I. 321:
At the Whitsundays Court or at private sighting and publick sighting of the Counts.
Bte. 1766 Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 908:
Proper persons to pass as lanimors and sight and vue the said marches.

2. To look out for the movements of salmon in a river. Comb. sighting seat, a look-out post. Cf. I. 4. above.Abd. 1795 Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 127:
The privileges of two fishing-huts or sheals, a made-out sighting seat.

[O.Sc. sicht, sight, a.1400, sycht, to examine, 1555.]

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"Sicht n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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