Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
SKLENT, n.1, v.1, adj., adv., prep. Also sc(h)lent, sklint, and, after Eng. slant, sclant, sklant. Pa.t. sklentit, ¶sklent.
I. n. 1. (1) A slope, incline, sloping surface (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Cai., Lth., Dmb., Ayr., Dmf. 1970).
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 22:
With easy sklent, on every side the braes. Dmf. 1925 Trans Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 37:
We cam' on yin o' thae bare sklents o' rock — an there wis the otter slide.
(2) phr. on the sclent, on a slope, in a sloping or slanting direction.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 133:
Down on the sclent shall I fly. Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 37:
Tak' the hill on the schlent and you'll clim' easier.
2. A sideways movement, change of direction; a swerve, twist: (1) in gen. and also fig. (Sh. 1970).
Ayr. 1786 Burns To J. Smith vii.:
This while my notion's taen a sklent. Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 67:
By mony unco sklent an' turn, He steer'd through muir an' bog an' burn. Sh. 1897 Shetland News (11 Sept.):
Dy lang fause tongue has got a sklent.
(2) specif. of wind or rain: a slanting motion, so as to strike at an acute angle. Phr. a sklent o' win. Also in naut. Eng. Cf. Sklent, v.3
Ags. 1866 R. Leighton Poems (1869) 299:
And the sleet was sent wi' a sniftin' sklent. Wgt. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 8:
It has been rainin wi a sklent ever sin' it cam on. Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
A sklent o' win, i.e. one that would help a boat turning dead to windward with a long reach.
3. (1) A sidelong glance or gleam of the eye (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Abd. 1921; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., Cai., Lnl., Ayr., Dmf. 1970).
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xiv.:
I gae a sklent wi' my ee. Sc. 1874 W. Allan Hamespun Lilts 67:
To tak' a sidlin' sklent at them. s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin xiii.:
Never sae muckle as a sniff of the air or a sclent of the e'e. Sc. 1930 Weekly Scotsman (18 Oct.) 2:
Whar got he that far awa whimsical sklent At the back o' his eenholes uncanny?
(2) transf. A gleam, flash of lightning.
Abd. 1922 G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' Doric 16:
Fleein' like a sklint o' livin' licht.
II. v. 1. intr. To slope, slant, lie awry or to one side (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ayr. 1928; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., Cai., Lnl., Kcb., Rxb. 1970). Ppl.adj. sklentin, sklentit, sloping, aslant, at an angle, awry.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 22:
Wi' bonnet o'er his haffet sklentin laid. Sc. 1845 W. Tennant Muckomachy 37:
The besom-heft cam sklentin' down. s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 2:
The kipples stood upon the brae, And far in o'er they sclented. Kcd. 1857 A. Taylor Lummie 2:
The gavel ends were thrawn and sklentit. Gall. 1901 Gallovidian III. 70:
A great, lang steep hill, sklentin' fae the S.W. to the N.E. Edb. 1917 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's iv. 19:
But, fornent that, the wey o' the wicked Sklents doon, an' doon to the mirk. Ags. 1921 D. H. Edwards Fisher Folks 53:
There's a gie sclentit carey, and some fish micht be got afore the morn.
2. intr. To move in an oblique direction, to turn sideways, to swerve, to zigzag (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., Lnl., Kcb. 1970). Also in n.Eng. dial. Also rarely tr., to ascend (a slope) at an angle. Adv. †sclentine ways, zigzag.
Abd. 1704 T. Mair Ellon Presb. Rec. (1898) 286:
He would cause a durk sklent upon his ribs. Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 179:
Fu' fast the side o' Screel I sklented. Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 136:
Sclentine ways his course he aften steer'd. Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 64:
[He] tummelt aften heals-o'er-head, As doun the brae he sklentet. Cai. 1829 J. Hay Poems 24:
A glass o' whisky gat a ding, And in her een it sklented. m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 240:
Sklent across till ye come to the threshie field. Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 24:
The greedy kye gaed sklentin to the corn. Lth. 1918 A. Dodds Lothian Land 15:
The infernal engine, in its glee, Will tak' a sudden, skentin' [sic] swee At some bad turn. Gall. 1929 Gallovidian 58:
Its twists an' turnin's fill ma e'e, But ma thochts faur further sklent. Ags. 1930 A. Kennedy Orra Boughs xxxv.:
The lang, thin finger sklented oot at ye.
3. tr. To cut on a slant, obliquely.
Cld. 1825 Jam.:
To sklent a stane, a buird.
4. (1) in gen.: to aim (something) sideways or obliquely, to send across, lit. and fig. (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1970).
Ayr. 1785 Burns To the Deil xvii.:
An' sklented on the man of Uzz Your spitefu' joke. Slk. 1847 W. Crozier Cottage Muse 77:
How Satan shook his head an' vauntit, And o'er his beard a spittle sklentit. Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 48:
Maybe it was your better angel, Sir, That sklented o'er the seas this Yank to Bents? wm.Sc. 1937 W. Hutcheson Chota Chants 11:
Willie, my lamb, and Johnnie and Tam, Sklent cantrips on us an you dare!
(2) with at, (up)on: to reflect upon in a damaging or sarcastic manner, to hint at by insinuation or innuendo (Fif. c.1850 R. Peattie MS.).
Ayr. 1838 J. Morrison M'Ilwham Papers 13, 18:
I never cud be certain sure whether Johnny was joking or sklent at ither folk. . . . I sud be sorry ye brought ony discredit on the Kirk, or that her disapprobation sklentet upon you. Abd. 1884 D. Grant Keckleton 30, 38:
It was Jamie Lott that I sklentit at. . . . Sklentin' on him in your presence.
5. tr. To cast (the eyes) sideways (Sc. 1825 Jam.).
Rnf. 1804 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 70:
It e'en micht melt the dortiest she, That ever sklinted scornfu' e'e. Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 62:
[If ye] sclent that haitfu' sheep's e'e on a soldier.
6. intr. (1) To glance sideways, look askance, squint (Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Bnff. 1920; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 185; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., Cai., wm.Sc., Dmf., Slk. 1970).
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 43:
Your wilie, selentin een declare Ye ha'flins doubt me! Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 66:
An [I] neither let ae e'e nor ither Sklent, wi' unkindness, on a brither. Ags. 1880 Arbroath Guide (9 Oct.) 4:
An' he cud tell, the graceless loon, Tho' Jean micht sklent and mim, O. Abd. 1922 J. P. Macgillivray Bog Myrtle 26:
Her een are just twa deils At sklintin throu' The tricks an' shifts that men an' feils Wad gar ye trow. Sc. 1933 W. Soutar Seeds in the Wind 21:
The whitrack, whan he saw the steer, Lauch't as he sklent alang his snoot.
(2) of light, etc.: to shine in a slanting direction (Sh. 1970).
Ayr. 1785 Burns To the Deil vii.:
The stars shot down wi' sklentan light. Kcb. 1797 R. Buchanan Poems 283:
Lang e'ening rays was sklentin. Uls. 1804 J. Orr Poems (1936) 29:
A forket flash cam sklentin' thro'. Sc. 1864 J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe 170:
The licht sklents saftly down on holm and ha'. Knr. 1905 H. Haliburton Excursions 14:
Till I see the sun sklent aff the ruifs o' Balgeddie! Ags. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 200:
Hoo sweet sklent the sunbeams alang the brae-side! Lth. 1966 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 174:
The drumlie storm cloods scuddan an' the sternlicht sklentan thro!
7. To deviate from the truth, to fib, prevaricate (Fif., s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. a.1870 W. Lutton Montiaghisms (1924)).
Ayr. 1786 Burns 2nd Ep. J. Lapraik xi.:
Do ye envy the city-gent, Behint a kist to lie an' sklent? Per. 1809 Letters J. Ramsay (S.H.S.) 244:
He avails himself of his priviledge as a romance writer to sclent i.e. fib on occasion, painting scenes much bigger and gaudier than the life. Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.:
He spoke for them a', and I whiles feared that he sclented a wee. wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 209:
They'll be sklentin' frae fact. Fif. 1875 A. Burgess Bk. of Nettercaps 11:
Indeed she is that without sklentin' or fibbin'.
III. adj. 1. Slanting, to one side, awry, oblique (Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 185; Mry. 1925; Arg. 1932; Sh., Cai., Lnl., Ayr. 1970). Deriv. sklinty. Advs. sklently, sklentweys, -wise (Sh., Per. 1970).
Edb. 1816 J. Aikman Poems 48:
Flickerin' as they fa' a while On the sere seggs lie sklently. Ayr. 1828 D. Wood Poems 54:
Twa jam stanes stanin', something sclent. Sc. 1834 Chambers's Jnl. (Sept.) 278:
To debouch from one of the sklinty close-heads. Per. 1893 Harp Per. (Ford) 71:
It wasna till the sklent moon's shine Was glancin' deep in Mary's e'e. Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 226:
The hat was cloured an' sclant a wee. Dmf. 1921 J. L. Waugh Heroes 130:
To geng sklentweys doon the hillside. Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 70:
Ahint the big sclent stanes We got troot as lang's your arm.
2. (1) Of a look or glance: sidelong, cast askance (Sh. 1970).
Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 166:
But ane whase coat is worn sae bare . . . Will meet the sklent disdainfu' stare. Ayr. 1836 J. Ramsay Woodnotes (1848) 187:
Nae mair the bardies then should thole Sklent leuks, and tongue's contemptuous roll.
(2) Of a fact: somewhat untrue, half-true, approximate, not quite accurate (Mry. 1925). Adv. sclant-weys.
Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 20:
Maybe Baldy's richt, scriptural tae, sclantways like.
IV. adv. On a slant, at an angle, off the straight, awry, obliquely (Sh., Abd., Fif. 1970).
Per. 1922 1 :
I've gaen a wee bit sklent. Sc. 1923 Sc. Univ. Verses 69:
They pass by wi' their bonnets sklent for fear ye see their e'en.
V. prep. Athwart, across.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 126:
We've lost our strength an' honest hearts, Sin' ye cam' sklent us. Dmf. a.1820 Border Mag. (Oct.) 169:
Sklent the bogs wi' thy as'bucket feet. Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 116:
Sklent the hills is cut for roads a bed. Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 28:
“Sklent the bog, then!” quo' I, pointin' to the short cut to the highroad.
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