Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

SLIM, adj., v., n. Also slime, slem-. Sc. forms and usages:

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. Comb. slim-jim, a type of cheap sweet-meat bought by children, consisting of long strips of coconut or licorice (wm.Sc. 1970). Gsw. 1880 J. J. Bell I remember (1932) 186:
Slim-jim (a coconut confection in long strips).
Gsw. 1931 H. S. Robertson Curdies 85:
Two long “shoogly” strips of “slim-jim”.

2. Of clothes, shoes, etc.: flimsy, thin, unsubstantial, not strongly made (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Bnff., Ags. 1970). Adv. slimly. Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1873) 13:
Slimly happed head an' feet.
Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 123:
To weer slim trash o' silk.
Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife 13:
You sae slimly shod.
Ags. 1880 J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. 39:
His claes were the slimmest that ever ye saw.

3. Wily, cunning, sly, crafty, specious (Abd., Kcb. 1970). Also in Eng. dial. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 143:
She was never ca'd chancy, but canny an' slim.
Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 205:
I'd sooner trow a lad that hadds the plough, Than sick slim sparks that i' your face can smile.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
A slim fellow, a man of a very indifferent character.

II. v. 1. Freq. with ower: to treat (work, etc.) with insufficient care and attention, to scamp (a job), to neglect (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D., slime; Cai., Mry., Bnff., Kcb., Rxb. 1970). Also in Eng. dial. Hence slim-o'er, slimman-our, n., a careless negligent way of working, a botched job (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 167); a hurried patch-up (Ags. 1970). Deriv. slimer, slemmer, n., a person who scamps his work unless supervised, a scrim-shanker (Cai. 1904 E.D.D., ‡Cai. 1970), a lazy, inactive person, an idle lounger (Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 12, slemmer). Kcb. 1838 R. Kerr Maggie o' Moss (1891) 84:
We will never try to slim Red-land or lea.
Sc. 1847 J. W. Carlyle Letters (1883) I. 393:
Postie had also helped to beat the carpets, considering that Eaves was rather slimming them.
Kcd. 1880 W. B. Fraser Laurencekirk 349:
It was deemed necessary to slim a job [in tailoring].
Arg. 1931:
He nuvver did a han's turn for years, a useless slemmer that leeved aa his life aff his suster.

2. With awa(y): to waste, fritter away (time) (Cai. 1970, slime). Ayr. 1812 A. Thom Amusements 35:
Bids them mind their meat and wark, And not to slim their time away.

III. n. A careless worker, one who botches or scamps his work (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 167).

[The pejorative senses of the adj. are already found in the orig. (Mid.) Du. slim, bad, dishonest, crafty.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Slim adj., v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Aug 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/slim>

21783

snd

Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

    Loading...

Share: