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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

YIM, n.1, v.1 Also deriv. forms ymmer (Jam.); yimp.

I. n. A small particle of anything, a fragment, atom, crumb of food, etc. (Ags. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 560; Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 158; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), freq. in neg. sentences; “scrimp, short measure” (Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 44).Rxb. 1805 A. Scott Poems 77:
Nae mair she'll chew her yims of cud.
Dmf. 1826 A. Cunningham Paul Jones I. iii.:
Let us slip away quietly to bed, say a yim o' prayer.
Ags. 1855 Arbroath Guide (11 Aug.) 3:
Layin' up for the fatherless bairn an' its mither A yim o' their meal to be brose.
Rxb. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. II. 204:
Nor leaves in creation a yim to afford A bite to a beast, or a bield to a bird.
Gall. 1912 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 291:
Gie me a yim o' cheese.

II. v. To break into fragments (Kcb. 1825 Jam.). Also in freq. form ymmer (Ayr. Ib.).

[Prob. an aphetic form of nyim, Nimp, by wrong division of a nyim > an yim. See also Nimsh, Yimmet.]

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"Yim n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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