Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

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.]

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

"Yim n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2020 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: