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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAREFIT, BERFIT, BARFIT, Barefut, Bare-foot, adj. Also bairfit. 1. Barefooted. Gen.Sc. [′bɑrfɪt n.Sc., but Ags. + ′bɛrfɪ̢t; ′bɛrfɪt + ′berfɪt I.Sc., m. and s.Sc. For variants of foot see Fit.]Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxvii.:
It's nae mair ferlie to see a woman greet than to see a goose gang barefit.
Sc. 2000 Aberdeen Evening Express 4 Aug 10:
Hoover up the ones on the carpet, but not with bare feet because they can still sting. Go in among a bed of wasps barfit? I confess it hadn't occurred to me.
Sc. 2004 Sunday Express 29 Aug 39:
Both of them, for very different reasons, were reduced to tears. Perhaps this did not surprise you - it's nae mair pity to see a woman greet nor to see a goose go barfit, after all.
Sh.4 1933:
Bnff. 1880 J. F. S. Gordon Chron. of Keith 321:
Tell yere Guidman that we ca' a beld head Barfit on the Croon.
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) v.:
Ye'll see them i' the mornin' gaen awa' berfit to the skule.
Ags. 1918 J. Inglis The Laird, etc. 9:
Barfit three mile tae skule we ran.
Knr. 1891 “H. Haliburton” Ochil Idylls 148:
An' rin a laddie for an hoor, Barefit among the daisies.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 4:
Ah cry it a dampt disgrace
That a naebody should tak the maister's place!
To breenge in here, a raggity bare-fit tink,
Wi' the bareface to tell us whit to think.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 30:
I dinna' juist feel snod when Elspeth's weans Rin bare-fit in the snaw and ower the stanes.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Election Ballad, Addressed to R. Graham of Fintry (Cent. ed.) viii.:
Came shaking hands wi' wabster-loons, And kissing barefit bunters.
Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Poems (1898) 38:
I could hae left a barefit bairn To haud her head.
Uls. 1904 J. W. Byers in Vict. Coll. Mag. 44:
A baby . . . if it has no shoes . . . is “barefut.”

Hence fig. meatless. Combs.: (1) bar(e)fit broth, barefoot-broth, barfit soup, = bar(e)fit broth; (2) barefoot-kail, both meaning broth made with a little butter, without any meat having been boiled in it.(1) Mry.1 1925:
Barfit broth, made without meat.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes, etc. 77:
An' Pasch an' Yule can gie in troth Nae better fare than barefoot broth.
Abd.1 1930:
We winna stick for denner, mak' bar'fit broth hire't some wi' a mealy dumplin' made wi' butter.
Ags.9 1926:
Barefit broth, broth made without beef or other flesh-meat.
Bwk. 1801 "Bwk. Sandie" Poems 44:
I've had but monie a barefoot dinner.
ne.Sc. 1980 James Fowler Fraser Doctor Jimmy 15:
We had meat only once a week and sometimes barfit soup or barley brose.
(2) Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Sc. Poems 3:
I was musin in my mind, — On hair-mould bannocks fed an' bare-foot kail.
2. Also used subst., a broad thin turf cut from the surface soil of a peat-bank. Rnf. 1750 in Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) B. 183:
Casting a fall of Bairfits in place of the common Peits.

[O.Sc. barefut, bairfut(e), berfute, beirfoot, barfwte. O.E. bærfōt, early Mid.Eng. barfot. Cf. O.N. berfœttr.]

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"Barefit adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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