Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BLACK-FOOT, -FIT, n. and v. [′blɑk′fɪ̢t]

1. n. A lovers' go-between.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxxii.:
I could never have expected this intervention of a proxenata, which the vulgar translate black-foot, of such eminent dignity.
Sc. 1859 M. O. Oliphant Adam Graeme iii. iii.:
I ne'er was blackfit at a courtin' yet but it throve.
Fif. 1882 “S. Tytler” Scotch Marriages I. Lady Peggy viii. 168:
For it is true I was . . . his blackfoot in courting Peggy Hedderwick.
Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Trad. of Edb. (1929) 21:
He was employed by a friend to act as go-between, or, as it is termed in Scotland, black-fit, or black-foot, in a correspondence which he was carrying on with a young lady.
Uls. 1901 J. W. Byers Ulsterisms in North. Whig:
If he is shy . . . he may ask a friend to accompany him, and this person is called a black-foot.

2. v., used only as pa.p. Introduced by a black-foot.Edb. 1867 A. Leighton Romances 192:
"Black-footed" tea coteries expressly held for the accommodation of Cupid.
Ayr. 1896 “G. Umber” Ayrsh. Idylls 68:
Leezie was black-fittet to Willie Broon.

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

"Black-foot n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: