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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BUCKLE, n. Sc. usages.

1. “A tussle, a pretended struggle” (Bnff.2 1912).Sh. 1898 Shet. News (10 Dec.):
Da boys hed a buckle wi' da lasses, bit dey got a kiss . . . afore dey set them down.

2. In phrs.: (1) up i(n) th(e) buckle, (a) elated; “in very common use” (Per. 1898 E.D.D.; Fif.10, Lnk.3 1936; Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 33);  (b) conceited, uppish; (2) nearly a buckle, “nearly equal” (Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 262).(1) (a) Sc. 1887 A. S. Swan Gates of Eden i.:
Jean'll be up in the buckle the day.
(b) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin (1868) xxviii.:
Ye're up i' th' buckle the nicht, lad — Esquire nae less!
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 127:
It's up i' the buckle like Willie Dippie's bellows.
Kcb. 1913 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Bigin', etc. 52:
Mebbe she had picked up some notions o' gentility at the Big Hoose for she was thocht whiles inclined tae be a bit up i' the buckle.
(2) s.Sc. 1858 Tales of the Borders XIII. 164:
My learning, ye see, brought me within a very little o' the minister himsel-indeed, we were nearly a buckle.

3. In comb.: buckle-horned, “perverse, headstrong, obstinate” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.). Cf. bool-horned, s.v. Bool, n.2, which shows the lit. as well as the fig. use.

4. The clamp or iron fitting which holds the wheel or coulter of a plough on to the beam (Fif. 1957).Abd. 1987 Alexander Fenton Wirds an' Wark 71:
More recent coulters had round shanks and were fixed to the side of the beam by means of an iron buckle that straddled it. It was possible to turn such a coulter slightly to the left for the plough to be gi'en mair lan', if necessary, or back, for less.

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"Buckle n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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