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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DINT, n.2, v. Also dent.

1. n.

(1) A chance, occasion, opportunity. Also phr. to steal a dint, to seize an opportunity against (someone). See also Dunt.Sc. 1715 T. Boston Memoirs (1852) 262:
Praying in these terms, in that case, that the Lord would not take a stolen dint.
Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs 58:
Stown dints are sweetest.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 98:
An' likes him yet, for a' that's come an' gane; An' boot to tell for fear I lost the hint, Sae that I on him hae na stealt a dint.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 58:
Sandy McNab by some unlucky dint, Was nae waur o' a trap till his feet they fell in't.
Ayr. c.1785 Burns Poet's Welcome (Cent. ed.) iv.:
Sweet fruit o' monie a merry dint, My funny toil is no a' tint.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 156:
Sweet patients of the female kind, That to a man were never joined, Except by some clandestine dint.

(2) A shock, deep impression, impact.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 12:
But tho' the young fouks liked other sair, They never yet had dint o' warld's care; For marriage was as far out o' their sight, As their intrigue was honest and upricht.
Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 154:
All bars I'll brave, nor dree a dint of shame, Nought now a days can spoil a gentle name.
Dmf. 1861 R. Quinn Heather Lintie 161:
Ye're the first alive, love, E'er gae my heart sae queer a dint.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 57:
For in my breast some dint o' bodin waes Bespoke some danger frae our common faes.

(3) A thump given to herrings when packed in a barrel to press them down. See Dunt, n., 4. Sc. 1785 J. Anderson Acct. Hebrides 113:
By the present law, the person who repacks herrings, is authorised to give them three dents, as it is called, during the time of packing.

(4) A rumour, report (Ork. 1975). Cf. Dinnle, n., 4. Ork. 1973 Orcadian (8 July):
A'm heard no dint o' hid.

2. v. To pierce with an elf-arrow; fig. applied to Cupid's arrow (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 173; Kcb.4 c.1900).Ayr. 1786 Burns To Major Logan (Cent. ed.) xii.:
By some sweet elf I'll yet be dinted: Then vive l'amour!
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 70:
Soon she saw the lad was dinted, Weel it suited wi' her plan.
Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.):
The cow doctors of old times could cure a cow which was either elf-shot or dinted, or both, by the use of flint arrow-heads or elf-stones.

[O.Sc. has dint, a severe blow, from 1375, fig. an assault, shock, from a.1400, of which sense (1) is prob. an extension in meaning; also phr. to stele a dint, to seize an occasion of acting against a person or thing, from 1521. The v. is not recorded.]

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"Dint n.2, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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