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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DOIT, v., n.2 Also dite, dight, †doyt(e). †dyte, †doid. [dɔit, dəit]

1. v. Gen. intr.

(1) To be crazed, enfeebled or confused in mind, gen. from old age or drink, to be in one's dotage, to be absent-minded. Gen. found as ppl.adj. doited, -in, irreg. doyte, and as such Gen.Sc. (Sh., Cai., Bnff., Ayr., Dmf. 2000s). Also in Eng. dial. With on: to dote on. Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 324:
It blather'd Buff before them a', And aftentimes turn'd doited.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary I. i.:
Old doited hag, she's as deaf as a post.
Sh. 1924 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. III. 28:
Lass, du's doitin. What's Jirry Laurenson gaen ta du wi a piana?
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems and Plays 11:
A daft an' doitin fool.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 91:
The three men . . . that gaz'd, An' looked doited, speechless, an' bumbaz'd.
Abd. a.1879 W. Forsyth Sel. from Writings (1882) 190:
I dreamt an' I doitit by day an' by nicht.
Abd.27 1949:
The aul' man's beginnin' to doit.
em.Sc. 1988 James Robertson in Joy Hendry Chapman 52 70:
There wis three auld men aince, three doitit auld fules that had aiblins mair sense nor ye'd think, an aiblins nane ava, three bodachs as a teuchter micht cry them, that set doun their dowps on a bink that owreluikit the Frith o Forth.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 9: Scream If You Want to Go Faster 5:
'Ye doited old fool, what for d'ye want a photo of it when ye have the land itsel'?'
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 126:
One night he dreamt of the gate again. It was like the Netherbow but not it. He expected the blood but when he reached the gate it swung open. Jean Weir was beyond it. She beckoned him on, giving him a silly, doited smile as he passed her.
Knr. [1886] “H. Haliburton” Horace in Homespun, etc. (1925) 185:
Up gat puir Tammy, sair benighted: The heavy fa' had dung him doited.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 11:
You wouldna hae the tither gill? You'll trust me, mair wou'd do you ill, And ding you doitet.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 284:
Your feckless, thowless, Southlan' brats, Dang doyte wi' licks an' lair man.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 126:
For baith bein' dytet, Across the road they took a spin, An' owre they stytet.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xv.:
Noo he's doited on his hame and his dochter.
Gsw. 1838 A. Rodger Poems 281:
For, sad misluck! without my hat, I doiting cam' awa', man.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To W. Chalmers' Sweetheart (Cent. ed.) i.:
Whyles owre a bush wi' downward crush The doited beastie stammers.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xxxvi.:
Had the woman no been doited with drink, she never would have seen any likeness between him and me.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Confessions 330:
Ye ditit, donnart, deil's burd that ye be!

Hence doitedness, stupidity (Sh., Ork., n.Sc. 1975); doity, crazy (Bwk. 1942 Wettstein).Sc. 1823 A. Sutherland Macrimmon IV. iii.:
My astonishment at my ain doitedness in not suspeeting what it was that made the reek.

(2) To walk with a stumbling or blundering step (Abd.27 1948; Ayr.4 1928); “to walk drowsily and lazily” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), to amble. Also in Yks. dial.Mry. 1849 A. Blackhall Lays of the North 29:
But now ye doit on death-like shanks.
Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 12:
Now ilk ane dytes wi' fient a mum.
Slg. 1841 R.M.S. Harp of Strila 17:
Belyve, auld Robin stappin' out is seen, He doyts about the door wi' cannie care.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Death Poor Mailie i.:
There, groaning, dying, she did ly, When Hughoc he cam doytan by.
Slk. 1835 Hogg Wars Montrose III. 8:
I was coming doiting up aneath Galashiels this afternoon, among the mist.
Uls. c.1920 J. Logan Ulster in the X-Rays (2nd ed.) vi.:
“Mary doits down the loanin'” means that “she walks slowly down the lane.”

(3) tr. To make confused or stupid.Ags. 1891 J. M. Barrie Little Minister x.:
That was what doited me.

(4) “To nod from sleepiness; to doze over some work or other” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 113:
An' I wi' you late vigils keep, Till e'en I, tae, doit owre asleep.

2. n. A stupid person, a fool, a sot (Sc. 1808 Jam., doit; Per. 1900 E.D.D.; Lnk. 1825 Jam.2, doid); “a heedless youngster who would perhaps mismanage a message” (Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs.).Sc. 1925 “Domsie” Poems:
For puss, puss, the dawty dight Will no' dover lang.
Sc. 1929 J. S. Buist in Scots Mag. (May) 149:
He'd never been like that doit o' a man o' Tessie's an' taen tae labourin'.
Ags. 1861 R. Leighton Poems 91:
Ye dour auld doit, tak' that.
Dmf. 1874 R. Reid Moorland Rhymes 37:
Dowie and dazed wi' a sair heid-hing, Mair like a doyte than a mortal thing.

[O.Sc. doitit, impaired in intellect, from c.1420, doit, to act foolishly, from 1540. Appar. a variant of Eng. dote, to think or act foolishly. The origin of the diphthong is uncertain: perhaps it arose from a glide developing after the long vowel: cf. a similar change in Doilt, and ? Doist.]

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"Doit v., n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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