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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.

DRINKv., n. Also drenk (Cai. 1869 M. McLennan Peasant Life 242, 256; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 204; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, Rxb. 1942 Zai). [drɪŋk; Cai., em.Sc. (b), s.Sc. drɛŋk; Fif. drəiŋk. See P.L.D. §§ 58, 87, 107]. Sc. usages.

I. v.

1. In phrs. (1) to drink before one, (see quot.); (2) to drink in, of fabrics: to shrink (Mry.1 1925); of the day: to draw in; known to Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940; (3) to drink out, to drink up, drink dry; also in n.Cy. dial.(1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 388:
You will drink before me. You have said just what I was going to say, which is a Token that you'll get the first Drink.
(2) Abd. 1903 Abd. Wkly. Free Press (12 Sept.):
The day's drinkin' in a gweed bit.
(3) Sc. 1800 Monthly Mag. I. 323:
Drink out your glass.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xl.:
A' Saunders's gin, puir man, was drucken out at the burial o' Steenie.

2. In comb. drink-a-penny, (1) the little grebe, Podiceps ruficollis (Dwn. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 216; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.); (2) the black guillemot, Uria grylle (Ayr. 1928 (per Ayr.4) Ayr. 1948); (3) the bald coot, Fulica atra (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.).

3. Vbl.n. drinking, (see quot.). Hence comb. drinking 1851-3 Trans. Highl. Soc. 81:
It is truly remarked by an informant in our own district, that the quarter-pennies at the meetings for collection are often outbalanced by the drinking-shillings.
Dmf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 59:
When any of the lower people happen to be reduced by sickness, losses, or misfortunes of any kind, a friend is sent to as many of their neighbours as they think needful, to invite them to what they call a drinking. This drinking consists in a small beer, with a bit of bread and cheese, and sometimes a small glass of brandy or whisky, previously provided by the needy persons, or their friends . . . after collecting a shilling a-piece . . . they [guests] divert themselves . . . with music and dancing. . . . Such as cannot attend themselves, usually send their charitable contribution by any neighbour.

II. n.

1. In phr. nae sma' drink, of no little importance; cf. Eng. no small beer; Gen.Sc. Also to think nae sma' drink o' onesel', to think oneself of no little importance (Lnk.11, Kcb.10 1940).Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 117:
But I'se assure you, Helen's nae sma' drink! It's nae to ilka chiel she'll gi'e her niece.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 42:
Our Johny's nae sma' drink you'll guess.
Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption iv.:
Mrs Renshaw thought herself “nae sma' drink” when the Laird himself gave her his arm.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 253:
An' faith ye're nae sma' drink yersel, lassie.

2. In combs. †(1) binding drink, (see quot.); †(2) booking drink, (see quot.); (3) drink-siller, a gratuity given to be spent on drink, Eng. drink-money (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sc. a.1873 F. Grose Gl., MS. Add.; Abd.27 1950; Slg.3 1940); †(4) speaking drink, (see quot.).(1) (2) (4) Slk. 1791 T. Craig-Brown Hist. Slksh. (1886) II. 188:
Stress is put [in the regulations of the Selkirk Incorporation of Weavers] on the regular payment of 1s. 6d. as the “speaking drink” by the master, and of 3s. as the “binding drink” by the intended apprentice . . . besides four shillings . . . for “booking drink” (when a freeman is entered).

3. With lang (long): a tall, lanky person. Also a lang drink o' water, id. Gen.Sc.Per. 1900 E.D.D.:
He's gotten a lang drink o' a wife.
Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie 103:
“Dod,” said she, “what a long drink-o'-water.”
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid xvi.:
Stair had grown up into a great lang drink, and would fankled . . . if he fell.

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



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