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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GLESS, n. Gen.Sc. form of Eng. glass. Also glaiss (ne.Sc.), †gles. Dim. glessie. See P.L.D. § 48.1. (1). [glɛs, gles]

1. Sc. form of Eng. glass; in pl. glasses, spectacles. Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 60:
The warl begins again wi bleary ee,
claitter o cans i the gutter,
glints o shaittered gless at the roadside, ...
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 19:
The lassies playin' shoaps wi aw thon broken gless,
Abd. 1994 Sheena Blackhall in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 138:
She didna feel safe wi them, nor easy... glowerin, jittery at a quine frae ahint their glaisses, like ye micht bite.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 8:
Bit Davie breenged hame, suppit a glaiss o milk, ett a quick piece, syne hashed on oot an awa ower the back roadies tae Neil's hoose.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 18:
Aiblins ye'll try a canny keek oot the pane
Dichtin the gless wi yer thoum ...
Dundee 2000 Ellie McDonald Pathfinder 6:
An we wir hyne awa
afore the polis hut the broken gless.
Edb. 2004:
Ah goat new glesses in May.

2. In combs.: (1) gless bool, a glass marble; (2) gless candy = Glessie, n., 1. (Bwk.2 1954); (3) gless mallie, = Glessie, n., 2. (Ork.5 1954). (1)Abd. 1993:
I'll swap ye twa gless bools for a dollar (a big clay bool).
Edb. 1994:
When Ah wis wee the laddies aye pit mair value on gless bools.

3. Phr.: to talk gless haun'les, to speak politely, use a "refined" accent (Rnf. 1928 G. Blake Paper Money 9, Fif., Ayr., Dmf. 1975). Sometimes also gless-door.

4. A measure of spirits.Rnf. 1972 Bill Bryden Willie Rough 54:
That's very kind o ye, Charlie. I'll hav [sic] a gless an' a pint.
Uls. 1987 Sam Hanna Bell Across the Narrow Sea 109:
'Something of the same, sire - or a glass this time?'
Slg. 1993:
Gless: a half-gill or 2/5 gill measure of spirits. Must have been common from at least 19th C - now Eng. expression 'double' more common.
Edb. 1999:
Will ye hae a gless wi me?

5. In dim. glessack, a small glass marble (Inv. c.1910 Football Times (28 Aug. 1948)), glessag, id. (Cai.7 1954).

[O.Sc. has gles, gles(s)e, from a.1400.]

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"Gless n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/gless>

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