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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

GUST, n.1, v.1 Also guist, goust. [Sc. gust, gʌst; Ayr., Rxb. + gʌust]

I. n. A taste, pleasant flavour, relish (Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 28, guist; Ayr. 1955); †taste, preference.Sc. 1716 A Key to the Plot 27:
Seeing divers Mens Gusts may vary.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Guidwife of Wauchope iv.:
The gust o' joy, the balm of woe, . . . Is rapture-giving Woman.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 198–99:
Gluttons . . . Mish-mashin' creatures for their greed or gust.
Abd. 1793 “Tam Thrum” Look before ye Loup 29:
We have health an' a gude stamach, an' that gies a gust to the maist hamely fare.
Fif. 1838 W. Tennant Anster Fair 35:
Enjoyed their lives wi' sic ane gust, As David wha sleeps here in dust.
Gall. 1843 J. Nicholson Hist. Tales 77:
The female cannibals . . . fell to sucking her blood with as great a gust, as if it had been wine.

Hence 1. gustfu', adj., (1) full of flavour, tasty (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (2) zestful, relishing. Hence gustfully, adv., zestfully, with gusto; 2. gustie, -y, adj., (1) tasty, savoury, appetising (Ayr. 1923 Watson Dial. Burns, Ayr. 1955). Also in n.Eng. dial.; ¶(2) having a keen or discriminating appetite; 3. gustily, adv., tastily, with taste or gusto; 4. gustless, adj., having no sense of taste, tasteless (‡Slg., Fif. 1955); not in good taste.1. (1) Sc. 1828 Blackwood's Mag. (May) 595:
All the eatables were highly gustful.
(2) Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 141:
The flocks . . . . . . round the haystack crowding, pluck the stalks O' withered bent, wi' gustfu' hungry bite.
Sc. 1892 Stevenson & Osbourne Wrecker v.:
Gustfully ordering and greedily consuming imaginary meals.
2. (1) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 160:
The rantin Germans, Russians, and the Poles, Shall feast with Pleasure on our gusty Sholes.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 9:
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou O' gusty gear.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Sc. Drink ix.:
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in, An' gusty sucker!
Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 84:
For gustie tarts an' cauler punch Gar rosy cheeks look bonny.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxvii.:
Nobody among these brave English cooks can kittle up his Majesty's most sacred palate with our own gusty Scottish dishes.
Mry. 1824 J. Cock Hamespun Lays 103:
This toumans twa, I wat, I'll min', We had some gustie drams.
Per. a.1869 C. Spence Poems (1898) 78:
The beer that was made o' this bear was sae gusty It filled a' the farmers in Perth roarin' fu'!
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's ix. 17:
Bread, that's gotten by hiddlins, Maks a gustie bit bite.
(2) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 83:
Lat gusty gabs chew the wheat bread, And synd it down wi' claret red.
3. Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 67:
There he took hole like a rabbit, And denner'd gustily with th' abbot.
Sc. 1832 Fraser's Mag. (Sept.) 151:
How roundly and gustily, and with what sportsmanlike precision, the matter is set forth!
Sc.(E) 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ i. xxiv.:
Ye'se be mair confortit acause ye hae prayed gracilie nor acause ye hae fared gustily.
4. Per. 1766 A. Nicol Poems 16:
From gustless gabs that cannot taste of love.
Lnk. 1877 W. Watson Poems 33:
But in case Ye think that roosin' to yer face Is gustless, I sal mak' an en' o't.

II. v. †1. intr. (1) To taste, to have a good taste.Sc. 1723 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) III. 31:
I thought my preaching would never gust in their gab after they had heard such a notable and choice sermon.

(2) To smell, to have a bad smell, to stink (Ags. 1955).ne.Sc. 1714 R. Smith Poems 65:
You Idle, Drunken, Brain-sick sots, Ye make my Pen gust in my Nose.

2. tr. To give a flavour or relish to; (1) freq. in phr. to gust the gab, to delight the palate, to whet the appetite, to fill the mouth with tasty food or drink (Abd., Fif. 1955). Also fig; †(2) fig. to stop someone's mouth, to silence; †(3) to season food or drink. Rare. (4) Comb. gustin bane, in allusion to a facetious traditional story about a meat-bone possessed in common by the inhabitants of Kirkmahoe in Dmf. and lent out to the several families on the days on which they made broth. Also fig. of some person who or thing which can be applied to in time of need, a stand-by. (1) Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace 39:
To them duly in good Waggons came All Things to gust the Gab, and cram the Wame.
Per. 1766 A. Nicol Poems 94:
Good hailsome whisky ay took we To gust our gums.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 57:
Imprimis, then, a haggis fat, . . . Had help'd to gust the stirrah's mow.
Abd. 1795 A. Shirrefs Sale Catal. 7:
To hap his back, or gust his noddle.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xii.:
It's a shame to see the like o' them gusting their gabs at sic a rate.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Siege of Rxb. (1874) iii.:
The deil sal bake me into a ker-cake to gust his gab wi', afore I see that saucy tike ta'en off in sic a way.
Ags. 1891 Brechin Advertiser (6 Jan.) 3:
Four quarters o' a gimmer To gust their gabs.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 69:
For sic a wee drumshorlin' creature [mouse] Wad scarcely gust her teegur natur'.
Sc. 1894 N. Dickson Auld Scotch Precentor 33:
I aye like to gust my gab twice wi' the guid an godly lines — ance in the readin' an' ance in the singin'.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 82:
Fine do I like to gust my gab Wi't [the Scots tongue] when I meet you.
Fif. 1938 St Andrews Cit. (29 Jan.) 3:
To gust their gabs they sune began — Roast beef an' tawties, veal an' ham.
(2) Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
A goustit his gab for 'im.
(3) Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 52:
Ha'e ye nae breeding, that you shaw your nose Anent my sweetly gusted cordial dose.
Ib. 84:
. . . gentler banes, On easy-chair that pamper'd lie, Wi' banefu' viands gustit high.
(4)Dmf. 1834 Carlyle Life (Froude) II. 440-2:
Thus they kept a gusting-bone in the Four Towns. . . . He is busy about the new Radical Review, and doubtless will need me there, at least as a 'gusting bone'.
Dmf. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 123:
The bone was not boiled in the broth, but only dipped in the cold water, previous to its being placed on the fire, so that some of the meat particles adhering might give a flavour to the soup. This was called the "gustin' bane". A speculative shoemaker purchased a number of such bones, which he hired out at a halfpenny each for a single use.

[O.Sc. has gust(e), goust, taste, relish, from 1456; to taste, from c.1460, to be agreeable to the taste, from 1490, to gust the mouth, c.1470; gustand, smelling, 1513; from O.Fr. goust; Lat. gustus, gustare. ]

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"Gust n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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