Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
HEIST, v., n. Also hyst(e), heyst; hist (Abd.4 1929). Dim. heistie. [həist]
I. v. 1. To hoist, lift up. Gen.Sc. Also used fig. to raise one's spirits. Cf. Heeze.Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 92:
We'll heist up da sail.Abd. 1887 J. Cowe Jeems Sim 41:
He came oot upo' the plaitform that's hysted up abeen the doors on the front side o' the biggin'.Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems 44:
A merridge or a birrial, Wid hyst me mair than books e'er shall.Abd. 1941 Bon-Accord (27 Nov.) 12:
The mistress ordered postie tae gie her a han' tae hyste the ledder up aneath me.Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 102:
I walk amang the graves o the Auld Kirkyaird
... The tradesmen's tools are heist wi pride: a saw and a plane
crossed clypes Joseph Smith's dab haun wi the wuid; a loaf o breid
abuin John the Baxter, a truwel and bricks for David Main. Dundee 1989 W. N. Herbert in Joy Hendry Chapman 55-6 95:
Fowre year ma feres caad me
ti thi boats wi a hui-hoi-huistir,
an naethin muveit me ava but your
humpilt-ower, cursackieit back, hiestin a pail
fae this peat-steep, reek-seepan hearth. Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 61:
Quarter tae seevin sae him sattled bi the table, his muckle hairy airms heistin firkfus o bacon an egg frae ashet till mou, ...
2. Fig. with in: to take in, to get an idea into one's head, used parenth. in phr. below = to let you understand, would you believe it?Ork. 1915 Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 44:
Bit, min, dat waasna da warst o'd, wad du heist id in, boy, Clestrain gaed hame wi' da man, gan side be side wi' 'im tae Foolmirs or Cletyan for da tettles and teuk dem hame wi' 'im.
3. To scatter money to be scrambled for at a wedding.Per. 1947 People's Jnl. (4 Jan.):
Oot cam' the bride, I gazed an' gazed, “Heist! Heist!” the shout rang frae the bairns.
II. n. 1. Used as Eng. hoist, a lift, a helping hand with a heavy burden (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1957). Also fig. Phr. a (the) Kirkcaldy heist, a hanging, an execution (Fif. 1950); summary justice, rough and ready treatment. Phr. to gie somebody a — —, to throw someone out, to eject, dismiss, expel unceremoniously (Abd.21 1930; Edb. 1957).m.Sc. c.1840 J. Strathesk Hawkie (1888) 52:
He jawed (tossed aside) his head to shun the blow, when I gave myself a “hist,” and over we went into the burn.Abd. 1888 Bon-Accord (7 April) 9:
Here, my man, gie's a hist wi' this poke o' sute.m.Lth. 1955 Sc. Daily Express (30 Dec.):
My grandmother used to say, if the house had just got a rough tidy-up: “I've given it the Kirkcaldy heist.”ne.Sc. 1956 Mearns Leader (10 Aug.) 6:
His crony wid gie him a wee heistie up, an' doon again.Edb. 1979 Albert D. Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 44:
I had a skelp at commerce - no my line,
Tho I gied thae economists a hyst. Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 17:
'Learnin's the thing,' they wid say,
'To gie ye a hyste up in life.'
2. The throwing out of pennies at a wedding for children to scramble for.Per. 1947 People's Journal (4 Jan.):
He'd throw, in leavin' for the Kirk, The biggest heist for many a lang.
3. A fine achievement, a signal success (Ork. 1920 Marw., heyst). Cf. Heeze, n.1, 1. (4).
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"Heist v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/heist>