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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.

KYTE, n., v. Also k(e)ite. [kəit]

I. n. The stomach, belly. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. (Cai., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Ayr. 2000s). Also fig.  Also in n.Eng. dial. Dim. kytochie, -ock(ie).Sc. c.1690 Jacob. Relics (Hogg) I. 24:
Wi' his back boonermost, An' his kyte downermost.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 150:
Like our Mill Knaves that lift the Laiding, Whase Kytes can streek out like raw Plaiding.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 215:
Sick-like some weary wight will fill His kyte wi' drogs frae doctor's bill.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To a Haggis iv.:
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve Are bent like drums.
Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery xxxiii.:
To dress dainties at dinner-time for his ain kyte.
Ags. 1860 A. Whamond J. Tacket xvii.:
D—l birst yer hungry kites.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 201:
Sorra may care an my kytock be fu.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 13:
In A gaed ti fill ma empy keite, for my certies! A was howe! Ags. 1995 Courier 18 Mar :
"I remember the recipe [for a tattie-bogle] ... After that, his weim has to be weel happit aboot with a muffler round his keit. Breeks for his shanks, bauchles for his feet, and the tattie-bogle is complete. ... "
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 14:
He wintit tae rin awa bit the muckle bird caed him ower an, haein haived him onno the grun, lowpit on him, howkin its cleuks inno his kyte.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 96:
' ... Ye'd hope they were the lucky yins but I mind thinkin ye couldna get closer tae hell than a passage in the kyte o a plantation ship. I hadna seen this place in thae days, richt enough. ... '
Abd. 2003:
Hae an aafu kyte. His kyte's aa hoven wi beer.

Hence derivs. and phrs.: †1. kyte-clung, having the belly shrunk from hunger (Sc. 1825 Jam.); †2. kyted, adj., collected in the belly; 3. kytefu(l), a bellyful; 4. kytie, adj., corpulent, having a large belly, esp. as a result of good living (Lth., Lnk., Cld. 1825 Jam.; n.Sc., Ags., Fif., Kcb. 1960); 5. up in the kyte (Edb. 1960),up the kyte (Bnff., Ags., Ayr. 2000s), pregnant.1. Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 107:
Douce wife, quoth I, what means the fizz, . . . Anent a kyte-clung poet?
Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm I. i.:
To even my bonny Grizel to sic a lang, kyte-clung chiel as yon.
Lnk. 1888 J. Nicholson Tibbie's Garland 185:
An' yet, for a', I'm lean's a rake, Kyte-clung as ony reestit herrin'.
2. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 189:
He thought he'd an experiment Try then . . . to ken if he was able, Gin kyted air was inflammable.
3. Per. 1821 T. Atkinson Three Nights 39:
I've room for as muckle again yet, an maun hae my kitefu' at a kirn.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail i.:
Heh, sirs, what a kyteful o' pride's yon'er!
Wgt. 1883 D. McWhirter Musings 133:
Now chitter, chirp, nor rage ye mair, But tak' a hearty kytefu' there.
4. Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 60:
A wee, fat, kytie body, as braid's lang, they ca'd Clark Dooglass.
5.Edb. 1983:
She goat mairrit because she wis up the kyte.
Edb. 1992:
A third year had to leave because she was up the kyte.

II. v. Of the stomach: to cause to swell, to distend, to fill up.Sc. 1881 T. Newbigging Poems 33:
Smiling as the halesome food Kites her wee bit baggie, O.

[O.Sc. kyte, belly, c.1560, keited, having a (big) belly, 1645. Orig. somewhat uncertain, but cf. Mid.Du. kuyt, küte, kiete, a fleshy part of the body, esp. the thigh, M.L.Ger. kūt, id., entrails.]

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"Kyte n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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