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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LICHT, adj.2, n.2, v.2 Also lich (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). [n. and m.Sc. lɪçt]

I. adj. 1. As in Eng., not heavy, lit. and fig. Derivs. lichtfu, adv., lightly, lichtlie, adj., light-footed; lichtly, adv.Bwk. 1879 W. Chisholm Poems 20:
To hae seen but a glimpse o' the lichtlie fays.
Abd. 1923 H. Beaton Benachie 111:
The laird himsel' widna think lichtfu o't, gin he wis hungry.

Sc. combs.: (1) fedder-lichtie, n., a silly, frivolous person (Abd. 1960); (2) light-farrant, giddy, flighty, frivolous, e.g. of an old person given to juvenile behaviour (Kcb.4 1900; Abd., Kcd., Wgt. 1960). See Farrant; (3) lichtfit, (i) light-footed, having a light tread, nimble (ne.Sc., Ayr., Wgt. 1960). As in Eng. mainly poet. Also adv.; (ii) giddy, loose in behaviour; (4) light hips, a loose immoral person; (5) licht-hornt, = (2 ) (Abd.4 1931); (6) licht-leggit, = (3) (i); (7) licht-loaden(ed), light-hearted, gay, frivolous, merry (Ork. 1929). See Loaden; (8) licht-meed-ap, frivolous, shallow (Ork.1 1944). See Mak; (9) light-set, light, nimble, having a light step (Ork., ne.Sc., Lth., Ayr., sm.Sc. 1960); (10) light-sleepit, sleeping lightly, easily wakened from sleep (Ork. 1960); (11) light-tailed, = (3) (ii). Obs. in Eng.; (12) licht-witted, = (2) (Sh., Uls. 1960).(1) Abd.15 1928:
Yon fedder lichtie o' a craitur wis ower scrauchin.
(3) (i) Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xxiii.:
It was terrible-like grund, lairin' at every step, but the wean ran on licht-fit.
Abd. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 1:
Lichtfit spring cam' skippin' ben.
Rxb. 1952 W. Landles Gooseberry Fair 13:
They gang steppin' licht-fit doun the toun.
(ii) Kcb. 1896 Crockett Cleg Kelly liii.:
A lichtfit rantipole limmer.
(4) Ayr. 1790 A. Tait Poems 236:
To light hips a' she is their joes.
(6) Rxb. 1875 N. Elliott Nellie Macpherson 158:
When a licht-leggit limmer, I scampered about.
(9) Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xxvi.:
I wad like you to be as genty, and meek, and light-set on your feet as her.
(10) Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. ix.:
My mother's but light-sleepit, sae walk softly.
(11) Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 28:
Blaw that in some daft light-tail'd hizzie's ear.
(12) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxix.:
[She] tane the road wi' a curn folk as licht-witted as hersel'.

2. Dizzy, giddy, light-headed (Lth., Rnf. 1960). Also light in the head (Gen.Sc.), light i' the tap.wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 257:
Daundering hame rather light i' the tap.
Sc. 1902 E.D.D.:
I feel so light when I come to walk about.

3. With on: abstemious, temperate in the use of (ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Rnf., Rxb. 1960). Cf. Heavy, 5. (3).Gsw. 1889 A. G. Murdoch Readings I. 62:
Mind and be licht on the dram.

4. Of a woman: delivered (of a child) (Ork. 1960). See also Lichter.

II. n. 1. The light parts of corn seed, small ears, husks, etc., separated out by winnowing and sifting (Rs., Lth., wm.Sc. 1960).Mry. 1844 Jnl. Agric. (1845) 496:
The spring corns are generally all thrashed out, and the “lights” or dressings accruing from them exhausted.

2. In pl.: the light parts of the body, specif. the lungs (lungs being etym. the same as lights). Gen.Sc., now obsol. in Eng. and there only of animals.Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 280:
Anoint a piece of Bullocks Lights, and tie a Rope or String round the Lights.
Fif. 1812 W. Tennant Anster Fair 106:
His breath had not suffic'd to twang it out, So did the poor man's lights puff, pant, and jump.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xiii.:
I might as shoon try to get a sight of his lights and liver.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 7:
Da bundle o' keys lian atween her hert an' her lichts.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. Gl.:
“Liver and lights,” cried the daftie tae the man spuin.
Edb. 1938 Fred Urquhart Time Will Knit (1988) 50:
What more can you expect off twelve and six a week? Wattie said. Would ye like us to live on sheep's lichts and liver, like some o' oor neighbours?

III. v. Pa.t. lichtit, lit. 1. As in Eng.: to alight, settle down; (1) with on, to, til, to set upon, attack, upbraid (I.Sc., Cai., Ags., Per., Lth., Ayr., Gall., Uls. 1960).Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxi.:
I gied the . . . weapon anither flourish aboon his pericranium, juist as if I were aboot to licht on wi' a' my vigour. . . . "D'ye promise that hencefurth ye'll never lift a violent hand to Mrs O'Grady?" quoth I, "Or maun I licht on?"
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl. 162:
Shü lichtet ta me wi a vaelensi at wisna moderate.
Sh. 1950 New Shetlander No. 22. 28:
I dünna see why da creetiks sud licht til is, an say at we hae nae business ta üse archaic wirds.
Uls. 1953 Traynor:
They all lit on him.

(2) In phr.: to lat licht, (a) to admit, allow the truth of, utter (a word about), divulge, make known (ne.Sc. 1960); (b) with o'; to make insinuations about, to disparage; (c) to rest, pause, desist, sc. let one's hand or foot alight (Ork. 1960).(a) Abd. 1746 S.C. Misc. (1841) I. 380:
They will not let it light that the Pretender is here.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 227:
A winna lat licht a word o't.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlvi.:
Mr. MacCassock loot licht that he was thinkin' o' buyin' the furniture to the manse.
Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 38:
Josie lootna licht sair fat he hed been deein'.
Bch. 1929 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 130:
Ta hae the name o' a suicide i' the faimly wiz sic a slur o' the young folk 'at they wid 'a' deen onything raeder than lat sic a thing licht.
(b) Gall. a.1900 “Mulciber Veritatis” Gallowa' Herds 6:
Ye let licht o' the Queen, as if Randie she'd been.
(c) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 227:
He widna lat licht till he got it deen.

2. To make light, to lighten, ease, assuage, mitigate (Ags., Wgt. 1960). Obs. in Eng. since 16th c.Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 32:
Forget its sorrow an' its care, An' licht a wee its pain.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 28:
Fine it lights a life o' toilin'.

3. To deliver (a woman) of a child. Now only dial. in Eng. Cf. I. 4.Sc. 1717 in Scott Rob Roy Intro. (1829) xlv.:
My wife was obliged to provid herself to finish her bed before she was lighted.

4. To make light of, slight, treat disdainfully. Hence ppl.adv. lightenly, slightingly, contemptuously. Cf. Lichtlie.Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail lxxviii.:
When the Laird lights the Leddy, so does a' the kitchen boys.
Dmf. 1877 R. W. Thom Jock o' the Knowe 9:
Spoke o' by puir folks lightenly.

[O.Sc. licht, = I. 4., c.1420, = III. 4., 1586.]

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"Licht adj.2, n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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