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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

MINUTE, n. Also Sc. forms: minnet, min(n)it; meenut(e) (Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xxii.; Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Lowland Hills 53), meenite, meenad (Cai. 1929 John o' Groat Jnl. (1 Nov.)); meenit, meinit; minent (Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xiv.; Rnf. 1842 R. Clark Rhymes 31), minont (Sc. 1813 The Scotchman 119); meenint (Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 57), meenont (Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 234, Ayr. 1963), meenant (Cld. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 182). Dims. meenitie, -y, mintie. [Sc. ′minɪt, Cai. -ɑd]

Sc. forms of Eng. minute. (Sh., Ork., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Edb., Arg., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s).wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 30:
However, ony meenit noo, he'll be doon the stairs
And if you two skedaddle, noo dinnae ask why!
Ah'll nab Tartuffe as he goes by.
Per. 1990 Betsy Whyte Red Rowans and Wild Honey (1991) 80:
'Ee, ye bugger! I never thochd she wad dae't. I'm fair drookit. Tell Willie nae tae gang awa'. I'll no' be a meenit.'
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 14:
Sit up oan the jaw box.
Jist take aff your semmit
Watch ye don't faw aff
Ah'll be wi' ye in a meenit.
Slg. 1993 Janet Paisley in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 173:
A meenut, mair, a meenut
fur the heather is in bloom,
ne.Sc. 1996 Wendy Smith in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 24:
It's amazing fit can happen
Wi a kiss fae a young loon
For a mintie yer thegither
An there's naebody else roon.
m.Sc. 1998 Jean Massie in Neil. R. MacCallum Lallans 51 22:
But in a quate meinit
ye coud sense them
courrie'in intae aa thae wee
crannies - gairdin us,
an their hame.

Sc. usages:

1. Sc. phrs.: (1) at the meenit (-heed), instantly, straightway, without a moment's hesitation. Gen.Sc.; (2) a wee minute, a moment, a short space of time, gen. in adv. constructions. Gen.Sc.; (3) in a minute, readily, willingly, “straight away”, without a second thought (Sc. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.; (4) on the minute-heid, at the exact time appointed, “on the dot”. (Bnff. 2000s). Gen.Sc. Cf. (1).(1) Abd. 1887 J. Cowe Jeems Sim 19:
I wid like tae tell them, . . . that the hoose wis teemed jist at the meenit heed.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's vii. 22:
He gangs efter her at the meenit — Like the nowte till the slauchter-hoose.
(2)Ayr. 2000:
The train'll be in a wee minute.
(4) Bch. 1944 C. Gavin Mountain of Light iii. v.:
They ken brawlies that my forebears was here in the days o' the commonty . . . I pey my rent on the verra minute-heid.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 33:
They say he's aye to the fore,
Some blin an crulgie doon,
Gey dottelt fyles, bit chief wi aa the bairns,
An aye on the meenit heid, fin pension day comes roun.

2. In pl.: the interval for play and relaxation in the middle of school hours, a tea-break in a factory. Gen.(exc.I.)Sc. Also in dim. and in comb. minute-time, id.Ags. 1861 Arbroath Guide (16 Feb.) 3:
When we . . . get out at “minutes” for to play, all the girls and the boys may mix quite freely in each other's ploys.
Ags. 1896 Barrie Sentimental Tommy xiv.:
You get your revenge at “minutes”.
Per. 1903 E.D.D.:
Please give the pupils their minutes. When do you get your minutes? Come an' see us at minute-time.
Bnff. 1916 Banffshire Jnl. (25 April) 3:
At the “Meenits” and meal hour games were quickly in full swing.
ne.Sc. 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse 31:
A description of this little school would not be complete without some reference to the amusements. These could best be observed at the morning interval — the meenits.
Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tales 17:
We'd a fine dog that visited we ilka day at meenities.

3. As in Eng., a brief summary of a transaction or piece of business, specif.: (1) in the Court of Session: a note of the judgments, acts, decrees, etc., of any of the Courts or Judges, or of the intentions of a party in a suit regarding matters of procedure, such as the amending of the pleading, abandonment of the action, etc. (Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 56). Hence minuter, minuting, of the party who presents such a statement, minute-book, the book in which such a record is kept; (2) in the Register of Sasines, etc.: a summary of the essential details and contents of the deed presented for registration. These are recorded in the Minute-Book, as required by the Act of 1693; (3) a memorandum setting out the heads of an agreement.(1) Sc. 1722 W. Forbes Institute I. iv. 180:
The Clerk, or Keeper of the Minute-book, notes, or inserts therein, all Acts, Decreets, Protestations, and every judicial Act that may be extracted, marking the Day when pronounced, the Names of the Judge, Pursuer and Defender, and Advocate for the Pursuer.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 651:
When it is necessary to preserve evidence of any incidental judicial act or statement, this is done in the Court of Session and also in the inferior courts by a minute. . . . Strictly speaking, those minutes ought to be prepared by the clerk of court, as their form imports. It sometimes happens, after an argument at the bar of the Inner-House of the Court of Session, where questions of difficulty have been raised, that the Court, instead of pronouncing an order for Cases, appoints the parties to prepare and lodge Minutes of debate.
Ags. 1904 Dundee Advertiser (19 Nov.) 7:
Yesterday a minute was lodged in the Bill Chamber of the Court of Session stating that no answers are to be lodged to the note by the Free Church. . . They do not admit that the judgments of the Court in the cases of Bannatyne and others v. Lord Overtoun and others, and Young v. Macalister, . . . settle or determine the rights of the minuters in the present supension.
Sc. 1933 Evening Standard (22 Dec.) 1:
The petition was by Lord Inverclyde, of Castle Wemyss, Renfrewshire, against Lady Inverclyde — June, the actress — whose address is given as Hertford-street, W., and against Mathew Bartholomew Anthony Paanakker, as minuting defender.
Sc. 1949 Scotsman (26 March):
He assoilzied the defender, and found and declared that the party minuter was innocent of the adultery alleged against her. The minuter was found entitled to expenses against the pursuer.
(2) Sc. 1767 Session Papers, Mackenzie v. Macleod (12 Dec.) 19:
All the Writs are marked in the Minute-book of the Date of Presentment, and ingrossed in the Register of that Date and in the Order of the Minute-book.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 652:
It is now settled law, that insertion of a writ in the minute-book is indispensable to its due registration.
Sc. 1931 Encycl. Laws Scot. XII. 383:
The following books are kept and used in the Sasine Office in compliance with the provisions of the Act: a Presentment Book, a Minute Book, and a Record Volume for each division of the Register. The minute states the date and hour of presentment, the nature of the transaction, and the names and designations of the parties.
(3) Rnf. 1720 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 519:
I have come to a minute with the printer.
Sc. 1755 Johnson Dict.:
Minute — the first draught of any agreement in writing; this is common in the Scottish laws: as “Have ye made a minute of that contract?”
Sc. 1953 S.N.D. Association Minutes:
At a meeting of the four University Courts held at Edzell in November, 1952, a Minute of Agreement between the Universities, the Scottish National Dictionary Association and the Editorial Staff of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue was approved, and the present Joint Council was constituted.

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"Minute n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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