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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

OAT, n. Sc. usages, mainly anglicisations of the hist. Sc. form Ait, q.v.:

Combs.: 1. oatcake, a thin, flat cake made of oatmeal. Gen.Sc., mainly dial. in Eng.; 2. oat dust, the fine particles of meal and husk produced in grinding corn. See Dust, n., 1. (2) (a); 3. oatear, the yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava rayi (Ayr. 1929 Paton and Pike Birds Ayr. 41); 4. oat-fowl, the snow-bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis (Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 204, 1866 Edm. Gl.); 5. oatland land on which oats are grown. Also as a place-name; 6. oat-leave, ground the first year after oats have been grown on it. Cf. Aitliff Crap and bear-leave s.v. Bear, n., 2. (13); 7. oat seed, the season of the sowing of the oat crop.2. Sc. 1805 R. Forsyth Beauties Scot. III. 348:
Oat-dust from the mill also makes part of the mixture.
4. Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VII. 461:
A small bird, rather less than a sparrow, resorts here in winter, supposed to be the same with what is by some called the Empress's bird in Russia, and is called by the people here oat-fowls, because they prey on the oats.
5. Slg. 1802 G. Galloway Admirable Crichton 71:
Bob over the oatland swift roams thro' all Scotland.
6. Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 213:
The Crofting consisteth of four Breaks; whereof one, after a Year's Rest, is dunged for Bear, the second is Bear-leave, the third Oat-leave, the fourth ley.
7. Sc. 1733 Session Papers, Petition J. Campbell (26 June 1751) 9:
The People of Calder were so taken up with their Oat-seed.

[O.Sc. oatseid = 7., 1661.]

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"Oat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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