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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PERSKEET, adj., adv. Also perskiet, pir-; perskit; †pershittie. [pər′skit]

I. adj. 1. Fastidious, precise, meticulous, over-particular; demanding, hard-to-please (Sc. 1808 Jam., pershittie; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1965); “formal, polished and ceremonious” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), perskit). Cf. Perjink, Pernicketie.Sh. 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 68:
Hit wisna fir want o' schances, bit Betty wis ower pirskeet.
Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. 199:
Sae perskeet an sae perteeklar at a sant widna plaese dem.
Sh. 1931 Shetland Times (14 March):
Da pirskeet objik ill laekly gjen awa' sooth an' w'rit a' lok o' bruck aboot hoo he met in with an oonceevilised aald man.

2. Prim, prudish, straitlaced (Sc. 1808 Jam., pershittie; Sh. 1965). Hence perskeetness, affected modesty, prudishness.Sh. 1900 Shetland News (1 Dec.):
Deil bit da lasses is ony better as dey wir afore dis. A' der perskeetness is only afore folk.
Sh. 1922 J. lnkster Mansie's Röd 23:
Shü's dat perskiet'at shü winna lowse hir breast ta tak oot da letter afore da men.
Sh. 1958 New Shetlander No. 46. 9:
The prim and perskeet old maiden lady they are burying today.

II. adv. 1. Sprucely, fastidiously, with care and attention to detail (Sh. 1965).Sh. 1929 T. Manson Peat Comm. 138:
Here's du, a man o sixty wi a faimly, dressed desell up as pirskeet as if du'd come oot a baand-box.

[Per-, intensive pref., + skeet, shittie, of doubtful orig. The alternative forms suggest connection with shit, Norw. skit, excrement, and for semantic development cf. Dirten, 2.]

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"Perskeet adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2022 <>



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