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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PIT, v.1 Also pitt, pet, puit. Gen.Sc. equivalent of Eng. put. See etym. note and Putt. [pɪt, pɛt, pʌt. See I, letter.]

A. Sc. forms:

1. Sc. forms of Eng. put. pres.t. pit. Gen.Sc.; pitt (Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 208); pet (Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) i., 1945 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 333); puit (Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tales 5). Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 34:
"Thoo're no exactly fat - yet," said Tam, "bit id'll no be lang if thoo're no carefil. Thoo're been pittan oan an aafil lot o' weight this peedie while."
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 3:
God knows he's hid it oaffen enough. Noo get back in there an pit that reel oan.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 22:
'Let me pit it anither wey. Dae you no ken me fae somewhere?'
Jackie burst out laughing.

2. Sc. forms of Eng. put pa.t. Pa.t. strong: pat (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 82; Ayr. 1785 Burns Death & Dr. Hornbook vi.; Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 206; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bch. 1926 Dieth; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai.; Sh., Cai., ne.Sc., Fif., w.Lth., sm. and s.Sc. 1966); patt (Sc. 1805 Beggar Laddie in Child Ballads No. 280 A. v.); paat (Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 6); †pait (Ork. 1728 H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 137); pot (Fif. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 259); weak: pit (Arg. 1902 R. Maclagan Evil Eye 173; Sc. 1903 E.D.D.; Cai., Ags., Fif., e.Lth., wm.Sc. 1966).Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 33:
"Thoo couldno possibly like a lass as thin as yin. Id's a winder they pat her in a picture, for thoo could herdly see her side on. Shae wis cheust like a shedda."
m.Sc. 1994 Billy Kay in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 145:
Matha kennt they should never hae been sae nearhaun the surface. They puit wuiden trees an stells in tae haud up the ruifs o seams that are wrocht, but whit guid's wuid against the like o friest an sodden grun soakit ower hunners o years.

3. Sc. forms of Eng. put pa.ppl. Pa.ppl. strong: putten (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 144; Sc. 1771 Child Ballads (1956) I. 446, 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxii.; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 206; Fif., Lth.. Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Bch. 1926 Dieth; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai.; ne.Sc., Fif., w.Lth., sm. and s.Sc. 1966), puttin (Slk. 1876 J. Dalgleish W. Wathershanks (1893) 41; Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 74; Kcb. 1896 A. J. Armstrong Cobbler Kirkiebrae 285) [pʌtn]; pitten (Rnf. 1858 D. Webster Sc. Haggis 59; Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 111; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Bch. 1926 Dieth; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai.; Sh., Cai., ne. and em.Sc., Rnf., Bte. 1966); puiten (Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chron. Mary Ann 12); petten (Kcd. 1880 W. B. Fraser Laurencekirk 360); potten (Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale 39; m.Sc. 1893 A. S. Swan Homespun ii.; Fif. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 259); weak: pit (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Cai., ne. and wm.Sc. 1966); pat (m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 19).Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 35:
Bit ye're John Farquharson, the Black Colonel, are ye nae? A bigger ootlaw than aa the McGregors pitten thegither!

B. Sc. usages. 1. With sim. meanings to Eng. in cases where Eng. usage now has make, send, set, take, etc.Sc. 1746 Culloden Papers (Warrand 1930) V. 122:
A small Rasay boat, into which he put foot.
Ayr. 1785 Burns 1st Ep. to J. Lapraik v.:
It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't.
Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 26:
When they pat the drink about, “Sirs, mind the piper,” he cried out.
Slk. 1810 Hogg Poems (1874) 281:
Put round the port and sherry.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Waugh x.:
When the door was pat ajee, . . . I gave Isaac a dram to keep his heart up.
Per. 1838 W. Scrope Deer-stalking 277:
Ye can win to the tap in ten minutes, and when ye are there, I can pit owr the deer.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 32:
It was him who pat me mad.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 141:
A clomp o' auld ash trees there that I put nae doubt were planted by Black Airter Forbes himsel'.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 120:
I, pat gyte wi' nervous fear, My turn had clean mistakit.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 40:
The folk deudno like tae send for de minister . . . Sae they pat for auld Mansie Pace.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums ii.:
It was Chirsty Miller 'at put it through the toon.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 91:
After a', I put nae doot, the clattie gaste o' a body deserved it.
Sh. 1899 Shetland News (4 Feb.):
Feth dey'll no tink muckle o' pittin' ta Glesga' for shün.
Mry. 1908 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 46:
I wish I kent fa it wis. I'd pit the p'leece till them.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 33:
Pit aff dy dug, man, an' staand nae langer laek ane bumbazed.
Mry. 1927 E. B. Levack Old Lossiemouth 11:
A wis juist pittin' aff ma claes, gaen tae ma bed.
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 191:
"There's a thing that happens, though you are not o a family to understand it, but married men hae sometimes a difficulty o putting their wives wi a bairn. Now there are ways in siccan a mechanter. Sometimes it's the man that's no on his mettle and a diet o good green kale can kittle him. ... "
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 208:
Having put off my clothes in a hollow of the sand hills I ran down and threw myself splash into the water, with a cautious abandon, as one returning to the bosom of mother nature, though uncertain of the welcome he would get.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 105:
Hid was weel efter ten afore wae wir deun wae the [choir] practice. Than, you ken, the lasses hid tae be pitten heem.
Ayr. 1999:
She widna pit aff her coat.

2. Combs. with advs. and preps.: (1) ill-pit, adj., (i) in difficulties, baffled, hard-pressed (I., ne., em.Sc.(a), Dmb. 1966). Cf. (22), (25); (ii) reluctant, unwilling (Gsw. 1966); (2) pit about, (i) where aboot is adv.: to inconvenience, cause trouble to (Sc. 1825 Jam., 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 59), to distress, fluster, upset (oneself or another). Common as ppl.adj. pitten about. Orig. Sc. and n.Eng. dial. but now common in St. Eng.; (ii) where about is prep.: to clothe, wrap up well, usu. of oneself; to wrap up (a parcel) (Sh., Uls. 1966); (3) pit abune one's heid, to put behind one, finish with. Hence of the sun: to pit a' the ill widder abeen its head, to shine forth after a period of rain (Bch. 1920); (4) pit aff, (i) to tilt the rack of a reaping machine and lay corn in sheaves ready to be bunched and tied (Arg. 1937); (ii) tr. to kill, dispatch, do away with, gen. of animals. Also in Eng. dial. Cf. (12); (iii) v., to waste time, delay, procrastinate (Sc. 1880 Jam.), gen. in phr. to pit aff time; n., a prevarication, evasion; (5) pit afore, to drape the front of one's body (Sh. 1966). Cf. (7) and (16) (ii); (6) pit again(st), to set oneself against, oppose, forbid (Sh. 1903 E.D.D., Sh. 1966); (7) pit apo, see (16) (ii); (8) pit at, (i) to make demands on, importune, press; to proceed against, attack, prosecute; (ii) to apply oneself to a task, “attack” a job energetically; (9) pit awa, (i) to dismiss from employment, sack (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 262; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., n.Sc., Per. 1966). Obs. in Eng.; (ii) refl. to commit suicide. Also pit awa wi, by confusion with dae awa wi. Gen.Sc.; (iii) to bury (n.Sc., Per. w.Lth., Ayr., Uls. 1966); (iv) phr. to pit awa one's hert, to cause one heart-failure; (10) pit back, (i) v., to reject, refuse, rebuff. Obs. in Eng.; (ii) n., a check, drawback; (11) pit by, (i) as in Eng., to set or lay aside, put away, save, accumulate. Hence pit-by, n., a hoard, a “stand-by”. Gen.Sc.; (ii) to dispose of, do away with; specif. to lay in the grave, bury (Ayr., Gall., Uls. 1966); (iii) to achieve, get over, pass, complete, put behind one, freq. of time (n.Sc., Ags., Uls. 1966); also absol., to spend time, stay, sojourn (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Lnk., Kcb. 1966); (iv) tr. and intr. (for refl.), to make do (with), tide (oneself or another) over with, freq. of food, serve one's turn (w.Sc. 1880 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; to maintain, support, pay for (Abd. 1966). Hence pit-by, n., a make-shift, stop-gap, temporary expedient (Sc. 1880 Jam.); of food: a snack, light meal. Gen.Sc.; (v) to prevent, make impossible. Obs. in Eng. Phr. no to pit (a thing) by someone, not to believe a person incapable of some (discreditable) action. Gen.Sc. Cf. Eng. put past, id.; (vi) phr. to pit (one) by the door, to turn (one) away, reject, spurn (Sh., Abd., Uls. 1966); (vii) phr. pitten by onesel, in a state of great excitement, “beside oneself” (Sh. 1966). See By, 4. (17); (viii) to last out, survive (a period of time) (Abd., Lnk. 1966); (12) pit doon, (i) to kill, put to death, ? sc. by hanging (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 145). Also in Eng. dial. or colloq. use, of animals being destroyed. Phr. to pit one's sel doon, to commit suicide (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Cf. (9) (ii). Specif. in bee-keeping: to suffocate bees with sulphur in order to get at the honey (Rxb. 1825 Jam., s.v. Smook, ‡1923 Watson W.-B.); (ii) to defeat, beat, overcome (Sh., Uls. 1966). Obs. in Eng.; (iii) to set plants in the ground, esp. potatoes (Cai., Uls. 1966); (iv) to lay in the grave, inter, bury (Cai., Abd., Uls. 1966); (13) pitfrae, (i) to prevent, hinder, stop. Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng.; (ii) to disincline one (for), put one off (a thing or person), give one a distaste for (Abd., Uls. 1966); (iii) pit frae onesel, to hit out energetically, deal out blows, lay about one; (14) pit in, (i) to remove from the field to the stack-yard (Cai. 1903 E.D.D., Cai. 1966); (ii) phr. pit in one's hand, see Hand, n., 8. (33); (15) pit into, to insinuate or suggest to, to impose (an idea, etc.) on (ne.Sc., Ags. 1966); (16) pit on, (i) absol., to hasten, hurry, put on speed, increase one's pace (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 243). Obs. in Eng.; (ii) absol. or refl., to put on one's clothes, dress, in 1790 quot. of headgear, = “to cover oneself”. Hence ill-(weel-, etc.) pit(ten)-on, shabbily (finely, etc.)-dressed (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.). Gen.Sc.; pit-on, n., an outfit, “get-up”. See also (24); (iii) in calico-printing: to transfer the design to the block; (iv) (a) to affect. Phr. to be sair pit on, to be suffering from an illness (Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Cai., Per. 1966); (b) to impress, impose on (Cai., Per. 1966). Obs. in Eng. Phr. pit a trick on, id.; (c) to blame; (v) ppl.adj. pitten on, of persons: affected, “stuck-up”, self-important, conceited, insincere (n. and em.Sc.(a) 1966). Also pit-on, n., insincerity, pretence, falseness (Sh, Abd., 1966); an affected, insincere person, one who puts on a show, gen. of social superiority. Phr.: to put it on, to try to impress. Also n. pit-on; (17) pit oot, (i) tr. to fit (one) out with clothes and accessories, to “turn (one) out” (Abd. 1966); (ii) absol. in baking: to roll out the dough preparatory to firing (see quots.). Also tr. to pit oot a bakin', -batch, to bake, do a baking (Abd. 1966); (iii) phr. to pit oot one's hand, to help oneself at table. Gen.Sc. See also Hand, I. 8. (33) and cf. pit in one's hand, id.; (iv) to put out the line, of a precentor: to sing the line of a psalm for the congregation to repeat (Rs., Inv. 1966). See Line, n., 4.; (18) pit owre, (i) tr. to swallow, “get over one's neck”, consume; to “wash down”, make palatable. Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng.; (ii) to get a thing behind one, to accomplish, carry out, finish, have done with (Sh., ne.Sc. 1966). Also phrs. to pit (a thing) owre one's heid, id., cf. (3), to pit owre a prayer, to offer up a prayer; (iii) tr. to make (a period of time, hardship, etc.) pass more quickly or easily, get through (Sh., ne.Sc. 1966); (iv) absol. to last out, survive, stay alive, make do; tr. to keep (one) going, sustain, tide (one) over (Cai., ne.Sc. 1966). Hence pit-ower, a makeshift, temporary expedient or stop-gap (Sh. 1966); of food: a snack, make-shift meal (ne.Sc. 1966); (v) to defer, postpone (Lnk., s.Sc. 1966). Obs. in Eng.; (vi) tr., to kill, slaughter, destroy, gen. of animals; (19) pit past, (i) to render unpalatable or unacceptable to one, put one off the idea of, discourage, destroy one's desire for. Gen.Sc.; (ii) see Past, adv.; (20) pit (one) through (a thing), to make (something) clear to someone, explain (a matter) in detail, “put one wise” (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Sh., n.Sc., Per. 1966); (21) pit to, (i) where to is adv. Of a door: to close, sometimes with the implication of not engaging the catch (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.; (ii) phr. pit to (one's hand), (a) to apply oneself to a task, set to work, begin (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.; (b) to help oneself at table. Gen.Sc. See also Hand, n., 8. (34); (iii) as in Eng. dial., in phr. (hard, ill, sair, etc.) putten to, -till, hard-pressed, in difficulties. Gen.Sc. Hence ¶put-tilment, n., the state of being involved in a difficulty (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 144); (iv) of a fire: to kindle, set agoing (ne.Sc., Ags., Dmb. 1966); (v) where to is prep.: to earth up (potatoes, etc.). See quot.; (vi) to apprentice (one) to a trade (Sc. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.; (22) pit thegither, together, in phr. ill- or weel-pitten-thegither, of persons or animals: ill- or well-built, having a badly or well-proportioned physique (Abd. 1966); (23) pit up, (i) to vomit, “bring up” (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc.; (ii) in phrs. put up an appearance, to show oneself, show up, put in an appearance (Sc. 1909 N.E.D.). to put up a start, make a start; (iii) to live in amity, agree, “get on” together, hit it off, sc. “put up with one another” (Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 192); (iv) in pass., to be settled, have a home of one's own; (24) pit upon, (i) see (16) (ii). Phr. pit apo (upon) one's feet, see Fit, n., II. (25); (ii) phr. pit speech upon, to speak to, engage in conversation, address a remark to (Sh. 1966); (25) phr. sair pit, see (1). Short for pit to, see (21) (iii).(1) Abd. 1926 E. Duthie Three Short Plays 9:
She's affa ta'en up wi' yer gramyphone, Mr. Smith, bit she's ill pit t' ken faur the soun's comin' fae.
(2) (i) Lth. 1852 M. Oliphant Adam Graeme ii. ii.:
He's unco' easy putten about.
Sc. 1857 D. Livingstone Travels 6:
I would not have been much put about, though my offer had been rejected.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xvi.:
I doot she'll be pitten aboot wi' 's bidein' there.
Sh. 1898 J. Burgess Tang 30:
As for poonishment, da Loard 'll never pit Himsell aboot ta hairm a pör body laek me.
Ags. 1899 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy v.:
[She] was enjoyin' the raggin' fine, altho' she was terriple putten aboot, wi' her wey o't.
w.Sc. 1904 H. Foulis Para Handy (1931) 533:
I was that put-about. Thon slippy floor aye frichtens me, and the gentlemen [in a bank] inside the coonter in their wee cages.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo x.:
[He] was rarely flustered or putten aboot.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Spring o' the Year 14:
I'll no' pit ye aboot. My trunk's ower-by at the inns.
Edb. 1938 Fred Urquhart Time Will Knit (1988) 151:
My mother had been sore put about, though everybody said it wasn't Tom's fault;... But more than my mother would be put about if Grace produced a fatherless bairn.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 122:
Whin Betsy heard him sayan this sheu wis terrible pitten aboot.
Ayr. 1999:
He wiz sair pit(ten) aboot owre the business.
Edb. 2003:
Ah'm awfy pit aboot because o that cat an its flees.
(ii) Sh. 1898–1900 Shetland News (9 June, 17 Dec.):
Doo'll need ta pit weel aboot dee, Sibbie, or dan dool get dy deth. Lat me pit aboot me noo 'at da caauld aer is begun.
(4) (ii) Sc. 1742 Cockburn's Letters (S.H.S.) 85:
Keeping the Chickens and by degrees put of all the old Cocks and Hens.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (2 June):
Ir ye gaun ta pit aff da auld koo, Bawby?
(iii) Sc. 1824 Scott St. Ronan's W. xxxvii.:
I am as stupid as he, to put off my time in speaking to such an old cabbage-stock.
Sc. 1850 Tait's Mag. (Dec.) 727:
I have purposely put off time, in order that if anybody was coming forward they might have an opportunity.
Sc. 1887 A. S. Swan Gates of Eden v.:
Suddenly recollecting how she was putting off her time.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battle of Dunbar 186:
They daur'dna for ae moment stan' Their breath to draw; If ane pat aff — faith, Robin than Shored her the law!
Ags. 1899 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy iv.:
I cud never pet aff my time gaen aboot doin' naething.
Uls. 1902 A. McIlroy Druid's Island 48:
A jist know'd there was somethin' th' maitter wi' the wean, in spite o' their pit-affs.
Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables frae French 40:
Aft pittin' aff the time to aid until It suits oor ain convenience an' will.
Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 36:
Dinna pit aff speirin' “Faur?” or “Foo?”
Abd. 1928 A. Black Three Sc. Sketches 15:
“He's likely met Maister Hole on the loanin's” “Ay, I suppose so. He hisna putten aff wi' 'im, though.”
(5) Sh. 1900 Shetland News (17 Nov.):
Shü . . . clikkid a dic'd apren aff o' da foreside o' da butt bed an' pat afore her.
(6) Cai. 1869 M. Maclennan Peasant Life 99:
Mrs. Morris “nivar pit again' him comin'”.
(8) (i) Sc. 1721 G. Wilson The Trust x.:
They will speak the Truth a while till they be put at, but incontinent they will turn.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 127:
The bankers beginnin' t' pit-at him for the bill. A kenna fat'll cum o' 'im noo, fin's breether's awa; for he'll hae naebody t' pit-at.
Sc. 1907 A. Lang Hist. Scot. IV. 73:
Argyle advised Carstares that Simon should not be put at for this.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 130:
Agnes wisno hard-pitten at for money.
(ii) Cld. 1880 Jam.:
Pit at it, an' hae dune wi' 't.
(9) (i) Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 17:
Dauvit's been oot o' woark threh the New Eer; hei was putten away threh the mill.
(ii) Sc. 1869 St. Andrews Gazette (2 Oct.):
During her term of imprisonment she made repeated attempts to put away herself.
Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 62:
He had made up his mind to put awa wi' himsel'.
Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow xv.:
It stands to reason, and it's plain to see, he never put awa' hissel'.
Slg. 1910 W. Blair Kildermoch 97:
She tried to pit awa hersel'.
(iii)Abd. 1897 G. MacDonald Salted with Fire xxii.:
She's a bonny clean corp as ever was, and may weel lie a week afore we put her awa'!
(iv) Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling III. 256:
The grip of this poor man amaist put away my heart.
(10) (ii) Abd. 1904 Weekly Free Press (23 April):
There's sae mony pit-backs that ye ken naething aboot in bonnie Scotland.
(11) (i) w.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
That siller will be a guid put by for the winter.
Edb. 1979 Albert D. Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 45:
Ach weel, I've a hantle pitten by,
Eneuch for John or his lad, and Catherine,
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 20:
The years gid in. The bools war putten by.
Like mony anidder Buchan loon sin syne, ...
(ii) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (22 Oct.):
Da first craw at comes 'ill shune pit hir by.
Dmf. 1928 R. W. McKenna O Rowan Tree 277:
I sair misdoot if there will be a penny o' her savin's left by the time she's pit bye.
Per. 1951 N. B. Morrison Hidden Fairing vii.:
His grandmother had died. “There is no need for you to come home,” she wrote as though in afterthought at the end of her letter, “she will be put by the morrow.”
(iii) Abd. 1874 W. Scott Dowie Nicht 17:
My cap's nae 'neath ony o' yer ladles. I'se pit by my turn fan the time comes.
Abd. 1892 Innes Rev. (Spring 1956) 22:
We didna put by lang amang the Skye fowk.
Arg. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days ii.:
Kate, had a constant head out at the window, “putting by the time.”
Abd. 1923 B. R. M'Intosh Scent o' Broom 25:
Time-furrowed and auld wi' my face to the west, My day's wark pit by, I am fain noo to rest.
(iv) Rnf. 1827 W. Taylor Poems 70:
The weans for bread dis greet and cry, Wi' twathree 'tatoes she puts them by.
Gsw. 1845 R. Husband Poems 61:
Some chaps in the towns for a breakfast or dinner, Put bye wi' a bap and a bowlfu' o' tea.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 127:
Its nae an aisy maitter t' pit by an election. He likes a gueede diet, an nae little o't tee; a wyte it's nae mowse t' pit him by.
w.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
Ye man pit by wi' that for ae day. That's a' I hae to gie ye, an' ye man jist put by wi't. I could pit by wi' ither five pounds.
Ork. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. II. 1459:
My family is quite small now, and I put by with the bread I have.
Cai. 1903 E.D.D.:
Ye an me can pit by on ony thing; leave 'at bit o' caal runkar till yer faither.
wm.Sc. 1923 H. Foulis Hurricane Jack 94:
Ye know at wance the thing [a boiled egg]'s a mere put-by because your wife or Jum could not be bothered makin' something tasty.
Sc. 1934 W. Power My Scotland 83:
I had three excellent meals and two “pit-byes”, in five different restaurants.
Arg. 1937:
To pit by the horses — to feed and tidy them up in preparation for the night.
Gall. 1947 A. McCormick Galloway 211:
The mourners were so overcome with their “pitbye” that when they arrived at the graveside their whole united efforts could not account for where the coffin had been lost!
(v) Bnff. 1895 N. Roy Horseman's Word x.:
The kelpy's putten't by bein' mistaen whose aught she's intil.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy ix.:
I will gie ye a daud on the side o' the head that will pit ye by looking at a lad till September fair.
m.Sc. 1934 Chambers's Jnl. (Jan.) 16:
I wadna pit it by her to be a wee thing broad in the beam when she grows aulder.
Abd. 1966 Huntly Express (8 April) 6:
He's nae a gweed ane, an' I widna pit onything by 'im.
(vi) Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood i.:
If she hadna the wit to pit a plooman by the door, . . . she can just bide the consequences.
(vii) Lnk. 1895 A. Murdoch Readings ii. 68:
I was perfeckly putten by mysel' wi' the bare thocht o't.
(viii) wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 390:
He's dreed a weary weird, and sair, sair, I fear the fa'in' o' the leaf, he'll ne'er pit bye it.
w.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
My coat 'll no pit by anither winter. He canna put by many hours.
(12) (i) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 55:
And we were fifteen well-made men, Altho' we were nae bonny; And we were a' put down but ane, For a fair young wanton ladie.
Sc. 1827 Blackwood's Mag. (April) 446:
Eppy Telfer had “put down” herself over night, and was found hanging dead in her own little cottage at day-break.
Fif. 1831 Fife Herald (1 Sept.):
One night last week, two Bee hives . . . were plundered of their contents. The depredators had the audacity to put them down (as the phrase goes) on the very spot in the regular way.
Sc. 1833 Mary Hamilton in Child Ballads (1956) III. 393:
Little wist Marie Hamilton, When she rade on the brown, That she was ga'en to Edinburgh town, And a' to be put down.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. iii.:
Will the roke harm ye, though it grew owre a put down man's grave?
Rxb. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xxi.:
What for 'll you be for putting me down, my Lord Angus?
(ii) Abd. 1892 Innes Review (Aut. 1956) 96:
My faither jest threw aff his pled and his skowkit bonnet and they grippit [wrestled]. Fleemin was pitten doon.
(iii) Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (25 April):
Fa oor hee'rd 'e lek o' at, an' me new deen o' pittin' doon ma tatties.
(iv) Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 203:
He's laid neist to yer fader, laddie — ye'll min' fat wye the aul' fowk wus pitt'n doon.
(13) (i) Inv. 1721 Steuart Letter-Bk. (S.H.S.) 168:
If I am not paid befor Candlesmass Ile use personall as weell as real dilligence agt. them, and put them from keeping kirk and market.
Arg. 1902 R. Maclagan Evil Eye 173:
That pit Neil frae gaun naer Mattie or the like o' her ever after.
Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 199:
That put 'im frae the fechtin.
(ii) Rnf. 1861 J. Barr Poems 33:
A draiglet roun' the mouth and chin, Enough to . . . put a body frae their dinner.
(iii) Abd. 1900 J. Milne Poems 15:
Pit fae you, Pitfoddels, they're men in the Mearns! Pit fae you Pitfoddels as hard's you can draw.
(15) Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale v.:
That's a lee, Tam Fordyce — that was potten into you by the ither pairty.
(16) (i) Abd. 1825 P. Buchan Gleanings 184:
Put on, put on, my wichty men Sae fast as ze can drie.
Edb. 1826 M. & M. Corbett Odd Volume 164:
“It's needless,” thought John Murdoch to himself, “to fight wi' twa o' them, . . . sae I'll e'en pit on;” an' aff he gaed at nearly the tap o' his fit.
Rxb. a.1860 J. Younger Autobiog. (1881) 92:
Pit on, mak' in at him or he notice us.
(ii) Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 72:
I thank you — what's the news in town? Pit on, pit on; How's Simon?
Sc. a.1800 White Fisher in Child Ballads No. 264 viii.:
Huly, huly raise she up, And slowly put she on.
Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1873) 34:
An' frae his hose rubs aff the dubs, Pits on wi' little din.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvii.:
She is decently put on enow.
Sc. 1820 Scots Mag. (May) 424:
Aiken Kent cam out o' the water, pat on himsell an' sat doun to rest.
Dmf. 1829 W. Caesar Jaunt 8:
I lay until the morning light . . . Then up I got wi' a' my might, And put me on.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 46:
It chaws ye, my leddy, it chaws ye, I see, That ye canna pit on like my dochters an' me.
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 89:
A crood that's waur put on than that, Ye winna see them ilka day.
Gsw. 1889 A. G. Murdoch Readings ii. 31:
A man with a defective hat, she maintained, could never be considered “dressed”, nae maitter what was his “pit on”.
Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow iv.:
His hand offered in marriage and rejected by that ugly, ill-put-on halflin' of a cousin!
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 223:
They thocht they wur better nor me, but Aw saw wha wus best put-on.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 9:
Ancrum — where weel-putten-on Naiter's buskeet in er bonniest braws.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood iv.:
She taks a gweed grip o' the grun yet an' a grand mou'fu' o' her words for a' her finery. Yon's a terrible pit-on.
(iii) Rnf. 1794 Scotland's Mag. (Feb. 1966) 45:
It is impossible for me to put on [Paisley] shawls without them [compasses].
(iv) (b) Abd. 1903 Weekly Free Press (26 Sept.):
Na, bit ye pit a trick on ma noo. Ye'll need t' spier at somebody wi' a langer heid nor I hae.
Ags. 1937 A. Fleming Strawberry Field i.:
She wis a fair terror . . . but she didna pit on me.
(c)Sc. 1979 T. S. Law in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 81:
Whan they puit it on tae the paer sowl
and he cannae bear it,
furst-aff, he'll gar a paerer yowl
wi a greetin share ot.
Abd. 1980 Edith Bishop For You I Remember 40:
I'm the saftest o' the faimly,
I'm the simple Johnnie Raw-aw-aw
For everything ma mither blames me
An ma faither pits it on tae me an a'.
(v) Bnff. 1922 E. S. Rae Glen Sketches 22:
Lizzie . . . wisna a grain pitten on though she was in London.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
Whan A'm seek-staaed o the wundy aippeen an the putten-on mimpeen an the preidfih bluistereen that a body often hes ti thole.
Kcd. 1933 L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe i. 37:
The long-teethed gentry up and down the Howe or the poverty put-ons of windy Stonehive.
Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 19. 43:
Da welcim wis waarm, an' weel I kent wis withoot ony pit on.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 90:
" ... Shae widno hiv cairried on like yin if id wir her whar wrott the letter."
"Cheust a pit-on," said Timothy, shrugging his shoulders.
s.Sc. 1979 Lavinia Derwent A Border Bairn (1986) 114:
But were we not all playing a part most of the time? Putting it on.
Edb. 1991:
She's just puttin it on when she tries to talk pan loaf.
(17) (i) Abd. 1920:
She aye pits her bairns out clean and trig.
Sh. 1961 New Shetlander No. 59. 17:
Her at's awa bade me pit her oot weel and gie her a guid funeral.
(ii) Ags. 1776 C. Keith Farmer's Ha' ix.:
Auld luckie bids her mak dispatch, And girdle heat, For she maun yet put out a batch O' bear and ait.
Fif. 1897 S. Tytler Witch-Wife x.:
Babie was in the act of “putting out” — that is, kneading, roling with a rolling-pin, and spreading on the iron griddle on the top of the peat fire a baking of oaten cakes.
(iii) Ayr. 1891 H. Johnston Kilmallie I. iii.:
Mrs. Braehead was invited to send in her cup, and put out her hand.
(18) (i) Cld. 1880 Jam.:
I canna put it owre. Tak some milk to put owre your bite.
Gsw. 1889 A. G. Murdoch Readings ii. 16:
“The healthiest corp I ever saw or heard tell o',” truthfully answered the “widow”, “put owre a pund o' pope's eye steak to its dinner the day.”
Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 81:
Whin dey hed pittin ower a' da whiskey, an' waar a' croos.
(ii) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 19:
Ye see how Rob and Jenny's gane, syn they Hae pitten o'er their heads their merry day.
Sc. 1769 Boswell In Search of a Wife (Pottle 1957) 269:
When once people are determined, the sooner they put it over the better. . . . No sort of excuse for setting out to London without the ceremony had been put over.
Sc. 1813 Lockhart Scott xxvi.:
Thank God! all real danger was yesterday put over.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf iii.:
We'll aye hae time to pit owre a bit prayer . . . afore she comes.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo ix.:
Mrs McAndra . . . put ower the weddin'.
(iii) Sc. 1712 S.C. Misc. (1841) 217:
I have put over some of my weary hours in this place . . . by writing and publishing some thoughts.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xliv.:
Ye'll be wanting eilding now or something to pit ower the winter.
Sc. 1829 Scott Journal (1950) 587:
I wrote letters, and put over the day till one.
Sc. 1851 Carlyle J. Sterling 176:
There . . . he might put over the rigorous period of this present year.
Per. 1852 R. S. Fittis Mosstrooper (1906) 81:
I wadna put ower a nicht here, no for the crown o' Scotland.
Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie xvii.:
I never thocht I wid hae pitten ower the nicht.
(iv) Sc. 1823 J. Wilson Trials M. Lindsay iv.:
The stranger offered kindly to give her money; but she reminded him of her guinea . . . and said they could all put over very well till their father was set free.
Ags. 1826 A. Balfour Highland Mary II. vi.:
She'll no put o'er till the sun gangs down.
Hdg. 1830 Perthshire Advert. (18 March):
He was asked if he wished more, to which he replied, “. . . I have no occasion for more; I have got as much as will put me over.”
Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie 7:
To wair their “hard won penny fee” on what will put them ower the following week.
Uls. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of Sod xxix.:
“Weel, Sam, a hope ye tuk yer fill,” . . . “Oh, weel, a hae tuk a ‘pit ower' at ony rate.”
Edb. 1891 R. F. Hardy Tibby's Tryst xxii.:
The Laird he's no like to pit owre or mornin' they tell me.
e.Lth. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 250:
It, wi' a chack o' white bread an' a mouthfu' o' ale, wad maybe pit us owre a' nicht.
Ags. 1920 D. H. Edwards Muirside 228:
Od, 'omman, I'm unco busy the nicht, but if ye could pit ower till Monday I'll make you sure o't syne.
(v) Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
He got the first brash at Whitsunday put ower wi' fair word and piping.
wm.Sc. 1964:
I'm tired the nicht. I think I'll pit that job ower till the morn.
(vi) Abd. 1936 D. Bruce Cried on Sunday 11:
It's lang time yon pigs wis awa'. . . . I'll tell Geordie Geeles te pit them ower the morn.
(19) (i) Edb. 1866 J. Smith Poems 34:
[It] vext me, perplext me, An' put me past my parritch.
m.Sc. 1887 A. S. Swan Gates of Eden ix.:
Ye micht as weel attempt to gar the sun stand still as pit yer faither past a thing when he's set on't.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders v.:
[He] pat my Jerry, that was aye a guid lad, past the grocering.
Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town xiii.:
Wha's auld Saumel Dawson's dochter that she should pit ye past your gude meat — a peepin', white-faced, on-weel looking craiter?
(20) Abd. 1895 J. Davidson Ministers 148:
Gin ye'll hearken to me, I think I can pit ye throu'.
Abd. 1923 Swatches o' Hamespun 19:
He'd pit him throwe fa the deemie wis.
(21) (i) Gall. 1723 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 431:
[She] owns she put to the door; denyes that her husband wrestled to keep it open.
Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 71:
In he gade . . . An' eke he did the door put to.
Sc. 1887 Jam.:
Put ta the door ahint ye.
Abd.4 1931:
Same here as 't wis afore, — Hinmist in pits tee the door.
(ii) (b) Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 27:
You'll juist mak yoursels at hame, and put tae your hauns . . . try the whuskey.
(iii) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 64:
Tell shortly, an' ye's get nae harm frae me, Nor mair be putten till, whate'er ye be.
Cai. 1872 M. Maclennan Peasant Life 236:
Maybe I winna grudge ye ane kiss, puir chiel, since ye're sae hard pit tae.
Cld. 1880 Jam.:
I was rale putten ta when I saw him tak the gun.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 111:
I'm rale sorry for him. He wis gey pitten tull in the eyen.
(iv) Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 73:
It's a quaet pitten-tee fire 'at naebody sees the reek o'.
Abd. 1964:
I pat tee the fire and bilet the kettle.
(v) Sc. 1831 Trans. Highl. Soc. VIII. 70:
As soon as the weeds begin to appear, the plough is again introduced, to what, in the idiom of the country, is called “taking from the potatoes,” which is done by running pretty close to the plant on both sides, so that a slight ridge is thrown up between the line of plants, and in this situation they remain for eight days, when the plant is “put to” by again applying the plough between the rows, and separating the earth composing the middle ridge above mentioned, towards the plant on each side, but without covering it.
(vi) Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 233:
I pat him to the wright business.
(22) Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 238:
He was ill pitten thegither to begin with, but many of his physical defects were the penalties of his work.
(23) (ii) Cai. 1963 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc. Mag. 9:
He wis clippan' howgs an trainan dowgs An' pit up a start till ploo!
(iii) Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 58:
“Aw'm gyaun ti bide wi' ye, Leebie,” said she, “an' gin we canna pit up, Aw'll leuk for a hame some 'dder gate.”
(iv) Slk. 1827 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) ix.:
You have been the sole support of my old age . . . and . . . I should like to see you put up afore I leave you.
(24) (i) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 15:
Shü geed up da stair ta pit ipun her, a start sin' syne.
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 37:
I raise an' pat ipo me.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 41:
Doo wid hae ta rin i' da hoose an' pit apo dee.
(ii) Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man (1935) 18:
Gin she's human, A'll pit speech ipo'r.
(25) Edb. c.1796 H. Macneill Songs (1806) 138:
Whan folk are sair put, they maun e'en “ride and tie”; Its better than gi' up the spinning o't.

[O.Sc. pit, to put, 1576, pat, pa.t., 1533, pit, pa.p., 1501, Mid.Eng. pitten, pytten, appar. a deriv. of O.E. mutated form ptan, with shortening of vowel. The alternative Sc. form Putt, q.v., is from the unmutated O.E. putian.]

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"Pit v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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