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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCLIM, v., n. Also sclimm, sklim(m), sclimb, sklimb. Sc. forms of Eng. climb. See P.L.D. § 69 and S, letter, 5. [sklɪm]

I. v. As in Eng. (Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. Pa.t. weak sclimmt (wm.Sc. 1926 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 225), sclimmit (Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 385), sclimmed, sklimt (Slg. 1935 W. D. Cocker Further Poems 14), sclimbed (Dmb. 1899 J. Strang Lass of Lennox 295); strong sclam, sclum (Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 15, 23), sclamb (Slg. 1901 R. Buchanan Poems 174); sklum (Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 21). See further under Clim.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xiv.:
I wad be sure to get my hurdies broddit if I tried to sklim owre.
Hdg. 1876 J. Teenan Songs 52:
Could dreip a dyke, or sklimb a tree.
wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs Mccraw 51:
Wee Jock sclimmed ontill a rockin'-chair.
Fif. 1916 G. Blaik Rustic Rhymes 170:
I sclamb upon the table heich.
s.Sc. 1938 Border Mag. (Oct.) 151:
Pate, sclimin' back up his lether.
Sc. 1945 Scots Mag. (April) 12:
When sall I see again reek sclim the air.
m.Sc. 1982 Douglas Fraser in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 9:
Wi' mony a craig an cleugh,
The rouch hills, the teugh hills
That froun dour and grim,
The hie hills, the stey hills,
They daur ye to sclim.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 53:
... an I sclimt up richt tae the tapmaist bit
an skelpin doun cam I withooten swither.
Sc. 1990 Robert Crawford in Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway New Writing Scotland 8: The Day I Met the Queen Mother 5:
Rooky ur-stanes, nesh
Wi deid weans' haunprents, sclimmin
Salvatour's tooir.
ne.Sc. 1991 Lilianne Grant Rich in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 23:
There at its heichest sclims the rinnin tide
Scatterin the bairnies' game -
Slappin the fisher-hooses' side
Wi green-white faem.
m.Sc. 1993 Lizbeth Gowans Daly in A. L. Kennedy and Hamish Whyte New Writing Scotland 11: The Ghost of Liberace 15:
As he walked on he instructed her, 'Aye, weel, if it's trees ye're wantin' tae sclim, get up in that elderberry for your mother. ...'
m.Sc. 1994 John Burns in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 27:
Wi glitterin een he turnt back tae the wuid an stertit tae sclim back up til the road. He felt licht inside an gaed glegly, steppin ower ruits an stanes an pickin his way past the brammles that hankt an catcht at his claes gin he wasna quick eneuch.
Lnk. 1998 Duncan Glen Selected New Poems 13:
And William
Dunbar sclimmin, haund owre haund,
up Castle Rock. And James VI ridin north,
no to be seen for stour?
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 150:
' ... And when I saw the horror o the place, I kent I would hae nae mercy frae ony man that could rule here, and I jist sclimmed up the steps, thinkin somehow I would fin ye. ... '
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 70:
We're free ti sclim back an reclaim it,
- oor space on the world burlin roun.
Syne, back fae the brink, we'll regain it,
- wir vyce, lang an echo dang-doun.

II. n. As in Eng., a climb, ascent.m.Sc. 1922 J. Buchan Huntingtower iv.:
I tried the roof, and a sore sklim I had.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 15:
“Teedisome brae”, quo A, eenow, bit for aa A stecht keinda, it was rale neice, that sklimm.

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"Sclim v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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