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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

SKAINIE, n. Also skaeny; skainy(a), scaignie; scangie (Mry.); skenzie; skeen(g)(y)ie, skeenzie, skeinzie; skeenie, -y, skeany, skinie, -(a)y, skinny. String, twine, pack-thread (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 127, 1825 Jam., skeengie, -yie, 1887 Jam., skainya; Kcb.4 1900; Cai. 1904 E.D.D., Rs., Mry. (skainie, scangie), Gall. (skeenie) 1970). Also attrib. with thread, tow. In 1919 quot. used derisively for a soft weakling. [′skeŋ(j)i, ′skini]Fif. 1704 Rothes MSS.:
For 4 quar of gray peper and on quer whitt and half a pound of skinay . . . £1 9s. 0d. For netts and skinay for the tent . . . 2s. 0d.
Edb. 1752 Caled. Mercury (3 March):
All Sorts of Lint and Hemp Twines, Skenzie, Lead Lines, White Ropes.
Sth. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XXI. 221:
A bit of strong skainy is fixed, with a noose formed on one end.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck viii.:
The leather bags and the skeenzie thread.
Dmf. 1831 Carlyle Early Life (Froude 1882) II. 182:
Tie a piece of good skeenyie about my papers.
Abd. 1864 Aberdeen Journal (27 Jan.) 8:
Skeinzie tows and hairn tedders.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin ii.:
The lanthorn hung round Mr Bodkin's neck by a piece o' skeengyie.
Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 312:
A bit skeeny that A keep in my wascoat pouch for the mole-traps.
Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny 280:
Tied up in broon paper and ‘skeenie'.
Mry. 1919 T.S.D.C.:
We used to throw aside our boots and stockings in those days at the first of May, and, be it fair be it foul, we did not put them on again till after the “haist play” — Sundays excepted, of course. Any boy who dared to come to school on a cold or wet day with boots on, was greeted with derisive shouts of “leepit scaignie!” “leepit scaignie!”
Rs. 1936 G. Macdonald Echoes of Glen xx.:
Barter value in the way of marbles, transfers, knives and skeany strings.

[O.Sc. skeynȝie, a skein, coil of string, etc., 1500, O.Fr. escaigne, the orig. of Eng. skein.]

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



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