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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SYTHE, v., n.1 Also seith, sieth, scythe. [sɑeð]

I. v. To strain, esp. milk, through a sieve, to filter (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1972); to sift in gen. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 146:
So soon as it is milked, they sieth it into a brass veshell tinned within.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 14:
He lost a but the grit bits scythed through his teeth [of one vomiting].
Dmb. 1809 Farmer's Mag. 250:
Each cow's milk is seithed into a dish of wood.

II. n. A (milk-)strainer, a filter (Per. 1972). Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1808 E. Hamilton Glenburnie ix.:
A hole in the milk-syth.

[O.Sc. milk-syth, a.1568, sith, to strain, 1571, Mid.Eng. cyth, to strain (milk), variant of cyve, syve, Mid.Eng. forms of sieve, O.E. sife.]

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"Sythe v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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