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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

YOUTH, n. Also yowth (Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lxviii.); ¶youd (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Sc. forms and usages. Hence youthfu, youthfeh (Rxb. 1965 Hawick Express (7 July) 4), youthful. [juθ, Abd. †jʌuθ]

Derivs.: †1. youthheid, -head, youtheid, -hied, -it, yowthheid, (1) youth, the state or time of youth. Now liter. See also Youdith; (2) young people, youths coll.; 2. youthie, -y, (1) adj., young, youthful (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 110; Ork. 1974), esp. in appearance as belying one's years. Hence youthily, adv., youthfully, youthiness, youthfulness; (2) n., dim. form of youth, a young person, a young ‘blade'.1. (1) Gall. 1701 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 54:
Ther mother compearing in ther room (questioned anent the two boys), ansuered they were below censure by reason of ther youthheid.
Edb. 1714 Burgh Rec. Edb. (1967) 264:
After so long perenegration [sic] in this Kingdome of Polland from my youth-head until when by Divine providence am come to old age now.
Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 155:
As lang's ye hae youthit an' vigor, An' littleanes an' debt are awa'.
Edb. 1801 H. MacNeill Poet. Wks. II. 134:
Year after year in youtheid's prime.
Sc. 1819 in Lockhart Scott xlv.:
Master Charles, who is of course more magnificent, as being the only specimen of youthhead at home.
Lth. 1851 M. Oliphant Merkland I. xii.:
Do you see how strong, and full of health, and strength, and youthheid that face is?
Abd. 1877 W. Alexander Rural Life 170:
Willie in his grey old age, as in his green “youtheid”.
Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 58:
O, let us tak thegither What youtheid gies.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
I kent her in youthheid,
sae gowden-bobbed (nou sae lyart)
ne.Sc. 1991 Alastair Mackie in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 68:
Youtheid likes itsel best.
Twa laddies cam here aince.
Whit gaupit back at them was an ee o ice.
(2) Sc. 1848 Tait's Mag. XV. 123:
Guilty of having committed the education of ‘the youthhead' of the country to men whom they consider disqualified.
2. (1) Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam-Boat i.:
I was, for the time, a new creature, a sort of youthiness that lasted sometimes more than a fortnight.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
I'se warran she's nae less than three score, but she's as youthie as gin she warna out o' her teens.
Sc. 1826 Scott Journal (1890) I. 240:
I found a certain lady on a visit — so youthy, so beautiful, so strong in voice that I bolted.
Ayr. 1839 Galt Demon of Density 6:
His bright eyes shone youthily.
Per. a.1843 J. Stewart Sketches (1857) 11:
Whaure'er there is a wanton ploy, amo' the youthy fock.
Rnf. 1853 J. Fraser Poet. Chimes 29:
The auld man look'd sae youthy like.
(2) Edb. 1795 H. MacNeill Scotland's Skaith 71–2:
The mair they crack'd, the mair ilk youthy Pray'd for drink to wash news down.

[O.Sc. ȝowtheid, 1375.]

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"Youth n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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