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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Grit, a., n., and adv. Also: gritt. [Var. of Gret, Grete, and Gryt(e, with unusual change of vowel, occurring also in mod. Eng. dialects. Not found before 1500, but common from c 1535. Cf. also Girt a.]

1. Great in size, amount, degree, importance, etc.a. (1) 1512 Wemyss Chart. 139.
The grit he gait one the est syd the colpottis
1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 174.
Ane grit pres of aik and fyr. Item ane grit lang kist of aik
Ib. 176.
Ane grit towell holit
1535 Stewart 2.10.
With … ene baith grit and reid
Ib. 51263.
On swift hors grit and wycht
1549 Compl. 55/26.
The superfice of ane grit roundnes
1563 Reg. Cupar A. II. 280.
Ane grit irn sloit to the abbatis chalmer dwr
a1568 Bann. MS. 140 a/28.
Gritt bladis and bittis thow stall full aft
(a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. lviii. 67.
Our all the grit se occeane
1607 Crim. Trials II. 522.
Thre hundreth grit growand allouris
1607 Kinghorn Kirk S. 9.
Bessie Kirkcaldie bad him play on the grit pyp
1615–6 M. Works Acc. XI. 50.
To the quarieris … for ane grit stane for ane grit armes
1649 Wemyss Chart. 233.
My grit brothered bebell
(2) 1535 Stewart 27613.
Grit plentie … Of meit and drink
1549 Compl. ii/21.
To gyf hym ane grit some of moneye
1552 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 279.
That the lordis of Bonaccord … hase maid our mony grit, sumpteous, and superfleous banketing
a1578 Pitsc. II. 113/11.
With wther grit giftis of gould and silluer
1585 Misc. Spald. C. II. 344.
The said sowme … besyde and attour wther grit sowmeis
c1615 Chron. Kings 123.
Returning with ane grit bwitting to Berrik
1609 Crim. Trials III. 47.
He callis ane gritt number of the keiparis of the Castell into his chalmer
(3) 1533 Gau 26/27.
Ony oder mortal man quhow grit that ewer rwis thair power
1535 Stewart 14798.
The Britis hartis with grit favour he wan
Ib. 40805.
[He is] hie in hevin, with blythnes and grit gloir
a1540 Freiris Berw. 126.
Ane Blak Freir he wes of grit renown
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 116.
As Pharao [sufferit] for his grit ydolatrie
Ib. 144.
This earlie trubill is thair grit consolatioun
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 85.
The coptane of the castle was nurished in grit esperance or elis vaine boasting
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxxi. 61.
Amang folyis ane grit folye I find
1595 Conv. Burghs I. 462.
For … executing of the said act … to the grit weill of thair estait
c1615 Chron. Kings 107.
The Queine tuik gritt paynis to haue Bothuell most braw
(4) 1549 Compl. 58/13.
Ther occurris haistyly … sum grit myscheif
c1500 Rowll Cursing 142 (B).
With grit din and deray, Compeir sall Sathan
1571 Sat. P. xxv. 59.
[I] nawayis culd devyis To mend this grit mischance
1572 Reg. Privy C. II. 168.
The grit murtheris and … beistlie crewelteis usit
1588 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 121.
To … incure grit expenssis, labour and pley thairthrow
1605 Ib. 233.
The grit trubill and cummir committed be Williame Adame
1623 Conv. Burghs III. 141.
To desyre redres of the gritt hurt sustenit be the lieges
(5) 1535 Stewart 30759.
Without lang vysment in so grit ane thing
1557 Prot. Bk. A. Gaw 41.
Sworne the grit aitht
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xiv. 59.
In materis grit and doutsum
1584 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 110.
Wpoun consideration of the bischopis grit adoo
1587-99 Hume 15/118.
That maid thy Prophets mouth reveill Thy mysteries grit to cum
(6) 1547 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 248.
Grit admirale of Scotland
1549 Compl. 167/3.
There is nocht mony men, grit nor smal, that [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 624.
Diuers grit kings and knichtis
a1568 Bann. MS. 217 b/43.
Thocht scho be cumd of grit degre, And thow be cumin of sempill kin
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 637.
Gyf ȝe grit God wald glorefie
15.. Clar. v. 2293.
Of jyant corpis was this grit campioun
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seton p. xi.
Men of grit housis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xcv. 61.
Off sum grit men thai haue sic gait
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 322.
It being laid to his chairge that he was a grit … authorisare of the bischopes
c1590 Fowler I. 59/50.
A maister gritt in Cupids court
b. compar. 1558-66 Knox II. 40.
That no gritter expeditioun is maid
1574 Reg. Privy C. II. 361.
Takand the grittar bauldnes
a 1568 Sat. P. xlviii. 46.
Ȝe find ȝour self the gritter fule
1574 Elgin Rec. I. 216.
Takand the grittar occasioun of his mischevous interprysis
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 228.
That na simpill barbouris suld haif gritter privilege bot onely to coll [etc.]
1602 Reg. Privy C. VI. 377.
In gritter contempt and vilipensioun of his Majestie
1604 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 326.
The gritter haist is requyred heirin
c. superl. 1535 Stewart 26316.
Quha fallis heichast gettis the grittest faw
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxx. 74.
Ay grittest coist is apone thingis vane
Ib. xcviii. 81.
Ȝe in hand that hes the grittest strenth
1621 Crim. Trials III. 502.
In ane singular combat, quhairvnto … Capitan Harie was … drawin by the grittest respectis of credeit
1626 Conv. Burghs III. 223.
The said fisching is the grittest benefeit this cuntrey does effoord

2. In various special senses. Cf. Grete a. 2.(1) 1535 Stewart 212.
With schoulderis braid and armis grit and squair
Ib. 23698.
With speiris lang that war bayth grit and squair
1566 Treas. Acc. MS. 63.
The losing of certane grit tymmer for artailȝerie furth of ane boyart
1599 Misc. Maitl. C. III. 242.
Twentie pair of gritt turrettis of iron to the said doges
1601 Reg. Privy C. VI. 238.
In his hand ane grit aik trie, being the boitstaik of his boit
1631 Peebles B. Rec. 416.
For four faldome gritt towis to kitt them [sc. witches] vp with all
(2) 1549 Compl. 60/16.
In Rome there vas ane nobil princesse callit Martia grit vith child
(3) 1546 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 237.
vj quartaris of grit carsay
(4) 1610 Dunblane Test. III. 115.
Vpone the saidis landis … in bowgang xxxij grit ky
(5) 1527 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 119.
Gilbert Menȝeis, provest, tua lib. grit
1527–8 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 360.
To deliuer a li. grit of sanct James siluer … to help to by ane tabernakill
1546 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 234.
Ane Flemis ell of welwet, cost xi s. grit
1593 Edinb. Test. XXV. 190.
Thrie pund of flachtit caddes at v s. vj grit

b. Of persons: Intimate, familiar. 16.. Hist. Kennedy 14.
Thay war so far at wareyanse that thay culd never be gritt
Ib. 21.
The Laird of Bargany being this way agreitt with my Lord, thay fell werry gritt

c. With grandame, grandfather. a1500 Colk. Sow 628.
I did it leir at ane full auld wyfe, My gritgraundame
1671 Wemyss Corr. 113.
His gritte grandfather and myne war full brethers

3. absol. or as n. a. Great persons. a1568 Scott i. 131.
The grittest ay the grediar, I ges
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvii. 45.
Do equale ressoun baith to grit and small
Ib. xcix. 49.
The grittest ar with monyast invyit

b. In grit, in great, in bulk. 1545 Aberd. B. Rec. (J).
The cawyng of wedderis in grit furth of the schyir
1556 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 300.
Bot to sell the same in grit to fremen and breither of gild
1588 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 126.
Bying of wyld foulis … in grit, … and taping of the samyn ouir again
1592 Acts III. 559/1.
Na vre in grit wes neuer meltit of befoir and fynit

c. Flemish groats. Cf. Grete a. 5 b. 1613 Conv. Burghs II. 430.
The Maister of the Consergerie to … caus ilk ane quha sweires pay to the box thrie gritt als oft as they contravene
1625 Ib. III. 198.
Ane … impost of all guides imported … fra the … Law Cuntreyis, … ane pak towes, thrie grit, … ane poik vnȝeoun seid, thrie gritt

4. adv. Greatly, very. 15.. Clar. i. 1075.
Quhen this thing was to his Hienes kend, Grit glaid he was
Ib. v. 1257.
We ar not grit amervellit of this deid

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"Grit adj., n., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 May 2024 <>



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