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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

BEASTIE, n., dim. of beast. [′bisti]

1. Familiar and affectionate contraction of beast. (See quots.)Sc. 1989 Scotsman 12 May 14:
Rorschach: "A bit like the beastie in Jaws, but I suppose it makes a noise."
Sc. 1999 Herald 4 Sep 4:
Alternatively, they tell you there is a famous black-striped spider, a Southside beastie not known to formal natural science.
Bnff. 1871 Bnffsh. Jnl. (26 Dec.) 7:
I wid raither gae [gie] a triffle mair for a hame-grown beastie.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
Yon's a snippet horsie 't was i' the secont pair — yon young beastie.
m.Sc. 1986 John McKenzie City Whitelight 87:
'Well, what have Ah got to be cheerful about? The beasties [mosquitoes] were eatin' me alive in there,' Harry protested, scratching away as if the beasties were still hard at it.
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 122:
... the deer and boars, the otters and beavers, even the smallest beasties, the very beetles, glow-worms and spiders, retreated further and further yet from the marches of bogland ...
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 2:
Our beasties here will take their e'ening pluck.
Gsw. 1999 Herald 16 Oct 25:
When that great beastie opened his mouth I never had any doubt that he could swallow the Dalmuir West-Auchenshuggle tram, clippie an' a', never mind a poor wee soul like Jonah who must have wished that when the Lord told him to go to Nineveh he'd done just that instead of running scared for the ocean.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To a Mouse i.:
Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 57:
Beasties. An affectionate name for brute beasts; also one for vermin.

2. The salmon (a specialised application of the word by fishermen).Abd. 1932 J. Leatham Fisherfolk of the North-East 128:
I have not touched . . . on the regular sea-fishers' dislike to the salmon, which they call “the ill fish” and “the beastie.”

3. In taboo-usage by fishermen: a pig (Ags., Bwk. 1975).Bwk. 1906 D. McIver Eyemouth 353:
Pigs were kept by many of the people, but they were called "the beasties" to avoid trouble.

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"Beastie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jul 2022 <>



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