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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BOUT, BOWT, Boot, n.2 Used as in St.Eng. to signify a spell or turn at work or exercise, fit of drinking, trial of strength; an occasion; but note the following Sc. usages. [bʌut, but]

1. “A row in knitting “ (Mry.1 1914).Abd.13 1910:
A boot o' the shank is just a round of your knitting. [Abd.2 gives bout.]

2. The extent of ground covered as the mower, driller, or ploughman moves to the other end of the field; sometimes used also to include the return action. Also in vbl.n. form bouting (Sc. 1832 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Agric. 1348).Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Gen. Report of Agric. of Scot. 455:
The [drilling] machine has a lateral implement or drag connected with it . . . which makes a deep scratch or slight furrow in the ground . . . by means of which each successive bout is regulated.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Bout . . . the rectangle included in the length of the field to be mowed . . . as, “That rake'll tak in your hale bout “; said ludicrously.
Mearns 1933 “L. G. Gibbon” in Scots Mag. (Feb.) 335:
Through the window she could see him scything a bout.
Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Sel. of Poems and Songs 20:
The men are cuttin' doon the girse in bouts.
Arg.1 1933:
A bout. Two furrows — one away from the starting point and the other back to it. Also one furrow right round the field when ploughing head-rig.

3. “The sweep or curve made by a scythe“ (Ork. 1929 Marw.); the amount of corn, etc., cut by one such sweep.Abd.9 1934:
In the days of the scythe . . . a following wind made the cut corn fall away from the scythe and form a neat bowt.

4. Phr.: lying in the bout (see quot.). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.1 1935.Mearns 1825 Jam.2:
Corn or hay, when cut by the scythe, and lying in rows, is said to be “lying in the bout.“

[This and Bout,n.1 are of same origin as Eng. bout, a turn, a spell, etc.; O.E. būgan, to bend (cf. also Boucht, n.1, Eng. bight, O.E. byht); but n.2 has been influenced by bout, aphetic form of about, as in Boutgate, q.v.]

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"Bout n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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