Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COAT, COT, COTT, n. Sc. uses and forms of Eng. coat. Also dim. coatie. See also Quyte. [kɔt, ko(ə)t Sc.; kʊət s.Sc.]

1. A woman's or child's petticoat; a skirt. Obs. in literary Eng., although still much used in Eng. dial. Gen. in pl. Gen.Sc. Sh. 1928 T. Shewan in Manson's Shet. Almanac 187:
Dis young witless lasses wi' . . . cots ta dir hochs, an' heads clippid ta da bon.
Cai.(D) 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 4:
She's on wi' 'ir blue coat an' short goon.
Abd.(D) 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 25:
There's me, fan but a bairn in cotts, nae big aneuch to herd, Would seener steek my nieves an' fecht, than dook or ca' my gird.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xii.:
It's eneuch to scunner a body to see the way they carry on . . . plaistered a' ower wi' cheap lace an' ribbons, an' their coats trauchlin in the glaur ahint them.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders v.:
“Mistress Allison, tak' care; I doot it [a rat]'s run in aboot your coaties!” she cried.

2. Phrases: (1) on ane's ain coat-tail(s), forced to pay one's own way; independent(ly); (2) to kilt the coats (used pass.), to gae coats kilted, of a woman: to be pregnant (Lnk.3 1936). . (1) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
I never gang to the yill-house — that is, unless ony neighbour was to gie me a pint . . . but to gang there on ane's ain coat-tail is a waste o' precious time and hard-won siller.
Fif. 1887 “S. Tytler” Logie Town III. v.:
You are an orphan lass on your ain coat-tails.
Fif. 1894 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin, Swatches o' Hodden-Grey xxii.:
He wad be ready to gang the length o' advancin' a few notes to set me up in business on my ain coat-tail.
(2) Fif.10 1936:
Ay, her coats are kilted again.
Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Rem. Nithsd. and Gall. Song 60:
The Laird spake to Kimmer for his barren ladie, An' soon gaed my Ladie coats kilted fu' hie.

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"Coat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jan 2021 <>



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