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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).

HEEST, v., n. Also heeste (Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 157), heist (Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xiii.); hist(e); heesht (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 251), hisht (Abd. 1914–56). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. haste, to make haste, hasten, hurry. Used refl. Commonly found in imper. phrs. heest ye back, doon, ower, up, etc., as an invitation to visit one = “Come back, etc. soon!” Gen.Sc. Also used as n.phr. = a bargain or extra given by a shop-keeper to entice a customer to give him more trade (Abd., Kcb. 1956), or a poor quality article or piece of workmanship which will soon wear out and need replacement (Abd. 1956). See also Hastie. [hist, hɪst, hiʃt, hɪʃt]Abd. a.1776 Logie of Buchan in Herd's MSS. (Hecht 1904) 122:
Then haste ye back, Jamie, and bide na awa!
Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems 27:
Preserve's! O haste ye! rin, — mak' mettle heels!
Mry. 1852 A. Christie Mountain Strains 22:
I left them baith to tak' their crack, An' promis'd seen to haste me back.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 131:
Sheu wus sae skair'd, sheu deud no' heest her.
Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes & Sk. 86:
Hist thee ashore the foundling moor — What ocean stray-waif mot she be?
Lnk. 1890 J. Coghill Poems 128:
Come, laddie, heest ye, bring the liquor ben.
Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 99:
Dan Synnie cries “Heest, heest dee! min! Or dan I'll sün be shokkit.”
Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost 49:
Leezbeth, heest ye an' get the tea ready an' I'll set aff the nicht.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 268:
He wus tae heest him, or she wud be deid or he wun.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 4:
Weel, weel. Hist ye owre an' gie's a forenicht.
em.Sc. 1936 A. Fleming Christina Strang xviii.:
Mrs Maclaren . . . replied with a warm inflexion of sincerity. . . . Hist ye back.
Bch. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 12:
Wi' best respecks fae young an' auld, An' hist ye back!
Abd.30 1956:
I socht twa yairds o' tape, bit he gied me an extra bittie, by wye o' a hist-ye-back.

Hence heisty, adj., quick, speedy (m.Lth. 1956).Lth. 1921 A. Dodds Antrin Sangs 55:
And whae are ye, my bonny muckle man? Be heisty, noo, and tell.

[O.Sc. has heist, v., a.1586. This form seems to have developed by further fronting (by falling together with the change of Mid.Eng. e2 > [i:]) from the raised tense ē stage of Mid.Eng. hāste, and may have been borrowed from some Eng. dial. which had this feature in the 16th c. (see Wyld Hist. Mod. Colloq. Eng. 195, 211).]

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"Heest v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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