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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HERTIE, adj., adv., n. Also hairty, herty, heartie. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. hearty. [′hɛrtɪ, ′herte]

I. adj. 1. Of persons: fond of fun and good company, jovial, cheerful, merry (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also transf. to things. Also adv. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 113:
Says Colen then, come heary gees a sang, An' let's be hearty wi' the blythsome thrang.
Rnf. 1789 A. Wilson Poems (1844) 365:
To be hearty over a pint.
Rnf. 1815 W. Finlayson Rhymes 120:
I always wish to see a hearty fire.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes lxxiii.:
Alec Forbes, a ceevil, herty cratur, wi' a kin' word an' a joke.
Gsw. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Lilts 30:
Blessings on the hearty maut.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 7:
The young lethy wus a he'rty, blithesem, cheerie, humble wife.
Per. 1887 R. Cleland Inchbracken 238:
I'se fesh out the kebbock, it looks hearty.
Mry. 1898 J. Slater Seaside Idylls 95:
I gaed an' heeld ma New Year as hairty's the rest.

Phr.: ye're awfie hertie when ye laugh, describing an ungenerous person (Ags., Fif., Edb., Arg., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s).Edb. 1989:
"He only contributed 50p to the Christmas fund." "Oh aye, he's awfie hertie when he laughs."

2. Liberal, openhanded (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1957).Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 137:
But as the truth is, I'm hearty, I hate to be scrimpit or scant.

3. Having a good unrestrained appetite, eager for food; esp. of guests at a meal (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1957). Also in Eng. dial. but gen. now used in Eng. only in such phrs. as a hearty eater.Ags. 1820 R. Mudie Glenfergus I. 334:
Again and again she pressed them to be hearty.
Sc. 1893 L. Keith Lisbeth xii.:
She's never hearty at her meat.
Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Frae the Heather 128:
We are meat able, heartie, and thrivin' a, fine.

4. Intoxicated, tipsy, exhilarated by drink (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Cai. 1957).Sc. 1695 Letter in Atholl MSS. (12 March):
He . . . went to dine with . . . who made them so hearty that it was not proper to speak to him of any business concerning the regiment.
Edb. 1818 Edb. Ev. Courant (8 Oct.):
The pannel was hearty, but knew what he was about, and could walk very well.
Sc. 1844 W. H. Maxwell Sports and Adv. (1853) 266:
His honour was riding home hearty.
Edb. 1881 J. Smith Habbie and Madge 10:
Enter Habbie in a hearty condition, singin' awa like a laverock.

Hence heartie-fou, extremely intoxicated.Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 77:
The dram was faur before the sword, An' a' were heartie-fou — an' brithers.

5. Plump, inclined to corpulence (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Abd. 1957).

6. Of persons: suffering from a weak heart (Cai., Abd., Ags., Per., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf. 1957).Abd.27 1920:
A flozen herty-like chiel, blae kin' about the face.

7. Of newly-washed clothes: well-dried and ready for ironing (Kcd., Ags.13 1946). Cf. hert-dry, B. 7.

II. n. A well-disposed helpful person.Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 135:
The boss asked us tae work overtime and tae bide until ten-o-clock. He said that he wid gae us a little something extra if we wid be his hearties and nae let him doon.

 [Hert, + adj. suff. -ie.]

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"Hertie adj., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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