Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HUNT, n., v. Sc. usages:

I. n.phr.: (neither) hunt nor hare, — hair, nothing at all, not a vestige (Ags., Fif., m.Lth., Lnk. 1957). Cf. (neither) hilt nor hair, — hint —, id., s.v. Hilt, n.2 Lnk. 1881 A. Wardrop J. Mathison's Courtship 17:
There's neither hunt nor hare tae be seen o' the auld plenishin' except the picturs.

II. v. 1. Phrs.: (1) hunt-the (a)-gowk, see Gowk, n.1, 4. (4); (2) hunt-the-staigie, — aigie (Abd.), a children's game in which one player has to catch the others (Mry., Abd. 1957). For variations of the game and its name, arising from corruptions of the words in the rhyme chanted by the principal player, see quots. Other variants are hunty (-unty-aigie) (Bnff. 1851 Banffshire Jnl. (25 April 1916) 3; Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 192, hunty). See Staig; (3) hunt-the-tod, id. See Tod; (4) hunty [hunt the] goorie, id. (2) Abd.22 1870:
We played . . . a game called Hunty unity staigie . . . Two rows of boys faced each other, singing Hunty unity staigie, Bellum-a, Bellum-a naigie, and a boy running down between the rows was struck at with handkerchiefs, caps, etc.
Bnff. 1894 A. B. Gomme Trad. Games I. 242:
One is chosen to be the Staigie . . . The other players scatter themselves . . . The Staigie locks his fingers into each other. He then repeats the words — Hunt the Staigie Huntie, untie, staig[i]e, Ailleman, ailleman, aigie, and rushes off with his hands locked . . . He must not unlock his hands till he has caught one . . . [Then] the two join hands and hunt for another . . . This goes on till all are hunted down.
Abd. c.1900:
The game of hunt-the-staigie resembled hide and seek. The principal player covered his eyes while the rest hid. After the necessary lapse in time he uncovered his eyes and shouted “Hunt ye oot the staigie My grey Meggie!” to warn his comrades that the search was to begin.
Abd. 1955:
A game in which a fair number of children are players, one being chosen a hunter. The others run off shouting “Huntie, huntie, stake a leggie!” When the hunter catches a player, the two join hands and together proceed to catch another, who then joins hands with the first two, and so on till all are caught.
(3) Ags. 1887 J. McBain Arbroath 339:
A favourite boy's game was “Hunt the Tod”. One having been chosen as the tod, the others hid their faces in “the dael” until the tod had got a decent start. Soon the cry is heard of “Tally ho!” and all the others are in full chase.
(4) Bnff. 1953 Banffshire Jnl. (14 July):
The sqeylin' piggie, playing hunt-the-goorie an' hide-an'-seek wi' the hale canally o's.

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"Hunt n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2020 <>



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