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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

LUNT, n.1, v.1 [lʌnt]

I. n. 1. (1) A match, a piece of inflammable material used to ignite an explosive or kindle a fire, for one's pipe, etc., a light (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai); an ember, “the flame of a smothered fire which suddenly bursts into a blaze” (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also in n.Eng. dial. Phr. to set (a) lunt to, to set fire to.Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf ix.:
If ye step a foot nearer it wi' that lunt, it's be the dearest step ye ever made in your days.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 202:
He aye hoisted a blanket on his yard hedge, gif it was day, and at night, he set a lunt to a whin cow.
Lth. 1825 Jam. s.v. Purl:
The auld woman was gathering horse-purls. She dries them on her window-sole, and uses them for lunts, or even to mend her little fire.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin iii.:
The loons wha had set lunt to the train, was ta'en into custody.
e.Lth. 1887 P. McNeill Blawearie 57:
[Torches] were made up of pieces of old cloth and straw firmly twined together. This was called a “lunt”. The “lunt” was used by the miner . . . for the purpose of kindling his lamp.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 236:
He gaed an set lunt tae the thack.
Mry. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 31:
A neep and runt for licht and lunt Their nieve a mighty staff in.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 17:
A wheen folk oot picnickin at a deike-fit on Dunionseide hed kinnelt a lunt.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 22:
The birslin' lunt an' reek an' stife Were noo his vera breath o' life.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 193:
' ... He was shoutin, I hae lived as a beast, let me die as a beast! Sae the hangman gied up and they pit the lunt tae the fire.'

(2) Transf.: a tobacco pipe (e.Lth. 1905 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 290). Only in Lumsden.e.Lth. 1905 J. Lumsden Croonings 49:
In fa'in, tho', the lunt had burnt a hole In his braw maud.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 9:
Syne we'd hae
a lunt o baccy or a haund o rummy
tae pass the daurk Februar nichts.

2. A column of fire and smoke, a puff of smoke from a pipe, of steam, hot vapour, etc. (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 174; Bnff., Abd., Clc., Lnl., Lnk., Slk. 1961). Adv. phr. a-lunt, lit and smoking; on fire, of a chimney (Slk. 1961).Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xxviii.:
Butter'd so'ns wi' fragrant lunt, Set a' their gabs a-steerin.
Mry. 1810 J. Cock Simple Strains 123:
Tam fuf't the pipe wi' awfu' lunt, An' set auld Kate a hostin'.
Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 210:
Wi' brunstane lunt, an' fiendish leer, He vanish'd frae their sicht!
Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 3:
He cried on the dryster when passin' the mull, Got a lunt o' his pipe an' a news.
Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems 17:
Pate shakes the dottle frae his pipe, fair fed, And fillin' up shin has his freend a-lunt.

3. Fig. A glowing or brilliant display, a blaze.Lnk. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 127:
His sterling merits to recount, An fairly state the hale amount, Their sum wad swell to sic a lunt O' page an column.

II. v. 1. To set fire to, to kindle (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1961).Dmf. 1869 R. Quinn Plain Truth 262:
Or gie us strength to combat him in style . . . Or Bess again to lunt the stately pile.
Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers 54:
Doon I flings my bread an' cheese, lunts a candle-doup.

2. To catch fire, to burn, to leap up (of flames), to blaze (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Ayr. 1912 D. M'Naught Kilmaurs 296; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne.Sc., Ayr. 1955). Also fig.Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 117:
Else the fierce blaze o' simmer's luntin heat Wad ruin a'.
Slk. 1802 Hogg Poems (1865) 96:
Sandy's breast wi' love was lunting.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlviii.:
If they burn the Custom-house, it will catch here, and we'll lunt like a tar-barrel a' thegither.
Sc. 1817 Carlyle Early Letters (Norton) I. 135:
The dead lights “gaun luntin by” would be a rare morsel for them.
Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. xv.:
Maggy Muspert [a witch] wha lunted on the lang-sands o' Kirkaldy.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 51:
The boxes, an' barrows, an' palin's were brunt, An' a kin' o' timmer, and sticks that wad lunt.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Peden wi' his lang chafts an' luntin' een.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood xvi.:
I doubt if I was strapped up by the thumbs and had yon luntin' een glowering at me I wad speak wi' strange tongues mysel'.

3. intr. To smoke, to emit smoke in puffs, tr. to smoke a pipe (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 174; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; n.Sc., Clc., Edb., Peb., Kcb. 1961). Sometimes with at. Deriv. luntus, a puffer, a contemptuous name for an old woman, sc. one who smokes (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 133–4:
The luntin pipe, and sneeshin mill, Are handed round wi' right guid will.
Rxb. 1805 A. Scott Poems 190:
Auld Symon sat luntin' his cuttie.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 96:
Sawney wha by the fire till now, Sat at his cuttie luntin.
Sc. 1836 M. Mackintosh Cottager's Daughter 71:
The curling reek was luntin' up the lum.
Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 131:
Thou black memorial o' the past, Thro' wham I've lunted mony a blast O' strong tobacco reek.
Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems 23:
Thy peat-fires are luntin' — hoo fragrant the smell.
Dmf. 1877 R. W. Thom Poems (1883) 31:
'Twas thus ilk lunting oracle spoke Frae amid a clud o' tobacco smoke.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 108:
Then hirsel yer chair by the chimla cheek, An' lunt yer pipe-reek up the lum.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 46:
And through its vennels up and doun Stravaiged the rantin', luntin' loun.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 8:
Wi' luntin' cutty, Jean wad sit an' watch the reeky pot.

[O.Sc. lunte, a slow match, 1525, a torch, 1574, Du. lont, M.L.Ger. lunte, id.]

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"Lunt n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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