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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

QUOIT, v., n. Also quite, quyte, qwyte; coit; kute; erron. quot-, kirt. Sc. forms and usages. See also Coit, Kite. [k(w)əit, k(w)ɔit]

I. v. 1. To play at the game of curling, to throw curling-stones (Ayr. 1825 Jam.), esp. in vbl.n. qu(o)iting, kut-, the game of curling. Comb. quoitin-stane, coiting-, a curling-stone. Also in forms kutty- and erron kirty-, which may be due to confusion with Cutty.Sc. 1811 J. Ramsay Curling 20:
The game to which we apply the name of curling, was, till lately, hardly known by that name among the common people. From one end of Scotland to the other, it was always named kuting, to curl, meaning nothing more than to slide upon the ice. In some parts of Ayrshire, we have heard, it is pronounced coiting.
Sc. 1822 in R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. (1830) 103:
Specimens of the original, or earliest form of Curling or Coiting-stones used on the ice in Scotland.
Rnf. 1833 J. Cairnie Curling 93:
He was a grand quoiter, he never missed a shot.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 71:
The loch's aye the loch whaur in cauld days o' yore, The lee-side was cheer'd by the quoitin'-stane roar.
Sc. 1864 J. B. Greenshields Lesmahagow 210:
Is quoting stone, or “kutty stane”, about the origin or root of which we are contending, a word so universally used among curlers as to induce them to discard “curling stone”?
Sc. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems (1920)114:
May quoiters' joys be mair an' mair, Unvex'd by sorrow's harrows.
Ayr. 1884 J. Taylor Curling 74:
He had seen a sicht that would keep him from going farther that day; he had seen Bryan o' the Sun Inn and the deil quitin' on the Auld Water.
Slg. 1907–8 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 176:
The usual thumb and finger indentations, common to all kirty [sic] stones, are present, a round hole on top for the thumb and a deep longish slit on the under side for the fingers.

2. To skate (Ayr. 1825 Jam.).

II. n. 1. A curling-stone.Ayr. 1809 J. Grahame Brit. Georgics 24:
Two seeming equidistant, straws or twigs Decide as umpires 'tween contending coits.
Dmf. 1830 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. 8:
The merry handlers of the quoit.
Sc. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems (1899) 123:
There mony a weel-skill'd curling skip Cam' wi' his quoits provided.

2. The act of skating (Ayr. 1825 Jam.). See I. 2.

3. In pl.: the game of hop-scotch (Ags. 1967).

[This usage of the word seems to have been confined to the S.W. of Scot. Attempts by writers on curling to show that the word has a wider currency in earlier times or referred to an earlier form of the game are not supported by the evidence. See Curl, v. and n.]

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"Quoit v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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