Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SKITE, v.2, n.2 Also skyte. [skəit]

I. v. To have diarrhoea, void thin excrement (Sc. 1808 Jam.); also tr. to soil with excrement. Hence skiter, as a term of abuse. Bnff. 1880 J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. Keith 70:
The Buckie louts too styled us skiters.
Mry. 1908 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 81:
“We can thrash Braefit mice ony day.” “Niver! That wis niver in Aiberduff skyters.”
Fif. 1940:
A frichtit lad will skite his breeks.
Mry. 1967 Northern Scot (8 July) 9:
They would begin to yell “G'awa hame, ye Elgin skiters!” and the contempt which was implied in the Lossiemouth intonation of the word “skiter” was charged with venom.

II. n. †1. The dung of fowls, hens' droppings (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

2. A nasty or objectionable person (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1904 E.D.D.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 266; Inv., ne.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Peb., Lnk. 1970); “a proud, conceited or vain body” (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S.89); anyone who looks strange or ugly (Abd. 1825 Jam.) or starved and gaunt (Lth. Ib.). For comb. bletherskite which may belong here see Bladder-skate and etym. note below. Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxvii.:
I maun speak to this gabbling skyte too, for bairns and fules speak at the Cross what they hear at the ingle-side.
Dmf. 1827 Letters T. Carlyle to his Brother (Marrs 1968) 213:
There was no harm whatever in the men being poor: but there was harm in their being skites.
Rnf. a.1840 County Schoolmaster (Wallace 1899) 179:
Prood skyte of Aberdeen! Selt your father for a plack, Whatna prood skyte was that?
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 131:
He's a selfish skyte that cares but for his ain kyte.
Gall. 1900 R. J. Muir Mystery of Muncraig 206:
They were “just the skytes o' the shore”.
Ags. 1921 A. S. Ncill Carroty Broon ix.:
We dinna want the Lunanbrae skites to be at oor picnic.

[O.N. skita, = I., corresp. to O.E. scītan, Eng. shite. Meaning II. 2. phs. developed by association with Skite, n.1, of which it may popularly be thought to be a usage and hence acceptable in polite speech. Cf. the somewhat sim. semantic development of Eng. squirt.]

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"Skite v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Oct 2020 <>



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