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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

ROOST, n.2, v.2 Also roust (Sc. 1705 J. Spreul Accompt Current 25, 1816 Scott Antiquary xxiii.; Abd. 1918 C. Murray Sough o' War 37); ruist (Ags. 1848 Feast Liter. Crumbs (1891) 57, 1866 R. Leighton Poems (1869) 316); roosht (Abd. 1965 Huntly Express (29 Jan.) 7); ruost (s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell St. Matthew vi. 19); ¶roosk-; reest (Dmf. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn 10) is a misprint. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. rust (Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxii.; Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 93; Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 438; Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 99; Abd. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 20). [rust]

Sc. form of Eng. rustyArg. 1993:
We'll need tae hae a cliff exercise or we'll get roosty.

Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Adj. roostie, -y, roustie, -y, rusty (Sc. 1704 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 373; Ayr. 1785 Burns Jolly Beggars Recit. vi.; Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption xxxvii.; Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 123; Rxb. 1933 Kelso Chron. (3 Nov.) 5); by extension: (1) of the throat or voice: rough, dry, hoarse, raucous (I.Sc., Abd., Ags., Ayr., Kcb. 1968). Obs. in Eng.; (2) in combs. (i) roostie nail, a dram of whisky, (e. and wm.Sc., Wgt. 1968); (ii) rusty pint, a pint of ale exacted as a fine at a curling court when one failed to remember the various rules and passwords of the game, sc. as being 'rusty' on one's subject; (iii) roustie-pouches, a nickname for a miser (Ayr. 1920); (iv) roosky saxpence, see quot. and cf. 2.; (3) as a n., a golfing-iron of the older type, not made of stainless steel.(1) Abd. 1723 W. Meston Knight 20:
Or sounded in his rousty Throat Like Trumpeter, a warlike Note.
Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 4:
Upo' that hint I scour'd my rusty throat.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 144:
An' noo a dram wad nicely mottle An' weet my dry and roosty throttle.
Sc. 1908 Gsw. Ballad Club III. 182:
At the tout o' his horn an' his shrill roosty ca'.
(2) (i) ne.Sc. 1953 Mearns Leader (2 Oct.):
The Merchan's back kitchie far a “roosty nail” or twa hid duly vanish't.
(ii) Lnk. 1789 J. Kerr Curling (1890) 354:
Trying and examining individuals respecting the word, and bringing them in for rusty pints.
(iv) Rs. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
“Hiv thoo a roosky saxpence i' thi pooch?” = a hint for a loan.
(3) Fif. 1967 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 419.:
One of the Old Guard who still sported “roosties”, despite the advantages of stainless steel.

2. A small piece of money (Per.4 1950), “a brass farthing” (Cai., Bnff., Ags., Per., w. and sm.Sc. 1968). Cf. Eng. slang rust, money.Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xxii.:
Man, he hasna a roost.
Bnff. 1966 Banffshire Advert. (26 May):
They winna fork oot a roost tae keep the coast trainies fae bein' stoppit.

II. v. In ppl.adj. roostit.

Sc. form of Eng. rusted.w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 14:
Anither John thinks colour blue,
is jist the hue for pentin
thon gas-works hulk.
Its roostit bulk
needs twa-three penters sent in.

Sc. usages: 1. of the throat: rough and parched (Sh., Abd., Ags., wm.Sc. 1968); 2. of the hair: greying, grizzled (Mry.1 1925). Also in n.Eng. dial.1. Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 27:
The spectre straik't his chafts a wee, Cleared oot his hearse and roostit throttle.

[The long u in Sc. is due to the fact that -st did not regularly produce shortening, O.E. rūst. See note to Reest, v.2, n.2]

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"Roost n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jul 2022 <>



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