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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.


1. A wooden box for carrying fuel, ashes, etc.Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (6 March):
A Fire broke out in the Upper-apartments of the House of Ardmuckness in Argyleshire by the Chamber-maid's leaving a Backet with Live-ashes in the Room.
Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton At the Back o' Benachie 20:
Raking all the ashes with a wooden rake into a “backet,” she “flung th' aise tae th' midden.”
Ags. 1894 “F. Mackenzie” Humours of Glenbruar xix.:
The aise is i' the backet.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 62:
Ye've lang dispens'd, too, wi' a backet To haud your aise.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh 39:
An auld tar, wi' a cloutit jacket An' wooden limb comes wi' his backet.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle vii.:
Mungo . . . climbing the stairs with backets of peat or wood.

Combs.: (1) Ash backet, a box for ashes and household refuse.Kcb. 1893 S. R. Crockett Stickit Minister (1895) 155:
Bordered with frugal lines of “ash backets.”

(2) Backet-stane, the stone on which the “saut-backet” rested.Ags. 1875 J. Watson Samples of Common Sense in Verse 66:
Backlins he gapin' wide retired Ayont the backet-stane.
Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 123:
At length it reacht the backet stane.

(3) Saut-backet, — backit, a small wooden box for holding salt, kept near the kitchen fireplace.Abd.(D) 1875 W. Alexander Life Among my Ain Folk (1882) 94:
Ye'll get yer shavin' leems o' the skelfie ahin the saut backit.
Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 36:
A pocker, tangs, a good saut backet.

2. A dustbin (Cai., Abd., Edb. 2000s).

[O.Sc. bakkat, backett, baket, from Fr. baquet, a trough, dim. of Fr. bac, a trough. Cf. Back, n.2]

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"Backet n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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