Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DOONSIT, n. Also more commonly vbl.n. doon-sittin(g), doun-, down-

1. A settlement, esp. that obtained by marriage or inheritance; Gen.Sc.; “a business establishment” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., -sittin).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 40:
He ga's sin a gueede doon-sit, fin he pat 'im in o' that fairm.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxviii.:
Ou, aw dinna misdoot that; an' he'll get a braw doon-sit at Gushetneuk.
Fif. 1897 “S. Tytler” Witch-Wife v.:
Glenfierroch will be a fine down-sitting for our sister's daughter.
Edb. 1925 C. P. Slater Margey Pow 45:
She has got a good down-sittin', and a kind man.
Arg.1 1937:
Gear's no everything; many's the lass I saa that got a gran' doonsittin an' had a gey sair hert efterhin.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan III. xii.:
Marry the heiress: Howeboddom is a warm downsitting.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 5:
The Borderers lang syne geh thersels an awfih leife o'd. Theirs was nae canty doonsitteen!

2. A sitting-down.

†(1) The opening session of a deliberative body.Ayr. 1702 in Ayr. and Gall. Arch. Assoc. (1891) XV. (2) 120:
It being a considerable tyme to the dounsitting of the Parliament.

(2) A settling-down or establishing oneself (in a place) (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Abd.9 1940).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xvi.:
It's a very fallawshus prenciple in fat they ca' poleetical-economy to encourage the doonsittin' o' the like o' them in a place.

(3) Phrs.: (a) at a(e) doonsittin, = Eng. at a sitting (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.2, Fif.10, Slg.3 1940); (b) at the doon-sittin', on the verge of bankruptcy (Abd.15 1880; Abd.8 1940).(a) Sc. 1776 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 508:
He bequeathed fifteen dozen of port wine to Mr John Home, Author of Douglas, and other tragedies, upon condition of his drinking one bottle of port at what he calls a down-sitting.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
I gat the humle-cow . . . for ten pund Scots, and they drank out the price at ae downsitting.
Sc. 1929 Scots Observer (31 Oct.) 16/4:
Could polish off a terrible lot o' provender at a doonsittin'.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick iv.:
It's ower sarious a maitter to be settled aff-hand, at ae doun-sittin.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (ed. Ferguson 1931) I. 94:
She'll whip me aff her five stimparts o' the best aits at a down-sittin.

3. The seat, the posterior.Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage, etc. 240:
That's e'en a dowie ditty. Hech, but it maks the flesh saft, and braidens the downsitting like daigh on a dresser.

[Doon, adv.1, + sit. O.Sc. has dounsitting = 2. (2) above, 1551, and 2. (1) above, from 1587.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Doonsit n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: