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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FITE, v. Also fyte. ne.Sc. form of White, v.2, to cut and trim (a piece of wood), to whittle, pare, sharpen (a pencil) (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 57, fyte; ne.Sc. 1951); to whet (a scythe). Often implying to idle, fritter away time, used absol. (Abd.13 1910) or in phr. to fite the (idle) pin (Bnff.2, Abd.27 1946).Abd. 1880 Sc. N. & Q. (Feb. 1929) 26:
Ye aye tell me a'll nivver dee ony gweed fitin' at sticks that gait.
Abd. 1887 R. S. Robertson On Bogie's Banks 50:
'Deed, I can tell ye, oot or in, I never fite the idle pin.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 30:
But noo to tell hoo I wan aff fae dreelin', dubs, an' din, An' landit here wi' nocht to dae but fite the idle pin.
Bnff. 1920 Banffshire Jnl. (14 Dec.):
Birze doon a full o' fytit bogie rowe.
Abd. 1930 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 103:
Nae wunner tho' ye wiz cheerie, wi Jimmie fytin' awa' ahin' me and jist aside ye.

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"Fite v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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