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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GLINT, v., n. Also †glynt (Ayr. 1875 A. L. Orr Poems 55).

I. v. Pa.t., pa.p. weak glinted, -it; strong glent.

1. To move quickly, dart, slip, flash (by).Ayr. 1788 Burns How lang and dreary iii.:
How slow ye move, ye heavy hours! . . . It was na sae ye glinted by, When I was wi' my dearie!
Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 338:
Ae fire-flaucht darted through the rain, Whare a' was mirk before, And glinted o'er the raging main.
Ags. 1826 A. Balfour Highland Mary II. ii.:
You'll maybe glint o'er in a gloaming, to speer for auld Marion.
Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 177:
You can haud out ane o' your legs like an opera-dancer playin a peeryette; and on the ither glint by, to the astonishment o' toll-keepers.
ne.Sc. 1836 J. Grant Tales 58:
We didna wat hoo the hours waur glintin' on.

2. To gleam, glitter, shine, esp. of sunshine (Sh. rare, Cai., m.Lth., Arg., Ayr., Kcb., Uls. 1954). Vbl.n. glintin, break of day, dawn (Bnff.7 1927; Abd.27 1940). Rarely tr. = to cause to shine, to flash (a light) on (Ork., Abd., Ags. 1975). Common in Eng. from mid-19th c.Ayr. 1786 Burns Mountain-Daisy iii.:
Yet chearfully thou glinted forth Amid the storm.
Dmf. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 12:
The lift was clear, the morn serene, The sun just glinting owr the scene.
Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 361:
The weather has been mild and warm, wi' fleein shoors, and mony glintin hoors o' sunshine.
Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms lxiii. 1:
O God, ye are God o' my ain: wi' the glintin I sought yersel.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 150:
Of an April day, when there were alternate showers and sunshine, with a good breeze and large clouds fleeting across the blue sky, it was said, “It's an April day, it's sheetin an' glintin.”
Edb. 1881 J. W. McLaren Rhymes 32:
Haudin' up the lookin'-glass, Glinten't on the wa'.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Sangs 65, 127:
It [the autumn sun] glent on rowth o' gowden corn. . . . An', glent wi' heavenly splendour, gleams Atween me an' my sins.

3. To glance; to take a sidelong or sly glance, to peep (Sh.10 (rare), Cai., Ags., Gall. 1954). Rarely used tr. with e'e, look, etc. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. a.1689 W. Cleland Poems (1697) 97:
Then he brought his Right Leg foremost, As he had been to make a sore Thrust; Glinting and squinting with his Eyes.
Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 361:
She guessed by the sheen o his e'e, An the queer way Rab aye glintet at her.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. vii.:
What are ye standing glinting, and looking at ane anither there for?
Sc. 1841 Whistle-Binkie 18:
But it couldna express a' their love; And she glintit her e'e at him slyly.
Sc. 1849 M. Oliphant M. Maitland xii.:
A different look . . . was glinted over whiles to where Mr Allan sat.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xix.:
But let Kitty, or any other maid, cast a glinting eye on Jamie, then Jess no longer smiled.
Fif. 1894 D. S. Meldrum Margrédel iii.:
I'm jealous o' you myself when I see the lasses glintin' at ye i' the kirk.

II. n. 1. A gleam, a faint or momentary glitter. Gen.Sc. Adopted in Eng. since mid-19th c.Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) I. 163:
Their daughters who have been singing at their domestic toils, frae the earliest glint o' morn.
Rnf. 1842 R. Clark Random Rhymes 3:
Wi' first glint o' morning, he's up, slumber scorning.
Gall. 1848 Edb. Antiq. Mag. 113:
The Nith is seen in “glints” through the trees.

Hence glintie, -y, (1) adj., glittering (Rxb. 1942 Zai); (2) used as n. = the moon (Sh. 1894 W.-L.), prob. a tabu-word, cf. Glom, and Glim, n., 3.

2. A cursory look, a glance, a peep; a glimpse (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also common in Eng. dial.Ayr. c.1827 Galt Howdie (1923) 11:
I happened to give a glint to the window.
Sc. 1832 Whistle-Binkie 51:
An' oh that pawkie, rowin' e'e, . . . . . . ilka glint, conveys a hint To tak a smack — before folk?
Sc. 1880 Stevenson Deacon Brodie (1924) i. ii.:
I ken fine by the glint o' the e'e when a lad's fain and a lassie's willing.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 27:
An' when clear scart we reached the road, We paused to steal a glint ahin'.
Fif. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 99:
As a final resort thae had to fa' back to the twal-storey ane, whilk Tibbie had a glint at a month or twa syne.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Bog-Myrtle ii. i.:
At the verra first glint I got o' him I saw that Death had come to him.
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (29 March) 4:
I hev seen her gi'e some gey sly couthy glints your gate.
Abd. 1929 Sc. Readings (ed. Paterson) 59:
Ye've been takin' a glint into my press and seen the oven scones.

3. Fig. (1) A flash of intuition, a slight suspicion (Sh.10 rare, ne.Sc. Per., m.Lth.1 1954); (2) a scrap, a little bit, a vestige (m.Lth.1 1954); a (slight) attack, esp. in phr. a glint o' (the) cauld (Ags.19 1954); cf. Gliff, n., 2. (4), Glisk, n., 3. (2), id.; (3) in phr. in a glint, in a flash (Sh.10 1954); cf. in a glent s.v. Glent.(1) n.Sc. 1891 A. Gordon Carglen 102:
Ye'll maybe hae a kind o' glint that I supply Amos frae time to time wi' a gallon or sae o' the dew.
(2) Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 63:
We baith had a fell glint o' the cauld.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 28:
Seen his brookie aul' pail he gar't showd o' the swye, Wi' nae glint o' a speir gin it wis i' my wye.
Lnk. 1930 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 302:
Aiblins slip in my mooth a peppermint To help me owre the prayers a wee bit glint.
(3) Sc. 1803 Scott Minstrelsy III. 363:
I, in a glint, lap on ahint, And in my arms him fangit.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 10:
The skeely wife lap fae her bed, An' buskit in a glint.
Edb. 1885 Mod. Sc. Poets VIII. 173:
And aifter them, a' in a glint, There flew the specs and box.

[A variant form of earlier Glent, q.v.]

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"Glint v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Feb 2023 <>



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