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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GRAVAT, n. Also gravit, -et, grauvat, -et, -it, graavat, -it, gravatt(e), grawvat; †gravate (Abd. 1704 in T. Mair Ellon Par. Rec. (1898) 287); gravad (Cai.9 1939), see P.L.D. § 158; graavut. Sc. forms of Eng. cravat. Also in n.Eng. dial. [Sc. ′grɑ: vət, but Cai. -vəd, m.Sc. ′grǫ: vət]

1. Lit. A scarf or muffler, now gen. one of wool; †a cravat. Gen.Sc.Edb. 1701 D. Robertson S. Leith Rec. (1925) 4:
He took hold of his gravatt with one hand and haveing his kane in the other hand threatened to beat him three severall tymes.
Abd. 1710 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VII. 126:
For 7 ells musselen to be six gravets to myself and tuo hoods to my wife.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 42:
Gi'e me my sark an' gravat; I'se be as braw's the Deacon is Whan he taks affidavit.
Per. 1802 S. Kerr Poems 59:
His gravat, that was wont in genty plies To be by Nelly, triggit out sae snod, About his neck right carelessly he ties.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 105:
Saw him wi his Sunday's co't, A reid gravat aroond his t'ro't.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xviii.:
A long hairy-like man's greatcoat and a big gravatt.
Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr, Dezember 18:
Da waarmest graavits is da lasses' airms.
wm.Sc. 1934 T. Smellie Tea-Pairty 41:
“An' tell yer maw,” says I, “that a knittet grawvat wid be faur mair comfortabler than a string o' beads on a cauld nicht.”
Ags. 1945 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 334:
I noticed the dominie had on his grand tail-coat, his fine gravit, and his Sabbath breeks.
Ags. 1995 Courier 18 Mar.:
"I remember the recipe [for a tattie-bogle] ... First you need a neep for his head, a bannet for his pow, and a graavut for his thrapple. ..."

Phrs.: (1) a Scotch gravat, another's arm around one's neck, an embrace (Ags. 1955); (2) a sweep's gravat, a string of black puddings (Ayr.9 1955); (3) to be licht abeen the gravat, to be empty-headed, silly, frivolous (Abd.27 1955).

2. Fig. The hangman's noose; gen. preceded by hemp(en), etc. Arch. or liter.Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 130:
E'en let him tak a dance, In a hemp gravat, on yon lonely tree.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 197:
After the victim was cut down, Bauldy [the city executioner] mounted the beam . . . “Now . . . ye see how neatly I can do a job; there's no ane o' your wizzened necks, that I'll no gie a gravit for drug cheap!”
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 44:
But ye'll girn through hempen gravat Gin I dee upo' the road.
Arg. 1898 N. Munro John Splendid xviii.:
MacColkitto . . . was for the tow gravatte on the spot. Instead we were put on parole.
Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant 17:
I seemed to see my friend with the hempen gravatte round his neck.

[O.Sc. has gravat(e), gravatt, a cravat, from 1658. For interchange of c and g, cf. G, 6.]

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"Gravat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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