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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HI, int., v. Also hie, high, hy(e), hey. Sc. usages. [hɑɪ]

I. int. 1. A call to a horse, with varying meanings in different districts, but gen. as a command to turn to the left (Sc. 1869 J. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 723; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Ork., n. and em.Sc., Wgt., s.Sc. 1957) or towards the speaker. Freq. in comb. as hie-here, hie-in, hey-up, hie-wo(e) (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Sc. 1856 N. and Q. (Ser. 2) I. 395; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Per., Kcb., Uls. 1957).Bwk. 1809 J. Kerr Agric. Bwk. 503:
Formerly, in speaking to their horses, carters employed hap and wind in ordering them to either side, now mostly high-wo and jee.
Kcd. 1813 G. Robertson Agric. Kcd. 424:
The horse must do what he is commanded, without other direction than the weysh, (pronounced long, and to hold off) and the come hither; and the hy, (go on), and the woy (stand still).
Sc. 1851 H. Stephens Bk. Farm I. 160:
(Language to horses.) To come towards you. Hie is used in all the border counties of England and Scotland; Hie here, come ather, are common in the midland counties of Scotland.
m.Lth. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 295:
And “High! gee, wo!” each ploughman cries. Now, “Hup!” they're off, — God speed them all!
Gall. 1881 L. B. Walford Dick Netherby vii.:
Hey-up, Jenny lass! Gang forrard.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 32:
Cry “Hie” an' “Wo” an' “Weesh” again to guide the steppin' mear.
Knr. 1925 H. Haliburton Horace 82:
An' noo ye hear their Hi! woa! h'up!
Abd. 1951 Buchan Observer (20 Feb.):
If the ploughman wanted the team to turn to the left, he called — “Hi,” but his grandfather would have cried, “Come aither.”
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick iv.:
Stan, meer, stan, fat 'e deevil are ye stannin at? Hie here.

2. With on: a call to dogs to seek out game (Kcb. 1957). Also found in Eng. dials.Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Writings 49:
The dog . . . halted at the point, having scented game ahead. “Hie on,” cried Sandy. The dog did as he was bid, and up sprang a brace of grouse.

II. v. To direct a horse to the left by using this call (Cai., Ags., Rxb. 1957).Sc. 1889 H. Stephens Bk. Farm I. 109:
The half of one ridge is ploughed with the half of the adjoining ridge by always hieing the horses.

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"Hi interj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Sep 2023 <>



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