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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HOOT, int., v., n. Also hout, hut (Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped ix.), †hute (Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 56); howt (Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 140, Rxb. 1957); het (Rxb. 1942 Zai) and, with final -s on analogy with Fegs, etc., hoots, hits (Cai.), hets (Sc. 1874 W. Allan Hame-spun Lilts 75; Rxb. 1942 Zai), houts, howts (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 276). [Sc. høt(s), hɪt(s), hɛt(s); hut(s); ne.Sc. hut; Rxb. + hʌut]

I. int. An exclamation used to express annoyance, disgust, incredulity or remonstrance or in dismissal of an opinion expressed by someone else, tut! fie! (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis s.v. huttit). Gen.Sc. and n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1698 J. Kirkwood Plea before Kirk 78:
One Neal Cambel, . . . pusheth him pretty smartly with his Shoulder, saying; Houtman, Hout!
Sc. 1764 Boswell Grand Tour, Germany, etc. (Pottle 1953) 254:
Hoot, Johnnie Rousseau man, what for hae ye sae mony figmagairies?
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xlii.:
Hout! hout! Mrs Flockhart, we're young blude, ye ken.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 162:
“Hoot man,” said he, “I dinna mean to let you lose your siller.”
Sc. 1856 N. & Q. (Ser. 2) I. 395:
When a horse forgets what he is doing, and becomes careless, he is reminded of his duty by a sharp hut.
Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 13:
“Hoot Mary! nonsense!” “Ay, but hoot! tee. Fa wud like onything o' the kin' noo?” asked Mary, slyly.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped ii.:
“Hoot, hoot, hoot,” said the barber, “nae kind of a man, nae kind of a man at all.”
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xi.:
“Hoots, Johnny,” said Leeby, “what haver's this?”
Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems & Sk. 75:
Hits, woman; there's mair things than siller tae be looked at.
Kcd. 1933 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 331:
He would blink with his pale-blue eyes, impatient, Hoots, lassie, she'll take no harm from the rain.
m.Sc. 1939 James Barke The Land of the Leal (1987) 142:
'Hits, lassie: I'm no' a bairn. I'm telling ye as long as I ken ye're happy, that's enough for me. ... '
wm.Sc. 1985 Alistair MacLean The Lonely Sea (1986) 108:
'Hoots, mon, it's perfect, chust perfect.'
m.Lth. 1987:
The farrier, fed up with the mare's fidgeting, slapped her leg and said, 'Hits, mon, pick up yer fit.'

Phrs.: (1) hoot awa (a) nonsense!, “get away with you!” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot.). Gen.Sc.; (b) an expression of pity or sympathy, oh dear!, esp. used in soothing children (ne.Sc. 1957); (2) hoot ay(e), indeed, to be sure, certainly (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; m.Dmf.3 c.1920; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc.; (3) hoot fie, — fye, = (1) (a), gen. used as an expostulation or to express dissatisfaction (Mry.1 1925; Ork.1 1945; ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Kcb., Dmf. 1957); (4) hoot na, — no, a strong negative (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc.; (5) hoot(s)-toot(s); — toot-toot; hut-tut; hits-tits; hout(y)-tout(y), (a) = (1) (a) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls.1880 Patterson Gl., hut, tut; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., hout(s)-tout(s)). Gen.Sc.; (b) used as n. = a small quantity of whisky, with a play on Tout (see quots.); (6) hout wi', away with, have done with; (7) hoot-ye, indeed!, used to express surprise on hearing strange news (Bwk. 1825 Jam.).(1) (a) Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 122:
Howt awa, I winna hae him! Na, forsooth, I winna hae him!
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter x.:
Hout awa, Maggie, though the gentleman may hae gien ye siller, he may have nae bow-hand for a' that.
Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes 112:
Kyley, Kyley! saxteen pund for thae knurlin creatures. Hoot awa!
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona ix.:
“Hout awa!” cried Stewart. “I'll never believe that.”
(b) Abd. 1863 Banffshire Jnl. (12 May) 6:
Her wee babe has got a fa', She lifts it up, and soothing says, Whisht, my deary, Hoot awa'.
Abd. 1868 G. Macdonald R. Falconer i. xv.:
Another said his feet were blistered. “Hoot awa'!” exclaimed Miss Letty, . . . “tak a pail o' het water up to the chackit room.”
(2) Sc. 1757 Smollett The Reprisal ii. iii.:
Hoot aye — I'se warrant I ken how to gar your bowls row right.
Sc. 1817 Scots Mag. (March) 194:
Hoot, aye, I dare say I may.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 181:
Hoot aye, there's plenty.
(3) Sc. 1757 Smollett The Reprisal i. ii.:
Hoot-fie! Captain O'Clabber, whare's a' your philosophy?
Ags. 1776 C. Keith Farmer's Ha' lii.:
Howt fy! (quo' Jock, that blythsome lown) O binna thrawin.
Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 70:
Howt fy! go on, an' let me know How far in falsehood ye can go.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xi.:
Hout fye — hout fye — all nonsense and pride.
Bnff. 1917 E. S. Rae Private J. McPherson 27:
“Hoot, fie,” said Mains, “yer daft, min — ‘List', dee naething o' the kin'.”
(4) Lnk. 1806 J. Black Falls of Clyde 110:
Hoot no! I want nae meat.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. i.:
Hout, na, ye needna be blate about that.
Mry. 1927 E. B. Levack Lossiemouth 20:
Hoot na, Ba'bie, ye're nae hanget!
(5) (a) Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xiii.:
“Hout, tout, silly quean,” said the mother; “na, na, it's come to muckle, but it's no come to that neither.”
Kcb. 1828 W. McDowall Poems 71:
Hout tout, what nonsense?
Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1856) III. 149:
Hut-tut. — Stop a wee.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb x.:
Hoot-toot-toot, ye're wrang i' the up-tak' — it's classics — nae classes.
Sc. 1893 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 243:
Houty, touty, what's all the steer about?
Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems 28:
Hits, tits, Meg! ye dinna ken whit yer talkin' aboot.
Fif. 1905 S. Tytler Daughter of the Manse i. iv.:
“Hout, tout,” he said, trying to change the subject.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 10:
Hoots, toots, umman. Come aff that heich horse o' yours.
(b) Sc. 1899 Mont.-Fleming:
A person pressed to take another tumbler says “Ah, weel, I'll jist tak' a hoot-toot,” and then, when pouring out the additional half glass, he allows his hand to give a sort of nervous shake that fills the glass. He then exclaims, “Hoot-toot, hoot-toot.”
Gall. 1900 R. J. Muir Mystery Muncraig 39:
The “Hoot Toot” is an undefined portion of whisky, poured out in spite of a faint interjectional remonstrance on the part of the drinkers, who like the maids say “nay”, and take it.
(6) Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xii.:
Hout wi' your fleeching. Gae wa-gae wa, lad.

II. v., tr. or absol. To say hoot to; to pooh-pooh, flout, discredit, treat or dismiss with contempt (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis s.v. huttit; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; em.Sc., Dmf., Rxb. 1957); to order to be silent. Also phr. to hoot oot o', to pooh-pooh (Ork., Kcb. 1957).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 160:
Hout your Dogs, and bark your self. A sharp Return to those that say, Hout, to us, which is a Word of Contempt.
Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 83:
When ance her chastity took leg, When she spoke o't he houted.
Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 85:
But that you mayna think I hout you, You've clear poetic signs about you.
Sh. 1879 Shetland Times (10 May):
It's shürely come ta da warst o' my days whin I canna lift my mooth or my tengs at my ain fireside withoot bein' hooted by a scunneris Scotsman.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 105:
Folk use't tae wunner hoo sic a fearfu warrior as John wus, submittit tae be nool't, an houtit, an order't aboot.
Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorte 203:
But hout him, or tout him, And he'd drink your heart's bluid!

Hence †houttie, irritable, testy (Fif. 1825 Jam.).

III. n. Used as a term of contempt. Cf. v.Rnf. 1861 J. Barr Poems 38:
Then there's Peggy Bauchals, She gets the name o' hoot.

[Imit. of a sound of protest. Cf. Gael. ut! Eng. tut(s), Sw. hut! etc., id.]

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"Hoot interj., v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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