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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.

JEE, int., v., n., adj. Also jie; gee. [dʒi:, Ork., Cai. tʃi:]

I. int. ‡1. Used like Eng. gee as a word of command to a horse to move forward or faster or to the right. Also, to turn to the left (Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. (1869) II. 723). Comb. gee hic, a command to move to the right. See Hick; jee aff ye, turn right, jee tae ye, turn left (Fif. 1959); jee-hie, used as a v., to command a horse to move to the right. Rare in all these meanings.Sc. 1810 Farmer's Mag. (Dec.) XI. 512:
When my horses are put to the plough, the servant cries . . . “jee again” when the turn is to the right.
Sc. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 163:
A more genteel mode of speech to horses, viz. gee, or jee, hold off; . . . but it took place among hardly any but chaise-drivers, and the servants of the gentry.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 133:
Gee hic, my musie! haud the right haun' side. Pointed and prickly, keep yer pathway wide.
Fif. 1883 J. W. Wood Gipsy Heir 134:
Through deep snaw-drifts, that oft gart Donald kneel, While Rab jee-hied and liftit at a wheel.

2. Quasi-adv. With a sideways turn, with a swing. Cf. III., 1.Ayr. 1785 Burns Vision vii.:
When click! the string the snick did draw; And jee! the door gaed to the wa!

II. v. Also reduplic. form jee-jee.

1. intr. To move (to one side or to and fro), to bestir oneself, to budge, to swerve, shift one's position (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; of horses: to turn to one side (Sc. 1808 Jam.) esp. to the left (Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. (1869) II. 723). Also used fig. For phr. to naither hup nor gee, see Hup.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 50:
Oor Fancies jee between you twae, Ye are sic bonny Lassies.
Abd. 1778 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 64:
She never jeed till he was out o' sight.
Lth. 1813 G. Bruce Poems 100:
Now Jeanie's health, in bree o' maut, Was gien, an' syne the wee ane, An' Willie's sure was nae forgat, Our swankies didna jee nane.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Poems (1874) 436:
Gee'd up to the cope of heaven.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 146:
He's aye lifting his feet and jee-jeeing frae side to side.
Bnff. 1856 J. Collie Poems 120:
When ance I had gane down a wee, My beastie stood an' wou'd nae gee.
Lnk. 1884 J. Nicholson Willie Waugh 86:
She tried to speak, her tongue it wadna gee.
Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 245:
As thou didst, whan thou jee'd a-gley.
Sc. 1915 The Scot at Hame (July) 6:
Hoo we gar things jee Tae pass the time.

2. tr. To cause to move, to stir, to shift (to one side), to raise (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Abd., Ags., Fif., m.Lth., Kcb., Dmf. 1959).Sc. 1722 Ramsay Three Bonnets (1800) 576:
Wha wi' havins jees his bonnet.
Sc. 1769 D. Herd Sc. Songs 16:
We ca'd the bicker aft about; Till dawning we ne'er jee'd our bun.
Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 25:
The fient a hough I'll jie Wi' you this night.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 4:
In air it rear'd its taperin head, The flag-staff buskit on it; To auld Egyptian pyramid It wadna jeed its bonnet.
Bnff. 1823 G. Greig Folk-Song (1914) xxxiv.:
The red het door the porter je'ed, And stood in the Baronne's sight.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xii.:
I looked straight forward — for I durst not jee my head about.
Sc. 1846 Anon. Muckomachy 21:
This said, the whipsters jee'd the heads Of horse and poney round about.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 85:
Then bang! the door she open jee'd.
Sc. 1904 R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories II. 25:
If it's fore-ordeen'd that ye're to get a man, he'll come when his fate jees him.
wm.Sc. 1928 J. Corrie Last Day 71:
“I want chips tae; gies a penny, daddy.” “Not a maik are ye geeing frae me.”

Freq. in phrs. to jee one's beaver, ginger, jundie, noddle, etc., as emphatic forms of the refl., to bestir oneself, put oneself about, show concern, get flustered, bother one's head (Bnff., Abd., Fif., Edb. 2000s). See also under Beaver, etc.Abd. 1787 A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess v.:
Without ane jeein' number ane, Troth, I can hear ye.
Lnk. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 114:
For me, I never geed my noddle, Nor car'd I Snip, or Tib a boddle.
Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 95:
He never jee't's ginger, but gaed on workin' at the girns.
Bte. 1922 J. Sillars McBrides xxix.:
For all the suddenness of it she never geed her beaver.
Gsw. 1931 H. S. Roberton Curdies 106:
The same men widna gee their ginger to put a bane-teeth comb through a wean's heid to stop it frae scartin'.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 48:
Peggy's folks didnae gee their gingers aboot whit caperings or palavers the lassie got up tae.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 114:
The Burkers would mooligrab Travellers cos they werenae registered and the authorities widnae jee their gingers aboot Travellers onywye.
Ags. 1990:
Niver jeed ees jundy: Remained unruffled.
Sc. 1993 Herald 5 Feb 38:
If Scotland's forwards can gee their gingers and stay upsides with tough and unscrupulous opponents, the Scottish back play hopefully will advance another stage and cause a tremor or two down Cardiff and Twickenham way.
Edb. 1996:
See you, ye never jee yer ginger aboot onythin.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 48:
Since his spinnleshanks hid bin auld eneuch tae fill lang breeks, he'd kent that quines didna gee his ginger: he's been drawn mair tae his ain kind, bit his ain kind didna return the interest ...
Ayr. 1998:
A didnae gee ma ginger.

3. tr. To shift out of its normal position, to displace, to knock squint or sideways. Cf. IV. and Ajee. Ppl.adj. jeed, awry, squint (Abd., Ags., m.Lth. 1959). Also fig. to spoil, ruin. Sometimes with up.e.Lth. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes 29:
On a sair jee'd, moss-grown stane.
Edb. 1958:
The gemm's jeed. Willie taen his baw hame. Dinna jee up the gemm.

III. n. 1. A move, motion, a sideways turn (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 90; Abd., Ags., m.Lth. 1959). Also used fig.Ayr. 1816 Ayrshire Mag. I. 156:
I wadna gie my head a gee For her nor naebody.
Kcb. 1828 W. McDowall Poems 82:
O Gregory! the world wi' me, Has ta'en an unco backward jee.
Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 266:
You canna gie your head a jee to the ae side, without tens o' thousans o' thochts fleein out o' your mouth.
Gsw. 1863 H. Macdonald Poems 33:
The lang main street, its crooks and jees.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 31:
The door in cautious jee begoud and moved, And sleely on its rusty hinges snooved.
Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 20:
Stott'rin' roon an' roon aboot, wi mony a jee an' thraw.
Edb. 1912–19 Rymour Club Misc. II. 34:
He stepped up to her, And made a low gee, And asked her pardon for being so free.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 13:
Doon whammlt ane wi' suddent jee, Cantin' Tam's bannet ower his e'e.

Phr.: on the jee, awry, off the straight (Kcd., Ags., m.Lth., Ayr. 1959). Hence fig. on edge; on a drinking bout, on the “batter”. Cf. Ajee.Bnff. 1856 J. Collie Poems 54:
I've been sax weeks an' mair on the gee Till my very internals are rent.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xxiii.:
God forbid that I should do anything to set you on the jee.

2. The command jee to a horse to turn to the left. Cf. I.Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 217:
Just gies his naig a hap or gee, An' canny drives around it.

IV. adj. Crooked, awry, squint, sideways. In combs.: (1) jee-e'ed, squint-eyed (Ags., m.Lth. 1959); (2) gee-ways, adv., squint, sideways (Ags., m.Lth. 1959). Also gee-weed [wayed], id. (Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (11 Dec.) 13); (3) gee-luged, with the ears cocked to one side as a sign of satisfaction (see quot.).(1) Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 16:
Auld blacksmith Rab, the jee-e'ed blinker.
(2) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 121:
Gee ways, as Geily pish'd. A senseless Bauble when a Thing is crooked, or looks awry.
(3) Uls. 1721 Ib. 339:
That is, gee luged Drink. When a thing does not please us we wag our Head, but when we are pleas'd we give a Nod on the one side; spoken when we get excellent Drink. I suppose this proverbial Phrase to be only used among the Scots in Ireland.

[Orig. uncertain. Phs. orig. imit. as in I., and developed therefrom.]

Jee interj., v., n., adj.

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"Jee interj., v., n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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