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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.

KNOIT, n.1 Also noit, noyt (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 320), nuit; knite, knyte; and derivs. noityon, nutyeen, for the second syllable of which compare bunion. [(k)nɔit; ne.Sc. knəit]

1. A big bit, a large piece, a chunk, a hunk, lump (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1960, knyte); fig. a strong, sturdily built person (ne.Sc. 1960). Also dims. knytie, knytach(ie) (Bnff.3 c.1925), knitelich (Abd.15 1924), knoitle (Ags. 1919 T.S.D.C.).Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 180:
He tried to tak' 'er up for sellin' butter wi' a knyte o' croods i' the hert o' ilka pun' o't.
Rnf. 1884 J. Nicholson Willie Waugh 20:
Big knoits o' chuckies, causey stanes o' granite.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Robin and Marget 82:
I gaed an' got the wee goblet, put in water, a wee knoit butter, an' a tick meal.
Mry.1 1925:
A knite o' a loon.
Abd. 1957 People's Jnl. (9 Nov.):
The awfaest knyte o' beef ye ever saw.

Hence knoity, of a person: sturdy, stocky.Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 47:
The watch-dog o' the wee toun Is nappy, knoity Donal' Mac.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 15:
Great knites o' breed are served wi' broth
An' butteries wi' a snack

2. A lump of wood used as a ball in shinty.Hdg. 1883 J. Martine Reminisc. 84:
Many a tough game has been played there, and many hard knocks and sore shins had to be endured before the “nuit” was “doulled.”

3. A knob, a lump, bump, a swelling on the joint of the big toe, a bunion (Ayr. 1880 Jam., noit(yon); Uls. 1905 Uls. Jnl. Archæol. 125; Kcd. 1960), a rounded protuberance such as a knuckle-joint (Kcb.4 1900). Hence knoited, -y, adj., knobby, knotted, noytit, nutit, lumpy, having prominent bones (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 320). Also fig. gnarled, rugged, of language.Sc. 1834 A. Picken Black Watch I. 271, 273:
He's rough and uncouth for a' his quality, besides having big knoity knees o' his ain. . . . It would gravel me to the bottom o' my stomach, to see that knoity-kneed Crombie win the day.
Kcb. 1947 A. McCormick Galloway 52:
If ye canna read Barbour's aul' knoited language.
sm.Sc. 1979 Alan Temperley Tales of Galloway (1986) 1:
Roun' his hairy form there was naething seen,
But a philabeg o' the rashes green,
And his knotted knees played ay knoit between:
What a sight was Aiken-drum!

Deriv.: nittle [ < knuitle], a horn just appearing on an animal's head, one of the small stunted horns of a sheep (Cld. 1825 Jam.). Hence nittled, having such horns (Ib.) 4. A small rocky hill (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 366). Now only in place-names (Kcb.).

[An altered form of knot, cf. Dotter, Doiter; Gote, goit; Stot, Stoit; Tot, Toit. The diphthongisation is appar. felt to add emphasis. There may also be some influence from Knoit, v., n.2]

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"Knoit n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 May 2024 <>



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