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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LICHTEN, v.1 Also lichen. Gen.Sc. forms of Eng. lighten: to make light, brighten, illuminate (Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 48; e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 57). Gen.Sc.; to dawn; to kindle. Hence vbl.n. lich(t)(e)nin, light(i)nin, 1. lightning. Gen.Sc.; 2. dawn (Wgt. 1960). Also in n.Eng. dial.; 3. in comb. lightin'-in-eldin, “small brushy fuel, such as furze, thorns, broom, etc.; thus denominated, because it must be constantly attended to, so as to be stirred, to prevent its dying out” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). [lɪç(t)n]1. Sc. 1830 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 342:
He feenally recovered his cloots, and … aff like lichtnin to the mountains.
Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales 67:
The lichtning gaed gushing abroad like spouts o' molten fire.
Uls. 1844 R. Huddleston Poems 24:
A lichenin' flaff his dim een aids.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 26:
Ae awfu nicht o' thun'er an' lichnin.
Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 92:
Doon he gangs like lichtnin-flauchter — Doon — he's oot o' sicht.
s.Sc. 1926 H. McDiarmid Penny Wheep 11:
His joy in his wark gied it lint-white lines Brichter than lichtnin's there.
2. Sh. 1900 Shetland News (3 March):
He raise an' luiked i' da door, dat wis juist i' da grey lightnin'.

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"Lichten v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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