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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAWT, v., n. Also paut; paat. [pǫ:t, pɑ:t; Cai. + pjɑ:t]

I. v. 1. tr. and intr. To strike the ground with the foot, to stamp (the foot) in rage (Sc. 1808 Jam., paut; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 122; Mry. 1925; Abd. 1929); of a horse or other animal: to paw the ground, scrape the ground with the hoof (Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 376; Sh., Abd., Ayr. 1965); to defy or threaten someone by stamping one's foot, to show disrespect or contempt in this way (Abd. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 197:
I [a horse] pautit wi' my foot, master, Garr'd a' my bridles ring.
Sc. 1837 Chambers's Jnl. (10 June) 155:
Noo rearing on his hind en', or pawting the grun' at a proud gallop.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 76:
Baith Sandy and Meg fell a-stampin, And pautin their feet on the floor.

2. To move the legs or kick restlessly, as in bed (Dmf. 1825 Jam.).

3. To walk in a heavy, uncoordinated way, stamp around angrily, lumber clumsily about (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Cai. 1965). Vbl.n. pautan, -ing, a clumsy, heavy way of walking, a stamping angry gait.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 122:
He pautit but an' ben the fleer.
Sh. 1952 J. Hunter Taen wi da Trow 177:
An day, pör Trows, fae morn till night In rivlins paat.

4. To touch or feel with the hand, to finger, grope, “paw” (Slk. 1825 Jam.).Sc. a.1758 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 295:
He pauted at his hinging luggs.
wm.Sc. 1962:
Stop pawting at your face.

5. To work half-heartedly and inefficiently, to potter, “fiddle” (Ayr. 1880 Jam.).Sc. 1889 Cent. Dict. s.v.:
What are ye pauting at there?

II. n. A movement with the foot, a stamping, heavy step, a kick (Cai. 1934; Sh., Abd. 1965). Phrs.: to gie one's last pawt, to die, breathe one's last; to play pawt, to walk, use one's feet, pad along.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 297:
She has an ill pant [sic] with her hind Foot.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
He gae a paut with his fit, he stamped on the ground.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 264, 376:
At length the laird o' the Bowertree Buss, gaed his last pawt, was straughted, dressed, coffined and a'. . . . She never gied a pawt, she never moved her feet.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 95:
I'll gully-mudge him without fail, And he'll never mair play pawt on hill or dale.

[O.Sc. paut, = I. 1., a.1689, variant of †Eng. pote, with sim. meanings, to poke, push, kick, etc., < O.E. potian, id. Cf. Powt, v.]

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"Pawt v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2023 <>



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