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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.

POUT, n., v. Also poot, ¶peutt (Sc. 1720 Caled. Mercury (15 Sept.)); powt. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. poult. [put, Kcd., Ags., Arg. pʌut]

I. n. 1. A young fowl, esp. a young game-bird (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 385, s.v. Poutrey; Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 260; Cai., Mry., Bnff., Kcb. 1966); also applied to the young of domestic fowls, a chicken, pullet (Jam.; Cai. 1966). Combs. grouse-pout, muir-pout (Rnf. 1706 W. Hector Judicial Rec. I. 200), partridge-powt (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 74), turkey-pout, etc. In redupblic. form pout-pout, as a call to chickens (Abd. 1966).Sc. 1732 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine (1908) II. 388:
There is also six Mourfooll and eight poots, all very fresh.
Per. 1737 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 191:
Tarts and partridge pouts roast.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 34:
“Where met ye, nefo, wi' that bonny lass? Ye're nae blate, lad, to hunt in sick a case.” “I've gotten a pout, an' fashen her living hame.”
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to J. Rankine xi.:
As soon's the clockin-time is by, An' the wee powts begun to cry.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 102:
'Twas a muir-hen, an' monie a pout Was rinnin, hotterin round about.
Dmf. 1831 Fife Herald (16 June):
Nearly three weeks ago, grouse pouts were observed running about.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 5:
The lambin' o' the yowes, the cleckin' o' the poots.

Comb. and derivs.: (1) pouter, a young turkey (Mry. 1930); (2) poutin, pootin, n., a place where young game birds are reared under protected conditions, a pheasantry; (3) poutit, pootit, adj., of an egg: having a chicken formed inside (Bnff. 1953); (4) pout-net, a net for trapping game-birds. Cf. II.; (5) pout-worm, the grub of the cranefly, Tipula oleracea, a Tory (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 385). Also in reduced form pout, id. (Gall. 1966).(2) Per. 1879 P. R. Drummond Bygone Days 40:
He came shortly afterwards with his single gamekeeper to what we called “the pootin”.
(4) Sc. 1702 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 305:
To livistoune for a pout net with outstafes . . . £2 18 0.

2. Hence applied to any small or young creature (Fif. 1911). Deriv. pootie, adj., small, tiny, puny, insignificant (Bwk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 139; Dmf. 1920), of persons: small-minded, mean, stingy (Jam.).

3. Specif. (1) freq. in dim. forms, a small haddock (Fif. 1825 Jam., poot; Fif., Bwk. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.; Kcd., Fif. 1964, powt); a small cod (Ork. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XV. 96, pooty, 1929 Marw.), comb. pooty codling, id. (Ork. 1903 E.D.D.); a fresh-water flounder (Arg. 1930); a small trout (Slk. 1825 Jam.).

(2) as a term of affection for a child or young person, freq. of a young girl, a sweetheart, darling (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Cf. 1768 quot. under 1. Also in dim. hypocoristic form poots(ie), ¶pooch, id. (Fif. 1966), though this may be derived rather from Poot.Per. 1739 A. Nicol Poems (1766) 20:
The meikle trake come o'er their snouts That laugh at winsome kissing pouts.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 121:
I wadna like to want my pout, I'm sure she's worth a score o' nout.
Ags. 1897 A. Reid Bards Ags. 270:
Whan I was but a feeble pout.
Ork. 1958 Ork. Herald (25 Feb.) 3:
Thoo're jist a peerie pooch.

II. v., intr. To hunt (game-birds) by snaring or more commonly shooting, “to shoot at young partridges”(Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also tr. to shoot down, kill (a bird). Vbl.n. poutin, pootin, the sport of shooting, a shoot. Deriv. pouter, n., one who shoots at or snares wild birds, a hunter, sportsman. Comb. pouting-net, a net used to snare game-birds.Sc. 1714 J. Clerk Memoirs (S.H.S.) 84:
I constantly attended my Father at the pouting during the summer vacations in the Exchequer.
Sc. 1723 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine (1908) II. 355:
This being the season for the Pouting, I intend to take a day or two sport about Black foord.
Sc. 1775 Caled. Mercury (17 July):
There is a pretty good sclated lodgeable house, well situated for a Goat Whey or Pouting quarter.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 114:
A Wagtail shooter Wi' pointers on the hills did sten, The prince o' pouters.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xliii.:
Something that will keep the Captain wi' us amaist as well as the pouting.
Ayr. 1840 J. Paterson Contemp. Burns 116:
The “pouting season,” as it is called, was to her a period of more than ordinary enjoyment.
Ags. 1851 R. P. Gillies Memoirs I. 20:
I think ye'll no be for facing the road this day, and ye'll no venture far at the pootin'!
Sc. 1905 Blackwood's Mag. (Jan.) 123:
“Pouting nets” were purchased for the better securing of muirfowl and partridges.

[O.Sc. powt, = I. 1., 1502, pout = II., 1672, pout-net, 1697. See also Poutrie.]

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"Pout n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Nov 2023 <>



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