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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

QUAT, v., n. Also quatt; quate, quet. Pa.t. quattit, quatet. Pa.p. quattit. See Quit. [kwɑt]

I. v. 1. To leave, depart from, forsake; to relinquish, give up, let go (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 180; e. and wm. Sc., Wgt., Uls. 1967).Sc. 1714 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 17:
To quat the Grip he was right laith.
Sc. 1720 W. Mitchell Strange and Wonderful Sermon 11:
If I make not a better Minister than any of them, I shall quate the Tinclar Trade.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 127:
Writers, your finger-nebbs unbend, And quatt the pen.
Ayr. 1787 Burns To J. Tennant 70:
Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter.
s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell St. Matthew iv. 20:
They strauchtwaye quatet their netts an' folloet him.
Sc. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems 121:
Stanes an' besoms I'll abandon — Quat the curling evermair.
Lnk. 1904 I. F. Darling Songs 39:
Rise, man, Tam, ye feckless loon! Quat yer faither's chair.
Uls. 1910 C. C. Russell People and Lang. 23:
Ate yer mate an' ye'll nivir be bate, but quet yer mate an' yer done for.

2. tr. or absol. To cease (work), desist (from), stop (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., 1931 North. Whig (27 Nov.), quet; I. and wm.Sc., Wgt., Rxb. 1967). Hence quattin-day, the day of rest, the Sabbath; quattin-time, time to stop work, “knocking-off time” (Ayr. 1880 Jam.; Ayr., sm.Sc. 1967).Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 184:
My friends, for G-d sake! quat yer wark.
Per. 1817 A. Buchanan Rural Poetry 83:
E'en the woodlark quats her sang.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 391:
Whan the rain draps off the hat, 'Tis fully time for folk to quat.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 165:
Should he come when crowdie time, Or quating time draws on.
Sc. 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah lxvi. 23:
Frae ae new mune till anither, an' frae ae quattin day till anither.
Lnk. 1880 Clydesdale Readings 99:
Ae Tuesday nicht, aboot half-an-hour afore quattin time.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xxxix.:
Ye never quat dabbin' at his kame.
Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 36:
When ye aince start in ye maun never quat it.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 71:
Efter a bit sheu quet spieran.

3. With wi: to part with, to be done with.Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 54:
To ne'er a gowlin scoundrel e'er was whalpit I'll quat wi' life, sae lang as I can help it.

4. To requite, reward; to pay back, discharge (s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.). Obs. in Eng. exc. n. dial.Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms cxxxvii. 8:
Blythe be the wight that sal quat ye right, wi' sic-like as ye gar'd us dree.

II. n. In pl.: vengeance, satisfaction, requital, quits.Sc. 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah xlvii. 3:
For quats I sal hae, an' winna lat stey e'er a man till tell me.

[O.Sc. quait, 1590, quat, 1597, to abandon, quett, 1668, to requite. The form has been transferred from the pa.t. of Quit, q.v., to form a separate verb with weak conjugation.]

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"Quat v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Feb 2023 <>



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