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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

QUITE, n. Also quyte, qwyte, queyt. Dim. quitie, qwytie. ne.Sc. forms of Eng. coat. See P.L.D. § 126.3, and also Coat, Cwite. [kwəit]

1. As in Eng., a coat, a long jacket with tails, an overcoat, frock coat, etc. A muckle quyte, a greatcoat (Bnff., Abd. 1967); quill-pen quyte, “tails”. See Quill, n., 3.Bnff. 1745 Origins '45 (S.H.S.) 160:
A country man . . . told them that the Enzie was all in a “vermine of Red Quites.”
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 71:
Wi' riven breeks an' thread-bare queyt Hangin' in tatters.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 28:
His muckle quyte wiz a' in tatter-wallops, an' hingin' in weet clypachs aboot's legs.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 26:
We left the inn an' cuist oor quytes ahin the village crafts.
Abd. 1929 Abd. Ev. Express (16 Feb.) 7:
I saw 'im wi's auld quitie buttaned up at the neck an' the tail o't wappin' in the wind.

Phr. and Combs.: (1) quyte-tails, the skirts of a coat or of a woman's dress. Hence phr. (i) to sit on someone's quyte-tail(s), to take advantage of one, exploit another's efforts (Abd.4 1930); (ii) on ane's ain quyte-tail(s), on one's own resources, independent(ly) (Abd. 1967); (2) the man wi' the black quite, a sea-taboo term for a clergyman (ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 64).

2. A woman's nether garment, a skirt, petticoat (Bnff., Abd. 1902 E.D.D.; ne.Sc. 1967). Also in Eng. dial.Bnff. 1844 T. Anderson Poems 33:
'Twas said that she littit ram's woo in't , an' made quytes to the dames o' it.
Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife 13:
Kilt up yer quites, gyang owr the ley.
Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 102:
It'll be a qwytie for Elsie.
Bnff. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (19 June) 8:
Keep yer quites on, an' put on a mawsey gin ye can get een, an' ye'se dee.

3.  A long, oilskin apron used by fish-gutters.Abd. 1988 Alistair Lawrie et al. eds Glimmer of Cold Brine 24:
Our gear was rubber boots and an oilskin quyte - a long apron with a bib that fastened at the waist and covered you completely from the waist down.

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"Quite n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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