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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCY, n., v. Also sye. [sɑi]

I. n. A scythe (I.Sc., Cai. 1969). Combs.: scy-butter, an extra allowance of butter for each scytheman after the harvest-fields had been cut (Ork. 1969). Cf. Heuk, n.1, 7. (1); scy-man, a scytheman (Ork., Cai. 1969); sye-stane, a whetstone for scythes.Cai. 1882 G. W. Levack Poems 78:
There's sye-stanes, gravestanes — by my sang, I think I'll hae to stop.
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 103:
Kerryin' a muckle sye in his haund.
Ork. 1931 J. Leask Peculiar People 132:
Nane i' your rapers or binders or horse rakes dan, na giddeed, nor a scy aither.
Sh. 1964 New Shetlander No. 69. 26:
Twa faald he wis, wi lang white hair, An in his hand he buir — a scy!

II. v. To mow with a scythe (I.Sc., Cai. 1969).Ork. 1927 H. C. Jean's Garden 12:
Sye doon the nettles an' the docks.
Cai. 1961 “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 17:
Scy'an' oot 'e lyan bits.

[For the loss of -th, cf. mou, Mouth, etc. See P.L.D. § 71.]

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"Scy n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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