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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SNOUT, n. Also snoot, snowt. Dim. snouttie. Sc. forms and usages. [snut]

1. As in Eng., the nose. Gen.Sc.; transf., the face, head. Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 187:
Wha gart the hearty Billies stay To see his Snowt, to hear him play.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 82:
For thof ye had as wise a snout on As Shakespeare or Sir Isaac Newton.
Abd. a.1849 Bards Bon-Accord (Walker 1887) 373:
It never cam' in Willie's snout 'Twas time to jee.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems:
When early sense began to sprout, An' childish notions leave my snout.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 63:
Oh ye whase cauldriffe snoutties drap, Like pinkin' weet frae riggin' crap.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 306:
A dribble o' drink in his snout.
Abd. 1914 J. Leatham Daavit 33:
[He] pinntit my portrait for naething . . . He wis that ta'en wi' my snoot that he hid ti hae a shot at it.
Lnk. 1948:
They're a' ae soo's snout — (one is as bad as the other).
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 61:
At a quarter till echt, he wis aff ower the hills fur the schule run, drivin frae fairm tae fairm, uplifting littlins, wytin fur mithers tae dicht bibbly snoots, or tie pynts, or caimb the antrin hudderie heid.

2. The peak (of a cap). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. Derivs. and ppl.adj.: snooter, a peaked cap, snootie, -y, peaked, snootit, -ed, id.Kcd. 1796 J. Burness Thrummy Cap (1887) 8:
A Thrummy Cap baith large an' stout Wi' flaps ahint, (as weel's a snout).
Per. 1878 R. Ford Hamespun Lays 109:
A sunbrunt suit an' snootit cap.
Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Betty Blether 37:
A twa snootit man's bannet.
Ags. 1898 A. H. Rea Divot Dyke 114:
No, on he went, his dooble snooter Drawn doon his face abune his cooter.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 37:
His snootit kep that hid the broos aneath.
Abd. 1953 Huntly Express (19 June):
The rim abune the snoot hid fancy fite diamonds on't. . . . Ane o' the lads wi' the snootit bonnets.

3. A projecting point of land or of a building, a bluff, promontory, etc.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 176:
On yonder Ruin's lofty snout.
Sc. 1867 N. Macleod Highl. Parish 362:
The black raven sat on a snout of rock above him.
Sc. 1873 J. Morley Gladstone (1905) II. 47:
I see no other rock ahead; but sometimes they project their snouts unexpectedly.
ne.Sc. 1979 Alastair Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 64:
The visitors like sae muckle trok
on the crescent o the sand
here in the north whaur the dog-heidit peninsula
sticks it's snoot into oor cauler tides.

4. Fig. Impudence, “cheek.”Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 21:
Now wae and wander on your snout, Wad ye compare yoursell to me?

5. A detective, a policeman (Abd. 1920; Ags. 1934 G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 28; Gsw. 1934 Partridge Dict. Slang; Abd., Ags., wm.Sc., Wgt. 1971). Sc. slang.

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"Snout n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Mar 2024 <>



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