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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ECHT, Eicht, num.adj.1 Gen.Sc. forms and usages of Eng. eight. Also †eght; aicht; ech'. For other forms see Aucht, num.adj.1 [eçt, ɛçt, e1çt Sc., Bwk., Rxb. + ait]

Sc. forms: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, ...
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 66:
'I held ontae that favour eicht years, and there were times, I confess, when Lauderdale's position at coort wobbled a wee, when I thocht I michtna get the chance tae redeem it. ... '

Sc. usages:

1. Phrs. and Combs.: (1) a common eicht day, a common or average person or thing, also used attrib.; (2) echt days, a week (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., ech(t) —; Sh.11 1949; Ags.17, Arg.3, wm.Sc.1, Rxb.4 1942); esp. in phr. was echt days, a week ago (Ork.5, Cai.10, Fif.10, Slg.3 1942); see also Day, n., 3. (8); (3) eicht nights, = (2); (4) eightpence drink, “a very strong ale” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).(1) Abd.27 1950:
“I gar't him mak a bookcase — naething fancy, ye ken — jist a common eicht day.” “For aa the soun that's made about him, he's jist a common eicht day mannie like onybody else.”
(2) Sc. 1712 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1925) II. 32:
Tyusday was eghtdays ther was a genneral meeting and werie throng at glengeris hous.
Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 106:
Let them [lice] alane but ae eight days, they'll grow as grit as grosets.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. I. 21:
Saw ye naething o' our young dinnagood this day eight days, Robin?
Lth. 1856 M. Oliphant Lilliesleaf xxx.:
You might have tarried an eight days, Miss Marget, if it was but to put life in Sunnyside.
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 92:
The pairty wechted anchor in Grangemouth Setterday was eicht days.
(3) e.Lth. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 20:
Weel, Nancy lass, yestreen Was eicht nichts I'd been seein' Mysie White.

2. In derivs.: (1) e(i)chteen, eighteen; Gen.Sc.; see also Auchteen; (2) echteent, eighteenth (Ork., ne.Sc., Ags. 1975); (3) e(i)chty, eighty; Gen.Sc.; see also Auchty; the form aichty is found in Abd. (Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 15).(1) m.Lth. 1894 W. G. Stevenson Puddin' 45:
It'll depend on the price I get mysel', but it'll no' be less than a shillin', an' maybe eichteenpence.
Rxb. 1912 Jedburgh Gazette (19 July) 3:
An' there's oor Brass Band o' lang years stannin', sin echteen fifty fower, an' aye cairrit on be oor ain men an' callants.
Abd. 1991 David Ogston in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 118:
My heid wis echteen inch
Awa fae polished timmer,
Bress and tassel.
(2) Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 41:
He's only an echteent pairt o' the Toon Cooncil.
(3) Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 79:
“Dae ye no ken,” sez I, “that there's aboot echty per cent. o' dirty water in beef?”
Abd. 1928 “P. Grey” Making of a King 65:
Ah, laddie; gin I had the 31st o' June by, I'll niver see eichty-wan again.
m.Sc. 1979 William J. Tait in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 36:
Echty, they said he wis,
But a real gentleman,
Awfy polite.
Abd. 1992 Sheila Douglas ed. The Sang's the Thing: Voices from Lowland Scotland 214:
The amount due at Martinmass for grain was £35-5-6d, less harvesting: echty-three quarters at 4/- a quarter.

3. With the the eight psalm-tunes in regular use in congregational singing in the 18th cent. (see quots.). See also s.v. Twelve. Hist.Sc. 1837 W. McKelvie in Poems M. Bruce 100:
Till then, “the old eight” . . . were considered the only tunes which it was lawful to sing in country congregations.
Sc. 1949 M. Patrick Sc. Psalmody 171:
In the summer of 1764 he [Michael Bruce] joined a singing-class in the village, taught by a young man, Buchan by name, who had worked in various towns and heard other tunes sung than “the standart eight” (French, Dundee, Stilt or York, Newtoun, Elgin, London, Martyrs, Abbey) which formed the entire repertory of the congregation.

[O.Sc. has eght, from 1516. This form, from Mid.Eng. e forms, has supplanted the native Aucht, which is now obsol.]

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"Echt num. adj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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