In Reply to: Can't get out of the bit posted by Joe on January 06, 2009 at 21:44:
: : 'Can't get out of the bit'. I just used this phrase to describe my day at work and my colleague had no idea what I was talking about. It means can't get going and is a fairly common phrase in Scotland (my colleague is English), but not sure how well used it is elsewhere. My colleague asked where the phrase came from and I was at a loss, my guess would be something to do with horses, but other than that, I have no clue. Any ideas?
: In Scotland it means home area or home, even the farm area, also the a specific place, a spot,
: An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language ...: To which is ...ý - Page 202
: by John Jamieson - Scots language - 1879
: also recall about a good Border Collies is needed to get the herd out of the bit....
"Bit" has this meaning in England too. On my uncle's farm in Cumbria in the UK, the small field immediately behind the farmhouse was called "the back bit". Kipling came from Sussex (a long way from Scotland), but refers to a field near a river thus (in his poem "The Land"):
So, said William to his Bailiff as they rode their dripping rounds:
"Hob, what about that River-bit--the Brook's got up no bounds? "