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Etymology 1[edit]

Apparently of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish kilt ‎(to tuck), Swedish kilta ‎(to swathe), Old Norse kjalta ‎(skirt; lap) (perhaps from Proto-Germanic *kelt-, *kelþōn, *kelþīn ‎(womb), from Proto-Indo-European *gelt- ‎(round body, child)).[1]

Alternative forms[edit]


kilt ‎(third-person singular simple present kilts, present participle kilting, simple past and past participle kilted)

  1. To gather up (skirts) around the body. [from 14th c.]
    • 1933, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Cloud Howe, Polygon 2006 (A Scots Quair), p. 385:
      Else at her new place worked outdoor and indoor, she'd to kilt her skirts (if they needed kilting – and that was damned little with those short-like frocks) and go out and help at the spreading of dung […].


A kilt

kilt ‎(plural kilts)

  1. A traditional Scottish garment, usually worn by men, having roughly the same morphology as a wrap-around skirt, with overlapping front aprons and pleated around the sides and back, and usually made of twill-woven worsted wool with a tartan pattern. [from 18th c.]
  2. (historical) Any Scottish garment from which the above lies in a direct line of descent, such as the philibeg, or the great kilt or belted plaid;
  3. A plaid, pleated school uniform skirt sometimes structured as a wrap around, sometimes pleated throughout the entire circumference; also used as boys' wear in 19th century USA.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
      I was about to say that I had known the Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I see I will have to amend that, because he was not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve fame until some time after I left New York for the West.
  4. A variety of non-bifurcated garments made for men and loosely resembling a Scottish kilt, but most often made from different fabrics and not always with tartan plaid designs.

Etymology 2[edit]

kill +‎ -t

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. (African American Vernacular) Nonstandard form of killed: simple past tense and past participle of kill.
    • 1970 (reprinted 1999) Norman R. Yetman (ed.), Voices from Slavery: 100 Authentic Slave Narratives, Courier Corporation, ISBN 9780486409122, p. 160:
      But tweren’t so awful long before Marse Hampton got kilt in de big battle, and Marse Thad, too. Dey was both kilt in de charge, right dere on de breastworks, with de guns in dey hands, dem two young masters of mine, right dere in dat Gettysburg battle [] And I was eighteen in dat October after dat big fight what Marse Thad and Marse Hampton got kilt in.


  1. ^ Etymology of kilte in Ordbok over det danske sprog



kilt m (plural kilts)

  1. kilt (traditional Scottish man’s skirt)