Structure of entries
The general features of the entry display more
The main heading shows which of the source dictionaries the entry is from – either the Scottish National Dictionary (SND), which covers Scots language and usage during the period from 1700 onwards, or A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, which covers words in use during the period up to 1700.
There are options to hide or show:
- the quotations that illustrate the different senses
- the etymology, which gives a brief history of each word
- the highlighting of the search term.
SND (Scottish National Dictionary)
The Scottish National Dictionary (SND) covers Scots language and usage during the period from 1700 onwards. more
The Scottish National Dictionary (SND) covers Scots language and usage during the period from 1700 onwards.
Headword, variant spellings and part(s) of speech
The entries generally start with the headword, part(s) of speech and the variant spellings in current use, along with their regions if appropriate. This arrangement may vary depending on the complexity of the entry; for example, in the entry for gie (give), there are separate sections for forms of the verb that are particularly Scots, and for Scots usages.
For headwords and variants in current use, a pronunciation guide is given in square brackets, e.g. [Sc. ˈglekɪt, Per. ˈgləik-] where the regional abbreviation is followed by the appropriate pronunciation in phonetic script.
Each separate sense is listed in a new paragraph, with the most common meaning listed first.
The illustrative quotations generally appear in ascending date order within each sense, except in the early part of the dictionary (A-D) where they were arranged according to region.
Lists of compounds (headed ‘Combs’ for ‘combining forms’) are numbered in brackets, e.g. (1), (2) and so on, and their illustrative quotations are given at the end of the list, showing the number of the compound that they illustrate.
There may also be a separate list of phrases, illustrated by quotations in the same way as the compounds.
Finally, the origin of the word, if known, is given at the end of the entry, in square brackets. less
DOST (A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue)
A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) covers words in use during the period up to 1700. more
A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue covers words in use during the period up to 1700.
Headword, variant spellings and part of speech
The entry starts with the commonest headword. In the earlier part of the dictionary the first headword listed may have been the closest in form to the etymological source from which it was believed to derive. This is followed by the main variant spellings, and the part of speech. Other variant spellings then follow.
The origin of the word, if known, is given next, usually in square brackets.
Some of the larger entries are divided into sections, e.g. A, B etc. or I, II, etc., with the main senses within them. The main senses are numbered 1, 2, etc., with the most common meaning listed first. These are further subdivided into paragraphs a, b etc. for subsenses and (a), (b) etc. for categories of spelling variation.
Quotations and references
Examples of how a word is used are given after the appropriate definition either as a quotation and its reference, or form and a reference only, without the quotation, where only the spelling of the word is of interest.
The examples appear in chronological order within each sense. Where the date of the example can be determined from the appropriate bibliography item, then the date is not shown in the entry. This was to save space in the printed dictionary by avoiding duplicating the date in both the bibliography and the entries. Where the abbreviation v.d. [various dates] is given in the bibliography - for example for diaries or record texts – then the date of the example is shown in the entry. less