Structure of entries

Introduction

The general features of the entry display more

Main heading

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.

Hide/show options

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.

Abbreviations

The text of the entries necessarily contains many abbreviations. A list of these can be found here. less

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.

Pronunciation

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.

Senses

Each separate sense is listed in a new paragraph, with the most common meaning listed first.

Quotations

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.

Compounds

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.

Phrases

There may also be a separate list of phrases, illustrated by quotations in the same way as the compounds.

Etymology

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.

Etymology

The origin of the word, if known, is given next, usually in square brackets.

Senses

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