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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Na, adv.2 and conj.1 [North. ME. and early ME. na (midl. and south. no: see No adv.1), OE. , f. ne Ne+ á ever.]A north. ME. and Sc. alternative to Ne adv. After the 14th c. chiefly or only Sc. Chiefly early.

1. adv. Not, in no way, by no means.Placed immediately before a verb. Also with a second negative adverb, as nocht, following the verb.(1) 1375 Barb. iv. 200 (C).
That he na mocht His aynd … draw Na spek
Ib. ix. 85 (E).
That thai na will … flei
Ib. 471. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 216.
In a dongeone depe That he na schapit
Ib. xii. 111. Ib. xvi. 14.
The ded of synfuil I na wil Bot [etc.]
Ib. 682, xvii. 328. ?1438 Alex. i. 3237.
That his fare flesch na ware Reuin with beistis
Ib. ii. 1579.
That we na gang furth
Ib. 2149, 2634, 3717, 4103, 4619, 4851, etc. 1409 Exch. R. IV. ccx.
And gif thai sua na may [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. vi. 2462.
Syne that Edgar Ethlyng … na wes to governe off wertu
?14.. Ship Laws in c1420 Bute MS. 174.
He na dyd it bot in saufte of the schyp
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 2929. a1500 K. Hart 241. c1508 Ch. & M. Prints iii b/10.
I dar noght speke For I na dare
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 1385.
The quethir the dame Ydeus Na gettis thow nocht
Ib. 2198. Ib. 4590.
That he na louit him neuer a deill
14.. Burgh Laws c. 48 (A).
The mesall na sall nocht enter in the toune

b. Na war(e (it), na had (nocht bene), were it not (that), had it not been (that, for), but for.Also gif na war and with ellipsis of war.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 642.
And how he had bene tane … Na war it that he warpyt owt All that he had
Ib. v. 208, vi. 345. Ib. vii. 218 (C).
Na war the armyng that he had He had beyn ded
a1400 Leg. S. i. 528.
The hound … hym weryt hade Na war Petir hym forbade
Ib. x. 178.
Gyf na ware that I Had prayt to myne Lord for ȝov [etc.]
Ib. Prol. 98, vii. 532, xxi. 88. ?1438 Alex. i. 1694, ii. 1903, etc. c1420 Wynt. iii. 854, v. 1279 (C).(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 3813.
Thare had thay rekned with vther baith, Na had the knichtis of Grece … That wele persauit thare inuy
Ib. 4763.
Na had nocht bene the knychtis of Grece That helpit, he had warrit me
(3) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 1129.
To kepe thé fra the fend that na he Had wikitly confundyt thé

c. Expressing the negative possibility of two alternatives. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 833.
Sanct Machor sad, ‘That quhethir na we Sal ilkane vthire eftire se’
1513 Doug. iii. v. 74.
Art thou, or na, to Pirrus ȝit bywed?

2. conj. That … not, but (that), other than. Also that na, that … na.Also na … never, that … never.(1) 1375 Barb. v. 372 (C).
Swa [that] of thretty wes levit nane, Na [E. Ne] thai war slane ilkane, or tane
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 475.
That in na maner tha mocht Lange hald the towne na it suld be Tane be force
Ib. xxxii. 82.
Bot that wes nocht sa priuely Na it wes persawit in hy
?1438 Alex. i. 1336, 2585, ii. 1736, etc. c1420 Wynt. viii. 2688 (W). 1456 Hay I. 105/29.
I say nocht na … that the pape will hynder thame
Ib. 179/4.
Than suld never … obligacioun bynd a fals man na he wald get ane outgate
Ib. 119/32, 130/25, etc. c 1489 Liber Aberbr. II. 264.
That he be nocht sleuithful na he tak cuir apone hym til ger [etc.]
a1500 Bk. Chess 647. 1496 Misc. Spald. C. II. 260.
And I sall nother heyr … apperand perill to his person [etc.] … na I sall warne him thair of
1513 Doug. i. vii. 81.
Quhat wenys thou na this fame sall do thé gude?
1533 Gau 12/27.
Thay quhilk … trowis noth na He wirkis al the guid warkis in thayme
(2) 1375 Barb. xi. 505 (C).
Thame thoucht that na myscheif mycht be So gret … That na [E. That ne, H. Bot] hys vorschip suld thame releif
?1438 Alex. i. 2459.
Thair straik nane … That he na agane can straikis ta
Ib. ii. 4104.
It was bot hap that helpit thare That he na was deid or woundit sare
(3) a1500 Seven S. 991.
Na he schupe neuer ȝour wyf to deire … I dar wele swere

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"Na adv.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2022 <>



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