Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

ABEICH, ABEIGH, ABEECH, Abiegh, Abigh, Abieght, adv. Aloof, aside, away, apart from others. [ə′bi]  a.1568 [O.Sc. Alex. Scott Poems (S.T.S.) 72:
Quhen scho growis heich, I draw on dreich, To vesy and behald the end; Quhen scho growis skeich, I byd on beich, To lat hir in the brydill bend.]
Sc.   (date uncertain) Maidment (ed.) Sc. Ballads, The Souters o' Selkirk (1868) I. 118:
But deil scoup o' Hume and his menzie, That stude sae abieght on the field.
Sc. 1721  Jas. Kelly Proverbs 273:
On painting and fighting look abigh. [And. Henderson in his Proverbs (1832) 136, in the same proverb, substitutes adreigh for abigh. Alex. Hislop's version (1862) 158 gives adreich, while the 3rd edition of the same work gives abeigh.]
Sc. a.1774  R. Fergusson (?) in Herd's Sc. Songs II. 170:
But cout wad let nae body steer him, He was ay sae wanton and skeegh; The packmans stands he o'erturn'd them, And gard a' the Jocks stands [sic] a-beech.
Sc. 1825  J. Wilson in Blackwood's Mag. XVII. 373:
They should stand abeigh frae the lave o' the characters — by way o' contrast.
Sc. 1923  Ranald Macrailt Hoolachan 36:
Stand abeigh, ye foolish, forward folk, and gi'e her Ladyship's goon room for the reel!
Mry. 1878  Ballads by the Lady Middleton, quot. in Bnffsh. J. 23rd July, 2:
When ye're set run-rig, gar your neebour sit abeigh.
Ags. 1821  Jas. Ross A Peep at Parnassus 19:
A black cat, on a bauk abiegh Gaur'd a' the biggin rock.
Knr. 1917  J. L. Robertson Petition to the Deil etc. 91:
Noo, this fecht was a terrible fecht! The hens flew abeigh at the soun'.
Lnl. 1910  J. White Eppie Gray 8:
The faither casts his heid abeigh An' looks a kennin' soor.
Edb. 1804  Hector MacNeill Poems (1806) II. 137:
They're plenty, nae doubt, wha can had their head heigh, . . . We're a' ganging fine; but we ay keep abeigh, When folk wad keek in at the spinning o't.
Rnf. 1800–1810  Tannahill Poems and Songs (1817) App. 266:
Frae thoughts o' that, pray keep abeigh! Ye're far owr auld, and far owr heigh.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Auld Mare Maggie viii.:
How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' scriegh, An' tak the road! Town's-bodies ran, an' stood abiegh, An' ca't thee mad.
Ayr. 1792  Burns Duncan Gray i.:
Maggie coost her head fu' high, Look'd asklent and unco skeigh, Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 90:
The lasses turned skiegh man, They hid themselves amang the corn To keep the lads abeigh, man.
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Poems 93:
Frae ither fowls ye stan' abeigh, An' like a' fools, wad fain be high.
Dmf. 1823  Jas. Kennedy Poems 137:
Spier for the guidman o' Ballangeich Ye hae nae cause to stand abeigh.

[Etymology uncertain. E.D.D. and N.E.D. give A, pref.1 + -beigh, O.N. beygr = fear, beygja = to bend, to bow. Cf. O.E. būgan = to bend, to yield, to flee. But the phonetical development of beygr would normally be baich, not beich. Perhaps no longer current in actual vernacular speech.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Abeich adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: