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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ADIST, ATHIS'D, ATHIST, A'TAIST, prep. On this side of, as opposed to ayont, on that side of.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 399:
I wish you was neither adist her, nor ayont her.
Gall. a.1824 A riddle in J. MacTaggart Gall. Encycl. 10:
Heg Beg adist the dyke — and Heg Beg ayout [sic] the dyke Gif ye touch Heg Beg — Heg Beg — will gar ye byke. [A nettle.]
Dmf. 1831 R. Shennan Tales 60:
Tam Peevish lives in Galloway Athis'd Dumfries a mile or twa.
w.Dmf.2 c.1880:
Athist — on this side of.
Kcb.2 a.1899 A riddle from Carsphairn:
Ayont the dyke, adist the thorn, I heard an auld man blaw his horn, His beard was flesh, his neb was horn, And sic a beast was never born. [A cock.]
Lnk. a.1911 From a riddle in T. Frazer's coll., Trans. Rymour Club (1906–1911) I. 225:
A-thist the dyke, ayont the dyke, I heard a filly rout.
Kcb. 1912 Scotsman 31 Jan.:
The word a'taist is used as meaning “on this side of” as ayont means “on the other side of.”

[In Ayr, according to Jam.2 1825, the word meant “on that side,” contrasting with anniest, “on this side.” This meaning, however, we have not been able to confirm. The word is prob. a contr. for “a (= on) this side,” used as a prep. in Eng. dialect before words of place and time — e.g. “a this side Christmas” (Lei.), “a-this-side Lunnon” (nw.Der.); see E.D.D. under Side 3. So also in Mid.Eng.: a þys syde þe toun, Sir Ferumbras, c.1380 (N.E.D.). As the popular rhymes show, the word latterly had become a mere echo, and in one case “a dusty dyke” is actually used as a substitute for “adist the dike.”]

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"Adist prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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