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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ATHORT, Athuort, Atwart, Athorte, adv. and prep. Sc. form of athwart. [ə′θɔrt + ə′θort Sc.; ə′θʊərt s.Sc.; ə′twart Sh.]

1. adv.

(1) Across in various directions, across, over. Gen.Sc.Bnff.(D) 1847 A. Cumming Tales of the North 94:
He comes frae o'er the Spey, an' bides here a' nicht aye when he comes athort.
Abd.(D) 1928 J. Wight in Word-Lore III. (Dec.) 148:
Rax ower yer han', . . . an' Aw'se rugg ye athort.

(2) Phrase: a' wye an' athort, in (or from) every direction, everywhere.Abd.(D) 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 29:
There wis concerts, balls, an' sirees a'wye an' athort.

2. prep. Across in various directions, across, all over, about. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 123:
The towel athort his thees is a' crumpled up.
Sc. 1979 T. S. Law in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 82:
something as swythe as the wuin whan featherin
thru blawn fyne hair whan a man is staundin heech
on a sgurr whaur the sea maks siccar the weatherin
o the rock, an ongaun lik the wheechin sky
o universes caad athorte the void,
Sh.4 1932:
Da plank wis lyan atwart da geo.
Abd.(D) [1788] J. Skinner Christmas Ba'ing, Amusements, etc. (1809) xix.:
A menseless man Came a' at anes athort his hinch A sowff.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 15:
I tramp athort fields for a look,
gowk on hirsty soil, hear the hungert craw
hoast owre a dwaiblie stook.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 30:
An' lilt the prosp'rous cantie sang Athort the land.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 38:
Spider wabs, in dozens, Hing mirk athort the winnock neuks.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 104:
So many thieves and robbers gawn a-thort the kintry.
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 101:
Tae gang a' athort the country an try tae convert the natives.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 112:
Athort the field, wi' wildest pranks, Th' unwieldy oussen stenn.
w.Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott Vernac. of Mid-Nithsdale, Trans. Dmf. Gall. Antiq. Soc. 16:
Athort, athwart. Ye leave your things lyin' athort the hale hoose.
s.Sc. 1873 Murray D.S.C.S. 229:
“Hey gangs a suort athuort the cuintrie,” he goes a great deal about, or up and down, the country.

[From O.E. a = on, and Scand. þvert, adj. neut. = adverse, cf. Icel. um-þvert, across. Cogn. with O.E. þweorh, crosswise, and Lat. torquēre, to twist. For change of vowel e to o cf. web, wab, wob. Athort appears in O.Sc. from the middle of 15th cent. in various forms.]

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"Athort adv., prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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