Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BEST, adj. In best man and best maid — i.e. the groomsman and bridesmaid. The first is said by N.E.D. to be of Sc. origin and is given also by the Concise Eng. Dict. and the Un. Eng. Dict. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1782  J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 51:
Best man and best maid. Bride-man and bride-maid.
Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 275:
I could greet to think that I canna be the Best Man.
Sh.(D) 1931  J. J. H. Burgess in Sh. Almanac Companion 185:
Twa men oot o' wir boat's crew wis geen ower ta da majority, an' I wis been best man ta baid o' dem.
Abd.(D) 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxix.:
It being left to him and the red-haired orra man, . . . to settle who should be “best” and who “warst” young man: and they “drew cuts,” whereby it was decided that the Mole-catcher was not to have the higher post of honour [at the marriage].
Fif. 1887  “S. Tytler” Logie Town III. xiii.:
With Chirsty Prendergast waiting upon her, the proudest and most devoted of “best maids.”

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"Best adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2020 <>



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