Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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'EAR, 'EER, n. Gen.Sc. forms of Eng. year (e.Dmf. 1912 J. and R. Hyslop Langholm 641, 'eer; Abd. 1928 “P. Gray” Making of a King 55, 'eer). [i:r] Rxb. 1874 Border Treasury (8 Aug.):
In many parts of Scotland, and particularly on Tweedside, the word ‘year' is pronounced ‘ear'.

Sc. usages:

1. Sing. used for pl. with numerals. Known to Bnff., Abd., Ags., Fif., Slg., Kcb. and Rxb. correspondents 1942. m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 21:
It's seeventy-sax 'ear came Aprile That I cam here frae Auchentyle.
Lth. 1920 A. Dodds Songs of the Fields 7:
It's six 'ear since I saw him last — Ay, six 'ear past the Dalkeith fair.
Abd. 1929 P. Baxter in Scots Mag. (March) 449:
The Strachans had owned and worked that ferm for mair nor two hunder 'ear.

2. Derivs. in which initial y is dropped: (1) 'earaul, eeral', eeril, a one year old animal (Abd.15 1880; Mry.1 1928, eeral; Ork., Bnff., Abd., m.Lth. and Kcb. correspondents 1949); also used attrib.; (2) eerlin, a yearling (Ork.5 1949; Mry.1 1928; Bnff.4 1926; Abd.27 1949; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot.; Ayr.4 1928; Kcb.10 1942). (1) Abd.15 1915:
Hiv ye ony eeril stirks for sale? Ay, Aw hiv ae eeril, a quaick.

3. Phr.: up in 'ears = Eng. on in years (Bnff.2, Abd.27, Ags.18, Fif.10, Slg.3, m.Lth.1, Bwk.2, Kcb.10 1949). Dmf. 1831 R. Shennan Tales, etc. 65:
He married Jenny next, and she Was up in ears as weel as he.

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"'ear ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2020 <>



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