Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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INBY, adv., prep., adj. Also inbye; inbi, inbe (Sh.). Sometimes written as two words. See also Emby. [′ɪn′bɑe]

I. adv. 1. With verbs of motion: from outside to inside, closer towards oneself, from an outer to an inner part of a house or a room, towards the fire, etc., from the coast inland (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen.Sc. For phrs. to come or cry inby(e), see Come, v., II. 10. (8) and Cry, v. Abd. 1714  Auchterless Session Rec. MS. (17 Jan.):
He took her in by to him and tugged her to take her out[side] but she denyed.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 37:
But I'll assure you I look'd unko blate; An' very thrawart like I yeed in by.
Ags. 1795  Session Papers, Arbuthnott v. Scott (11 March) 156:
He has rugged in-by stones to the face of the dike.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xxvii.:
“Gang in bye then, my woman,” answered the goodwife; and opening the door of a room, she announced the additional visitor.
Sc. 1863  Chambers's Jnl. (10 Jan.) 29:
The breezy links o' Gulane, stretchin' in by frae the sea.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
“Inbye an' warm ye,” quoth my mither, “an gie's the news.”
Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 215:
Tack in by yir chair, sit doon, an' tack an air o' the pipe.
Sh. 1898  Shetland News (30 April):
In by, dog, or doo sall be da waur o' hit.
Lth. 1924  A. Dodds Poppies in Corn 9:
An', gin the nichts were weet and snell, she [horse] wad be brocht in-bye Tae the lown end o' the stable on a cosy bed tae lie.
Ags. 1950  Forfar Dispatch (23 Feb.):
A' Bob hed tae dee wiz tae draw inbye eez chair and sit doon.

2. Inside, within, in the inner part (of a house, farm, etc.), indoors, at someone's house. Gen.Sc. Occas. = near here, in the vicinity; inshore (e.Sc. 1958). Sc. 1827  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 360:
Genteel families in-by here in Embro, and the sooburbs.
Sh. 1886  J. Burgess Sk. & Poems 74:
At lent dey got dem set doon inbe at da fire.
Arg. 1901  N. Munro Doom Castle xxxvii.:
Ye need not wonder that her ladyship inby should ken all.
Ork. 1911  Old-Lore Misc. IV. i. 21:
The but-end or kitchen . . . bore also the name of in-by or abune the fire.
Ags. 1918  V. Jacob More Songs 30:
What ails ye, that ye bide In-by — an' me ootside.
Dmf. 1921  J. L. Waugh Heroes 79:
Mary Oswald sang them at her wark — inby an' ootby.
Lnk. 1923  G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 70:
Ootby the trees wi' wunds o' simmer bend, . . . Inby twae laddies weary for the end.
Abd. 1958 16 :
Wis ye in by? Did you call at our house or at the house of someone else indicated by the context?

3. Specif.: in that portion of farm land in the immediate neighbourhood of the farm buildings, corresponding to the former Infield (Rs., m.Lth., Bwk., s.Sc. 1958); in the low-lying district as opposed to the upland. Cf. III. 2. Rxb. 1918  Kelso Chron. (15 Feb.) 4:
I do not know of a single farm in the district — out bye or in bye — where any attempt is made to utilise the urine of our animals.
Dmf. 1955  Dmf. & Gall. Standard (18 June) 12:
Good all-round working Collie Wanted for inbye.
Rxb. 1955  Scotsman (6 Jan.):
The farm is presently carrying about 25 score of South Country Cheviot Ewes and hoggs on the hill, and about 23 score of North Country Cheviot Ewes and hoggs inbye.

II. prep. Close to, beside, by way of; in the neighbourhood of (m.Lth. 1958). Sc. 1886  Stevenson Kidnapped i.:
Cramond (which is near in by Edinburgh).
Abd. 1928  J. Baxter A' A' Oo' 18:
Fine, inbye the chumley lug, Tae needle at the clooty rug.
Abd. 1958  :
Will ye hae time tae come in by the toun on the road hame?

III. adj. 1. Inner, in the interior. Slk. 1824  Hogg Justified Sinner 227:
Gie up your crooning, or I'll pit you to an in-by place, where ye sall get plenty o't.

2. Lying close at hand (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 88), near at hand, near a habitation; specif. pertaining to the arable part of a farm which also has some hill-pasture, or to the cultivated land surrounding the farm buildings. Cf. I. 3. Hence low-lying (Slk. 1825 Jam.; m.Lth., Kcb., Dmf., s.Sc. 1958). See Inwith. Applied attrib. to stock reared or persons employed there (Rxb. 1958). Comb. in-by farming, ley or rotation farming (Rxb. 1950 B.B.C. Broadcast (29 Oct.)). Dmf. 1894  J. Cunningham Broomieburn vi.:
The in-bye hand Jock would emerge from his bed in the stable loft.
Rxb. 1898  Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (23 Sept.):
He had first an inbye herding at Stanhopefoot on the banks of the Ettrick; and then he removed to an outbye one at Deloraineshiel.
Slk. 1918  Border Standard (18 May) 2:
Louping-ill or trembling is proving very destructive amongst in-by or park lambs, and it is greatly feared that this malignant disease will also prove destructive to hill flocks.
Dmf. 1947  Gsw. Herald (23 Aug.):
Cheviot ewe lambs (“tops” and “in-bye”).

[O.Sc. in by, to the inner part of a house, 1643.]

Inby adv., prep., adj.

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"Inby adv., prep., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2020 <>



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