Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
MEAN, adj. Also mein, mene (Sc. 1825 Jam.); main (Jam.). Sc. usages:
1. Common to two or more persons or things, possessed jointly (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork., Ags., Per. 1962). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. Applied esp. to a farm occupied by two or more tenants who shared the land and facilities. Hence mean-barn, -farm, -gavel, -rig, -yaird.Dmf. 1756 Session Papers, Blair v. Fraser (29 Dec.) 5:
The mean Gavel betwixt the contending Parties.Edb. 1768 Session Papers, Petition G. Wilson (17 Feb.) 6:
The gable was a mein gable, and the turnpike was in common to both tenements.Fif. c.1800 A. Laing Lindores (1876) 301:
The cottar-folk, who were unable to have a whole web of their own, joined together for a warp, and each had their own weft woven on it. This was called a mein, or common web.Fif. 1825 Jam.:
Main-rig. A term applied to land, of which the ridges are possessed alternately by different individuals; synon. with Run-rig.Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 96, 119:
We watched the laden carts return To the mean-yaird beside the burn. . . . When dancin' in the auld mein-barns Was held till break o' day.Sc. 1919 T.S.D.C.:
Main-farm, n. A farm occupied by two or more tenants who took stook and drill about.
2. Of an animal: in poor condition, thin (Ags., Uls. 1962). Also in Eng. dial.Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings 60:
It[calf]'s 'at mean 'at ye could haud its four feet on yer leef.Sh. 1901 Shetland News (20 April):
Wir kye wis niver sae mean at dis time o' year i' my mindin'.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Mean adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/mean_adj>