Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
SET, v., n.1 Sc. forms and usages:
I. v. A. Forms: Pr.t. set(t), saet (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (26 Feb.)). Pa.t. set(t); sot (Fif.), also in Eng. and Ir. dial.; ¶suitt (Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 14). Pa.p. weak set(t), ¶sette, saet (Sh. 1897 Shetland News (10 July)); strong setten (Slk. 1832 Hogg Poems (1874) 461; ne.Sc. 1970), -in; sotten (Ayr. 1896 G. Umber Idylls 155); sot: ¶suitten (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 19).
B. Usages. As in Eng., to place, put in certain position, settle, etc.: 1. in special Sc. contexts and phrs.: (1) to be weel set in one's hand, to serve one right; (2) to set hoose, to set up house, of a married couple: (3) to set the barrow, to go bankrupt. See also 14. (6) (ii) and Barra.(1) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Dugnid 233:
It was weel set i' their haun,.(2) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 73:
Bits o' bairns maistly mairyin' an' settin' hoose.(3) Lnk. 1877 W. McHutchison Poems 194:
I wonner whar he's got the cash, But thrice he's set the barrow.
2. (1) tr. To cause or make to sit, seat, place on a seat; refl. to seat oneself, sit. Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. To set oneself in, to sit down to a meal.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 11:
Wi' thir injunctions ye may set you down.Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 41:
When we were set, your health gaed aft about.Kcd. 1819 J. Burness Thrummy Cap (1887) 10:
Sae in he gaes an' sets him down.m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 24:
There we'll set us down to rest.Sh. 1897 Shetland News (18 Sept.):
Whin we wir set wis in, I says, “Gud bliss wis, men. Pit in your haands an' begin.”Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Geng an set dee eft.Abd. 1924 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 441:
Set yersell onan a cheer.
(2) tr. and intr. To sit, be seated (on). Now only dial. in Eng.Sc. 1717 Nairne Peerage Evidence (1873) 31:
He has sett as balive and has heard the severall tennents depone upon their rentall.Sc. 1731 W. Fraser Bk. Carlaverock (1873) II. 363:
If that be all the manners or civilitys you have learn'd in Gallowy, you might setten at home.wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs McCraw 74:
The kitchen's guid eneuch fur ye, an' owre guid. Ye'll set there, gin A tell the minister.Fif. 1929 A. Taylor Bitter Bread 165:
I jalouse he's ower weak to set a horse.Dundee 1994 Matthew Fitt in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 176:
The tebills wur a fuhl an fowk wur settin pickin at thair food, affa polite-lyke, chitterin awa in wee pan-loafey small talk.
3. tr. To place in a certain position, arrange: (1) specif. to dispose, incline or determine the opinions, feelings or wishes of (a person) in a certain way, to affect, gen. in ppl.adj. set, disposed, inclined, determined, resolute, obstinate (I., n. and m. Sc. 1970), often with qualifying adv. well-, ill-, etc., well- (or ill-) disposed. See also Ill-set. Now only dial. in Eng. or U.S.Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
“He is very ill set,” i.e. ill-natured, crabbed, cross-grain'd.Sc. 1711 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 326:
A merchant in Glasgou, who was very much sett for the Bishops.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 19:
Yet on a time when they their tryst had made An' were well set, and kisses yeed dingdang.Abd. 1868 G. MacDonald R. Falconer ii. vii.:
The aulder the waur set.Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken x.:
Ye're juist a wee pridefu' whiles, an' ower set in yer ain notions.Cai. 1896 J. Horne Canny Countryside 150:
He was too set and thrawn to learn good manners.Ayr. 1896 H. Johnston Dr Congalton's Legacy ix.:
A common sailor, and a strong ill-set looking tyke too.Sc. 1897 L. Keith Bonnie Lady xiv.:
She's not very well set towards the laird's wife.Kcb. 1902 Crockett Banner of Blue xxx.:
I'm an auld woman and set in my ways.
(2) To lay (a table) for a meal; to lay (a meal) on the table. Gen.Sc. and in Eng. dial. Ppl.adj. set, of a meal: formally laid out, as opposed to being informally handed round. Obs. in Eng.Bnff. 1891 W. Grant Anecdotes 98:
The tea was handed round to the company, and was not what is known as a “set” tea.Sc. 1950 Weekly Scotsman (15 Sept.):
It seems more satisfactory to set the table than to lay the table.Abd. 1966:
It's near sax o'clock. I'll need til awa and set the supper.
(3) To place individual plants or roots, esp. potatoes, in the ground, to plant seedlings or tubers (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Cai., Abd., Uls. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. Vbl.n. settin, a young plant; the amount (of potatoes) planted as seed. Gen.Sc. Comb. settin tree, a stick used to make planting-holes for potatoes, a dibber (Sh. 1970).Ork. 1771 P. Fea MS. Diary (April):
Dung'd the Keel yard in order to Delph and Sett next day.s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 324:
A wee bit groun' to set red-cail.Sc. 1805 Edb. Ev. Courant (31 Oct.):
All produced from a single potatoe, set uncut.s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms cxxviii. 3:
Thy childer like olive-settin's roun' aboot thy tabil.Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 219:
Farmers then, as now, allowed people to ‘set' potatoes on their farms.Sh. 1894 Williamson MSS. (28 April):
Mrs Stewart wis in da day in a merdistinkel about her settin tree.Ayr. 1895 J. Walker Old Kilmarnock 193:
The townsman provided the manure and seed, did the work of “setting” and “howking” — the farmer all the rest, and charged a certam sum for what he did and the ground rent.m.Lth. 1897 P. H. Hunter J. Armiger iv.:
Sandy Skae, who had been busy “setting kail” in the manse garden.Sh. 1949 P. Jamieson Letters 217:
In da muckle rig 12 kishies of seed were set.Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (29 April):
Tattie-settin', or as the rising generation may choose to pronounce it, potato-planting, is now the order of the day.
(4) (i) To lay or shoot fishing-lines or nets in the sea (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh., Cai. 1970). Also to set aff, id. (Sh. 1970).Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 92:
Until we come ta fishin' grund Whaur we can set an' hail.
(ii) Phr. to set a scull, to arrange baited fishing-lines in a skull or basket in the order in which the line is to be paid out at sea (Bnff., Abd., Kcd. 1970), performed also as a ritual by a young bride in a fishing community.Kcd. 1901 Abd. Wkly. Free Press (9 Feb.) 4:
Later on would come the buying of the braws, the washing of the feet, the wedding proper, the kirking, and the setting of the sculls ere the young people could be accounted as fairly started on their matrimonial career.
(5) To stack peats in rickles or sets of three to expedite drying, to Fit (ne.Sc. 1970). Also in n.Eng. dial.Bnff. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (22 June) 3:
In addition to procuring their own fuel they had to “cast”, “set”, drive, and build in “stacks” near Rothie house, peats for the laird's use.Bnff. 1960 Banffshire Jnl. (23 Feb.):
There's peats tae be cas'in' An' peats tae be set.
(6) To arrange in a certain pattern, in weaving.Sc. 1704 Sc. Antiquary (1900) 31–2:
To have readie tartan . . . trewes and short hose of red and grein set dyce. . . . Short hose of tartane of red and greine set broad springed.
(7) Of a male animal: to cover (the female), to serve, impregnate.Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 33:
They'd bring their sows from as far afield as Laurencekirk to have them set by that boar of his.Sc. 1938 M. Innes Lament for a Maker 24:
The pigs had been set by Rob Yule's boar.
(8) Ppl.adj. setting in phr. settin(g)-(the) case (that), conj., in case, in the event, if. Obs. in Eng. Cf. O.Sc. set, conj., although, assuming that, a.1400.Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. xi. :
Setting the case that she raises the storm depending on my sense and spirit.Uls. 1916 S. S. McCurry Ballytumulty 32:
But settin-case I spake to Madge I'd like to bring you too.
4. To make stiff or rigid, specif. (1) to cause (a horse's tail) to assume a stiff and somewhat erect posture by cutting the under muscle which normally draws it down. Ppl.adj. set, artificially stiffened or cocked-up, esp. in comb. set-tailed, of a horse: carrying the tail high, obs. or dial. in Eng.; of wool on a sheep: stuck, adhering, fixed, not to be pulled away.Abd. 1774 Abd. Journal (5 Sept.):
One very fine black set-tailed Horse, Six Years old.Abd. 1777 Abd. Journal (10 Nov.):
A Sandy coloured Gray Mare, . . . foxed Ears, and Switch Tail, which she carries as if sett.Dmf. 1788 Dmf. Weekly Jnl. (16 Dec.):
An Irish Horse, about three years old, set-tailed, with white hairs on it.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De oo is set till de yowe's back.
(2) to dislocate (the neck) (Abd. 1900; Sh., ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a), wm. and sm.Sc. 1970).Bnff. 1960 Banffshire Advert. (10 March):
The chiel in front a me took a richt tummle — I thoucht he'd set his neck.Abd. 1966:
Ye'll set your neck if ye clim up there.
5. intr. Of unseasoned wood: to warp, twist, bend, gen. in pa.p. set (Sc. 1887 Jam.).
6. tr. and intr. To cease, stop, bring or come to a standstill, put a stop to, (1) in gen. Used imprecatively in phrs. Deil or sorra set you, etc. (Abd. 1925).Abd. 1837 J. Leslie Willie & Meggie 40:
De'il set ye for a creature, weel awite, 'at I sid bann.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 153:
They vrocht weel till near even; bit they fairly set upo' ma han' jist fin we wiz within an oor o' bein' deen.Lnk. 1877 W. M'Hutchison Poems 55:
Throughout “the toon” a' wark was set.Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 224:
Sorra set 'im, weel-a-wat.
(2) specif. of a mill: to bring to a stop by turning off the water from the wheel (Bnff., Ags., Slk. 1970). Phr. like a set mill, at a standstill, quiet, hushed, motionless.Sc. 1713 D. Hume Punishment of Crimes (1797) I. 168:
Setting his mill; that is stopping it through want of water.Ags. 1739 Carmyllie Session Rec. MS. (19 Feb.):
[He] caused set the Mill, turned them all out and brought the Key along with him.ne.Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 129:
O master, master, set your mill, There is a fish, or a milk-white swan.Fif. 1864 St Andrews Gazette (20 Aug.):
The day after the fair was kept very generally as a holiday by everybody — in fact, to use an old proverb, the city was like “a set mill.”Mry. 1962 Northern Scot (15 Sept.) 7:
Nae rushin', rattlin', rinnin' feet — It's like a sett mill.
(3) of plants or animals, tr. and intr.: to cease to grow, check the growth of (Ork., Bnff., Ags., wm.Sc. 1970). Hence set(-like), stunted in growth (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 153).Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 174:
The hams should not be too full of flesh which in a young animal indicates that the carcase will soon set from growing.Bnff. 1866 Banffshire Jnl. (2 Jan.) 3:
They (turnips) set.Ayr.4 1928:
The tatties are set.
(4) to disgust, give (one) a distaste or surfeit, nauseate (ne.Sc., Ags. 1970), freq. in ppl.adj. set, disgusted, sated, sickened; also intr. to take a dislike or distaste, with at, on, upo' of, for (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1825 Jam.:
The very sicht of that soss set my stammack.s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xvi.:
It sets my stomach, Agnes.Mry. 1921 T.S.D.C.:
I'm clean set on kail, we get them that aften.Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxviii.:
He wud be a keerious kin' o' a chiel 'at wad sett upo his mett.ne.Sc. 1970:
I was fair set at it. That set me at it aa thegither.
7. intr. Of a horse: to jib, become restive, refuse to obey the rider or driver (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 266; ne.Sc., Kcb. 1970).Abd. 1891 Bon-Accord (4 July) 7:
On the homecoming their horse “set,” and they had no alternative but leave the old nag and the machine in a field.Abd. 1926 Trans. Bch. Field Club XIII. 30:
Tell him straight out that he [a horse] kicks, and that he bites and that he sets.
8. To direct, turn or guide on a certain course, make one ready for a journey: (1) in gen., tr. (ne.Sc., Ags. 1970).Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. lv.:
There was nae missing it ance ane was set to look for't.Abd. 1890 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XIII. 94:
An' sae I'se set my waas hame.Kcd. 1900 W. Macgillivray Glengoyne I. 19:
Eance I'm set to the gate I can traivel a gey bit bittock yet.Abd. 1959:
I'll be doun as seen as I've set the bairns tae the road.
(2) intr., with reflexive force: to start off, set out, make one's way (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); I.Sc. 1970). Phr. to set on or to the gait, to set out on a journey, to begin to do a thing (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 153; Abd. 1970).Rnf. 1877 J. M. Neilson Poems 40:
On my gate again I set.Sh. 1899 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd (1922) 142:
Da cat set up da trapp, an' Sly efter her yalkin' wi' aaberness.
(3) tr. to cause to go, send, dispatch (a person or thing) (Ags., Bwk. 1970).Sc. 1768 Caled. Mercury (3 Feb.):
The setting of game by poachers to carriers or higlers is the greatest inducement to the destroying of it.Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xiii.:
The sheep were all neatly smeared and set to the hill.Kcd. 1853 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. II. 148:
God bless you, and set you safe hame.Edb. 1891 R. F. Hardy Tibby's Tryst v.:
When the grub runs short we'll set you off.Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 86:
Whaur daith that nicht set whurlin' through the air The plank we a' maun cross.Ags. 1947 Forfar Dispatch (25 Dec.):
I'll buy some registered envelopes and set siller tae Erchie and wee Ditie.
(4) to accompany, escort, convey (a person) home, etc. (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk., Kcb., s.Sc. 1970). Also in n.Eng. dial. In Sh. 1898 quot. to accompany (the sun) in setting, with a play on the double sense of set.Rxb. 1736 Melrose Parish Reg. (S.R.S.) 217:
As she was going in the morning to Dryburgh, Thomas Simpson was setting her away.Gsw. 1796 Poet. Orig. and Sel. II. xxi. 5:
Whan Writer-lads, or Poets bare Frae Ball or Play set hame their Fair.Slk. 1824 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) xii.:
Wha o' you bonny lasses sets me the length o' the townhead yett the night?Slk. 1897 D. W. Purdie Poems 91:
Wi' gettin' an' settin' My sweet dear pairtner hame.Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 14:
An da flaachterin laverik is settin da dim Wi' a sang as sweet as a angel's hymn.Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xxxviii.:
I will set you up the waterside.
9. To leave (milk) standing in a vessel for the cream to rise. Gen.Sc. Obs. or dial. in Eng.Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 80:
Soon the day's last jot is past, Milk sey'd an' set.ne.Sc. 1957 People's Jnl. (15 June) 5:
Granny would have “set” the morning's milk in our individual bowls so that the cream would have risen.
10. To coquet, flirt (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).
11. (1) tr. To let by contract, to lease (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 167, 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 59; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; I., ne.Sc., Ags., sm.Sc., Uls. 1970). Vbl.n. settin(g), a lease. Appar. a pl. form settness, double pl. settnesses [ < settins-es], is found in the Nithsdale Baron Court Book (1758–62), meaning a payment in cash made to the miller of the Sucken in lieu of Multure, though later it seems to have been paid also in grain. It appears to have been so called because it was to subsist only during the tenancy of the farmer with whom the arrangement was made. Agent n. setter, a lessor, in comb. room-setter, one who lets rooms without attendance (Edb. 1773 Williamson's Edb. Directory 20).Sc. 1703 Acts Parl. Scot. XI. App. 28:
Declaring all tacks of grass set to butchers to become void.Sc. 1729 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) IV. 91:
His widou was brought to set rooms in Dundee.Sc. 1742 Morison Decisions 15176:
Lord Braco set a tack of his salmon fishing in the Spey.Dmf. 1758–62 Nithsdale Court Bk. MS. 10, 68:
The Baillie ordains the tenants of Nether Killylung to pay to Christopher Armstrong or the Miller of Cloudan Mills Sixteen pounds Scots yearly in Name of Setness and in lieu and place of the Multure due for the Corns growing on Said lands. . . . The agreement for £16 Scots of settness fell and the lands were now lyable for the thirlage.Dmf. 1765 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. (1928–9) 39:
For every 13 pecks of the 300, except 12 pecks allowed for Settings [sic].Sc. 1798 Monthly Mag. (Dec.) 436:
A lodging, all within itself, with divers easements, to set.Ayr. 1817 Air Advertiser (23 Oct.) 1:
Farm to be Set in the Parish of Dreghorn. The Farm of Percietown-Mains, in the Parish of Dreghorn, is to be Let for such a number of years as may be agreed upon.Sc. 1825 R. Chambers Illust. Waverley 44:
The information of who, through all the city, “sett lodgings” and “kept rooms for single men.”Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 93:
Gif his rent he disna get, Our house to ithers shall be set.Abd. 1909 C. Murray Hamewith 25:
The policies a' pailined aff an' set.Uls. 1947 J. M. Mogey Rural Life 234:
To set land means to let it in conacre [for one crop only].
(2) intr. for pass.: to be leased, hired out, to fetch a rent (Sh., sm.Sc., Rxb. 1970).Sc. 1743 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1911) 130:
The seats in the said church do not sett as formerly, and a considerable number of the said seats are waste.Dmf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 II. 3:
The best croft land sets at 2s. per acre.Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 43:
Lands set an' sell at sic a price.
12. To be seemly or suitable for, to become, beseem, befit, suit (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 161, 1808 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 266; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), of behaviour, dress, etc., sometimes used ironically: (1) with the thing or action as the subject of the v., or impers. followed by inf. Gen.Sc. For the imper. in 1818 quot. cf. set up, 14. (17) (viii).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 125:
It sets you well indeed to gadge!Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 126:
Wha ever's daft the day, it sets na you.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 126:
It sets us to be dumb a while, An' let our words gie place to toil.Kcb. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 67:
It sets ye weel, indeed, to speer.Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvi.:
Set him to be speaking of my joes.Dmf. 1827 Carlyle Ger. Romance II. 241:
How prettily the lace cap sets her!Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 178:
It doesna set a sow to wear a saddle.Sc. 1887 Jam.:
It sets ye weel. It becomes you well: generally used in a taunting or ironical sense.Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister ii.:
Gavin, do you think this bonnet sets me?Abd. 1909 R. J. MacLennan Yon Toon 60:
It's jist the kin' o' job that wid set ye fine.Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 53:
It wid set you better ta get oot an help da bit o boy.Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chronicle (29 Apr.) 4:
One was assured “the claes sett ye well.”Fif. 1940:
“Your sorrow sets ye weel” (said sarcastically).
(2) with pers. subject: to look becoming in (I., em.Sc.(a), w.Lth., Bwk., Lnk., Rxb. 1970). Cf. Suit, v., 3.Sc. 1834 Wilson s Tales of the Borders I. 181:
She set whatever she put on.Sc. 1892 Longman's Mag. (Nov.) 59:
Mysie was a pretty creature, ‘setting', in Scottish phrase, everything she wore.Per. 1908 M. & J. Findlater Crossriggs iv.:
My — but she sets the weeds!Bwk. 1930:
A bonny face sets the dishclout. Here by a curious inversion, instead of saying that an article of clothing suits a person, we say the opposite, e.g. “He sets (i.e. suits) that hat.”Peb. 1933:
You set your illness, i.e. your illness suits or becomes you, you look well.Ork.1 1947:
That man doesno set a whisker, i.e. a beard does not become him.
(3) ppl.adj. settin, fit, suitable, becoming; of a person: prepossessing, attractive in looks or manner (Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 13, setten; ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1970).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 101:
The ither, too, was a right setting lass, But forthersome, but calm yon tither was.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
She's a setting lass, signifying, that although a young woman has no claim to beauty, she has that prepossessing appearance or natural gracefulness of manner, that makes her look to advantage. A dress is said to set one, or to be setting, when it becomes the complexion or form of the wearer.Bnff. 1862 R. Sim Leg. Strathisla 56:
I'll tell ye what'll be mair settin' wark for ye; just see what ye can mak ready for our supper.Sh. 1879 Shetland Times (16 Aug.):
Hit's no weel settin' o' you t' be scornin' dem 'at's awa' frae wis.Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town I. xv.:
I'm sure it's real settin, though Mistress Pollock there ca's it ower fine.Abd. 1905 Banffshire Jnl. (28 Mar.) 3:
The servin' man wis trim an' trustie A settin chiel wi' fuskers lustie.Bch.1 1929:
Donal's wife is a richt settin' deem, nae her marra gings ben the kirk o' a Sunday.
13. to please, satisfy, content, gen. in ppl.adj. set, pleased (Bnff., Abd. 1970), in neg. expressions.Cai.4 c.1920:
He's no set 'at he didna get his share.Abd. 1965:
He wisna very sair set fan I tellt 'im that.
14. In combs. with advs. and preps.: (1) set aff (off), (i) to send off or away, dismiss from one's home or job (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also pass. to be dismissed or sacked; (ii) to put (a person) off, fob off, prevaricate with. Also as a n., a means of fobbing a person off; (iii) to give up, relinquish, leave; (iv) to keep or ward off; (v) to plant out (Sh., Cai., Ags., Per. 1970); (vi) to narrate or tell fluently, declaim; (vii) to dawdle, tarry, be dilatory (Abd. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc., Kcb. 1970); (viii) to make to stop, bring to a standstill, specif. of a mill. Cf. 6. (2); (ix) to let on a lease, to sub-let. Ppl.adj. set-off, sub-let; (x) to cause to explode, to let off or fire an explosive charge, shot, etc. (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Abd., Kcb. 1970); (2) set agoing, to say grace at table. Cf. Lowse, v.1, 5. (4); (3) set at, (i) to attack, to set upon, lit. and fig., apply oneself with energy to a task (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1970); (ii) refl. to sit back, to relax oneself, take a rest in one's chair (Ib.): (4) set awa, (i) to set off, start (on a journey, etc.) (Sh., n., em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc., Wgt. 1970); (ii) as a n.: a fuss, to-do, palaver; a row, scolding; a send-off (ne.Sc., Ags., Per., s.Sc. 1970): (5) set by, (i) to lay aside, clear away, put past, set aside for future use (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; I., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1970). Used also absol. as a prep. = setting aside, not counting or taking into consideration; (ii) to provide (someone) with a makeshift meal; also fig. Cf. Pit, v.1 Hence set-by, n., a makeshift, substitute (Abd. 1938); (iii) phr. set na or not by (e), where na or not is a reduced form of Nocht, nothing, to set no store by, to put no value on, not to care (about) (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 692). Obs. in Eng. in 17th c.; (6) set doun, (i) to cause to sit down, to seat, esp. at table for a meal (I., ne., m.Sc. 1970); (ii) to go bankrupt, also to set doun the barra. id., (ne.Sc., Kcb. 1970). See Barra and 1. (3); (iii) to provide, supply, fit out, e.g. a bride for her new home (Sh. 1970); vbl.n. settin-doun, an equipping or providing for marriage (Ags. 1970). See also Doonset; (iv) to lay (food) on the table, serve (a dish or meal). Hence ppl.adj. set-doun, formally served at table (ne.Sc., Ags., wm.Sc. 1970, esp. ‘a set(ten)-doun tea'), n. set-doun, a formal meal, a “spread”. Gen.Sc.; (v) to drive (a fish) deeper into water, to frighten it from rising to the bait; †(vi) of a ship: to sink, founder; (7) set efter, to start off in pursuit of, to follow after (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh., n. and m.Sc. 1970); (8) set for, (i) to set off for, to make for; (ii) to send for, summon (Ags., Fif. 1970); (9) set f(r)ae one(self), to set about work, to go at a thing with vigour, to act or talk energetically (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1970); (10) set in, (i) to bring in a meal, serve, to lay a table for a meal (Sh., Abd., Ags. 1970); (ii) set-in bed, a bed in a recess; (11) set off, see (1); (12) set on, (i) to put an unweaned animal to suck, specif. to put a strange lamb to a ewe that has lost her own (Bwk., Lnk., s.Sc. 1970); in Sh. usage: to rear a lamb or calf over winter (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), 1952 Robertson and Graham Sh. Grammar 30, Sh. 1970); (ii) to set in motion, start off a piece of machinery, etc.; (iii) to make and kindle, set (a fire) going (Sh., Abd., Per., Lnk., Kcb. 1970); to burn or singe food in cooking. Also in n.Eng. dial. Gen. in pa.p. set(ten) on, burnt, frizzled, shrivelled in cooking, stuck to the pot (Bwk. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 195; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lnk., Wgt., Rxb. 1970); fig. of a person: stunted, small in stature, puny. Also in n.Eng. dial. Phr. to get set-on brose, to be cowed or frightened into silence (Ayr. 1958): (iv) to furnish, fit out, provide with necessaries (esp. with food or clothes). Freq. in ppl.adj. set on, equipped, dressed, fed, etc. (Sh., Abd., Ags., Lnk. 1970); (v) in curling: to aim or direct (a stone); (vi) intr. to set to work, settle to, begin in earnest, try hard (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Sh. 1970); (vii) as a n., a long earnest talking-to in cajoling or scolding, an attempt to persuade, a dressing-down; (13) set out, (i) as in Eng., to start or go out on some important business, specif. in Sc. of courtship (Slk. 1970); (ii) to send out, dismiss, eject forcibly (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Ags. 1970). See 8. (3); (iii) as a n.: a display, show, turn-out (n.Sc., Ags., Per., Lth., Ayr., Kcb. 1970). Colloq. or dial. in Eng.; (iv) phr. to set out one's back, “to bend to it” exert oneself, as in rowing; (v) to offer (as a prize) for competition; (14) set ower, (i) to ferry across (a strait, etc.). Obs. in Eng.: (ii) to send down (the throat), to help in swallowing; (iii) to overturn, upset, capsize (Cld. 1880 Jam.), where ower is adv.; (15) set tae, til, to, (i) prep., to set upon, assail, attack (ne., m. and s.Sc. 1970); (ii) adv., to put (a young animal) to suck, or to be reared throughout the winter (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Cf. (12) (i); (16) set tagedder, to match in marriage, to bring together as man and wife: (17) set up, (i) to earth up (a plant). Gen.Sc.: (ii) to arouse, to stir up; to incite (I.Sc. 1970); (iii) to join together the component parts of a fishing line (Sh., Kcd., Fif., Ayr. 1970); (iv) to develop, to build up (a shower), used impers. (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1970); (v) to stir or poke up (a fire); (vi) as in Eng., to utter, but in Sc. gen. referring. to impudent self-assertion with such words as chaf(t), gab, lip, snash, etc. (wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.; Sh., n.Sc., Kcb. 1970); (vii) to set (a chimney) on fire (Sh., Kcd., em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1970); (viii) as in Eng., to make proud or elated, to extol, exalt by praising. In Sc. used: (a) in imper. (see quots.), with ironical or contemptuous force, of someone who gives himself airs and becomes “too big for his boots”, equivalent to colloq. Eng. “the likes of him,” “the impudence!” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.; (b) in ppl.adj. set up, sotten-, conceited, affected, vain, “stuck-up” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 153; Inv., ne., em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc., Slk. 1970). Colloq. or dial. in Eng.; (ix) intr. of a horse: to jib, refuse to obey the rider, become refractory; (x) phrs.: (a) to set up a face, to assume an appearance, make a pretence; (b) to set up (someone's) kep, to reprimand, rebuke severely; (18) to set upon, see 6. (4).(1) (i) Sc. 1897 L. Keith Bonnie Lady viii.:
Considering the way she's set off the servant lasses.Ayr. 1927 J. Carruthers A Man Beset v.:
I'll set ye aff wi' a week's wages. . . . Ye'll tew on or ye'll set aff, tak your choice.Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 158:
A lassie wid leuk some blue gin she wis set aff's oor wives wis.(ii) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 86:
But think na, man, that I'll be set off sae, For I'll hae satisfaction ere I gae.Ags. c.1840 Jervise MS.:
As a set-off to an inquisitive person it is sometimes said — “Ye wad speir frae the door to the doonreek.”(iii) Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Tales 17:
Ower head an' ears in debt ta da laird, he wid just hae ta geng an' set aff da land.(iv) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (5 Aug.):
Dis sooth mill'd claes sets aff a lock o' weet.(v) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (29 April):
Haes doo what'll set aff dy rig, Sibbie?(vi) wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
He sets aff a story brawly.Lth. 1895 A. S. Swan Gates of Eden vi.:
He mak's a show, an' sets aff a heap o' braw words.(vii) Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 21:
With a particular injunction “nae to set aff owre lang by the road.”(viii) Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 147:
Gae warm ye, and crack with our Dame, Till I set aff the Mill.Sc. 1823 Scott Peveril of the Peak xxi.:
The goodman has set off the mill, to come to wait on you himself.(ix) Sc. a.1722 Fountainhall Decisions (1759) I. 454:
One may set off chambers, and parts of their house.Per. 1799 J. Robertson Agric. Per. 516:
He set off five new farms, formerly waste land.(x) Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie 27:
The sorrow should have set off that blunderbush five minutes syne.(2) Slk. 1894 J. Russell Yarrow 169:
Instead of begging any one to say grace at a meal, the formula is occasionally, “Set us agoing.”(3) (i) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (24 Dec.):
I niver heard 'at ye wir set at wi' ane [a pig].(ii) Sh. 1952 Robertson and Graham Sh. Grammar 30:
Eftir as he wis taen his denner he set him at.(4) (i) Abd. 1812 Bards Bon-Accord (Walker 1889) 600:
Nap's set awa' wi' his sward tae the war.Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxvii.:
Mattie had ill-will to see me set awa on this ride.Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 276:
Will you never think of setting away to your work?(ii) m.Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 30:
The priest was expeckit to bless every room in the house; did ever you hear tell of such a set-away!Abd. 1961:
She gied her man a gweed set-awa!(5) (i) Sc. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 44:
The Lads and Lasses, than or lang, Whan they get ilka thing set by.m.Lth. 1811 H. MacNeill Bygane Times 26:
Set by our Lairds, wha live in clover, . . . The diel ae ither proof I see!Sc. 1818 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxvi.:
Let the house be redd up, the broken meat set by.Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 70:
May be ye're saird and set by?Cld. 1880 Jam.:
Try to set by something for a rainy day.(ii) Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 191:
Deaf nits I true, ne'er set that Carlin by.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
I'll set him by wi' a puir dinner the day, as I hae naething better to gie him.s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin xviii.:
I'm no to be set by with pudgetie auld carles sic as you.(iii) n.Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
“I set not by”, i.e. I don't care.(6) (i) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xvi.:
When all should be gone to bed, or set down to cards.Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 22, 35:
She should been sotten doon on her ain fire till her spittle bile't. . . . The wife and Jeanie sot him doon in the big cheyre.Abd. 1965:
The hotel had tae set doun seventy til their denner efter the mairrage.(ii) Bnff. 1924 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 343:
Losh keeps, Mains, haven't you heard 'at Geordie's setten doon?(iii) Ags. 1892 A. Reid Howetoon 151:
To save some money towards a “comfortable settin' doon”.Fif. 1897 D. Pryde Queer Folk 33:
The four soon found husbands . . . who gave them what was called “a good setting down”.Uls. 1993:
A guid setten-doun. A poor setten-doun. Edb. 2004:
Ma mither wis aye jealous o her sister whae goat a guid setten doon fae her in laws.(iv) s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 341:
Sowens, Marion had been scaudin, Was then set down.m.Sc. 1917 O. Douglas The Setons i.:
My way was to invite them at six and give them a hearty set down tea.Abd.27 1949:
She gied them a grand set down at the weddin.(v) s.Sc. 1885 W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 125:
But throw, and throw as I would, the salmon would not “come and be killed.” In fisherman's language, I had set him down.(vi) Edb. 1767 Caled. Mercury (31 Oct.):
About two o'clock afternoon, the John of St. David's, Craig master, from Prestonpans with tyles, riding at anchor, about a mile to the west of Inchkeith, set down.(7) Sc. 1897 L. Keith Bonnie Lady vi.:
He was by like the wind, before I could set after him.(8) (i) Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xxi.:
She gies the herd a pickle nits, To watch, while for the Barn she sets.(ii) Ags. 1957 People's Jnl. (10 Aug.):
I set for my cousin tae come and help me.(9) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. and Poems 76:
Whin he got on dis subjec', he could set frae him laek sixty.Sh. 1924 T. Manson Peat Comm. III. 76:
Dere's Robbie Ruslan taen up da high-heeler i da idder set. Noo' bairns, set fae you.(10) (i) Lnk. 1806 J. Black Falls of Clyde 107:
Set in the supper, Ann.Sh. 1901 Shetland News (4 May):
Shu dan set in da table fir wir supper.(ii) Gsw. 1962 Bill McGhee Cut and Run 65:
There's no' much use in wakin' the aul' wife when there's an empty kip lyin' here,' he said, nodding towards the set-in bed.Gsw. 1987 Matt McGinn McGinn of the Calton 21:
... and then his remains being brought home to a very very sad house indeed, to lie for three days before the set-in kitchen bed on trestles.Edb. 1991:
When we first got married  we only had a room-and-kitchen and we had a set-in bed in the kitchen - you know in the bed recess.Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 28:
We had a set-in bed, it had doors on it; it was 2 halves at the top and 2 at the bottom, so you could open up the top half.(12) (i) Rxb. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. I. 197:
A lamb, That might hae cross or scrimpet dam, Or might be newly setten-on.Sh. 1897 Shetland News (5 June):
Da first 'at waukens me is da melowdies brülin o' a calf, an' dan I hears Bawby sayin — “As fur no saet him on, Sibbie; lass, he's a aught to see upon a flüer.”Sh. 1949 P. Jamieson Letters 208:
Lambs and young sheep, or settnins, going to be “set on”, or put into the hill, are kept on the croft during the late hairst, winter and early spring.(ii) Bwk. 1738 A. Thomson Coldingham (1908) App. xxvi.:
He thought the sabbath was over before he set on the said miln.Sc. 1855 A. Bain Senses and Intellect I. 74:
By what influence do we draw our first breath, or set on the first stroke of the heart?Abd. 1903 J. Milne Myths 24:
At midnight the fairies came and tried to set on the mill, but though the water broke over the wheel, the machinery would not move.(iii) Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 4:
Tibby soon set on a bleezin' ingle.Sc. 1887 Jam.:
He's a wee setten-on body.(iv) Bnff. 1830 J. Pirie Cairnie (1906) 69:
Ye're weel eneuch set on for claes.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 153:
He's weel set on wee a grieve.Ags. 1903 Arbroath Guide (4 July) 3:
She might hae been a haip waur set on.Abd. 1904 Weekly Free Press (29 Oct.):
There's nae mony fowk noo-a-days 't wid think themsel' sair set on wi' sic a sober diet.(v) Rnf. 1805 G. McIndoe Poems 55:
Ye're well set on man, but ye're roaran.(vi) Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 50:
Whin he [the tide] begood tae flou, sheu [the fishes] set on an teuk brawly.Sh. 1892 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 38:
Fifty simmers ower da Muckle Watter I'm sailed, an rouwed, an striven, an set on.(vii) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 153:
We ga' ‘im a lang set-on t' cum wee's. . . . She ga' 'im a set-on it fleggit the bleed fae's cheek.(13) (i) Slk. 1901 C. Thomson Drummeldale 3:
A young man who was reported to be coortin' his maister's dauchter, and to be ‘settin' oot'; which latter phrase meant that Jock was arraying himself for conquest.(ii) Sc. 1897 L. Keith Bonnie Lady ix.:
She would have set you out of the house before you could draw a second breath.(iii) Ags. 1859 Arbroath Guide (12 Feb.) 4:
His braw set out, and a' that.Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 19:
She'd a graund set-oot for oo — aa her guid cheenie an thing.(iv) Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 92:
Dey twa set oot dir backs an' med doon da Voe efter wis.(v)Sc. 1720 Caled. Mercury (24 Oct.):
The Silver Plate of 50 Pound Sterling Value, set out by the Lord Provost, Baillies and Town Council of Edinburgh. Sc. 1740 Caled. Mercury (25 March):
Peebles Race. Plate set out by the Earl of March.(14) (i) Sh. 1952 Robertson and Graham Sh. Grammar 30:
Wid du manage to set me ower da soond?(ii) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 123:
E'en mony a bonny knacky Tale, Bra to set o'er a Pint of Ale.(15) (i) Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xiv.:
They set till the sodgers, and I think they gae them their kale through the reek.(ii) Ork. 1931 J. Leask Peculiar People 86:
On the passage she proudly exhibited the child to Billy and asked him what he thought of it. He looked at it for a minute and then gruffly answered, “Sheu's no wirt settin' teu.” (A phrase used to describe a weakly calf or lamb as not being worth keeping, and which had better be killed. “Settin' teu” means “setting a calf to suck.”)(16) Sh. 1896 J. Burgess Lowa Biglan 36:
Ye're in a sair wy, Tamar, ta hae wis set tagedder.(17) (i) Slk. 1794 T. Johnston Agric. Slk. 29:
After the plants [turnips] come to a proper size above ground, they are handhoed, . . . and at a proper interval are set up.Sc. 1801 Farmer's Mag. (Jan.) 54:
The turnips thrive better when not set up.(ii) Rs. 1814 E. Bond Letters I. 183:
“Most of our neighbours are in bed.” “No matter, we'll set them up.”s.Sc. 1904 Border Mag. (Sept.) 179:
I wadna like to set her up on the bairn's kirs'nin nicht.(iii) Abd. c.1890 Gregor MSS.:
In Collieston to set-up a line is to tie the sneed to the cut or line.Mry.4 1933:
The great lines of my time was set up of from 4 to 5 cuts, each cut of 60 fathoms.(iv) Sh. 1952 Robertson and Graham Sh. Grammar 30:
He's settin up a shooer ida Nor-Wast.(v) Sh. 1952 Robertson and Graham Sh. Grammar 30:
Set up da fire — he's turnin aafil caald.(vi) Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xxxiv.:
Bairns dardna set up their gabs afore them than as they dae noo.Slk. 1824 Hogg Tales (1874) 518:
Lucky Shaw set up her lang lantern chafts, an' answered me.Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. Hermiston vii.:
Settin' up his snash to me!Per. 1896 I. MacLaren Kate Carnegie 183:
That'll learn Pitscowrie tae set up impidence aboot the minister.Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 11:
He wud hae liked fine til hae set up his lip til the Laird.(vii) Ags. 1961:
Ye've set the lum up — you have set the chimney on fire.Edb. 1993:
She's pit too much wood shavins on the fire an set the lum up.(viii) (a) Sc. 1747 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) I. 172:
Set them up wi' that indeed, the fallows! to eat wi' the Prince and the shentlemen!Sc. 1764 Boswell Grand Tour, Germany, etc. (Pottle 1953) 254:
Ye're a bonny man indeed to mauk siccan a wark; set ye [Rousseau] up.Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxvi.:
They hae coost up my kindred to Rob to me already — set up their nashgabs!Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket xii.:
A few innovators sometimes gave the title of Mrs to the innkeeper's wife; but this was resisted in such terms as these — “Set her up wi' Mistress! Jenny Cobb's guide eneuch for her. Her faither was a cadger!”Cai. 1869 M. MacLennan Peasant Life 206:
Set us a' up! The parlour na less for the gerdnar's son. The man's dementit.Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm xviii.:
Weel! — Set ye up! — Wha's yon ye was play actin' wi oot yonner?m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 147:
Noo the bairns winna look at them, they're that denty, set them up!Sc. 1901 H. Wallace Greatest of These i.:
When he dares to sit in judgement on you — set him up — I can't bear it.m.Sc. 1917 O. Douglas The Setons vii.:
Elizabeth explained that this was no ordinary visitor, but a young man of fashion. “Set him up!” said Marget.Sc. 1947 Scots Mag. (May) 126:
I'll warrant ye he's deaving the angels even on about our Hugh. Set him up and shove him forrit!(b) Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken xix.:
Ower sure an' sotten up i' their ain gudeness.Fif. 1897 S. Tytler Witch-wife vi.:
That silly, set-up young madam.Abd. 1964 Abd. Press & Jnl. (15 Feb.):
There was a young farmer we didna like: he was awful set up on himself.(ix) Sc. 1813 Lockhart Scott xxvi.:
Suppose I had gone to Drumlanrig — suppose the pony had set up — suppose a thousand things.(x) (a) Ayr. 1786 Burns Ded. to G. Hamilton 9:
Then, when I'm tired — and sae are ye, Wi' monie a fulsome, sinfu' lie — Set up a face how I stop short, For fear your modesty be hurt.m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 38:
I wonder a man like that can set his face up for bein' a doctor at a'.(b) Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 115:
Aw'm thinkin' she wid set up's kep tull 'im.
15. In ppl.adj. set: (1) used adv. in phr. to gae set, of a courting couple: to keep company regularly and steadily, to be completely attached to one another (wm.Sc. 1970); (2) in comb. set fast, of a stone: deeply bedded in the soil, though not attached to the underlying rock. Cf. erd-fast s.v. Erd, Yird-fast, and sitfast s.v. Sit, v., 5. (2) (b).(2) Rxb. 1915 Kelso Chron. (1 Jan.) 3:
You couldna' keep your plough a half a dozen yards straight on account of setfast stones.
16. In n. combs.: (1) set-dog, a setter. Cf. Eng. †setting-dog, id.; ¶(2) sette gear, money placed at interest, investments; (3) set-rent, a fixed rent. See 11. (1); reduced form settrin, a portion or ration of food allotted to a servant or cottar when working for his master. Also attrib. and fig.; (4) set-sod, a sod used to re-line a ditch under a hedge the roots of which have been uncovered in weeding (Sc. 1829 Quarterly Jnl. Agric. I. 605); (5) set-stane, a hone, whetstone for sharpening chisels, razors, etc. (Sc. 1825 Jam., 1899 A. Mathieson and Sons Tool Catalogue v.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc. Also fig. Cf. II. 9.(1) Edb. 1739 Caled. Mercury (7 Aug.):
'Tis expected that none will hunt with Hounds, Grey-hounds, Set-dogs, Guns or Nets.(2) Dmf. 1870 R. Cromek Remains 138:
An' we'll send to our ain Lord A' our sette gear.(3) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 392:
You are as well on your purchase as some are on their set rent. Often spoken to them that have as many Bastards as others have lawful Children, or any such Occasion.Ags., Per. 1808 Jam.:
More is generally allowed than one person can eat; but whatever the labourer leaves he has a right to carry home to his own family. The vessel appropriated to this use is called the settrin cap. The phrases settrin bread, settrin meal, etc. are also used.(5) Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 166:
He stole his scalping whittle's set-stane.Dmf. 1826 A. Cunningham Paul Jones I. xii.:
The shrewdness of these men, whetted, as their faculties were, on the set-stone of the law, till their looks were as sharp as scythe-blades.Fif. 1868 St Andrews Gazette (15 Aug.):
A number of items of wright's tools were picked up . . . set stone, and a hand plane iron.
II. n. Also sett, esp. in sense 6. (8).
1. A check or stoppage, as in growth; a set-back, a disappointment (ne.Sc., Ags. 1970).Sc. 1669 J. Guthry Urim and Thummim 4:
When these means and ways misgives them, then their hope gets a set.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 47:
Great may the hardship be that she has met, An' gotten for my sake a dowie sett.Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling I. viii.:
Being asked whether he was recovered from the accident — “Thank God!” said he. “I think I'll get o'er it; but it was e'en a sair set upo' me.”Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 152:
The caul' frosty weens ga' the girs a set it it nivver cowrt.
2. A disgust, feeling of repulsion (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 152; ne.Sc., Ags. 1970).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 86:
I am well sair'd o' claith, syn I took gate; That coat o' yours has geen me sick a sett.
3. An attack or onset of an ailment; an attack in gen., now only liter.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
A set of the toothache, a set of the cauld.Rxb. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xi.:
They winna mak' their set till the onfa' o' the night.
4. A carry-on, a to-do, wrangle, argumentation, fuss (Abd., Ags., Ayr., Gall. 1970).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
The set' the hed hed wi' 'im afore the term's been makin' bonny wark till 'im.
5. A joke, piece of fun, frolic (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; wm., sm.Sc. 1970), an entertaining story, a yarn. Phr. to have a set wi, tak a set out o', to take a rise out of, have some fun with.Ayr. 1883 W. Aitken Lays 51:
Rab thoucht he'd tak' a bit set oot o' Wattie ae day.Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 30:
At Jamie's sets we'll lauch nae mair.wm.Sc. 1934 “Uncle Tom” Mrs Goudie's Tea-Pairty 46:
They've great sets and nae end o' noansense in the schules nooadays.Arg. 1949 N. Mitchison and D. Macintosh Men and Herring 46:
D'ye know the set about the Minister and his bicycle?wm.Sc. 1950 M. Hamilton Bull's Penny i.:
Your Established Kirk minister from Shennadale, having a bit set with yon maid-servant of his.Arg. 1992:
They ould men could tell ye sets ... ye're only quotin right enough, ye wirna there; but they ould fullas could tell ye grett stories aboot that place.
6. The manner or position in which a thing is set, fixed or arranged, the way in which a thing goes or works, the “hang” of a thing (I., n., e. and wm.Sc. 1970); a condition, state (of affairs), way (of things) (Ib.): (1) in gen.:Sc. 1808 Jam.:
A new set o't, a new kind.Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 129:
There were likewise great improvements made about this time [1770–80] in the muzzle of the plough, by which alone, without altering the set of the culter, either land or earth could, in a mere instant, be given to any extent.s.Sc. 1839 Wilson's Tales of the Borders V. 19:
Am I to be ca'ed on to relieve a' the distress in the world? That wad be a bonny set o't.wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
That thing'll no keep the set. I hae na got the set o't yet.Fif. 1886 G. Bruce Poems 296:
Eh! laddie, but that's true; you ha'e the richt set o't.Ags. 1897 Arbroath Guide (6 Feb.) 3:
Here was a fell set o' matters.Abd. 1966 Buchan Observer (18 Jan.) 5:
That's been the set o't for generations.
(2) Bearings at sea, the observation of landmarks, in phr. to tak a set o land, to take one's bearings (Mry., Ags., Lth. 1911). Cf. naut. Eng. to set the land, id.
(3) A twist or warp in a piece of wood (Sc. 1887 Jam.; wm.Sc., Kcb. 1970). Cf. I. 5.
(4) Of a person: build, shape, physique, cast, make, kind (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Sh., n.Sc., Per., Slg., wm. and sm.Sc. 1970). Now only dial. in Eng.Uls. 1901 J. W. Byers Northern Whig:
“Set” is also used in Ulster for “shape” or “appearance” or “build”, as . . . “he has the very set of his father”.Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick ix.:
A cudna railly say fat set o' a chiel 'e wis.
(5) One's attitude, customary manner (ne.Sc., Ags., Per., wm.Sc. Gall. 1970). Phr. to hae a set o someeen, to have a fixed disposition (favourable or unfavourable) towards someone (Sh. 1970).Abd. 1958 Huntly Express (7 Feb.):
By the set o' 'im he wis either the p'leece or Wullie Bey.Abd. 1964 Huntly Express (3 Jan.) 2:
Nae blaws wi' 'im, yet he's a fair maister at his wark. That wis some the sett o' Wullie Rae.
(6) The manner in which a tune is arranged, the setting of a piece of music, a version of a song or ballad. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1793 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 586:
I enclose you Fraser's set of this tune when he plays it slow.Sc. 1811 Caled. Musical Repository 11:
There's cauld kail in Aberdeen, . . . 194 There's cauld kail in Aberdeen, (new set) . . . 196.Sc. 1827 W. Motherwell Minstrelsy lxii., lxx., xciv.:
His set I never heard sung or recited. The common set is printed in Wit Restored, London, 1658. . . . A fuller set of this is given by Mr Sharpe in his Ballad Book. . . . Both these ballads are very popular, and various sets of them are to be found traditionally current.Sc. 1876 W. Christie Trad. Ball. Airs I. 100:
The set of the Air here given is unique in its tonality. . . . Both sets have been long sung in Buchan.Sc. 1900 J. Glen Early Sc. Melodies 111:
We find five comparative sets of the melody.
(7) A checked pattern in cloth, esp. (the arrangement of) the squares and stripes in a pattern of tartan, the pattern of tartan associated with a particular clan.Sc. 1703 Atholl MSS. (27 April):
Let me know if you desir it just of the sets that the ordinary wearing plaids is of for the bed that my Lady Dutches hes hear is of an other set having the brode sete of yelow kept out.Mry. 1704 W. Cramond Grant Court Bk. 18:
Tenants and indwelars are ordained to have readie tartan short coates, trewes, and short hose of red and green set — all broad springed.Sc. 1724 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i.i.:
A Tartan Plaid, spun of good Hawslock Woo' Scarlet and green the Sets, the Borders blew.Abd. 1752 Abd. Journal (19 Sept.):
Four dozen Linen Handkerchiefs, all on a white sett.Sc. 1819 Scott Leg. Montrose ix.:
The petticoat was formed of tartan silk, in the set, or pattern, of which the colour of blue greatly predominated.Sc. 1822 D. Stewart Sketches I. 79:
The distinctive patterns (or sets, as they were called) of the different clans, tribes, families, and districts.Sc. 1922 P. Macgillivray Bog Myrtle 7:
My plaid of his tartan sett.Ags. 1947 J. B. Salmond Toby Jug v.:
The light sett of the Ogilvies contrasting with the dark one of the Lindsays.Sc. 1962 J. T. Dunbar Hist. Highl. Dress 152:
In 1950, Donald Calder Stewart published The Setts of the Scottish Tartans, which should stand as the pattern book for present-day tartans.
(8) The form of municipal organisation in a burgh as laid down in its charter, its constitution or government. Now only hist.Gsw. 1701 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 325:
Containing diverse innovationes and alterationes of the sett of this burgh.Inv. 1709 Misc. Burgh Rec. Soc. (1881) 190:
The act of sett and the custome and constitution of the burrows.Sc. 1724 Rec. Convention Royal Burghs V. 355:
A new sett to be recorded amongst the other setts of the royal burrows to be the rule of their elections in all time coming.Sc. 1785 Scots Mag. (May) 254:
The charter of the burgh is lost, and there is no written set.Ags. 1821 Montrose Chronicle (6 July) 216:
The Sett that was granted us by the King himsel'.Sc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 707:
According to the ancient set of the borough, the magistrates were elected from a corporation of the merchants, or higher class of citizens, called the Guildry.Sc. 1928 D. Robertson & M. Wood Castle and Town 179:
The Sett or Municipal constitution of the town.
7. (1) A letting or leasing, of a farm, house, etc., a lease (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff., Ags., Wgt. 1970), esp. thought of from the lessor's point of view. cf. Tack. Phr. †for set, = Eng. ‘to let'.Lth. 1733 Caled. Mercury (8 Jan.):
The Sheep parks at Newbottle are to be exposed to a publick Sette for one year.Sc. 1766 Faculty Decisions IV. 379:
Patrick Leith entered to the possession of the lands of Christ-kirk in consequence of a verbal sett from Mr Leith.Bwk. 1794 A. Lowe Agric. Bwk. 13:
Large farms for the two last setts have brought more than double rent at each sett.Inv. 1819 Edb. Ev. Courant (15 July) 4:
Farms upon the Macdonell estate for set.Sc. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 61:
The revenue from the toll-bars in the county of Edinburgh amounted at the set in 1827 to £44,338: 6: 8.Sc. 1886 Acts 49 & 50 Vict. c.50 § 3:
‘Lease' shall include tack and set, and shall apply to any lease, tack, or set, whether constituted by writing or verbally, or by tacit relocation.
(2) A sign or placard fixed on a house to indicate that it is to let (Abd. 1825 Jam.).
(3) A sum of money paid in commutation or lieu of a rent or duty in kind.Abd. 1740 Session Papers, Fergusson v. Arbuthnot, State of Process 3:
All this Time he continued to pay the Set of Bear; that was done for what he laboured for himself, and his haill Tenants paid their Set for Multure-Bear to the said Tacksman.
8. An arrangement or contract for the regular supply of a commodity from a producer, esp. for milk, a standing order, the amount supplied (Sc. 1825 Jam.).Abd. 1707 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VII. 39:
To John Smith for his set of milke from Hallouday to Candlemis last.Cai. 1741 W. Henderson Cai. Family Hist. (1884) 169:
Not so much out of kindness “as to get a sett of drink”.Mry. 1757 Session Papers, Cramond v. Allan (11 Jan.) 1:
They had a Set or Tack of a Mutchkin of Milk a-Day.Abd. 1832 Aberdeen Mag. (May) 255:
A sett of milk means a regular daily allowance of that beverage, which is paid for weekly.Sc. 1854 H. Miller Schools 263:
Securing, on the ordinary terms, what was termed a set of skimmed milk.Sc. 1880 Jam.:
Ye're a half-pint short o' yer set this time.
9. A whetstone (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.: Fif., Lth., Rxb. 1970). Cf. I. 16. (5).
10. The outer layer of skin on a sheep to which the wool is attached and which comes loose when the new fleece starts to grow below it (Ork. 1970).Ork. 1929 Marw.:
When the wool is ready to be taken off, it begins to loosen and a division appears between the old and the new; at this stage one says, “The set has risen”.
11. The position or spot in a river where salmon-nets are set up, a Shot. See also Feeth.Knr. 1894 H. Haliburton Furth in Field 150:
The most productive places, or setts as they were locally called, included the Prap, and Powmill, and Jummock's Deep.
12. A piece of ground in which a crop is regularly sown, cropped land. This word may be the second element in Inset, Onset, Outset, q.v. if this last is not a variant of Seat. See also Seat.Wgt. 1721 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. XLI. 194:
Their culture of grains seems a little odd, for their bear sets as they call them are never changed.
13. A potato or, orig., a portion of it used as seed for planting. Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1797 Encycl. Britannica I. 299:
Women and children drop the sets in the bottom of every furrow. The sets will be 15 square inches from each other.Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 279:
The sets or cuttings, taken from the one end of the potatoe.Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 655:
The tubers are either planted hole, or cut into parts called sets.Sc. 1911 A. Sweet Villa and Cottage Gard. 108:
With the white or cut face of the set turned upwards, place the seed, two or four inches at most, below the surface.Sc. 1948 J. Coulter Sc. Gardening Bk. 3:
A stone [of potatoes] should give 90 to 100 sets.
14. The act of escorting or seeing a girl home (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). See I. 8. (4).
15. The setting of a price on something, esp. in Sc. Law phr. action of set(t) (and sale), an action in the Court of Session, sitting as a court of admiralty, in which a part-owner of a ship who disagrees with the policy of its management can request to buy out or be bought out by his partners or to have the vessel put up for sale (Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 910, 1926 A. R. G. M'Millan Sc. Maritime Practice 24). Rare and obsol.Sc. 1753 Bankton Institute I. 220:
Other things in common may be divided by an action before the judge ordinary, when divisible; or, in case the thing is not divisible, as a ship, the major part may bring it to a roup; or any one of them may oblige the rest to take his share, at the price he sets it up at, or allow him to have theirs at the same price, by an action of sett before the high court of admiralty.Sc. 1894 Session Cases (1894–5) 105:
An action of set and sale of the ship “Edinburgh”, registered at Glasgow.Sc. 1926 Encycl. Laws Scot. I. 158:
Where co-owners are in such pronounced disagreement as to render the continued employment of the vessel in their common interest impracticable a part-owner may raise an action in special form, known as an action of set and sale, by which his co-owners may be compelled to sell her to him at the same price.
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"Set v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Nov 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/set_v_n1>