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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

SIB, adj., n., v. Also sibb, syb; seb (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (13 Aug.)); sub (Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 14). [sɪb]

I. adj. 1. Related by blood, of the same kindred or lineage (Sc. 1755 S. Johnson Dict., syb, 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 107, 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc., now obs. in Eng. exc. dial. With to, related to. Phr. double sib, related on both sides of the family. See Dooble, adv., 5. Compar. sibber, superl. sibbest. Also used adv. and fig.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 12:
A' Stuarts are no sib to the King.
Cai. 1767 Session Papers, Earl of Caithness v. Ratter Proof 38:
The nearest relation, or sibbest to Lord Caithness.
Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 16:
We're double sib unto the gods.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 91:
Are ye evening me to be sib to the foul thief?
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxviii.:
Sae mony o' us as thought oursells sib to the family when the gear was parting.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Entail ii.:
His mother was sib to mine by the father's side.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Tales (1874) 523:
Gin he binna the auld ane himsel, he's gayan sib till him.
Sc. 1829 Trans. Highl. Soc. I. 19:
“Breedin-in-and-in,” or “oure sib”, as they call it, is bad.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xx.:
To leave them 't's sibbest t' ye to be pran't or ill-guidet ony gate.
Fif. 1895 G. Setoun Sunshine & Haar 194:
Ye couldna be liker a sibber friend.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 303:
Skule-mates an sib forbye.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 222:
Dey wad a' been sib for wasna Jeanie a oy o' ald Billy o' Skithwhy?
Ags. 1924 A. Gray Any Man's Life 42:
A chield that's sib to ane that's sib to you.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 58:
There's lowlan' fowk an heilan' fowk That's sib tae you an' me.
Uls. 1987 Sam Hanna Bell Across the Narrow Sea 104:
'Last night's ding wasn't the work of MacCartan's people. No doubt the marauders were sib to Turlough. Like our own Hielan' gentry they're as mixed throughother as sheep's wool on a whinbush-'
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 55:
Are we kent as trees ainlie when the mind's tuim
an the hairns sined oot frae the warld's wechtie daurg?
No sib tae the ettlin warld whaur they bide ...
the warld o transport, television an tea-time,
Ork. 2000 Orcadian 11 May 16:
Bobby was given a hearty vote of thanks for such a well prepared paper. He has also kindly agreed to write a similar article for Sib Folk News.

2. Closely akin, germane, allied, cognate, of the same sort (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork., ne.Sc., Fif., Lnl., Dmf. 1970), with to or occas. o', wi; in 1931 quot. = familiar or skilled with, an erron. usage (Barrie changed the word later to gleg).Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 17:
A vanter and a liar are right sib.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 129:
A dram to Rob's mair sib Than is his wife.
Ayr. 1786 Burns and Rhyming Friends (Ross 1928) 82:
I'm but a ragget cowt mysel', Owre sib to you!
Sc. 1823 Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 256:
The Church of Rome and the Church of England are sib to the back-bone.
Abd. 1841 J. Imlah Poems 167:
My heart o'er sib wi' sorrow, Be dowie day and night.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 125:
A poet's mind should aye be sib wi' freedom.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 38:
Ye're lauchin', wife! I wat yer thocht Is sib to what my ain is.
Lth. 1918 A. Dodds Lothian Land 7:
I'm sib o' the soil where I did toil.
Sc. 1925 Cadger's Creel (Douglas) 23:
Maybe the claret's no' to your taste; though it's as sib to the French as yoursel!
Ags. 1931 Barrie Farewell J. Logan (Times Suppl., 24 Dec.) 2:
Even Posty, though he is sib with the pipes, gets dunder-headed if you press him about what his old ballants mean.

3. Likely to inherit or acquire, having a claim to, esp. and orig. by right of kinship.Sc. 1701 Fountainhall Decisions Suppl. (1826) IV. 503:
Creditors seemed to be much sibber to those annual rents than the factors.
Sc. 1730 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) IV. 107:
It's said that it's good to be sibb to gear.
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 185:
It's gude to be sib to siller.

4. Bound by affection, familiarity, or sim. ties, friendly, intimate, mutually well disposed (Sc. 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne. and em.Sc.(a), Slk. 1970). Phr. to mak sib, to make free (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems Gl.), “prob. a cant local phrase; denoting either the actual donation of the liberty of the city, or referring to some ludicrous mode of pretending to confer it” (Jam.).Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 14:
Lat's try this income [the New Year], how he stands, An' eik us sib by shakin hands.
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Tales II. 110:
One of their own infernal brood that are Satans's sib allies.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie ix.:
Od, sic twa sib freens I never saw.
Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 160:
Nae man can be a richt father tae his ain without being sib tae every bairn he sees.
Bnff. 1897 Banffshire Jnl. (23 March) 2:
These gleesome airs fleg a' our cares Gar roysters gree, mak' strangers sib.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 56:
He hadna aye been sae sib to the carlins.
Abd. 1930 E.S. Rae Waff o' Win' 59:
Tho' aye sae sib, ye ken she's nae The lady she sud be.

5. Derivs.: (1) sib-like, friendly, like kinsmen; ¶(2) sibly, id.; (3) sibnes(s), kinship, relationship, affinity, lit. and fig. (Sc. 1808 Jam.); (4) sibred, sibbrit, id. In 1959 quot. used = kinsfolk, relatives. Obs. in Eng. Phr. to red up sibred, to count kin, to trace relationship (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.).(1) Lnk. 1880 Jam.:
For a' that, we were aye siblike.
Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables 60:
They leev't in sib-like freenship an' regaird.
(2) Sc. 1829 J. Hay Poems 24:
Wi' dochters three on ilka han', Sae loving and sae sibly.
(3) Sc. 1711 Fountainhall Decisions II. 642:
A document to prove sibness.
Sc. 1729 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) IV. 67:
I mark it here because of its sibness with this.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
Hoo then could the twa places hae ony sibness to any anither?
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 8:
People were wont to say of any inextricable problem, ‘ye might as soon unravel the sibness o' the Gordons o' Girnock.'
Sc. 1926 H. M'Diarmid Drunk Man 83:
Sibness to snakes wha's coils Rin coonter airts at yince.
(4) Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 222:
Wasna Jeanie a oy o' ald Billy o' Skithwhy? Thu'll no ken the sibbrit o't?
Sh. 1959 New Shetlander No. 51. 8:
Tree lots of Anderson folk lived i da daal. They were all sibred.

II. n. As pl.: Kindred, relatives, esp. in phr. sib and fremd, see Fremd, II. (Sh. 1970).Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Shop Bill 34:
Gloves likewise, to hap the hand Of fremt an' sib.
Sc. 1823 Scott St Ronan's Well x.:
They that are nearest sib should take maist risk.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 109:
Sib nor frem't e'er lookit her airt.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (31 July):
Ill-laekit bi a' 'at iver kent dee, sib an' fremm'd alaek.
Abd. 1917 Hamespun Rhymes. 9:
A-field, at hame, wi, sib or frem'd.

III. v. To come into relationship or affinity, to consort, be friendly or harmonious.Gall. 1957 F. Rainsford-Hannay Dry Stone Walling 98:
For dyke and moss are bitter faes, Ne'er meant to sib ava.

[O.Sc. sib, syb, related, 1375, sibnes, 1535, Mid.Eng. sibb, id., sibred(en), kinship, O.E. sibb, related.]

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"Sib adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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