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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

SICCAN, adj. Also sican, -in, sic(c)en; sickan, -en, -in, siecan; sikkan, -en, seckan, saekkin. When followed by the indef. article the reduced form sicna is freq. Suchan is occas. used by affected speakers. See Sic. [′sɪkən]

1. Such, of such a kind, of a sort already mentioned (Sc. 1825 Jam.; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 175). Gen Sc.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 9:
But sicken a day there never was.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 87:
Gin sickan things were true.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 183:
To cow an' horse, an' sican beast.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xviii.:
I'll ride in nae siccan troop.
Sc. 1824 S. Ferrier Inheritance I. iv.:
Sicna a discreditable like thing.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 277:
To use sickan freedoms.
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 589:
I nevvir gat sek an a flegg i ma lyfe.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 40:
There doesna seem a trace O' even siccan ane.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 130:
I mind of ae siccan a nicht.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xxi.:
Ye'll do no siccan thing.
Ork. 1907 Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 62:
Whin id waas dark aneuch dey met a' ermed, boy, an' seckan erms.
Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane Scotland of Our Fathers 39:
The writer remembers the indignation of a gardener, also an elder in the church, at the ‘Englishy' butler's skimp traditional grace on the occasion of a solid supper. ‘Sicna grace for sicna supper!' as he laconically observed.
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 191:
"There's a thing that happens, though you are not o a family to understand it, but married men hae sometimes a difficulty o putting their wives wi a bairn. Now there are ways in siccan a mechanter. Sometimes it's the man that's no on his mettle and a diet o good green kale can kittle him. ..."
Bnff. 1962 Banffshire Advert. (25 Oct.):
Gin thir wis siccan a player hereabouts he wid seen be snappit up.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 38:
An' the band wis takin' a brak'
A bottle o' ale I wis drinkin'
Fin ma feelins' got sicken a whack.
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 32:
a groo-graithit taet
againss the mair groo
o the ondeemas luft,
o the doore orrie erd
in sicna groo border
whaur the nicht
mells a weird wi the bricht

2. Used exclam. with nouns = “what (a) . . .!”, with adjs. = “how . . .!” Gen.Sc.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxii.:
Sicken a day as we had wi' the fumarts and the tods, and sicken a blythe gaedown as we had again e'en.
Dmf. 1829 W. Caesar Jaunt 9:
And siccan shops! nae country clown Did ever see.
Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town I. xiv.:
Siccan a lee!
m.Sc. 1922 J. Buchan Huntingtower x.:
“Siccan weather,” said the hostess, as she opened the door to let in a swirl of wind.
Abd. 1927 Banffshire Jnl. (2 Aug.) 2:
“Siccan blethers!” rudely exclaimed a nonconformist bailie.
Rnf. 1935 L. Kerr Woman of Glenshiels ii.:
Fancy daeing suchna thing.
Abd. 1960:
Eh, siccan bonnie (as) the flours were!

3. In derivs. (1) sicken-like, -lek, = Siclike, similar, like (ne.Sc., Ags., Dmb., sm.Sc. 1970). Also as a n., the like: (2) in phr. siccan-a-like yin, so-and-so (em.Sc.(b), sm. and s.Sc. 1970). Cf. Sic, IV. 2.(1) Sc. 1828 Outlaw Murray in Child Ballads No. 305 A. lxiv.:
Sicken-like mercy sall ye have, On gallows ye shall hangit be.
Cai. 1916 J. Mowat Proverbs 8:
Sican lek tae sican lek, an auld horse to a fail dik.
Sh. 1964 Nordern Lights 18:
We wir set abön da saekkin laeks o dee.
(2) Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Sicc'n a like yin tell'd her.

[O.Sc. sikkin, such, from 1513, from Sic, adj., + -kin, kind, sort. Cf. Whatten.]

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"Siccan adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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