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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

SUN, n., v. Also sin (Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 67; Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 55; Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 287, Uls. 1898 A. McIlroy Meetin' Hoose Green xiii.; Abd. 1959 Scotsman (24 Jan.) 17, ne.Sc. 1971), sinn (Ayr. 1785 Burns 3rd Ep. to J. Lapraik ix.; Abd. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 5). See P.L.D. § 60.1. and Dieth Bch. Dial. 44 ff. Adj. sunny; ‡sinny (Dmb. 1777 Weekly Mag. (20 Feb.) 273; Ayr. 1819 J. Kennedy Misc. Poems 142; Edb. 1839 W. McDowall Poems 39, Abd. 1928 Abd. Press and Jnl. (15 Nov.) 6). [sʌn; ne.Sc. + ‡sm]

I. n. As in Eng. Sc. phrs. and combs. (also with sunny): 1. atween or 'twixt sun and sky, between daylight and dark, in the twilight; 2. sun-birselt, sun-burnt. See Birsle, v.1; 3. sun-blink, -blenk, a gleam of sunshine. Gen.Sc. See Blink, n.1 Also attrib. and fig.; 4. sun-broch, a halo round the sun (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-lore 115; I. and e.Sc. 1971). See Broch, n.1, 3.; 5. sunbrunt, †-brint, sun-burnt; 6. sin-cassen, of an egg: tainted by exposure to the sun (Sh. 1971). See Cast, v., 24. and 20.; 7. sun-dab, the common dab, Limanda limanda, an erroneous form for sand-dab s.v. Sand, I. 9.; 8. sindoon, sundown, sunset (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc., also in Eng. dial. and U.S.; 9. sunflaucht, a ray of sunlight, a sunbeam. See Flaucht, n.1, 3.; 10. singates, sungaets, -gates, following the sun, i.e. from east to west, clockwise (Sh. 1971). See Gate, 1. (2); and -S, suff.; 11. sunglaff, = 9. See Glaff, n., 1.; 12. sunglint, a gleam of sunlight. See Glint; 13. sun-glud, id. See Glude; 14. sun-kep, a sun-bonnet. See Kep, n.1; 15. sun-leistering, the catching of salmon by spearing them with a Leister when dazzled by sunlight reflected into the water. See II. and Leister; 16. sun-saut, salt made by evaporating sea-water in the sun (see quot.); 17. sinsheen, sun-, sunshine (Ags. 1869 R. Leighton Poems 355; Sh. 1896 “Junda” Klingrahool 6; Abd. 1933 Sc. N. & Q. (Nov.) 176; Sh., ne.Sc. 1971). Adj. sinsheeny, sun-(Abd. c.1812 Sc. N. & Q. (1st Ser.) II. 125; Ags. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 410); 18. sun side, sin-, the side or aspect of a place facing the sun, the south side (Abd. 1952 W. M. Alexander Place-Names 385, sin-; n.Sc., Slg., Fif., Lnk. 1971). Also fig. Also in Eng. dial.; ¶19. sun-singit, sun-burnt. See Sing, v.2; 20. sun-sitten, -in, of eggs: tainted by the heat of the sun (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1971), of a potato “greened” by the sun (Sh. 1971). Cf. Sit, v., 1.(3) and 6.; 21. sinwart, the sunny or southern side or direction. Cf. obs. Eng. to the sunward; 22. sunway(s), = 10. Also sunways aboot, to the right (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); 23. sun wink, = 12.; 24. sunny-clock, a common beetle (see quot.). Cf. Clock, n.2; 25. sunny half, = 18. Also attrib.; 26. sunnyside, id., “land having a southern exposure” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); 27. (the) sun shines, a children's game (see quot.); 28. up sun, see Upsun.1. Abd. 1817 J. Christie Instructions 108:
Go to that well to your first wark, 'Twixt sun and sky before't grows dark.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 44:
The one, commonly a woman, who was “to look for the fever,” went to a ford or bridge, over which “the dead and the living” cross, “atween the sin an the sky,” commonly in the gloamin.
2. Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 41:
Wi' sun-birselt cheeks.
3. Sc. 1728 P. Walker Biog. Presbyt. (1827) I. 136:
In our Sun-blink Days of the Gospel.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 19:
Like Sun-blinks on a cloudy Winter's Day.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xiv.:
The midges that the sun-blink brings out.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 60:
Their gowden-laced waistcoats bra' , Whairon the sun-blenks, as they fa' , Appeir to rest wi' pride.
Lnk. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 76:
We may get sun-blinks noo an' then.
Per. 1893 Harp. Per. (Ford) 369:
The sunblinks that brichten the brae.
5. Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (Rogers 1905) 236:
Ye're sun-brint and batter'd, John Tod.
Sc. 1805 Lord Thomas and Fair Annet in Child Ballads (1898) V. 224:
Sin-brunt in yer midder's womb.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 180:
A wee sun-brunt deevil o' a lassie.
Per. 1878 R. Ford Hamespun Lays 109:
A sunbrunt suit an' snootit cap.
Abd. 1904 Banffshire Jnl. (27 Sept.) 6:
The twa-fite-headit, sin-brunt herdies.
8. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality v.:
Birling wi' a' the scaff and raff o' the water-side, till sun-down.
Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard-Bearer xxii.:
It was not yet sundown.
Abd. 1955 Buchan Observer (18 Oct.):
A bonnie sindoon at yer eventide, An' quaet seas.
Lnk. 1971:
Babies were aye buriet at sundoun.
9. Lnk. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 17:
A sweet vision, like a sun-flaucht.
10. Sh. 1879 Shetland Times (20 Sept.):
They paired and proceeded to the house, walking once round it ‘singates,' i.e. sun ways, or from left to right; that was to secure luck to the pair.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 100:
Anither kimmer would say her dochter was in bairn-bed, and she was tell't to tak her withershins nine times through a heap o' unwatered yarn, to tak the cat through't sungates aboot as mony times again, and baudrons would hae the pains.
Sh. 1931 J. Nicolson Tales 55:
When a boat was taken from its “noost,” and put into the water, the bow had to be turned “sun-gates.”
11. Gsw. a.1883 in A. G. Murdoch Recent Sc. Poets 141:
I wad ding ye wi' a sun-glaff, ye frozen-saul'd wicht. Gall. 1929 Gallovidian 77: Wi' nae sunglaff on cenotaph To gar them dern a wee.
12. Ags. 1880 J. E. Watt Poet. Sk. 85:
Oor sun-glints o' glory are followed by gloom.
Dmf. 1894 R. W. Reid Poems 102:
Like a sun-glint ever in the gloom.
13. Sh. 1892 Manson's Sh. Almanac:
Wi sic a sun-glud ye needna lie till an eelasowd afore wasterin.
14. Ayr. 1895 H. Ochiltree Redburn iv.:
Tearing the strings aff my gude new sun-kep.
15. Sc. 1847 T. T. Stoddart Angler's Companion 253:
A party who were sun-leistering or spearing from a boat.
16. Kcb. 1901 R. D. Trotter Gall. Gossip 131:
They ey cairry't a wee pickle sun-saut wi' them-Saut yt they had made oot o' saut-water theirsels: an' as sune as ever the wean wus born, they stappit o't inta its mooth, an than the fairies wusna able to cheinge't.
18. Sc. 1719 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 216:
In my ain House [I] am Good-man, which stands on Edinburgh's Street the Sun-side.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 198:
Could ye, by some art, Get to the sun-side o' his heart.
19. Sc. 1891 R. Ford Thistledown 159:
His sun-singit, ill-shapen body.
21. Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 125:
Airtan to the sinwart.
22. Sc. 1774 T. Pennant Tour 1769 291:
At marriages and baptisms they make a procession around the church, Deasoil, i.e. sunways.
Mry. 1775 L. Shaw Hist. Mry. (1882) III. 385:
A small house around which, sunway the people made a tour with the corpse at burials.
Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth xxvii. note:
The deasil must be performed sunways, that is, by moving from right to left [sic].
Sc. 1825 J. Nicholson Oper. Mech. 143:
The running mill-stone is supposed to turn ‘sunway', or as in what is called a right-handed mill.
Arg. 1899 W. Andrews Bygone Ch. Life 50:
All of them made the wessil, — going round the well sun-ways, the priest leading them.
23. Gsw. a.1883 in A. G. Murdoch Recent Sc. Poets 143:
The memories o' oor youth wi' its sun-winks and its truths.
24. Dmb. 1964:
A superstition existed that, if a person stood on a beetle, the rain would come on — and they only appeared during sunny weather hence the name “sunny clock.”
25. Per. 1704 Session Papers, Robertson v. Robertson (31 Dec. 1765) 16:
The Sunny Half Town and Lands of Pittangowan.
26. Abd. 1952 W. M. Alexander Place-Names 385:
Sunnyside. A frequent name for a farm. It is derived from the former practice of dividing lands into a sunny side and a shadow side.
27. Abd. 1898 A. W. Gomme Trad. Games II. 222:
“The sun shines above and the sun shines below, And a' the lasses in this school is dying in love I know, Especially (girl's name), she's beautiful and fair; She's awa wi' (a boy's name) for the curl o's hair.”. . . All sing to ‘especially', boy chooses girl, and then the two whirl round, and all sing to the end.

II. v. To spear (a salmon) while dazzling it with reflected sunlight in the water. See I. 15. above.s.Sc. 1843 W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 209:
Sunning, as I have told you, is a mode of taking salmon with a spear by sun light.
s.Sc. 1844 W. H. Maxwell Sports Scot. (1855) 235:
I observed a fellow, in the parlance of the border, sunning salmon.

[O.Sc. syn, sun, a.1568, sun-blink, 1635, sun-brint, a.1500, sungaittis, a.1549, synne-half, 1594, sunways, 1662.]

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"Sun n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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