Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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UNTELLIN, ppl.adj. Past reckoning, impossible to tell, beyond words (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Lnk., Slk. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial. See Un-, pref., 2. Lnk. 1816  G. Muir Minstrelsy 7:
The royal banner that has splendid flown Its annual course for ages past untellin'.
Slk. 1823  Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) i.:
It was untelling what land that man possessed.
Peb. 1836  J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 66:
The draps o' guide drink that we got were untelling.
Lth. 1885  J. Strathesk More Bits 96:
The evils thereby done were “untelling”.
Lnk. 1892  Scots Mag. (June) 30:
It's untellin' what a cat'll eat aboot a ferm-toon.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 1:
The road was thrang wui droves o nowt — aa keinds, untellin.

[O.Sc. untelland, id., 1531.]

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"Untellin ppl. adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Nov 2019 <>



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