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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

AHINT, AHIN, AHIND, Ahent, Ahaint, adv., pred. adj., prep. and conj. Behind; after. [ə′hɪnt,ɪ̢ ə′hɪn(d) + ɪ̢ Sc.; ə′hent Ork.; ə′hɛnt Ags.ɪ̢, Fif.ɪ̢, w.Rxb.]

1. adv. Behind.

(1) Of place: remaining after someone has gone, or something has been taken away; left in the world after someone has gone from it; in the rear of a moving object, following; at the back of a stationary object; backwards; to the rear. Gen.Sc.Sc. a.1862 in A. Hislop Sc. Prov. (3rd ed.) 94:
Far ahint that mayna follow.
[See also first quot. under (5).]Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods, Lowden Sabb. Morn viii.:
A thocht ahint, in runkled breeks . . . The guidman follows closs.
Sc. 1989 Times 13 Jan :
Ahent? 'It's a good Scots word,' said Candia McWilliam, who has employed this handy preposition in her latest novel.
Sc. 2003 Herald 9 Oct 15:
A smirr o rain comes weepin doun the Carse.
The reid-eyed sun snooves in ahent a cloud
an like a puff o smoke, the fowk disperse.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb 9:
Ou, fat's the eese o' that lang stoups ahin'?
Ags. 1907 D. Tasker Readings, etc. 70:
The train's awa', an' yer left ahent.
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 44:
tho they lea me ahent
wi ma saul anerlie
I sall gaird ma faither's hoose.
m.Sc. 2000 Scotland on Sunday 14 May 15:
Ma granny hudnae turnt twal when she met his lad ca'd Ted.
They held haunds in the picter-hoose and ahent the garden shed.
m.Sc. 2000 Sun 26 Jul :
"Aye, he's awa' ahint the times is wee Jum."
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 72:
When Fortune jooks ahint An' scuds ye wi' her broom.
Slg. 1877 J. M. Neilson in Rec. Sc. Poets (ed. Murdoch) (1881) ii. Grannie's Ingle-side 225:
But maids an' men she'll leave ahint Will count the gowden hours wi' pride . . . The days at Grannie's Ingle-side!
Lth. 1915 J. Fergus The Sodger, etc. (1916) 7:
He'll leave a braw, brave thing ahint, a true an' honour'd name.
Arg.1 1928:
Come in ahint. [A shepherd's call to his dog, common also in other districts.]
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders xvii. 155:
I wad gang for ye into the Ill Bit itsel', that's fu' o' brimstane reek, the reed lowe jookin' through the bars, and the puir, puir craiters yammerin' ahint.

(2) Of time: in one's past life, or in time past. Gen.Sc.wm.Sc. 1978 Christine Marion Fraser Rhanna (1979) 327:
'... if I canny walk the moor to deliver the bairn o' the bairn I delivered years ahent then I'm no' worth my worth.'
Lnk. 1929 W. Queen I'm Growin' Auld in Hamilton Advr. (2 March):
But there, my Summer's weel ahint — I'm growin' auld.

(3) At a later time; late, too late. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. I. vi.:
Mysie, kill the brood-hen without thinking twice on it; let them care that come ahint.
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches 87:
“Let's see yer erran's, then, an' rin awa' tae yer skweel as fast as ye can.” “A'm nae gyan. A'm ahin'.”
Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale 146:
I thocht when we laid wee Nelly i' the mools, twenty years ago, that nae affliction equal to that could come ahint.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925), O de to Gowdspink 11. 62–63:
But, reft of thee [sc. Liberty] fient flee we care For a' that life ahint can spare.
w.Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott Vernac. of Mid-Nithsdale, Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 16:
Hurry up, we're gaun tae be clean ahint.

(4) Of a clock: slow. (Cf. Afore, adv.)Arg.1 1928:
“The knock's ahin” — i.e. slow.
Rxb.2 1931:
The clock's ahint (remembered in use a.1890).

(5) In fig. senses, sometimes based on local, sometimes on temporal sense (some of those already given under (1) and (2) are to some extent fig.): of work, not done in due time; of a person, not fulfilling obligations, esp. not paying debts, in due time; of a person who has injuries still to revenge; unsuccessful, or not equal in attainment to others; ignorant, as compared with others; also in other senses of St.Eng. behind. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy II. xiii.:
Ye'll find, sir, us Glasgow folk no sae far ahint but what we may follow.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
“Ye've fa'n ahind (ahint) there” — i.e. you are disappointed in your expectations.
“I shanna be ahint wi' you” — i.e. I shall be even with you, I shall be revenged on you.
Abd. 1914 A. M'S. The Bishop 39:
Nedder div I push a tenan' fin he fa's ahin'.
Lnk. 1889 I. Darling Poems, etc. 77–78:
There was a time I channert sair like you, Oor wark ahin' and weans aye in my road.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 40:
Ee're fer ahint ti be a young man.

2. prep.

(1)  Of place, with fig. extensions = behind (cf. adverbial senses). Gen.Sc.Sc. a.1784 Jock o' the Side in Ballads ed. Child (1904) No. 187 b. xiv.:
His life and his keys at anes they hae tane, And cast his body ahind the wa.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Sc. Proverbs (1881) 149:
Ye ride sae near the rumple, ye'll let nane loup on ahint you.
Sh.(D) 1919 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. II. 108:
Her motor veil fleeterin i da wind ahint her.
Ork.(D) 1911 J. Spence in Old-Lore Misc., Ork. Shet., etc. 184:
Jock . . . hekked him fae whar he was sittan' ahaint da back o' tha fire.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 62:
"Thir's something funny ahint this," she remarked. "Whit wey shid Chloe come up tae thee an' ask if thoo're gaun tae mairry her?"
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches 44:
Hiv ye heard gin aul' Burnhead left a wull ahin' 'im, merchan'?
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xli.:
An' fat think ye has she garr't Peter dee, but pit's han' i' the moggan, an' gie a five poun' note, nae to be ahin' yer freen Gushetneuk, an' the merchan'.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
We socht for bait on the bay sands, braid
ahint the far-oot sea, whiles at nicht-fa
and the mune up.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 45:
A bit loonie hoiterin on ahin 'im.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 31:
Ahent my een
I ken o emptier places lost tae licht,
an endless ghaists that aince
were you an me.
Dundee 2000 Ellie McDonald Pathfinder 11:
My heid doun, my words
blawn like windlestrae ahent me.
em.Sc. (a) 1894 I. Maclaren B. Brier Bush 25:
There's something ahint that face.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 29:
"His commands I flung ahint me
An ran contermit doun tae Hell, ... "
Fif. 1893 “G. Setoun” Barncraig 33:
There was Allan himsel', ahent the counter.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 18:
Howk craw fae the bing or, ti brim-fu thir bogie,
Trail close ahint auld Wullie McIndoe's cuddy.
Lnl. 1908 J. White Pen Sketches 19:
I've never heard him yet say ill ahint a body's back.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 160:
"I'll say to your face, Adam Smith, whit you maybe think I wis jist ready to say ahint your back. ... "
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 6:
Oh, face to face it's kiss-me-luif and palsy-walsy
But ahint your back you should hear whit they all say!
wm.Sc. 1998 Alan Warner The Sopranos (1999) 138:
Chell stood ahind her, holding the door open and peeking over Kylah's shoulder.
Arg. 1993:
If he doesna look ahin im, he's gonny hit that fuckin yacht.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 70:
Ahint the kye the lass gaed singin' hame.
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 10:
But the bothie through the door
ahint the Chinese-petterned draught-screen
is a place o mony purposes.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders 202:
So it was in the very earliest blink o' day that I took the door ahint me, an' gaed my ways.
Uls. 1910 C. C. Russell People and Lang. of Uls. 26:
“Ahin'” or “ahint.”

(2) Of time past: behind (a person).Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling II. 280:
Supposin' Heaven to ordeen me to live ahint ye baith.
Ags. 1923 V. Jacob Songs of Angus 12:
When I cam' hame wi' the thrang o' the years ahint me.

(3) Of time: later than, after, behind (a person). Gen.Sc.m.Sc. 1991 Robert Calder in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 139:
He's whiles been juist a trace ahint the lave?
(Ilk morn he hes the fower chafts tae shave).
Lnl. 1890 A. M. Bisset Spring Blossoms 57:
My haffets noo o' hair sae scanty, Tell that I'll no be lang ahint ye.

(4) After (a circumstance or point of time); too late for; in view of (a past fact, regarded as a reason); in spite of (all that has been said or done). — For all these meanings except “after” with a point of time no examples have been found exc. for Abd. and Bnff.Bnff.2 1931:
Ahin' yon mairrage I winna win'er at onything.
Ahin' the pliskie 'at Tam played 'im he should 'a' been on his gaird.
Abd. 1909 J. T. Jeannie Jaffray 238:
Fa wid hiv thocht she wid ever ta'en up wi' that cratur? Ahin that, onything.
Abd.(D) 1922 C. P. Dunbar A Whiff o' the Doric 16:
An' when they were ahin the skweel 'twas aye their ae excuse.
Abd.(D) 1928 W. Robbie Mains of Yonderton 59:
Aw dinna neen wooner at you bein' suspicious o' the women fouk, ahin the wye 'at ye wis tricket yersel'.
Abd. 1930 D. Campbell Kirsty's Surprise 56:
Ahin a' it's tae The Mains, an' nae The Tooers oor Tibbie'll return a bride.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 48:
Quo she to me, afore I came away, Ahint the horn, the night, ye maunna stay.

3. conj. After. (No evidence except for Abd.)Abd. 1930 D. Campbell Kirsty's Surprise 11:
I've gotten snippets o' 't, but ahin auld Leebie yokit tae gie me the news, she crackit the plate o' her fause teeth on a pan-drop I gied her.

4. Phrases and combinations: (1) Ahin(t) the han(d): (a) in arrears (with payment, work, etc.); (b) late, after the event; (c) in reserve.(a) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy III. i.:
Ye Glasgow tradesfolks hae naething to do but to gang frae the tae end o' the west o' Scotland to the ither, to plague honest folks that may chance to be a wee ahint the hand, like me.
(b) Sc. 1823 J. G. Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 190:
Ay, ay, 'tis Oxford College ye're for, is it? But od, man, are ye no rather ahint the hand? are ye no rather auld for beginning to be a collegianer?
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 62:
But fouks, they say, are wysse ahind the hand.
(c) Bnff.2 1931:
I'll maybe manage to pey the rent an' waages, an' hae something ahin' the han' aifter a'.
Abd.1 1929:
Aye hae a bit ahint the han', it's handy tae fa' back on.
Abd.(D) 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 201:
Aw wid aye like to be able to pey a'thing on the nail, an' hae a fyow bawbees ahin' the han' fin aw turn nae able t' own masel'.

(2) To come in ahint one, to take the advantage of one (Jam.2 1825).Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy III. ix.:
“Had MacVittie's folk behaved like honest men,” he said, “he wad hae liked ill to hae come in ahint them, and out afore them, this gate.” So, to get in ahin'.
Bnff.2 1931:
The butcher's a gey cannie lad; it's nae ilky een 'at 'll git in ahin' 'im.

(3) To get on ahint one, to get the advantage of one in a bargain, to take him in.Sc. 1825 Jam.2 [Jam. adds:]
I know not if the phrase may allude to a stratagem often practised in a state of hostility, when an enemy was wont to make another his prisoner by leaping on horseback behind him, and forcibly holding his hands.

(4) Ahint-the-fire. (See quot.)Ork. 1911 J. Firth in Old-Lore Misc., Ork. Shet., etc. IV. i. 21:
The mid-gable, as it was called, was the thick stone wall dividing the ben-end from the but-end or kitchen. This latter room bore also the name of in-by or abune-the-fire to distinguish it from out-by or ahint-the-fire.

[A, pref.1 + O.E. hindan. Not in O.Sc.]

Ahint adv., adj., prep., conj.

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"Ahint adv., adj., prep., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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