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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.

AINCE ERRAND, YINCE-, ANES-, ANCE-, EENCE-, ENDS-, -ERRANT, -ERRAN, -EERAN(D), -EERANT, -YIRRANT, -YIRRAND, adv. phr., sometimes used as n. (Also: ainz-airunt, Sir J. Wilson for Fife, yinz errunt, id. for Lth.; yince-yirn (s.Sc.); ains airrend, -errin, yin ends-, wan enseerin.) [ens, enz, jɪns, jɪnz, ins, ɛnz; ′ɛrən(d), ′erən(d), ′irən(d), ′jɪ̢rənd, ′ɛrənt, ′erənt, ′irənt, ′jɪ̢rənt; for localities see quots., and also Aince and Eerant.]

1. adv. phr., with verbs of motion expr. or implied: for the one purpose mentioned; on the single errand.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlv.:
Ou, what the deevil am I come here for, man, but just ance errand to see about it?
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Anes errand. Entirely on purpose, with a sole design in regard to the object mentioned; as to gae, to come, to send anes errand.
Sc. 1859 Mrs Oliphant Adam Graeme ii. xvi. 177:
Weel, Miss Lucy gaed herself, ance errant, to see your mother.
Sc. 1923 R. Macrailt Hoolachan 31:
Dod, if I ha'ena clean forgot what brocht me here aince errand.
Mry.1 c.1925:
I jist cam ains airrend wi't.
Bnff.4 1926:
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod I. xiii.:
There's a gravestane, a verra auld ane, — hoo auld I canna weel mak' out, though I gaed ends-errand to Aberdeen to see't.
Abd. 1909 G. Greig Mains's Wooin' 10:
Hoo can that be, and me cam' ance-eeran' for them?
Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton At the Back o' Benachie 22:
Little wad gar me gang up aince erran' an' gie th' ull-natered vratch a line o' my min'.
Slg.1 1931:
Aince Errand. In Stirling this word has been Anglicized into “Once Errand,” and is used by educated people in “polite” speech.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh i. 23–24:
We'll gang ance errand to Edinburgh thegither.
Hdg. 1902 J. Lumsden Toorle, etc. 269:
The Dominie's comed yont, anes-eerand, here, To learn the truth about yer haill career.
Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser The Yelpin' Stane 178:
The factor cam' yince-erran' an' said the Duke was very much annoyed wi' me.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 18:
I came to see ye anes-erran; means, I had no other errand than to come and see you.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 338:
Yince-errand, adv. Also -errant, -yirrant, -yirrand.
Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 25:
Hei gaed yins (yince) yirrint ti finnd oot.

2. As a n. (1) with def. or indef. art. before it, the phr. freq. stands in adv. relation to the pred. and thus = the simple adv. phr.; (2) it forms with a prep. before it an adv. phr. = the simple adv. phr.; (3) more rarely it is used freely in other grammatical relations.(1) Arg.1 1929:
He went wan enseerin tae see him.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals of the P. vi.:
It was far better to allow a little profit on the different haberdasheries . . . than to send to the neighbouring towns an end's errand for them.
n.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. (s.v. yin) 338:
Yin end's errand, erroneous for yince-errand.
(2) Sc. [1827] Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 379:
Edwin Landseer maun come down to Scotland for anes errand, just to pent his pictur.
(3) Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 42:
Syne I gaed wi the licht
ay its turnan,
doun frae yon smoory hill,
the day's aince-erran aa bi wi,
ae sang liggan
caul i the daurk.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. 158:
Did they say nothing of the end's errand they had come upon?

[From anes (see Aince) + Eerant, q.v. Annes earend occurs c.1600 in J. Melvill's Diary. Watson compares Norw. dial. i eins ærend, Sw. ens ärende, which have the same meaning. End's is due to pop. etym. E.D.D. gives yence-errand for Nhb.]

Aince Errand adv. phr.

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"Aince Errand adv. phr.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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