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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

ASK, v.2

1. Used as in St.Eng. in the phrase to ask the banns, or have one's banns asked (Un. Eng. Dict.), although publish the banns or have the banns published is now more common. In Sc. ask and the vbl.n. asking are used elliptically for asking in marriage.Abd.18 1932:
She couldna mak up her min' to tak' him fin he askt her.
Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. 74:
I . . . had queer thoughts about marrying, that might have come to an asking.

2. Peculiar Sc. usages with preps.

(1) Ask at. Sc. for Eng. ask or ask of. Sinclair 1782, Mitchell 1799, Mackie 1881, writers on Scotticisms, all note this as a Sc. idiom. Common also in O.Sc.Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xii.:
[I] wish to remain at perfect freedom to answer, if asked at, that I ken nothing of the matter.
Lnk. 1709 Minutes J.P.'s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 65:
He asked att Bailie Howesone whither he would have him to goe away.
[For other examples see At, A. 4. See also Ax.]

(2) Ask for. Ask after (Sh., Ork., Cai., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Fif., Edb., Arg., Gsw., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s).Edb. 1913 F. Niven Ellen Adair xi.:
Only vulgar [sic] people used the phrase “Tell her I was asking for her.”
Dmb. 2005:
Tell Mary I was asking for her.
Arg.1 1932:
Tell yer faither I was askin' for him. [Admitted as St.Eng. by Un. Eng. Dict.]

(3) Ask out.

(a) “Used of a child: to ask permission to leave school for a few minutes” (S.D.D.).

(b) Of a servant asking permission for an afternoon or evening out.Abd.9 1932:
Mysie askt oot the nicht an' a'm gaun ti lat 'er.

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"Ask v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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