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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

'AT, AT, YT, dem. adj., dem. pron., adv. That. [ɑt; (in 2(2)) ət, ɑt]

1. dem.adj. That. Used also with a pl. noun.Cai.(D) 1929 “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (8 Nov.):
Ye'll no' slack wi' 'at ill-scraped towngue o' yirs.
Abd.13 1914:
Jinse is awa t' see gin she get ony knittins aboot 'at merriage.
Bch.(D) 1926 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Rev. (July) 221:
'At flags iz nae mowse i' snaw. [For loss of th see P.L.D. §§ 139, 158.]

2. dem.pron. That.

(1) General usage.Cai. 1929 “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (27 Dec.):
Licht up yir auld clayag an' try yir mathematics on 'at.
Abd. 1914 J. Leatham Daavit 15:
'At's the stair!
Bch.(D) 1926 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 111:
Syne there was the 'ear o' the short crap, fin I cam' ashore, 'at wiz twenty sax, and aifter that there wiz [etc.].

(2) Referring to a word or phr. in a previous sentence or clause, at introduces a brief repetition (for emphasis) of an assertion or intention. The inverted order is complete in Sc., while in the corresponding Eng. expression it is partial; cf. Sc. “at wull A,” Eng. “that I will.”Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.:
Ye should think shame o' yoursell, at should ye.
m.Lth. 1882 “J. Strathesk” Bits from Blinkb. vii.:
Ye're just a big babbie — 'at are ye.
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 66:
If A wantit him dead he wud leeve till he wus auler nor McThusalem, yt wud he!
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 108:
I'll sing wi' a' my birr,'at wull I.
w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (2nd ed.) 58:
I nicket it, 'at did I.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 43:
“A'll tell ma faither, at wull A” (= that will I). — Hei's a perfec' skemp, at is hei.

3. adv. of degree = so. See That.Cai.(D) 1929 “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (11 Oct.):
Hid's no' 'at lang since 'e fairmers' ball.

[Prob. reduced from that in north.Mid.Eng. and O.Sc. (see M.M.Sc. 64); from O.E. ðæt, neut. of def. art. Perhaps influenced also by O.N. at, dem. pron. (and rel.).]

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"'at demonstr. adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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