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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DING, v. and n. Also deng (.Jak.). [dɪŋ Sc., but Sh. dɛŋ, deŋ]

I. v. Pa.t.: dang, .†dung” pa.p.: dung, †dang, †doung. Also rarely weak pa.t. †dingt, pa.p. ding(e)d.

1. (1) To knock, beat or strike: to drive; to push suddenly and forcibly; to displace or overturn by shoving (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Often used with advs. aff, down, in, ower, ajee, etc. Occas. intr. to be smashed or shattered. Also in Eng. dial. Also used fig. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 360:
You may ding the Dee'l into a Wife, but you'll never ding him out of her.
Sc. 1776 Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 66C. xvii.:
He dung the boord up wi his fit, Sae did he wi his tae.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii:
She may marry whae she likes now, for I'm clean dung ower.
Sc. 1893 R. L. Stevenson Catriona xxix.:
Very unfit to come into a young maid's life, and perhaps ding down her gaiety.
Sc. 1991 Kenneth Fraser in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 101:
Suppose, ae morn, ye got a muckle stoun,
Eneuch tae mak ye think your hert wad stap:
The heidline in your paper, at the tap,
Was: 'Embro Castle tae be dingit doun.'
Sh. 1991 William J. Tait in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 46:
Puir? An wha daur ding
Or lichtlie the lonn lamp in Heeven's vodd hoose?
Ork. 1908 J. T. S. Leask in Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 224:
He fell tae the bullier an' gaed 'im seekena bruickin 'at 'e narlins dang da sowl oot o' 'im.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 48:
The pouer o the Unions hid bin dinged tae smush langsyne, caaed tae crockanation bi inflation.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 86:
Gin ye sae him on lan, haudin his faither's haun, he wis ane o yon short-haired, gap-moued loons fa socht a clour tae drive them forrit; but in watter he dang doon aabody; an unnerwatter the mair sae.
Mearns 1929 J. B. Philip Weelumm o' the Manse 19:
They'll [hedgehogs] rin up an epple tree, ding in their birse and cairry aff a hail backbirn o' epples.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 48:
yirdit fowre years back, but he bides wi me yet,
ayelestand as whunstane or wun reeshlin through
Scotland's sair dung yet undauntit trees.
Ags. 1993 Mary McIntosh in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 112:
He hearkened tae the kirk bells dingin oot the auld year. Guid Bluidy affgaun this.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 40:
Ye grew that prood yit rigbane wadna bend.
Yon Mistress Riddel's fairlie dingt ye doun
for steckin up yir heid abune the feck.
m.Lth. 1786 G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1801) 23:
But he is doung, clean out o' sight.
Hdg. 1885 J. Lumsden Rhymes and Sk. 92:
Oh! hard art thou — thou wearie warld! An sair, sair are we ding'd by thee!
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Lays from Poorhouse 15:
Tho' 'tweel, my Mistress, wi' her deavin' bum, 'Ill ding them i' my lugs this month tae come.
Gsw. 1979 Farquhar McLay in Moira Burgess and Hamish Whyte Streets of Stone (1985) 115:
Fondly remembered is Percy. He was raised to the Order of the Royal Garter. Dang the stoor out of the Reds and hammered the apaches into fealty.
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 86:
The frame dang intae spunkwud.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Amang the Trees (Cent. ed.) i.:
When there cam' a yell o' foreign squeels, That dang her tapsalteerie, O!
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 157:
If he had grupped the pair o' us he wad a haen to made up his min' to hae the senses dang oot o' him.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Brownie of Bodsbeck, etc. II. ii.:
He pu'd up his bit shabble of a sword an' dang aff my bonnet.
Uls. 1987 Sam Hanna Bell Across the Narrow Sea 71:
'This coming Sabbath I'll ding some sense into the heads of my congregation. ... '

(2) Followed by an adj. = to make, drive (a person or thing). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Slg.3 1940.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 36:
You, wha . . . Can right what is dung wrang.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxvi.:
My head is weel nigh dung donnart.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1935) 11:
You'll trust me, mair wou'd do you ill, And ding you doitet.
Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 72:
The thocht o't turns my bluid tae jeel, An' dings my auld heid crazy.
Kcb. 1912 W. Burnie Poems 98:
Dung stupid by lickin' and yellin' He could mak naething o' it ava.

(3) Phrs.: (a) to ding a hack i' the crook, see Cruik, n., 7 (5); †(b) to ding by, (1) to thrust aside, displace, discard (Abd. 1825 Jam.2); (2) to lay aside (through illness) (Ib.); (3) to frustrate, defeat in (a plan or purpose) (Sc. Ib.); †(c) to ding one's self. “to vex one's self about any thing” (Lth., s.Sc. Ib.); (d) to ding (someone) oot, to displace someone in another's affections.(b) (2) Abd. 1825 Jam.2:
To be dung by, to be confined by some ailment.
(3) Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
I meant to hae gane to see my friends in the country, but something cam in the gait, sae that I was dung by't.
(d) Abd. 1787 A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess Act II. Sc. ii. Prol.:
For he likes Geordy's lass: And kensna how to ding him out, But hopes to bring's intent about.
Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 82:
Airchie Tawse was chaffed by Robbie Sangster, merchan', aboot letting “Parkie's feel ding him oot o' Nancy.”

2. To defeat, overcome; wear out, weary; to beat, excel, get the better of. Sometimes used with ower, oot, etc. Ppl.adj. dung, dang'd. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.2, Fif.10, Slg.3, Edb.5 1940.Sc. 1709 Culloden Papers (ed. Warrand 1925) II. 15:
Wee scertainly dingt the French not in a fair field.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 42:
Ye see, said he, I've dung you fair.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 140:
For aye her wraith [wrath] hid weur awa', Her wraith wi' love I dang.
Abd. 1841 J. Imlah Poems 186:
Banff ne'er was dung for bottl'd skate.
Abd. 1887 W. Carnie Waifs of Rhyme 19:
Wi' a' their airt and skill, They canna ding the lassie oot that's wirkin' at the mill.
Ags. 1932 J. M. Barrie Julie Logan 42:
“Be assured,” said he, “that I am too dung ower with tire to be trifling with you.”
Fif. 1894 J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 10:
I've haen mony guid and novel offers in my time, but this dings them a'.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 38:
Gloamin' grey out o'er the welkin keeks . . . Whan Thrasher John, sair dung, his barndoor steeks.
Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems 18:
The fitba's dung me oot, and I'd be best Tae bide jist where I am.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Dream iv.:
But Facts are cheels that winna ding, An' downa be disputed.
Kcb. 1883 G. Murray Sarah Rae, etc. 52:
At lone Loch Brack they doubtless dang us, Yon fell east wind wrought sair to wrang us.

Phr.: to ding dinty, to beat everything, dinty being chiefly assonantal, phs. associated with Dint, n.2, (2). Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce II. viii.:
"Now, this dings dinty!" cried the man, provoked by the general laugh which Miss Jacky's rebuff had drawn upon him.
Sc. 1846 C. I. Johnstone Edb. Tales II. 289:
“Weel, this dings dinty!” thought Marion, indignantly and contemptuously.

3. To descend with great force, to fall heavily and continuously (gen. applied to rain, hail, snow, etc.). Freq. with on, doun. Often (esp. in ne.Sc.) used impersonally. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.2 (ding on), Fif.10, Slg.3 1940.Sc. c.1828 Broughty Wa's in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 258, v.:
But the wind it blew, and the rain dang on And wat him to the skin.
Sc. 1933 W. Soutar Seeds in the Wind 26:
God's forkit levin, like a whup . . . Richt on Ben Vrackie's muckle back Come's dingin' doun.
Bnff. 1887 J. Yeats in Bnffsh. Field Club 58:
A fine genial rain . . . boded great wealth, and a common saying regarding it was that it was “dingin' on milk and meal.”
Abd. c.1770 A. Watson Wee Wifeikie (1921) 8:
The night was cauld an' dingin' weet And wow but it was mark.
Abd. 1868 G. Macdonald R. Falconer I. ii.:
“Is't dingin' on, Robert?” she asked. “No, grannie; it's only a starnie o' drift.”
Abd.13 1910:
“Dingin' on peer men an' pike staves an' the pike ens o' them neathmost,” used to describe a very bad hail-shower.
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 226:
The night turn'd dark an' dang on rain.
Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems (1791) 61:
Whan fearfu' winds loud gurl'd, An' mony a hum dang down.

4. “To cut bark into short pieces, preparing it for the tanner” (Per. 1900 E.D.D.).Ib.:
I'm dingin' the bark.

5. Used in imprecations (Cai.7, Buff.2, Abd. correspondents 1940). Cf. Eng. dash.Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxvii.:
De'il ding your saul, sirrah, canna ye mak haste before these lazy smaiks come up?
Cai. 1930 Cai. Forum in John o' Groat Jnl. (30 May):
Ye'll hev til gang til Mac an' get at stuff . . . dinged a bit A canna min' 'e name o'd.
Abd. 1920 R. H. Calder Gleanings 10:
Ding't! I min't it afore I steed up!

6. With in: to slash corn with the sickle in harvesting (see quot.). Sc. 1855 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 337:
Some reapers in Scotland practise the bagging mode of cutting corn, and use the left hand to steady the corn while it is in the act of being cut by the right. The mode is technically named dinging-in, or cuffing.

II. n.

1. A knock or blow (Cld. 1887 Jam.6), a smart push; a nudge (Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 23). Known to Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Kcb.1 1940. Also in Eng. dial.Bnff. 1924 “Knoweheid” in Swatches 83:
I birzed them ben, an' gya them a ding Wi' the eyn o' the bishop, till room there wis neen.
Edb. 1926 A. Muir Blue Bonnet 66:
A ding on the lug that made his head bizz.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xiii.:
He swore that he gave her only a ding out of his way.

2. In comb. ding-on, a downpour. Cf Onding.Sc. 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 28:
Dod, it's growin' dark An' gey an' like a gude ding-on o' rain!

[O.Sc. has ding, to beat or strike, to deal blows, from 1375, the other senses of the v. (except 4 and 5 above) appearing somewhat later. Derived from or cogn. with O.N. dengja (wk. v.), to beat, thrash. The conjugation above has become strong on analogy with ring, sing, cling, etc. The n. is a late development, appearing first in early 19th cent.]

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"Ding v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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