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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

EARN, ERN, v. To (cause to) coagulate, to curdle (milk) by adding rennet and applying heat (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot.; Ags.2 1942; Ags.18 1949, ern). See also Yirn, v.1, id. [ern Sc., Ags. + ɪrn]Sc. 1724–7 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) I. 86:
Since nathing's awa', as we can learn. The kirn's to kirn, and milk to earn.
s.Sc. 1835–40 J. M. Wilson (ed.) Tales of the Borders V. 90:
I hae . . . the butter to mak, an' the bed to mak, and the milk to 'earn.

Hence ernt (irnt) mulk, curds (Ags.18 1949).

[O.Sc. has yyrne, id., a.1568 (see Yirn, v.1); cf. Mid.Eng. ernen, eornen, met. forms of rinnen, O.E. rinnan, to run, with pa.p. gerunnen, coagulated, curdled; geirnan, gerinnan, to coagulate.]

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"Earn v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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