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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).

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 24 Sep 2022 <>



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