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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.

EERANT, Eeran(d), Errant, n., v. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. errand (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang.; Lth. 1885 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny 277; Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 122, eerand; Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 108, errant). Also aerrant; airrent; airant; earrand; erran (Cai.8 1934); earrent (Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 32); yirren (Lnk. 1802 R. Lochore in Poets Scot. (ed. J. G. Wilson 1840) 386); yirran(t) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Rxb.5 1943); yerran (Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 361); yearn (Wgt. 1878 "Saxon" Gall. Gossip 391); neiran (Rs. (Avoch) 1949 Gsw. Herald (7 Feb.)); eiran (Cai.7 1943); earn' (Kcb. 1896 A. J. Armstrong Kirkiebrae 236). [′i:rənt Lth., Bwk., Rxb. + ′i:rənd; ′i:rən n., wm.Sc.; ′erənt Ags., Fif.; ′ærənd Sh.; ′jɪrən wm., sm., s.Sc.]

I. n.

1. In sing.: as in Eng. = a specific mission. For phr. aince erran, eence eerin, eence an airrent, en(d)s-, etc., (for the) express purpose, see Aince Errand. An inverted form ¶one errand's end is found in second quot.Ayr. 1824 A. Crawford Tales Grandmother (1825) I. 124:
He gaed awa without his eeran, but I doubt he'll get it ere he comes back.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xv.:
If you had come one errand's end to me, I could have told you all about affairs and saved you trouble prying.

2. In pl.: purchases brought home by their buyer or entrusted to someone for delivery; parcels, shopping. Gen.Sc.m.Sc. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 104:
I dae their bits o' erran's when I daunner to the town — A handle to the parritch pat, a pend'lum to the clock.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vi.:
“Fesh hame till her fan yer comin' back twa dizzen o' fresh herrin'. . . .” “An' is that a', laddie — has she nae ither bits o' erran's?” asked Johnny.
Ags. 1894 J. Inglis Oor Ain Folk viii.:
And ilka Friday, Sandy Todd Brings aerrants frae Montrose!
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 101:
A man . . . ax'd me if I wid tak' heim twartree errands till his folk, an I coodna very weel say no.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 66:
But noo there's cairtin' eerans evermair, . . . Draff for the kye, an' milk for Aiberdeen.
Abd. 2003:
I've naebody tae rin ma eerans tae the toon inoo.

3. Duties, daily work (see quot.).Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
The husband's eerans or turns are his daily work or round of duties; but the wife's eerans are her messages or purchases and her turns are her round of domestic duties.

4. Phr. and Combs.: (1) errand bairn, errand boy (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); (2) yirrant-ganger, id. (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (3) to mak' (an) earrand, to invent an errand (as an excuse for going somewhere) (Abd.27 1951).(3) Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 246:
[I] tauld him never to leet bit just ta mak' earrand an' spüir if ever dey saw wir spraekled duik dat wis gaen amissin'.

II. v. In vbl.n. erranding, acting as an errand boy.Ayr. 1838 Galt in Tait's Mag. (June) 393:
I could not expect to make gold in gowpens at the erranding in Glasgow.

[O.E. ǣrende, errand, message. See P.L.D. 63.1.]

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"Eerant ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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