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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

EMPY, Empie, Impty, adj., v. Gen. (exc. n.) Sc. forms of Eng. empty. Also found in Nhb. dial.

1. adj. (Ags., Edb., Arg., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s)s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms xli. 6:
Gif he cum til see me, he raves owt empie things.
Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) v.:
Hoo dis it come aboot that my quiver is empy.
Lth. 1925 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 198:
So, efter a', if they put in the parteeclars that Mr McNeil mentioned, the form will no' be empy.
Tyr. 1929 “M. Mulcaghey” Ballymulcaghey 167:
When Jock Bennet returned home from her father's funeral, he found O'Neill's cot emp'y.
Wgt. 1939 J. McNeillie Wigtown Ploughman viii.:
The place's empy noo, ye ken.
Sc. 1987 Guardian 4 Jul :
You know, I often wonder about the reliability of that man's theology, but I hold my peace. 'There's nae honey tae be got frae an impty hornet's nest,' as our shepherds have it, although what they know about anything but beer, bonking, and sheep dip escapes me.
ne.Sc. 1996 Lindsay Paterson in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of winning poems and stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 16:
Sittin at a table wis twa faceless fowk leukin at an impty beuk. The room wis affa dark an in the backgrun wis a winda.

2. v.Ork. 1795 P. Fea MS. Diary (14 Sept.):
Empyd my Boat of the few peats I had from Burness.
Gsw. 1933 F. Niven Mrs Barry iv.:
Ast her does she want the baikie empied.

[For dropping of t after p, see P.L.D. § 63.2.]

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"Empy adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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