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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.

ENGLISH, adj., n. Sc. usages. The older spelling Inglish is also found.

I. adj.

1. Episcopal, Episcopalian. Gen. in combs. English chapel, -church, -kirk, applied originally to an Episcopal church in Scotland in communion with the Church of England and using its Liturgy. Such churches united with the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1804 and the name is now colloq. applied throughout Scotland to the latter church. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1716 West-Country Intelligence (3 March) 10:
Mr Kerr, who was made Professor while the Rebels were there [Aberdeen], and assisted in the English-Service that Day the Battle was fought in Sherriff-Moor.
Sc. 1744 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 48:
There has been collected for the charity-workhouse in Edinburgh. . . . At the Episc. meeting-houses 103 14 3 By the English chapel . . . 25 17 0
Sc. 1818 J. Skinner Ann. Sc. Episcopacy II. 570:
Union in Banff between the English and Scottish Chapels consummated [in 1792.]
Sc. 1834 Tait's Mag. (Oct.) 605:
She had long wished for an opportunity to break off decently from the Kirk — the English service was so sublime, and the organ so beautiful!
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 2:
For maist folk t'ought gin Charlie got de poo'er, a' the English weys o' the Kirk wad be set ap again.
Ags. 1888 J. M. Barrie Auld Licht Idylls ii.:
Chapel was the name always given to the English Church.
Kcd. 1895 G. H. Kinnear Hist. Glenbervie 37:
Hence arose the designation “English Kirk”, as applied even yet in Drumlithie and elsewhere [to the Episcopalian body in Scotland].
Dmf. 1925 W. S. Lockhart Guidherts of Moat Brae 99:
The “English Minister”, otherwise the Incumbent of the Episcopal Church of England at Dinnan.

2. Combs.: (1) English blanket, a blanket having a thick nap raised by brushing; cf. Scotch blanket s.v. Scots; †(2) English mile, the Imperial mile of 1760 yards in contradistinction to the Scots mile of 1984 yards; (3) English mill, a mill with a vertical overshot wheel as opposed to a Klickmill, q.v.; †(4) English pint, the Imperial pint = ⅓ Scots pint; †(5) English School, a school for the teaching of English, as opposed to a grammar school where only the Classics were taught; (6) English sole, the common sole, Solea solea (ne.Sc. 1903 G. Sim Fauna ofDee” 248).(1) Mry. 1708 in E. D. Dunbar Social Life (1st Series 1865) 206:
Three pair blankets, and a single blanket, and an Inglish blanket.
Sc. 1840 G. Webster Ingliston xxxv.:
He gar't the lass harl aff twa pair o' sappy English blankets, and he gae her a hand himsel at fauldin' them.
n.Sc. 1840 D. Sage Memorabilia Domestica (1889) 247:
A single sleepless night convinced me that a feather-bed and English blankets were rather the means of suffocation than of comfort.
Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 79:
I got in William Ruddiman's shop, pawnbroker i' the Green, 2 English blankets, 2 linen sheets . . . a' stown an' pawn't by my leddy.
wm.Sc.1 1950:
In our family the English blanket is one that has a long, soft, fleecy nap which conceals (until the blanket is much worn) the actual yarns from which it is woven, whereas in a Scotch blanket the yarns are visible from the start.
(2) e.Sc. 1782 F. Douglas Desc. e. Coast Scot. 45:
The Tay, opposite Dundee, is about three English miles broad.
(3) Ork. 1909 Old-Lore Misc. II. iii. 130:
Modern mills were locally called "English" mills.
(4) Sc. 1754 J. Justice Sc. Gardiner 295:
They [variety of tulip] will contain an English Pint of Wine within their Petals or Flower-leaves.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (ed. Ferguson) No. 157:
I know you will make it a point never, at one time, to drink more than a pint of wine; (I mean an English pint).
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter ii.:
By the way, Wilkinson must get our ale bottled in English pints now, for a quart bottle is too much . . . for you and me.
(5) Abd. 1700 Burgh Rec. Abd. 332:
Those in the grammar school who are learneing to write shall only be taught by the masters of the high English school.
Ags. 1776 First Hist. Dundee (ed. Miller 1923) 172:
The publick English School and the Publick writing School are also in this Church yard.
Ayr. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 II. 94:
First, there is a grammar school, for the sole purpose of teaching Latin and other languages. . . . There is next an English school: the master of which has £10 of salary, 2s. 6d. per quarter from such as read English, 3s. from such as read English and write, and 4s. from those who are also taught arithmetic.
Sc. 1876 J. Grant Burgh Sch. Scot. 391:
It was not till 1812 that two separate classrooms were built for the masters of the grammar and English schools [m Forres].

II. n.

1. An Englishman.Sc. 1702 in Analecta Scot. (ed. Maidment 1834) 118–9:
I had a copy written . . . upon the place, in the time of the Englishes, of all the inscriptions then legible.
Sc. 1747 Culloden Papers (ed. Warrand 1930) V. 185:
They had 12 Englishes with them four.

2. Phrs.: (1) English and Scotch (Scots), a game played by schoolboys in imitation of the old Border raids; played in various ways in different parts of the country (Slg.3, Rxb.4 1943); for further details see A. B. Gomme Trad. Games (1898) II. 183–4. Rarely England and Scotland; cf. Scotch and English s.v. Scotch; (2) the English, the English language in contradistinction to the Gaelic. Gen. in Highland and n.Ir. districts; Inglis (literary archaism) the English language.(1) Ayr. 1780 J. Mitchell Memories Ayr. (S.H.S. Misc. VI.) 287:
The first of these we shall mention is the game called “English and Scotch.” It seems to have been borrowed from the Border Wars, and was played by boys alone. . . . Each laid hold of his opponent just before him and the object to be gained was by main force to draw him over the line, and thus to take him as it were captive.
Dmf. 1810 R. Cromek Remains 251–252:
England and Scotland. This boyish amusement seems to have had its origin from the more deadly games which our forefathers played upon the borders.
Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Aug.) 35:
The English and Scots used to be played by parties of boys, who, divided by a fixed line, endeavoured to pull one another across this line, or to seize, by bodily strength or nimbleness, a “wad” (the coats or hats of the players) from the little heap deposited in the different territories at a convenient distance.
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
English and Scotch. A common game among young people. . . . The baggage, or object of spoil, lies behind the line. . . . On the signal being given, the opposite parties rush forward, and endeavour to seize the spoil. He, who is taken within the line, is carried off as a prisoner. . . . He obtains no relief from captivity, unless one of his comrades can touch him and return to his own party unmolested by his assailants. . . . The game has obviously originated from the mutual incursions of the two nations.
(2) Per. 1903 H. MacGregor Souter's Lamp i.:
A fairm lassie that could hardly speak the English.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 27:
This warld's mishanter hes me pitten doun;
cairds skailin sudron Inglis aw aboot;
an no yae ward fir onie makar loun
but: Nane o yir auld-leid duans here. Get oot!

[O.Sc. has adj. Inglis, 1375, Englis(ch), a.1585, and Englishes, 1649.]

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"English adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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