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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.

EVENDOON, adj., adv., n. Also evendoun, -down; eivendoon (Cai.), eindown; eenddoon (Rxb.). [′i:vəndun Sc., but Cai. ′eivən-, s.Sc. ′i:n-; †′əin-]

I. adj.

1. Straight, perpendicular, esp. of a very heavy and continuous fall of rain (Sc. 1808 Jam., -doun; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 200; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn., -down; Cai. 1900 E.D.D., -doon). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 165:
They [Dutch women] are quite even down in the back.
Edb. 1786 G. Robertson Har'st Rig (1794) lxxxiii.:
For now it turns an eident blast, An even-down pour!
Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam Boat x.:
Before we were well out of the Park, an even-down thunder-plump came on, that not only drookit the Doctor to the skin, but made my sky-blue silk clothes cling like wax to my skin.
Sc. 1824 S. E. Ferrier Inheritance II. xvi.:
The rain, which had hitherto fallen at intervals, in an indecided manner, now burst forth, in what in Scotland is emphatically called an even-down pour.
Arg.1 1937:
Ye nuvver saa sich rain: it wuz an even doon poor frae mornin tae nicht.

2. Sheer, absolute, downright, out and out (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Ags.2, Kcb.10 1944).Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs ll. 205–206:
But Gentlemen, an' Ladies warst, Wi' ev'n down want o' wark are curst.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck I. 160:
“Gude faith, Jock, man,” said he, “Ye're just telling a hirsel o' eindown lees.”
Ayr. 1826 Galt Lairds xiv.:
And what think you got I for telling her the true even-doun fact?
Sc. a.1856 G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 14:
We may now best free oursels o' that unnatural band, either by a backspang . . . or by an evendown cassin o' the bargain.
Edb. 1860 A. Wanless Poems (1873) 11:
And e'en at times been on the brink O' even-doon despair.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 53:
An auld wife ahint them, weel rowed in her mutch, When seen frae the street, looks an evendoun wutch.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xxiii.:
I mind o' the Laddy Partan an' Mistress Girnigo . . . haein'a fair evendoon fecht.

3. Specif., in a good sense, usu. of persons: honest, straightforward, frank, sincere, downright, genuine (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 10, eend-doon; Bnff.2, Slg.3, m.Lth.1, Arg.3, Rxb.4 1944). Also used fig.Sc. 1701–31 R. Wodrow Anatecta (M.C.) II. 240:
He could not understand the reason why they wer not plain and even-doun.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 26:
Now, gin our evendoun folk wad thole A tale, hauf leanin' to the droll.
Ayr. 1875 A. L. Orr Poems 9:
She had an evendoun an' open heart.
Ags. 1892 A. Reid Howetoon 117:
Tartan, laddies, tho' I say't mysel'; rale even doon kilt claith.
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (12 April) 4:
That's the even-doon truth, Davie.

Hence evendoonness, e'endoonness, honesty, frankness, candour (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sc. 1777 Weekly Mag. (8 May) 201:
They hae frankness, Sir, and mair evendownness about them.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 120:
But dinna blame me for my evendoonness.

II. adv. Absolutely. completely, downright (Bnff.2 1944). Also found in Cum., Wm. and Yks. dials.Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1856) III. 275:
I even-doun deny the propriety, as weel's the applicability, o' the apothegm.
Ayr. 1891 H. Johnston Kilmallie xix.:
Man, Robert, that's an even doon good shot.

III. n. Candour, frankness (from I. 3, above).Sc. 1698 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S. 1937) 2:
I was never for complements for, if the etymology hold, Complementare is but complete mentiri, but as our Scotch proverb is, for broad even doun.

[Even, adj., adv. + Doon, adj., adv.1]

Evendoon adj., adv., n.

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"Evendoon adj., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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