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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GIN, prep., conj.1 Also †gain, gen. [gɪn, gɛn]

I. prep. 1. Of time: by, before, by the time that . . . comes (Sc. 1825 Jam., gen s.v. gin). Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.Sc. a.1765 Child Maurice in Child Ballads (1886) No. 83 E xxxiv.:
This lady she died gin ten o' clock, Lord Barnard died gin twall.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 34:
Gin this day fortnight we's be cut an' dry.
Gsw. 1777 Weekly Mag. (23 Oct.) 88:
I did na trow I'd see my jo, Beside me 'gain' the glowming.
Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 12:
Yet gin the gloamin' aff he set, Hame owre wi' speed.
Abd. 1879 G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie xiv.:
Gien't hadna been for my club we wad baith be owre the mune 'gain this time.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 229:
He gaed up through the Brig-en' gin four o'clock this mornin'.
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 198:
He'll tak' me as a 'prentice gin summer.
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 29:
My supper, an' awa' up tae the merchan's shop gin echt, Tae get my spleuchan filled wi' bogie-roll.
Gsw. 1939 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 268:
They gie'd him the blame of the serving lassie's bairn — Her at the Big House. A year gin May.

2. In anticipation of, in readiness for (a time or season) (Abd., Ags.2 1946).Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Tales (1813) 34:
We hae scarce ae starn O' fardel strae laid by 'gain Yeel.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 5:
The silks that war shapen for me gen Pasche They sall be sewed for thee.

3. = Eng. against (Sc. 1808 Jam., gen; Uls.4 1954).Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 85:
He could mak nae head gain' the water . . . and he was swoopit aff his feet.

II. conj. By that time that, when; before; until (sometimes followed by that). Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Also in Eng. dial.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 70:
We'll cast about, an' come upo' the boucht, . . . Gin we get there, 'tis time to milk the ky.
Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 39:
They'll a' revive gin spring return.
Ags. 1827 A. Laing Archie Allan 12:
Gin the daylight came in — he had worn awa'.
wm.Sc. 1903 “S. Macplowter” Mrs McCraw 74:
The kitchen's guid eneuch fur ye, an' owre guid. Ye'll set there, gin A tell the minister.
Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 81:
Her greatest time was gin the simmer veesitors an' the shootin' folk cam aboot the district.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 8:
An' syne begood to delve the yaird, Gin that his parritch were weel air'd; For Tam bood ha'e them cüil an' set.

[Aphetic forms of Again, prep., with shortened vowel due to lack of stress.]

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"Gin prep., conj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2023 <>



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