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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

IT, pers. pron. Also et (Fif. 1864 St Andrews Gazette (19 Nov.)); unemphatic 't; id, 'd (see D, 5., 6.). See also Hit, pron. Sc. usages:

1. In regard to word-order, it, when a direct obj., is reg. in Sc. placed after an indirect object, in contrast to Eng., e.g. show me it, gie the bairn 't, etc. (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 62; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 191; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc.

2. = Eng. so, in reference to a statement just made or an opinion expressed. Gen.Sc.Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 196:
I dout it — I suppose so.
Arg. 1936 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 20:
Did the steamer lee Glaisca this mornin? I don't think it.
Abd. 1956:
“Is't gaan tae keep dry, think ye?” “I wadna say 't.”

3. In a loose sense: things in general, circumstances, often pleonastically used in various idiomatic phrs.: (1) about it, about one's usual state of health (Sh., Per., Slg., Knr., Lth., Dmf., s.Sc. 1958); (2) awa wi't, by wi't, throw wi't, done for, ruined in health or fortune. Gen.Sc.; (3) this (that) o't, this (that) state of affairs (Ork., n.Sc., Fif. 1958), sometimes equivalent to Eng. “on earth”; hence for that o't, for that matter (n.Sc., em.Sc., Kcb. 1958).Ayr. 1792 Burns Duncan Gray ii.:
Ha, ha, the wooing o't.
  Dmf. 1821 Carlyle Early Life (Froude 1882) I. 99:
You mind I hod if not your hand, I hod your foot of it.
Sc. 1837 Chambers's Jnl. (16 Dec.) 373:
Stay where they were born! that would be a set o't.
s.Sc. 1837 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 405:
It will be mirk dark-an' there's nae moon-ere we mak Glencairn cave o't.
(1) Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xvi.:
Hendry . . . said that Jess was “juist about it”, or “aff and on”, which does not tell much.
(2) Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 48:
I'm sair by wi' 't. Wad he lat's hear a bit wordie o' prayer?
Bnff. 1934 J. M. Caie Kindly North 25:
Ye're sair awa' wi't, Donal' man. I doot ye're gey near deen.
(3) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlv.:
“Eh whow!” ejaculated the honest farmer, as he looked round upon his friend's miserable apartment and wretched accommodation — “What's this o't! What's this o't!”
Mry. 1829 Elgin Liter. Mag. 64:
“Fat's this o't!” exclaimed the worthy old son of St Crispin, as he thus saw himself and his spouse in a moment enveloped in a dense cloud of “peat reek.”
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod i.:
Maister Sutherlan'! wha's that o't?
Lnk. 1887 A. Wardrop Midcauther Fair 242:
I never expectit it would come to this o't.
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston iii.:
It would only need that of it next!
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-net 162:
It came to that o't wi' me last Sabbath day.
Fif. 1926 I. Farquhar Pickletillie 215:
“What's this o't, Pete?” said the grieve. “Can ye read what it says?”
Abd. 1956:
I wadna gie a snuff for the factor — nor for the laird himsel, for that o't.

4. As an indefinite demonstrative, corresp. to Eng. there. Mostly in ballads. Obs. in Eng.Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 2:
Then out it speaks a guid auld man.

5. As a possess. = its (I. and ne.Sc., m.Lth., Bwk. 1958). Rare in liter. use. The possess. is also expressed by the periphrastic o't, o'd, gen., when used of a person, inferring pity or contempt. Cf. also itlane s.v. Lane.Sc. 18th c. Sc. Musical Museum v. 470:
Wap and rowe, wap and row, Wap and row the feetie o't.
Sc. 1836 Chambers's Jnl. V. 41:
What a puir pinglin' thing yon wean o' Mrs Peter's is turnin', and what a hauchty madam the mither o't is.
s.Sc. 1873 J. A. H. Murray D.S.C.S. 192:
Instead of its heid, its han'le, its eyn, are generally used the heid o'd, the han'le o'd, the eyn o'd.
Ags., Per. 1901 N.E.D.:
See at the cat pittin up it paw and clawin it head.
Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 191:
Fair play tells the sel o'd, i.e. speaks for itself.
n.Sc. 1920 L. M. Watt Douglas's Aeneid 172:
A woman in the North will say that a child has “bladdit it hand.”
Abd. 1929 Stories of Young Aberdeen 30:
Mrs McInnes got a son at 9 o'clock last night. Both doing well. Your truly, It Father.

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"It pers. pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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