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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LOSS, v. Also loass,  ¶losh (Abd. 1920 C. L. Hay When the Cat's Awa' 3; loass Abd., Edb.; loss 2000s). Only in inf. and pres.t.: to lose, in all senses (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., also found in n.Eng. dial. Hence losser, one who loses; lossie, of sown crops: showing gaps in germination, thin, scanty in coming up. [los, s.Sc. †lʊəs]Sc. 1701 Laing MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm.) II. 4:
The pairtie losser by his said dog or grayhound obleidges him to pay to the other pairtie gainer or winner.
Sc. 1706 R. Wodrow Early Letters (S.H.S.) 287:
Ane intire union, if by it we losse our Parliament.
Sc. 1745 Hist. MSS. Comm. Report VI. 718:
I, without lossing a moment, wrote him to that effect.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 112:
Whane'er we Reputation loss Fair Chastity's transparent gloss!
Cld. 1825 Jam.:
A lossie braird; the corn-lan' is unco lossie the year.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb i.:
Come awa' noo an' nae loss the mornin'.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 57:
Hid's better for dee tae loss thee leg . . . or loss the hael croopan.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xv.:
I wouldna wonder but what I was lossin' my place some o' thae days.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xxiii.:
Ye wadna loss ocht lately, did ye, guid wife?
Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 187:
Dir lossin dir owld vigour, an' growin' up puir aamis beins.
Uls. 1929 W. F. Marshall Ballads 80:
Sure we're only lossin' time.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 42:
"Desh, if a fella disno want a fat wife he's justeefied in tellin' her, an' if the lass disno tak' steps tae get her weight doon shae kinno compleen if shae losses him. ... "
Gsw. 1958 C. Hanley Dancing in the Streets 118:
Where's yer manners, lettin' a fella go an' loss hissel, lookin' for a caur? Come on, surr.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 33:
"Ye thievan wee pyat, its tane or its tither,
Deil kens yer wame maun be whummlan aroun"
but naa, tho I'm lossan the rag aathegither,
yon dour feckless tyke is biddan abuin.
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 11:
Ye must be shair ae yirsel tae risk loassin thirty cents!
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 158:
' ... First he was pit oot o the clerkship o the guild o hammermen and noo he's been chairged wi disruptin their elections. He could loss the richt tae practise his craft, or be sent tae the Tolbooth himsel. ... '

Phr. to loss the head, To lose one's temper, become overexcited. Cf. to lose the heid s.v. lose v. 3.Gsw. 1980s:
Loss the heid.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 56:
Noo, noo dinny get excited!
Dinnae loss the heid! That's no how wrongs git righted.
Edb. 2005:
Dinnae you loss the heid wi me!

[Prob. a back-formation from the pa.t. lost (see Lose).]

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"Loss v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2024 <>



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