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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.

MAY, v. Sc. forms: 1st and 3rd pers. sing. may, unstressed or shortened ma (s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 320), esp. in phrs. fient or deil ma care (Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 99; Sc. 1825 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 19); 2nd pers. sing. may (Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 266). Neg. forms mayna (Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 99; Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 55; Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables 9, Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 19). Gen.Sc.; manie, mennie (Sc. c.1805 Child Ballads (1956) V. 270); ¶maunna (Slk. 1899 C. M. Thomson Drummeldale 129); minna (Abd. 1811 Garland of Bon Accord (1886) 37). For pa.t. see Micht. Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 142:
She was nice-looking, though. Maybe I'll see her again. Ach, but she mayna stop here long. Another one o them shither that think living in the country is great, escape fae the toon and come here wi their dreams and their bit money, doing their grand ecological thing, wi no a clue as to what it's really like.

[The reduced form ma appears in O.Sc. from 1375 and in Mid.Eng.]

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"May v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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