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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.

NAITHER, adv., conj., pron. Also na(e)ther, neethernayther (Rxb. 1916 Kelso Chron. (4 Aug.) 2), ne(y)ther; na(e)der, naider, nedder (Sh., Bnff. 1880 Jam.; Abd. 1926 M. Argo Makkin o' John 7), -ir (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 152), neder (Sh. 1896 J. Hunter Last Foy (1947) 6), neider (Abd. 1934 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 121), nidder (Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 42), near. = Eng. neither. Cf. Aither, Ether, adv., pron., conj. Sometimes in double neg. constructions. Phr. (an') naither-wonder, and no wonder! (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lnk. 1947 G. Rae Sandy McCrae 39). [′neðər; I. and ne.Sc. + ′nedər]Slg. 1716 Trans. Slg. Arch. Soc. (1924) 40:
The said Thomas said he wold not give no obedience nor anser the tread upon no accompt and hie did alow nather Deckon nor tread.
Sc. 1745 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 306:
Nether horse, cow, sheep, or goat.
Slk. a.1832 T. Craig-Brown Hist. Slk. (1886) I. 519:
“Are you an atheist?” “No that naither.”
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ii.:
Nedder able to manage their awcres themsel's, nor can get ither fowk that can dee't for them.
Sh. 1888 J. M. E. Saxby Lads of Lunda 90:
Puir Gibbie can nedder gang like fish or bird.
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston viii.:
Here I am, wi' nayther man nor bairn.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 63:
Naether o' us steekit an e'e.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 48:
There's comfort naether oot nor in.
Abd. 1929 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 130:
Lang seen news traivelt naeder fast nor far.
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 6:
Ah shouda gubbed him wan. That guy wisnae the clean tattie, near he wiz.
Sc. 1991 William Wolfe in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 65:
Naither tree nor creepie-crawlie cratur
Nor burd is sauf on the hill's shouther nou.
Slg. 1993:
Neither wonder - no wonder.
Edb. 1994 Douglas McKenzie in James Roberston A Tongue in Yer Heid 2:
Mind you Granny wis nae angel neether. She wis a wee bit feckless an awfu fond o a dram.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 69:
At gloamin, it didna dwine neither, ...
Ayr. 1999:
He'll no be awa aw day, nether he will
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 13:
Oor Margaret is naethir late,
nor blate, at comin forrit.

Derivs.: naithers (Sc. 1818 Sawers; Ayr. 1888 R. Young Galston Characters 32), naitherans (Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems II. 179), -ins (ne.Sc. 1963), netherans, -ance (Arg. 1882 Arg. Herald (3 June)), naetherins; naederin (Abd. 1926 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 111), nedderen (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), -in (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 228), -ins (Sh.), neddarin, reg. after a neg. and so = Eng. either, adv. and pron. Cf. Etherin.Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 122:
Their auld Fore-fathers, Who warnae sumphs at dressin', naithers.
Edb. 1826 M. & M. Corbett Odd Volume 363–4:
“Nor frae the stye? ” “No, frae that naetherins.”
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 591:
Meabee du kens na himm neddarin.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxix.:
Nae fusky, nor a pistol nedderin!
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
A dinna like naitherins o' them.
Rxb. 1927 Kelso Chron. (7 Jan.) 4:
Maist o' her bairns wasna nae great shake naithers.
Abd.1 1931:
The toosht wad nedderins haud the ploo. nor wag his heid in a poopit.

[O.Sc. nather, neither, from 1438, either directly from O.E. nāðer, neither, North. Mid.Eng. nather, or on analogy with Aither. either, as Eng. neither. Cf. Nowther. For the forms in -in(s), see -In(g), suff., 3.]

Naither adv., conj., pron.

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"Naither adv., conj., pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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