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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.

NOO, adv. Also nou, nu (Abd. 1829 A. Cruickshank Poems 34; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). Gen. (exc. s.) Sc. forms of Eng. now. The s.Sc. form is reg. now. See P.L.D. § 101. Wodrow in his Letters and Analecta spells the Eng. form as nou. [nu:]em.Sc. 1979 Alan Bold in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 38:
Noo lang ago a ghaistie cam'
Tae tell whaur it was hid,
An' a shepherd laddie made a tryst
Tae dae what he was bid.
m.Sc. 1979 William J. Tait in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 37:
Nou, ayont the trees ...
There liggs a nest, an eyrie, quate
This fifteen months.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
The 'Big Fella' (fortaivert nou)
hauds her in's airms jist lang eneuch,
syne gies her owre tae the Ambulance-men,
wm.Sc. 1987 Anna Blair Scottish Tales (1990) 19:
'You cannae help me noo Mary, but keep you safe my papers.'
Then he put the fiddle to his chin and played a defiant rant all the way to the gallows.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 26:
They maun be ettlan
tae be hame nou,
my puir wee hurtit bairnies.
Fif. 1994 Nellie Watson in Joan Watson Memories and Reflections: An East Neuk Anthology 1:
It's Anster herbour I've in mind
As I gan back throughoot the years,
Sae much wis dune tae pit it richt
And noo the HERRING disappears!.
m.Sc. 1994 John Burns in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 27:
The rain was nou a wee thing heavier an made an unco queer rustlin soun as it drappt throu the leafs abuin his heid.
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 16:
Noo wirkmen redraw wi care
These pincil guidelines,
Scrieve again the names -
History rewritten yince mair.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 30:
The loons ye daunlit on yer knee
Are young men noo ...

Sc. usages in Combs. and Phrs.: 1. ae noo, aye nu, see Eenoo and cf. 8.; 2. noodays, nowadays. Rare. The Gen.Sc. form is nooadays; 3. noo an' sae, nu —, so-so, middling, mediocre, neither good nor bad (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); I.Sc. 1964); of persons: erratic in temperament or skill. See Sae; 4. noo an' (th)an, noos an' t(h)ans. -thens, -dans (Ork. 1904 Dennison Orcad. Sk. 27), -(n)an(s), -an(ce), nous-, noo an aan, now and then, now and again, from time to time (Sc. 1821 Scots Mag. (April) 352, 1867 N. Macleod Starling i.; Abd. 1882 G. Macdonald Castle Warlock vii.; Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister iv.; Bnff. 1917 Banffshire Jnl. (9 Oct.) 5; ne.Sc. 1964). Also attrib. and in form at noos an' nans, etc. (w. and s.Sc. 1887 Jam.); 5. noo-in (or a)-times, nowadays (Sh. 1964, -a-); 6. noonae, noona(-na), nownae, -ny, (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), -nih, there now!, well then!, now then!, well, really! (Rxb. 1942 Zai), used as an expression of soothing or sympathy or of mild remonstrance (m. and s.Sc. 1964). See Na, adv.3, Na, int.; 7. noos an' again, now and again. Cf. 4.; 8. the noo, (1) just now, at present, at the moment, just a moment ago. Gen.Sc.: (2) in a moment, presently, forthwith. Gen.Sc. Also i(n) the noo. Construed as a n. but actually a corruption of Eenoo, Evenoo. Cf. 1.1. Abd. 1829 A. Cruickshank Poems 34:
An jest aye nu, me an' some mair Were up amo' the heather there.
Bnff. 1895 N. Roy Horseman's Word i.:
Jean will be wi' us ae noo.
2. Per. 1893 R. Ford Harp Per. 347:
Noo-days, nae flesh-kind can we keep, But chockit kye, an' brazy sheep.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 32:
Gin ye miss the sizzon noodays, ye jist aboot miss the crap.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 33:
The lacey-work they're daein nooadays is awfy intricate!
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 20:
Who can afford tae feed a big dug nooadays? It wiz probably a chihuahua.
3. Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 239:
A' Sunday da wadder wis noo an' sae — a kind o' wasterly röd.
4. Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. I. 22:
I pray'd but now and than.
Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. MS. 74:
At nows an thens, I wou'd my Henny see An' that made ev'ry Labour sweet to me.
Sc. 1824 S. Ferrier Inheritance II. xxx.:
“You have seen your minister, then, I suppose?” “Oo aye, honest man! he ca's in nows and thans.”
Gsw. 1862 J. Gardner Jottiana 30:
An' noos-an'-tans she frae her lip. The auld black cutty pipe did grip.
Bnff. 1872 W. Philip It 'ill a' come Richt xii:
I've been . . . gien a look for you, noos an 'an, this half-oor.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xxvii.:
Ye hae run ower to the “Black Bull” for a gless or two at noo's-an'-nan's.
Dmf. 1913 J. L. Waugh Cracks wi' R. Doo v.:
A consecrated spot in my auld hert . . . which, by noo-and-then communin's, I hae keepit it fresh and green.
Fif. 1916 G. Blaik Rustic Rhymes 39:
Some flaffins o' snaw jist noos an' nans fa'in.
Sc. 1935 D. Rorie Lum Hat 31:
It would be A weary warld gin we tint the chance O' daein' an antrin kindness noos an' ance.
Abd. 1993:
Noo an aan I tak a danner throwe e widdie.
5. Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 188:
Noo-in-times dis young men winna even go ta da craigs at dir very door.
6. Sc. 1843 Willie Armstrong i. iv.:
Noo-na, noo-na, Lizzie — dinna tak on o' that gaet.
Sc. 1861 C. Roger Sc. Character 46:
Tapping affectionately the wounded branch, he exclaimed, in an old Scotch phrase intended to avert complaint, “Noo-na, noo-na!”
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xliv.:
“Noo na — noo na,” says she, aye fleechin' like.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xiii.:
Ay did she, noo-na-na!
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 16:
Now nih! Ee ir a clever lassie. Now nih! Look what ee've duin.
Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie iii. ii. 3:
“Nownie, nownie,” expostulated Jeanie soothingly, talking as if to a child.
Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 103:
Noonae, lassie [a mare], here ye are.
7. Kcb. 1896 A. J. Armstrong Kirkiebrae vi.:
Ye can come an' gie's a han' noo's an' again.
8. (1) Abd. 1720 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 87:
I have little hops of him but can't gett off for a few days not having settled with him the now.
Rnf. 1828 Paisley Mag. 247:
It helps very much to make us cheery the now, as we are rather dull at this time of the year.
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 217:
Nae i-the-noo; wait a fillie.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums ii.:
The servant gaed in to Duff's the noo.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) iv.:
It's the auldness we're taen up aboot i' the noo.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xvii.:
There's no' muckle faut to fin' wi' the wather the noo.
Uls. 1908 Traynor (1953):
Where are you going the noo? How are you the noo?
(2) Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders v.:
Tell my mither I'll be doon the noo!
Fif. 1902 D. S. Meldrum Conquest of Charlotte ii. i.:
Tell her to hasten, for I'll be back i' the now.
Abd. 1912 G. Greig Mains's Wooin' 43:
Even suppose he disna come back the noo.
Knr. 1925 H. Haliburton Horace 216:
O gin I were a doo I wad flie awa the noo.
Slg. 1929 Scotch Readings (Paterson) 9:
I'll tak' a dauner ower to the village wi' it the noo.
Gsw. 1987 James Kelman Greyhound for Breakfast (1988) 119:
Hey I hope it's ready the now Brenda!
Aye it's ready the now! she says.
Edb. 1991 Gordon Legge In Between Talking about the Football 99:
'Nah, you're all right. Just emulsioned it for the now. Maybe get some tiles for around the sink.'
Sth. 1996 Eddie Davies in Timothy Neat The Summer Walkers: Travelling People and Pearl-Fishers in the Highlands of Scotland 41:
Next year she's getting married to a great young man from Invergordon - but for the now she's still here looking after me.

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"Noo adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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