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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

OUR, pron. Also oor. Absolute form oors. Gen.Sc. As in Eng. belonging to us. See P.L.D. § 38. For unstressed form see Wir.

Hence oorsel(l)(s), ourselves. The usage described in 1903 quot. applies to most parts of Scot. [u:r]Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 15:
Doin' well oursells, we canna help Tho' a' friends binna steddy.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Death and Dr. Hornbook ii.:
That e'er he nearer comes oursel 's a muckle pity!
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxviii.:
Sae mony o' us as thought oursells sib to the family when the gear was parting.
Edb. 1864 A. Logan Auld Reekie Musings 13:
Ne'er let it be said that oor hearts are like airn.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlix.:
“Fat neist,” thinks I! “The gryte goodwife callin' o' oorsel', a peer indwaller i' the hirehoose.”
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister ii.:
He was ayont the cluds afore we could get oor books shut, oot o' sicht gin we gat oorsel's settled in oor seats.
s.Sc. 1903 N.E.D.:
In mod. South Sc. oursel is collective, oursels is individual; e.g. “we do everything oursel”, but “we'll settle it atween oursels”.
Ags. 1918 J. Inglis The Laird 8:
Oor Jock's the ane intae the hoose Wha's watch rows up an' gaes.
Ork. 1920 H. Campbell Island Folk Songs 13:
We maun feed them afore we tak 'oors.
Rxb. 1961 W. Landles Penny Numbers 24:
Guid gie us mense when ocht against us tells, To hae a herty lauch whiles at oorsels!
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 52:
'The hope is oursels. We waste far too muckle breath complaining and girning about politicians and taxes and what not, ... '
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 6:
'Twixt Ruberslaw an Warbla Knowe
Yince, Christopher we'd meet
For ae sicht o' the tither
Asklent burn water rummlin at oor feet!
Gsw. 1999 Anne Donovan in Moira Burgess and Donny O'Rourke New Writing Scotland 17: Friends and Kangaroos 36:
Oor hair is soakin, plastered tae wer heids and wee dreeps run doon the back of yer neck.

Phrs.: 1. oor ane, -een, -yin, our one, an oblique way of referring to one's own wife or husband (cf. Eng. dial. our 'un, id.) (Ayr. 1889 H. Johnston Glenbuckie xv.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Sc., Uls. 1964), and, in pl., to the members of one's own family (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., 1942 Zai; Uls. 1964). See also Ane, III. (5); 2. oor lane(s), see Lane; 3.they're aw oot o step but oor Tam, humorous expression used ironically when one person is out of step (lit. or fig.) with everyone else (Ork., Bnff., Ags., Fif., Edb., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s) (... oor Jock Cai. 2000s). Cf. similar usage of Eng. they're all out of step except our Johnny.Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems & Sk. 98:
Oor ane wad likely be in an awfu' state by this time, if she wasna in bed.
Bwk. 1912 J. Burleigh Ednam 141:
There is a quiet pride in one another, as when the husband speaks of his wife, and the wife of her husband as “Oor yin.”
Rxb. 1914 Hawick News (31 July) 4:
“Oor yin was juist speakin' aboot them nae ferther gane than last nicht,” said Mrs Brown.

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"Our pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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