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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.

OUTLAND, n., adj., v.  Also oot-, -lin. [′utlən]

I. n. 1. Outlying land, the rough ground on the outskirts or periphery of any arable tract of country, marginal land. Also fig.; in 1786 quot. prob. = Outfield.Abd. 1786 Session Papers, Milne v. Turner (20 July) 9:
George Annand in Ardlethen collected a great number of horses, and sowed out all the outland.
ne.Sc. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 8:
Oot-lan' an' fun an' heddir riven in, drains howkit, open stanks redd awa'.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xviii.:
She was too excited over Robin to give Aunt Josephine much but the ootlins of her mind.

2. From attrib. use with body, fowk, etc.: an outsider, stranger, alien, an outcast or Ishmael, one who is shunned or ignored in his family or among his acquaintances or colleagues (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1964); the weakling of a brood or family, the black sheep (Ork., w.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Derivs.: outlander, id. (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Sh. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 315; e.Lth. 1910 J. P. Reid Skipper's Daughters 37; Uls. 1953 Traynor); dim. form outlandic, a strange or alien thing.Bwk. 1763 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club XXXI. 125:
This roul is for the outlings.
Bnff. 1792 Trans. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 441:
The pink, the pansy, and the gowan, The saucy girl has lang despis't, And noght but rair outlandics pris't.
Ags. 1819 J. Ross Angus-shire Chaplet 41:
A pretty lass like me Wha winna live an outland in creation, O.
Ags. 1825 Jam.:
She treats him like an outlan. He's used like a mere outlan about the house.
Dmf. 1875 P. Ponder Kirkcumdoon 82:
The man's a kind o' ootlin' yet, and sudna be treated like a kent face amang us.
Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers 24:
Gin ye dinna want yer wife to be an outlin, ye maun juist draw yer huggar.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness xix.:
The New Road had not been made in the sweat of Tamson's brow and the language of his mouth for such as this outlander to run races upon.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 176:
If it was supposed that a girl or boy “clypit” to the “maister,” and he administered “pawmies,” such an one was ever after distrusted, and made “an ootlin' for weeks.”
Abd. 1935 J. White Sea Road ix.:
With dismay she saw herself as an outlin, an outsider, no longer of the same breed as Granny and Grandpa.
ne.Sc. 1958 Jessie Kesson The White Bird Passes (1987) 118:
Nor had she outgrown her affinity with what grandmother would have called "Ne'er do weels", the Lane "Riff Raff", and Skeyne "Ootlins". Skeyne's word was the best word. The most accurately descriptive. Ootlins. Queer folk who were "oot" and who, perversely enough, never had any desire to be "in".
Rnf. 1994 Herald 15 Sep 14:
To ootlanders (all the people in the universe who miss being Paisley people) it sounds a laugh. To the wider world everything about Paisley can be a laugh.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 21:
I wis a stranger chiel in a strange laan,
An ootlin wannert back by some mischance
To tak a teet at the place far he eest to be.
Abd. 2000 Herald 26 Jun 19:
Sookie's life took a decided downturn. For all Potions' efforts she was not as strong as those brought up naturally. She was an ootlin and took awful hidings from her half sisters.

II. adj., from attrib. use of n.: of things: outlying, remote, distant, foreign; of persons: living outside the bounds of a town or district, coming from a remote place, alien, strange, outcast.Ags. 1729 Arbroath T.C. Rec. MS. 79:
The loss the Toun is att by outland Burgers pretending to be free for half custom and will not pay Cess.
Sc. 1732 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 226:
Blyth British tunes Which ane and a' began to slight For outland crunes.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 261:
May finer verdure busk ilk outland bent.
Sc. 1835 Wilson's Tales of the Borders II. 116:
Wife an' bairns laugh at me — I'm treated like an outlan' body an' a fule.
Sc. 1874 W. Allan Hamespun Lilts 55:
To be an anti-kirk-gaun ootlan' chiel.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) iii.:
He ca's the Baptists an' Independents an' sic-like juist a kurn ootlan' scrowy craturs.
Kcd. 1900 Crockett Stickit Minister's Wooing 276:
This ill, ootland place, where we bide amang fremit and unco folk that hate us.
Ags. 1903 E.D.D.:
An ootland creater, a tramp, vagabond.
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 31:
In siccan a dreech ootlin orrie airt
ane wurld an groo but growthieness
that skyles in aa its sairie stanes
or the groo gangs lirt i the luft
sae nane may lippen ont.
Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 59:
An up abuin sweings aw the outlin sterns,
ferr brichter nor A've ever seen afore,
sprekkilt frae here until Infinitie,
skinklin thair lane throu aw Eternitie.

III. v. To shun, ignore.Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 49:
Sin he'd been knee-heich tae a chunty, he'd seen foo fowk treated the byordinar, the deviant-they war fremmit kye in a pedigree herd o normals; ferlies tae be lichtlified, ootlinned an peetied.

[From Out + Land. The form in -lin suggests that the word was sometimes thought of as a deriv. in -ling as fondling, weakling, etc. O.Sc. has outlandis men, 1475, outlens, of burgesses, 1529.]

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"Outland n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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