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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.

OWLD, adj. Also ould; owl (Uls. 1931 Northern Whig (17 Dec.)). I., nn.Sc., Arg., and Uls. form of Eng. old. See also Old. For 1814 quot. see ib. 4. (5). [ʌuld]Sc. 1814 C. I. Johnstone Saxon and Gael II. vi.:
Flora made me a bowl of ould man's milk, but nothing would bring me round.
Ork. 1911 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 11:
It was not reckoned an easy task for the young man to “spier ”the owld man for his daughter.
Cai. 1922 J. Horne Poems 19:
And Jock is safe an' snoug inside Ma owld box bed!
Sh. 1924 T. Manson Peat Comm. 311:
Dere's shu, noo, at wis in a amp an a aet ta get hom, restless, restless, you know, awey fae da owld place.
Crm. 1933 D. A. Mackenzie Stroopie Well 4:
O' a' roon' Cromarty there's nane Can bake sic cake as my owld grannie.
Arg. 1936 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 23:
We bocht the owld reaper at a sale.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 37:
"Thoo kin tak a luk at some o' yin ould phottagraphs if thoo dinno believe id," answered Willie with a shrug.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 78:
Dan's word took them by surprise. 'The ould pump's no good.'

Comb.: ould woman, one's mother.Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 54:
'I have done,' admitted Dougie. 'Och but wi my father dead I couldna leave the ould woman.'

[The form ould appears in O.Sc. from 1529 but the above may be due to the adoption of colloq. Eng. pronunciation prob. in the second half of the 18th c.]

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"Owld adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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