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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 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 8 Jun 2023 <>



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