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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PROFESSOR, n. Sc. usages:

1. One who makes open profession of religious faith, an acknowledged adherent of some religious doctrine. Occas. in Eng. dial. and also in U.S. Cf. professionist, s.v. Profession, n., 2.Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xxx.:
“As he was a professor, he would drive a nail for no man on the Sabbath, or kirkfast.” . . . The hearer . . . internally wondered what college this veterinary professor belonged to; not aware that the word was used to denote any person who pretended to uncommon sanctity of faith and manner.
Peb. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 95:
Ye great professors, ane and a' O'er human frailty dinna craw.
n.Sc. 1881 Good Words 236–7:
“The Men” . . . represent an advanced, not to say an exaggerated, form of the belief held by those among whom they live. They are regarded by those around them with reverence as men of specially holy lives, and, from their pronounced avowal of religion, are often called “professors”.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy ii.:
I ken the young man is no a great professor.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood viii.:
The fosy professor that wags his pow and deplores the wickedness o' the land.

2. An artificial fly used in fishing (see 1966 quot.).Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1864) IV. 27:
Sae I just thocht I wad try the Fruid wi' the flee, and put on a professor.
Sc. 1966 W. H. Lawrie Sc. Trout Flies 81:
The Professor, named after its originator, Professor John Wilson (‘Christopher North'), is thought to date back to 1825.

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"Professor n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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