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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SAND, n., v. Also saun(d); sa(a)n, sawn. Sc. forms and usages. [sɑn(d), sǫn(d)]

I. n.

Sc. forms of Eng. sand.Sc. 1991 John McDonald in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 90:
A stowp stobbed i the steirin sauns
o the warl's indifference.
Slg. 1993 Janet Paisley in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 174:
ye cannae staun
in saun
cannae git gaun
gits in yer claes
an atween yer taes
Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 58:
... the touers we bigged yestrein murls doun ti saund,
an synds ti heiliegoleirie in the sea.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 57:
Hie wins, gey snell, dreich rain anaa
an saun fae Africa can blaw.

Sc. usages:

As in Eng. Phrs. the lang sands, see Lang, I. 6. (46); to tak the sands, to make for the sea, to flee the country, to “clear out”.Ayr. 1786 Burns To W. Simpson xxvi.:
An' auld-light caddies bure sic hands, That faith, the youngsters took the sands.

Combs. and deriv. (freq. alternating with Sandie, q.v.): 1. sand backie, the sand-martin, Riparia riparia (Ags. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 57). See Backie, n.4; 2. sand-bed, (1) fig. one with unlimited capacity for drink, a toper, a “soak” (Fif. 1969); (2) a district of Hawick, in phr. San'bed English, a kind of English affected by a Hawick speaker, containing an unconscious mixture of Scots locutions (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1969); 3. san(d)-blin(d), as in Eng., half-blind; specif. having the poor sight associated with albinism, blind-fair (see Blin, adj., 4. (11)) (Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 91., 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh. 1969). Arch. or dial. in Eng.; 4. sand-bunker, a sandy pit or hollow with steep sheltering sides, now commonly in reference to one on a golf-course. Gen.Sc. See Bunker, n., 7.; 5. sand-chapping, the pounding or beating of sand for sale as a scouring agent. See Chap, v.; 6. sand-clapper, a shrimp, Crangon vulgaris, (Abd. 1815 J. Arbuthnot Fishes 60, 1890 Gregor MSS.); 7. sand cleek, a local nickname for an Aberdonian (Bch. coast 1950); 8. sand-cock, the redshank, Tringa totanus (Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 63; Bwk. 1902 A. Thomson Lauder 287); 9. sand-dab, the dab, Pleuronectes limanda (Bnff. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.; Abd., Ayr., Wgt., Kcb. 1969). Cf. 16. and 26.; 10. sand-desk, a school-desk with a tray top containing sand in which children learned to make their letters, a feature of the system of education advocated by Rev. Andrew Bell (1753–1832) in imitation of an Indian practice; the infant or beginners'class in a school; 11. sand dorbie, the sandpiper, Tringa hypoleucos (Mry., Abd. 1969). See Dorbie, 3.; 12. sand-draucht, a secondary keel on which a beached boat rests when lying on its side; 13. sand-dyke, a wall of sand or gravel in coalmine-workings (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 57); 14. san(d)al, sannal, san(d)il, san(d)le, (1) the sand-eel, Ammodytes (Abd. 1891 Trans. Bch. Field Club II. 13, 1903 G. Sim Fauna of “Dee” 243; Cai., ne.Sc., Fif. 1969), and combs. sanal barrie, a small oblong woven basket used for carrying sand-eels as bait (Abd. 1930), sand-eel-bill, the greater weever, Trachinus draco (Ayr. 1880 F. Day Fishes I. 80); (2) the smelt, Osmerus eperlanus (wm.Sc. 1887 Jam.); ¶15. sand-flag, flag sand-stone; 16. sand-fleuk, the smear-dab, Microstomus kitt (em.Sc. 1808 Wernerian Soc. Mem. I. 537; Bnff., Fif. 1969). Also in reduced dim. form sandie (Fif. 1952). Cf. 9. and 27.; 17. sand-greemy, of soil: sandy with a mixture of black earth (Ork. 1929 Marw.). For greemy see Grimet; 18. sand iron, an iron-headed golf-club with a sharply-sloping face used to “lift” the ball out of a sand-bunker or the like; 19. sand-jumper, a sand-flea (Gall. 1904 E.D.D.; Mry., Ayr. 1969). See 25.; 20. sand-kep, a dam of sand made by children on a beach (Ayr. 1969); 21. sand-knocker, one who knocks or pounds sand as in 5.; 22. sand-laverock, -lavro, -lairag (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.), -lark, the sandpiper, Tringa hypoleucos (Ork. 1877 Sc. Naturalist (Jan.) 9; Ayr. 1909 Science Gossip (Aug.) 227). Given also, phs. more correctly, as the ringed plover (Ork. 1891 Buckley and Harvie-Brown Fauna Ork. 203), see 24.; 23. sandlin, the sand-eel (Bnff. 1969). See 14. Obs. in Eng. since 16th c.; 24. san(d)lo(o), sanlou, sinlo(o), the ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula (Ork. 1877 Sc. Naturalist (Jan.) 9, 1929 Marw.) [O.N. , a plover.]. Also in quasi-dim. forms sanlick, sinlic(k) (Marw.). See 22.; 25. sand-lowper, the sand-flea, Orchestia (Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fif. (1803) 133; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Ags., Per., Dmf. 1969). Cf. 19.; 26. sand-necker, a misprint for sand-sucker below (em.Sc. 1835 Edb. New Philosoph. Jnl. (July) 210). See 27.; 27. sand-sucker, the dab or lemon sole, Pleuronectes limanda (see quot.); 28. sand-tripper, the ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula (Ayr. 1929 Paton & Pike Birds Ayr. 167). Given as the sandpiper (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 418) but cf. 22.; †29. sandveltin, -ta, -ter, sanveelting, -ter, -veiltre, an intestinal affection of horses caused by swallowing sand with their food (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 205, 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl., -veelter). The second element is ad. Norw. velta, velting, a roll(ing), rolling in pain being one of the symptoms.1. Sc. 1957 N. B. Morrison Other Traveller 90:
He had names [for birds] Dick had never heard of before: briskies, sand-backies, dyke hoppers.
2. (1) Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xxiii.:
That sandbed, old MacTurk, upon whom whole hogsheads make no impression.
Gsw. a.1848 A. Rodger Poems (1897) 55:
Your douse folk ca' me a tipplin' auld sot, A worm to a still, — a sand bed, — and what not.
Fif. 1909 J. Colville Lowland Sc. 137:
A sand-bed o' drink graphically described the constant boozer.
3. Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 197:
Sic was the day, whan san'-blin' Rab.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxii.:
Widow Amos became frail and sand-blind.
Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 188:
A lang clever chiel in spectacles — wha's sand-blin' — and mistook a bricht bay for a moose colour.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 223:
But some folk are san' blin', an' ye see she wysed him on.
4. Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
Cowering in a sand-bunker upon the links.
5. Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems 14:
Young Willox was, at an early age, sent to work at “Sand Chapping”. The sand, having been pounded very fine, was hawked from door to door.
10. Edb. 1810 L. Fleming Recoll. (1893) 15:
The infant class in the school was known curtly as the “sand-desk”, from the way in which it was taught. This contrivance was a flat desk with a ledging round it, and having its top filled with sand. Across this sand a smooth piece of wood was passed, and then the pupils, with their forefingers, drew the letters of the alphabet from a printed sheet set up in front of the desk.
11. Abd. 1943 W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 55:
Lang-nibbit faup, black-heided gull, San'-dorbie, queet or scroth.
12. Bnff.2 1930:
She strak the edge o' a sunken rock, an' ca'd aff her sand-draucht.
14. (1) Inv. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIII. 427:
Sandals, a species of fish found in the sand, are employed in June, July and August.
Ags. 1819 G. Beattie Poems (1882) 240:
Ketty deck'd her's up as clean and smart As ony san'le.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
As the sanle leapt
oor haunds flasht, and they like lichtnin
back to their sand hame, but agen and agen
the graips threw up sods o sand
15. Sc. 1814 Lockhart Scott xxviii.:
These lofty cliffs are all of sand-flag, a very loose and perishable kind of rock.
18. Edb. 1862 R. Chambers Rambling Remarks 17:
The sand-iron comes into play when the ball lies in a “bunker”, or other hazard.
Fif. 1897 R. Forgan Golfer's Manual 17:
The “Driving Iron” is lighter and less sloped in the face than the “Sand Iron”.
19. Kcb. 1900 Crockett Little Anna Mark xviii.:
Salt-water [pools] out among the dulse and the sand-jumpers.
20. Arg. 1898 N. Munro John Splendid iii.:
Our childish wanderings on the shore making sand-keps and stone houses.
21. Gsw. 1793 R. Gray Poems 61:
Sand-knockers and milk maids asteer, Through streets their wares to sell.
22. Ork. 1949 “Lex” But-end Ballans 7:
Dan du can chump san' lavro heicht!
23. Ags. 1834 A. Smart Rhymes 90:
Down by the Watermou' to wade, An' howk for sandlins side by side.
Bnff. 1851 Zoologist IX. 3081:
There was nothing in his stomach save two sanlins.
24. Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 326:
Hid was a sinlic bit Jeemo kent fine hoo tae spake till 'is betters sae said “Weel, sir, hereaboot, . . . we jeust ca'id a sandy laveroo.”
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 116:
Such was the anguish of one old woman on experiencing this wanton destruction of her property that, in her own words, “she gaed tae the back o' the hoose an' dadded like a sinloo”.
Ork. 1995 Orcadian 30 March 4:
In the shore field, which was being cultivated for neeps and tatties, would be the nesting-scrapes of teeos, and sandlos; the latter being ringed plovers.
27. Lth. 1837 Wernerian Soc. Mem. VII. 369:
In the Edinburgh market this fish receives the name of Sandsucker, from an erroneous idea entertained by the fishermen in supposing it to feed on nothing but sand; for, on opening the stomach, it appears filled with small, granular, sand-like particles, which seem to be the broken fragments of some species of Asterias.

II. v. 1. To run (a ship) ashore on sand, to beach, ground. Also fig. to “fox”, non-plus; of a ship: to run on to sand, to run aground; of a fish: to disappear into sand for concealment, in this meaning poss. orig. adapted from Saunt, v., 1. Obs. in Eng.Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 48:
I'm rede he's saun'd on some lee shore.
Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 111:
Although wi' scripture I cou'd sand ye.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
The eel sandit.

2. To mix with sand, to adulterate a coin in the smelting by adding sand to increase its weight and bulk.Rxb. 1732 J. Tait Border Ch. Life (1889) 64:
Uncurrent money in the box, consisting of doits, Irish halfpennies, and sanded bodles.
Per. 1735 W. A. Gillies Famed Breadalbane (1938) 315:
Nine pound and a half-penny of bad sanded copper babies.
Bwk. 1759 R. Gibson Old Bwk. Town (1905) 94:
5s 6d. sterling of bad sanded halfpennies.

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"Sand n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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