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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.

SCOT, n. A native of Scotland, a Scotsman or -woman; orig. a member of a tribe that crossed from Ireland to Argyll in the late 5th c. and established a kingdom there which by conquest and amalgamation with the Picts and the Britons gradually extended its bounds, came to be called in Latin Scotia in the 10th c., and reached its present limits in the 12th c. Nonce dim. form Scotling, a young Scot, a Scottish child (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 106).Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 153:
He was as hard with me, as if I had been the wild Scot of Galoway.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 59:
She was that day as fremmit to it a' As the wild Scot that wins in Gallaway.
Ayr. 1793 Burns Scots wha Hae i.:
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled, Scots, wham Bruce has aften led.
Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth i. motto:
But where's the Scot that would the vaunt repay, And hail the puny Tiber for the Tay?
Sc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 III. 118:
The Scots lay on the opposite side of the river in a ravine, thence called “Scots Hole”.
Sc. 1867 W. F. Skene Chrons. Picts lxxvii.:
As the race of the Scots in Britain became more extended, and their power more formidable, the territorial name would have a tendency to fix itself where the race had become most conspicuous. The name, under its Saxon form of Scotland, passed from Ireland to Britain in the beginning of the tenth century.
Sc. 1907 J. Watson Scot. in 18th C. 18:
The English regarded the Scots with contempt as barbarians, tempered by their dislike of their success as immigrants; and the Scots, fiercely jealous of their independence and afraid that they might be absorbed by the richer country, were morbidly suspicious of everything English.
Sc. 1962 S. Piggott Pre-Hist. Peoples 136:
The Scots of Argyll, whose ruler, Kenneth MacAlpin, became King of the Picts in the middle of the ninth century, were Goidelic speaking and of Irish origin.
Sc. 1992 Herald 4 Dec 16:
Thus it was a very drunk Scot who had to leave the pub early and retire to his hotel room before he fell down.
Sc. 1996 Scotland on Sunday 7 Jul 22:
The 'Tartan Tax' offensive had failed to rouse Scotland against the tax-raising powers of Labour's promised Scottish parliament. Nor had Forsyth's promise of 'devolution' to local government grasped the popular imagination. People hadn't forgotten his invitation to Scots to "dance in the streets" when the poll tax was introduced in the Eighties.
Sc. 2003 Sun 6 Mar :
A daft Scot who joined the Finnish Army left after just nine DAYS - because he couldn't understand the language.
Sc. 2003 Daily Star 15 Apr 20:
A hungry Scot who took coins from a public fountain got off a charge of theft as he thought the money was for the taking.

Phrs. Scots and English, a boy's game (see quot. and phr. under Scots, II. 3.) (Sc. 1826 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 299).Sc. 1847 Ib. 264:
The boys first choose sides. . . . The parties, being at length formed, are separated by a real or imaginary line, and place at some distance behind them, in a heap, their coats, hats, etc. They stand opposite to each other the object being to make a successful incursion over the line into the enemy's country, and bring off part of the heap of clothes.

[O.E. Scottas, the Scots (of Ireland), from Lat. Scotti, Scoti, id., till the 9th c., though cf. Bede “Scoti qui Britanniam inhabitant”, i.e. the Scots of Argyll. O.E. Scotland is first applied in the modern sense in 933.]

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"Scot n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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