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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCOTS¹/₁₂, ¹/₁₂adj., n. Also †Scottis, Scotis. Sc. forms of Eng. Scottish, Scotch.

A. This form of the adj. is the historical descendant of the O.Sc. Scottis (see etym. note), which survived in Scot. into the 19th c. esp. in certain locutions (see below) and has gradually re-established itself as a preferable alternative to the Eng. reduced form Scotch among Sc. speakers when speaking Eng. The full Eng. form Scottish is retained, esp. in contexts where the national or historical aspect of the governed n. is being stressed, as in official or literary usage, e.g. Scottish Army, Scottish burgh, Scottish Church, Scottish Crown, Scottish history, Scottish literature, Scottish Parliament, Scottish regiment, Scottish railways, etc. though Scots would be acceptable usage in all of these exc. phs. the last.Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 4:
The Scotch having retained many words and phrases which have fallen into disuse among the English. [Erratum -for Scotch read Scots.]
Sc. 1794 J. Ritson Sc. Songs. I. i.:
The word Scottish is an improper orthography of Scotish; Scotch is still more corrupt, and Scots (as an adjective) a national barbarism.
Sc. 1802 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) I. 157:
Scotch must be spelled Scots to keep up the orthography of the antique age.
Sc. 1807 T. E. Ritchie Life of D. Hume 355:
Scotch, which he used indiscriminately for the substantive Scots, and the adjective Scottish, is discarded.
Sc. 1858 Glasgow Herald (9 Oct.):
The word "Scotch" [for Scottish] is a horrid vulgarism, and as barbarous as vulgar.
Sc. 1915 N. & Q. (6 Feb.) 108:
Why is the once recognized adjective “Scotch” commonly elbowed out nowadays by “Scots”?
Sc. 1918 Acts 8 & 9 Geo V. c. 48 § 23:
The Scotch Education Department shall be known as the Scottish Education Department.
Sc. 1964 Glasgow Herald (5 Aug.) 8:
He is very conscious of the all-pervading characteristic of Scots people — or Scotch, as he would call them in the old-fashioned way of the exile.

B. I. adj. 1. Belonging or pertaining to Scotland or the Scottish people, of Scottish birth or origin. Gen.Sc. In Sh. and Ork. referring specif. to the mainland of Scotland excl. the isles, hence Scots aits, -meal, (the meal from) the white oats naturalised from the mainland as opposed to the native black oats (‡Sh. 1969), Scots mill, a vertical-wheel mill, -wheel, the common spinning-wheel, in contrast to the spinnie, Scots sye, the mainland scythe-type (Sh. 1969).Sc. 1708 W. Fraser Melvilles (1809) II. 225:
I and severall others of the queen's Scots servants.
Sc. 1712 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine Families II. 136:
All our Scotts Forces are upon their march for London.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. vii.:
Our Scots tunes have not lengthened variety of music, yet they have an agreeable gaiety and natural sweetness.
Sc. 1739 Scots Mag. (Jan.) Title:
The Scots Magazine containing a general view of the Religion, Politicks, Entertainment, etc., in Great Britain and a succinct account of Publick Affairs, Foreign and Domestic.
Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 107:
I am Scots, and the Scots and Welch are near relations, and much better born than the English.
Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 184:
The wee Scots rose that softly blows.
Edb. 1812 W. Glass Parnassus 12:
A wee drap gude Scots Whisky O.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 4:
Wi' five-an-fifty Scots lords' sons, That lang'd to bee at hame.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick ix.:
Ye wadna ha' guessed he was Scots by his tongue.
Sc. 1926 L. Spence Plumes of Time 55:
In yon shadow of the Scottis croun.
Sc. 1952 Abd. Press and Jnl. (1 Aug.):
We may put in such flowers as old Scots roses.
m.Sc. 1954 J. D. Scott The End of an Old Song (1990) 9:
'As you know,' I said, 'I'm only half-Scotch and I don't live in Scotland.'
Abd. 1980 David Toulmin Travels Without a Donkey 10:
The Rev. John Skinner of Longside had the revellers of Tullich in mind when he wrote The Reel O' Tullochgorum, which Burns said was the best Scotch song Scotland ever saw.
Gsw. 1984 James Kelman The Busconductor Hines 160:
... quarried in Aberdeen perhaps, carted down by rail, the labourers and masons singing lustily, giving vent to their earnest endeavour via the traditional scotch worksong, while delivering then assembling the goods prior to collecting their wages and religious tracts from the builder's daughter at the end of the contract, ...
Sc. 1985 Guardian (9 Sep):
The SDP president, Mrs Shirley Williams, introducing Mr Steel as the guest speaker, quoted the old Scots song 'Scots Wha' Haw Wi' Wallace Bled.'
wm.Sc. 1988 Robin Jenkins Just Duffy 188:
'It's a good old Scotch custom,' said Sid. [paying for one's own drink at a funeral]
m.Sc. 1994 Mary McCabe Everwinding Times 354:
"Aye. When Mrs Ross comes back ah'm gonnae ask hur tae gie us mair Scotch poems."
Sc. 1999 Daily Record (13 Mar) 43:
A new contract will be signed in April. Touch moments occur in June and December, though, when difficult choices must be made, but trust that cannie Scots intuition, Clare.
Sc. 2005 Sunday Mail (20 Feb) 13:
A pub next to Charles and Camilla's wedding venue is throwing them a Scots reception.
The Scots-themed Highlander Bar in Windsor is offering guests - and the happy couple if they want to come along - free haggis, neeps and tatties.

Combs. (incl. the forms Scottish, Scotch): (1) Scotch Bakie, one of a special breed of domestic fowl (see quot.). Cf. (11); (2) Scots blanket, a blanket of hard unbrushed texture (see quot.). Gen.Sc.; (3) Scotch (Christmas, currant) bun, a cake consisting of a thick layer of raisins, currants, almonds, peel, ginger and spices baked in a case of pastry, esp. at Christmas (Sc. 1850 Mrs Dalgairns Practice of Cookery 302, Scots —, 1909 E. W. Kirk Tried Favourites 205, 1951 Hotch Potch 21). Gen.Sc. Cf. Black Bun, id.; (4) Scots cloth, a rough tweed cloth, Hodden gray; (5) Scots collops, thin slices of meat, gen. veal, stewed in stock with flavouring (Sc. 1837 M. Dods Manual 242); (6) Scotch convoy [kən′vɔɪ], the accompanying of a guest a part or all of the way back to his home (Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 24; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen. (exc. I.) Sc.; (7) Scotch cousin, a distant relative, further removed than cousin in Eng. usage (ne. and m.Sc. 1969); (8) Scotch craa, the rook, Corvus frugilegus (Sh. 1899 Evans and Buckley Fauna Sh. 100, Sh. 1969). See Craw, n.1; (9) Scotch cuddy, a pedlar, a travelling packman or draper (wm., sm.Sc. 1969). See Cuddie, n.1, 6. (12); (10) Scotch duck, ? the scoter, Melanitta nigra; (11) Scotch Dumpie, = (1) (Per. 1861 F. Blair Henwife 129). See Dumpy, 2. (2); (12) Scots dyke, the name of an earthwork joining the rivers Esk and Sark along the line of the Scottish-English border, built after the report of the Commission on the Marches in 1552; (13) Scots Episcopal, a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church, specif. old Scots Episcopal, one who was attached to that branch of the church which had been proscribed for its Jacobitism and whose clergy were not “qualified” by taking the oath to the House of Hanover in terms of the act of 1746 or by having an English or Irish ordination in terms of the act of 1748. These penal laws were repealed in 1792. The church adhered to the Scottish (Laud's) Liturgy of 1637 and did not subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles till 1804. See English and Qualify; (14) Scotch ermine, the stoat, Mustela erminea (m.Lth. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 195); (15) Scots flummery, a kind of steamed custard (see quot); (16) Scots Fusilier, a soldier in the regiment of that name, so called since 1685, raised in 1678 during the Covenanting troubles by the Earl of Mar (see Gray Breeks s.v. Gray, I. A. 1. (1).) and amalgamated in 1958 with the Highland Light Infantry (see Hieland, II. 7. (15)) to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers; (17) Scotch gale, the bog-myrtle, Myrica gale; (18) Scotch-gauze lamp, a miner's safety lamp used in Scotland, “the top of the lamp being wholly of wire gauze” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 58); (19) Scotch geranium, the Geranium robertianum (Ags. 1886 B. and H. Plant-Names 419); (20) Scotch gravat, a familiar name for a hug or cuddle (ne. and m.Sc., Slk. 1969). See Gravat, 1. Phrs.; (21) Scots Gray, (i) a soldier in a regiment of dragoons first raised in 1681 by Sir Thomas Dalyell of the Binns chiefly to suppress the militant Covenanters and orig. dressed in a uniform of stone-grey cloth. Later the regiment was mounted on grey horses. It is now part of the Royal Armoured Corps. The official name has altered from time to time but Scots Grays has been in popular use since 1700 and in official from 1877. The spelling grey is an Englishism (see Gray); (ii) one of a breed of poultry developed in Scotland (see quot.); (iii) a tweed cloth of natural grey colour, Hodden gray; (22) Scots Guard, a soldier in the Scots Guards, a regiment formed by the Marquis of Argyll in 1639 orig. as a guard for Charles I and called variously the (Scotch) Regiment of Foot Guards, the Scots Fusilier Guards and in 1877 the Scots Guards; (23) Scotch gully, a large clasp-knife (s.Sc. 1892 Hist. Bwk. Naturalists' Club 164); (24) Scotch hammer, the heavy hammer used in athletic contests; (25) Scotch hand, one of a pair of small wooden bats used for making up rolls or pats of butter (Sc. 1890 H. Stephens Bk. Farm iv. 497: ne., m.Sc., Rxb. 1969). See Hand, 7 (2); (26) Scotch horses, a formation of children with their arms linked behind their backs in running or skating, also jocularly of lovers linking arms. Gen.Sc.; (27) Scotch house, a characteristic style of 17th c. house which succeeded the early fortified tower as a laird's dwelling; (28) Scotlit, informal word for Scottish literature; (29) Scotch mahogany, the wood of the alder tree, which turns red when exposed to light and weather (Rnf. c.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) S. 23; wm.Sc., Kcb. 1969); (30) Scotch mark, a nickname or soubriquet based on some physical, mental or moral defect in the person to whom it is applied (see quot.); (31) Scotch muffler, (i) a drink of liquor, esp. of whisky, sc. as keeping one warm (Abd., em.Sc. (a), Lnk. 1969): (ii) = (20) (m.Sc. 1969); (32) Scotch nettle, a white-flowered stingless nettle (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), ? the dead-nettle, Lamium album; (33) Scotch nightingale, the sedge-warbler, Acrocephalus schoenoboenus (Slg., Rxb. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 28; Per., Slg., Ayr. 1969); (34) Scotch noyau, a liqueur made from almonds (see quot.); (35) Scots pebble, a semi-precious stone, such as an agate, etc., found as a pebble on hills and in streams in Scotland. Gen.Sc. See also Peeble, n., 1.; (36) Scotch pie, also Scotch mutton pie. A small round pie of cooked mutton or beef, made with a hot-water crust, with the rim raised to hold gravy or other fillings; (37) Scots plough, a swing or wheelless plough, orig. of wood, later of iron with various modifications, esp. one modelled on that of James Small of Berwickshire about 1764 and essentially the same horse-plough still in use in Scotland; (38) Scots Presbyterian, in phr. old Scots Presbyterians, a name adopted by one or two congregations of the Reformed Presbyterian Church or Cameronians, q.v.; (39) Scottish Qualifications Authority, National body in Scotland responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment, and certification of qualifications other than degrees. Abbrev. SQA.; (40) Scotch rabbit, a kind of Welsh rarebit, toasted cheese served on toast, the difference appar. being that in the Scotch rabbit the bread is toasted on both sides, in the Welsh on one only (Sc. 1810 Mrs Frazer Cookery 194); (41) Scots room, room to swing the arms to their full extent (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 149); (42) Scots thistle, -thrissle, one of the thistle family so called by being adopted as the national badge of Scotland. The exact species bearing this name has been much disputed and it is variously ascribed by botanists and others to Cirsium lanceolatum, Onopordon Acanthium and Carduus nutans (see e.g. Sc. Naturalist (1872) I. 54, Encycl. Britannica (1888) VIII. 307, Scotsman (15 Aug. 1953) and subsequent numbers, and Burns Guidwife of Wauchope ii.); a representation of such as a heraldic emblem; (43) Scottish Vocational Qualifications, Qualifications designed to indicate a person's skill in the workplace. Abbrev. SVQ.; (44) Scots waters, whisky; (45) Scots Willie, a young codling (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.).(1) Sc. 1867 W. B. Tegetmeier Poultry Bk. 233:
Dumpies, or Scotch Bakies. Under this title a breed of fowls has long been known in Scotland. The most important characteristic of these birds is the extreme shortness of the bones of the leg.
(2) Abd. 1766 Abd. Journal (10 March):
Blankets English and Scots.
Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (16 Feb.) 3:
Four Numbers Heavy Scotch Blankets.
Sc. 1964:
Scotch and English blankets are now the same, except that the Sc. one is not brushed in any way, just washed, whereas the Eng. one is brushed several times. The Sc. blanket is harder but identical to the Eng. in weave and weight, the trade terms for it now being Ayrshire blanket.
(4) Slg. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 118:
The men are decently clothed, both for kirk and market, with well-dressed Scots cloth, commonly of a brown, grey, or blue colour.
(5) Bwk. 1715 Household Bk. Lady G. Baillie (S.H.S.) 282:
Scots collips with marow and black pudins about them.
Per. 1738 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 188:
Scots collops of veall joints.
Sc. 1888 G. Outram Lyrics 26:
“Scotch collops” consist of slices of beef with the fat, stewed in a stewing or frying pan, with onions and pepper and salt.
(6) Per. 1830 Perthshire Advert. (8 July):
The police were commanded to give them a Scotch convoy out of the Fair City.
Lnk. 1838 J. Morrison McIlwham Papers 13:
They'll gie ye a kin o' Scotch convoy i' the wark o' improvement, that's just step ower the midden wi' ye, but no a bit farther frae the door.
Sc. 1860 W. G. Stewart Lectures I. 243:
She gave him a Scotch convoy just to see how he took the road.
(7) Sc. 1891 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 164:
Ye ken the M'Scandles are jist farawa' Scotch cousins.
(10) Arg. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VII. 538:
Teal and wild ducks of every kind and name known to the writer, including the large Scotch and eider-duck.
(12) Sc. 1740 Trans. Cumb. and Westm. Antiq. Soc. (1886) VIII. 297:
From the end of the Scotch Dike adjoining to Sark, it goes in a straight Line to a Village called the Scotch Dike near the River Eske.
Sc. 1827 Scott Two Drovers ii.:
Ye ken Highlander and Lowlander, and Border-men, are a' ae man's bairns when you are over the Scots dyke.
Sc. 1951 Sc. Hist. Review. XXX. 125:
A slight earthen mound between a shallow ditch on each side still in parts marks (or did mark) the line of division in the ‘Scots Dyke'.
(13) Sc. 1790 J. Skinner Annals (1818) 163:
Happy had it been for us, and for the cause of Scottish Episcopacy, if his Grace's opinion had prevailed; as in that case no suspicions could have been entertained of the English Bishops being unfavourable to the spiritual powers of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVIII. 533:
A small congregation of the Old Scots Episcopals, which has one minister.
Sc. 1806 J. Skinner Annals (1818) 419:
A few years ago there were about twenty-four congregations in Scotland in a state of separation from the Scottish Episcopal Church, and supplied by Clergymen of English or Irish ordination, with no other Episcopal connection than what their ordination, and the use of the English Liturgy, afforded.
Sc. 1861 G. Grub Eccles. Hist. Scot. IV. 108:
The Scottish Episcopal Church was no part of the Church of England.
Sc. 1966 M. Lochhead Episcopal Scot. 3:
The Scottish Episcopal Church has seven dioceses.
(15) Sc. 1759 E. Cleland Cookery 147:
To make Scots Flummery. Take a mutchkin of Milk, and one of Cream; beat the Yolks of nine Eggs, with a little Rose-water, Sugar and Nutmeg; put it in a Dish, and the Dish over a Pan of boiling Water covered closs; when it begins to grow thick, have ready some Currants plumped in Sack, and strew over it. It must not be stirred while it is over the Fire, and, when it is pretty stiff, send it up hot.
(16) Sc. 1715 J. Sinclair Memoirs (Abbotsford Club) 216:
Particularlie the Scots Fusilieers with their caps.
Sc. 1767 Caled. Mercury (24 Jan.):
Several companies of Highlanders are ordered to be raised in Scotland, to recruit Lord Panmure's regiment of Scotch Fusileers, stationed in West Florida.
Sc. 1964 W. P. Paul Hist. Sc. Regiments 58:
The walking-out dress of The Royal Highland Fusiliers incorporates the Glengarry of The Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Mackenzie tartan trews and white spats of The Highland Light Infantry.
(17) Ayr. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 60:
The Scotch-gale, a species of the myrtle.
(21) Edb. 1722 Caled. Mercury (21 June):
Saturday last there was a Review of the Scots Royal Gray Horse in the Links of Leith.
Lth. 1724 Caled. Mercury (24 Sept.):
Yesterday General Wade reviewed the Scots Grays at Musselburgh.
Sc. 1775 Caled. Mercury (5 June):
The 2d or Royal North British regiment of dragoons, commonly known by the name of the Scots Greys.
Sc. 1834 H. T. Siborne Waterloo Letters (1891) 393:
The Scots Greys came up at this moment, and doubling round our [Gordons] flanks and through our centre where openings were made for them, both Regiments charged together, calling out “Scotland for ever”.
Sc. 1881 W. Jolly Burns at Mossgiel 8:
After his discharge from the Scots Greys.
Sc. 1964 W. P. Paul Hist. Sc. Regiments 12:
Scots remember other days, when, resplendent in red tunics, black bearskins, blue breeches with yellow stripes, white gauntlets and belts, the Royal Scots Greys provided escorts for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
(ii) Sc. 1920 J. Ritchie Animal Life in Scot. 101:
The Scots Grey is a bird with upright and graceful carriage, moderately long legs, and plumage finely barred in black and white like that of a Barred Rock.
(iii) Rnf. 1815 W. Finlayson Rhymes 156:
Upon her left, in Scots-grey neat, Ramsay and Ferguson did meet.
(22) Sc. 1709 F. Maurice Hist. Sc. Guards (1934) I. 97:
The order of May 9 of the same year [1709] ordering the embarkation of the 1st Battalion for Spain calls the Regiment ‘the Scotch Regiment of Foot Guards', and up to 1711 it is called in other orders either by this title or ‘the Regiment of Scots Guards'.
Sc. 1968 Scotsman (5 Oct.) 5:
The tour of duty in Scotland of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
(24) Sc. 1952 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 455–6:
A word or two might also be given to the uninitiated on events like throwing the hammer, the difference between the “Scotch” and the “Wire” hammer explained.
Sc. 1966 Hertfordshire Highl. Games Programme 19:
The Scots Hammer (16 lb. Shafted) . . . . Event No. 13.
(26) Lnk. 1916:
As we ran with our arms linked we sang: “Three Scotch horses gaun awa tae Fife, Comin back on Monday wi an auld drunk wife.”
Rxb. 1958 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 20:
“Scotch Horses” (a whole string “o oo” in a raw, wi' oor hands lockeet ahint oor backs).
Lth. 1965 Scots Mag. (August) 403:
My first chum, with whom I ran Scotch-horses on my way to school was a boy from Wester Ross.
(27) Inv. 1803 E. Grant Mem. Highl. Lady (1898) 21:
When improving times permitted our ancestors to descend from their Doune. a formal Scotch house was built at the foot of it, with a wide door in the centre, and as many narrow windows were stuck in rows over the wall as were required to light the rooms within.
(28) Sc. 1992 Herald (28 Dec) 11:
Later, like Fiona Macleod before him, he went to Glasgow University and there studied Scotlit under Alex Scott, known as Alexander Scott II to distinguish him from Alexander Scott, 16th century Scots lyricist.
Sc. 1994 Herald (8 Oct) 8:
Smith laments the late Alexander Scott, a man I fondly remember as a pugnacious critic forever fuming about the state of Scotlit and smoking cigarettes.
Sc. 1998 Herald (30 May) 11:
The importance of that familiar landscape, often overlooked by critics eager to tie Warner into a highly notional idea of a young ScotLit set based on Glasgow and Edinburgh, is brought home powerfully in Warner's latest novel, The Sopranos, ...
Sc. 2001 Scotland on Sunday (25 Mar) 13:
A deep need to be identified with the Scotlit crowd seems to unbalance the novel, too, as the ritual relish in details of secretions and functions sit oddly with a book that so conspicuously deals in themes of morality and responsibility.
Sc. 2002 Sunday Times (7 Jul) 3:
For your reading pleasure we've trawled through the summer catalogues and found some gems from the ScotLit firmament that are eminently suited for lazy days in the Mediterranean sun.
Sc. 2002 Scotsman (28 Dec) 5:
ScotLit seems to be doing proportionately better. In April alone, for example, there's Andrew O'Hagan's intriguing-sounding Celebrity, Ian Pattison's take on gangland Glasgow, ...
(30) Sc. 1825 Jam.:
It is generally remarked of the Scots, that they have a knack of descriving persons from their infirmities or failings. . . . In this sense it is often said, “I'll give you a Scotch mark of him”. Thus, a person is designed “cripple Jock”, “hilching Tam”, “gleyit Andro”, “havering Rab”, “gawky Kate”, “drunken Will”, “cursing Jamie”, “tarry-finger'd Meg”.
(33) Ayr. 1929 Paton & Pike Birds Ayr. 63:
Owing to this habit of singing at night, he has obtained the name of the “Scottish Nightingale”.
(34) Sc. 1837 M. Dods Manual 379:
Scotch Noyau, a very pleasant Compound. — Two quarts of proof-spirit, a pint and a half of water, a pound and a half of syrup, six ounces of sweet and four of bitter almonds blanched and chopped.
(35) Sc. 1747 Caled. Mercury (27 July):
John Fairweather Lapidary, who cut and polished all Sorts of Scots Pebbles &c.
Sc. 1774 T. Pennant Tour 1772 186:
Sardonyxes; and other beautiful stones, indiscriminately called Scotch pebbles.
Lnk. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 811:
Scots pebbles are frequently found in the brows and channels of the Clyde.
(36) Gsw. 1990:
Glasgow butcher, Shorts in Shawlands, specializes in Scotch pies.
Sc. 1996 Scotsman (26 Jan) 15:
What can you expect in a country which deep-fries Mars bars in batter and where a Lanark roll is a Scotch mutton pie in a bap?
Sc. 2000 Mirror (29 Feb) 23:
Even the classic Scotch mutton pie has been transformed into a new low-fat variety.
Sc. 2000 Herald (25 Oct) 12:
Ode to a Scotch Pie by an anonymous scribe: "The knife an fork astride you dwell Tae breach your glorious crusty shell Wherein fantastic flavours dwell I canna wait ..."
Sc. 2004 Daily Record (7 Sep) 7:
The Harry Potter star was helping to launch Scotland's first 'play, pint and a pie' theatre project. But he told pals at the trendy Oran Mor venue in Glasgow there was no way he would pose with a traditional Scotch pie for fear of being ridiculed for his bulky frame.
Sc. 2004 Herald (16 Sep) 4:
The Taylor's of Strathaven Scotch pie is indeed the "old favourite" that the menu promises: minced mutton in traditional pastry, accompanied by soft marrowfat peas, a good pile of mash and gravy - good value at £4.75 (and, like the haggis, available in a vegetarian version).
Sc. 2004 Mirror (29 Oct) 18:
Allan had only been running his shop for four years when he won the coveted World Scotch Pie Championship last year.
(37) Sc. 1765 A. Dickson Agric. 197:
We formerly observed that the Scots plough is the best general plough, and on that account preferred it to any other at present used in Scotland.
Sc. 1831 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Agric. 389–91:
There are now a great variety of excellent forms the best of which, for general purposes, is universally allowed to be what is called in England the Scotch plough, and in Scotland the improved Scotch plough. . . . The Scotch plough was little known in Scotland till about the year 1764 when Small's method of constructing it began to excite attention.
Sc. 1889 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm I. 87:
The general differences between the modern Scotch plough and English ploughs are that an English plough has usually two wheels and chill-metal shares, while the Scotch has no wheel, or at most only one, and has wrought-iron shares.
(38) Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVIII. 533:
A small society of Cameronians, who affect to be called the old Scots Presbyterians. They have no minister resident among them.
(39) Sc. 2000 Herald (14 Aug) 16:
It is a disgrace that the Government in Scotland has allowed the Scottish Qualifications Authority to fall into such chaos with regard to the correct recording of examination results.
(41) ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 21:
In starting on a race, or in doing anything that required a little space to do it, when the onlookers were pressing too near, the cry was, “Gie 'im Scots room” , which seemed to mean about as much space as enabled him to toss both his arms at full length around him.
(42) Sc. 1802 Edb. Mag. (Sept.) 238:
Over the President's chair was erected a very fine Scots Thistle of ten feet high.
Sc. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora Frf. 105:
The Onopordium Acanthium is cultivated in Scotland as the Scottish Thistle, but undoubtedly the C[nicus] lanceolatus is the real Scottish Thistle.
(43) Sc. 1999 Herald (23 Jul) 8:
It takes in everything from HNCs and HNDs (Higher National Certificates and Diplomas; SQA National Qualifications (the new Higher Still courses); Standard Grades; university degrees to post-graduate level; and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).
(44) Sc. 1698 J. Kirkwood Plea before Kirk 35:
A dram or two of Usquebaugh, or Scots Waters.
(45) Sh. 1932 J. M. E. Saxby Trad. Lore 202:
“Scottswillies” are “bonnie, peerie tings o' cod”!

2. In reference to the distinctive system of law and jurisprudence developed from the Civil Law in the 17th c. in Scot.Sc. 1707 Testimony Duty Parl. Scot. 9:
Adhering to the old Compend of the Scots Law, Shew me the Man, I'll shew you the Law.
Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute i. i. § 37 rubric:
Statute-law of Scotland consists of the Scots acts and British statutes.
Sc. 1899 W. K. Morton Manual 2:
Sources of Civil Law of Scotland, or Scots Law. — 1. Roman Law . . . 2. Canon Law . . . 3. Laws enacted by the nation itself.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 15:
If true religion got a fa' Frae her auld courts and guid Scots law.
Sc. 1947 Scotland (Meikle) 104:
The civil law “as explained and in some respects amended by the Dutch and French commentators of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is the basis of the Scots law of contract and of property, apart from feudal conveyancing”.
Sc. 1958 Intro. Sc. Legal Hist. (Stair Soc.) 45:
Stair's Institutions [1681], “an original amalgam of Roman Law, Feudal law, and native customary law, systematized by resort to the law of nature and the Bible and illuminated by many flashes of ideal metaphysic”, presented Scots Law as a complete and coherent system, Scots Law as we have since known it.

3. According to the system of weights, measures and money formerly in use in Scot.: (1) of lineal or square measure, based on the Sc. yard or Ell of 37 inches. Hence (i) Scots acre, an area of 5760 sq. ells, 6084.44 sq. yards imp. or approx. 1.26 imperial acres; (ii) Scotch ell, see above; (iii) Scots gardener measure, a measure based on the Sc. garden rood of 228 sq. yards imp. measure approx., with 26⅔ garden roods to the Sc. acre; (iv) Scots mile, 1976.5 imperial yards. See Ell, Fa, Mile. Obs. exc. hist.(i) Sc. 1754 J. Justice Sc. Gardiner 408:
Such a Garden should not be less than three Scots Acres.
Abd. 1781 Aberdeen Jnl. (29 Oct.):
A crop of Potatoes this year, from a Scots acre of ground in this county.
Sc. 1800 Edb. Advertiser (16 May) 312:
These lands consist of about 412 Scots acres, or 523 English.
Sc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 600:
One and a half quarter of wheat per Scotch acre (the Scotch acre being one-fifth more than the imperial acre), is very common.
(ii) Abd. 1759 Gordon's Mill Farming Club (1962) 105:
Reckoning 1,800 Scots ells to each mile.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Death & Dr Hornbook vii.:
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa.
Abd. 1884 D. Grant Lays 101:
But Cooper Geordie fetched a bag, Its length was Scotch ells twa.
(iii) Sc. c.1750 in P.S.A.S. LXXVIII. 77:
32 roods of ground or thereby of Scots Superficial Gardener Measure.
(iv) Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 7:
We think na on the lang Scots miles.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Let. x.:
We have ten Scots miles afore us.

(2) of weight, based on the standard Lanark stone. Obs. since 1824. See also Pund, Stane, Unce. For meal, butchermeat, hemp, iron and commodities imported or exported, a great deal of which passed through France and Holland, the standard was Scots Troy(e)(s) weight, also called Paris, French, Dutch or Amsterdam weight; for home-produced goods, as tallow, flax, hay, butter, cheese and wool, the standard was Scots Tron(e) (see Tron), sometimes called simply Scots weight.Edb. 1764 Caled. Mercury (6 Feb.):
The letter T to denominate Troy or Gold weight, by which meal, butcher meat, fish, etc. is sold; Tr. for Trone or Scots weight, by which Scots cheese, butter, etc. is sold; and E. for English or Averdupois weight by which all kinds of groceries and English goods, also barley, etc. is sold.
Sc. 1779 Swinton Weights, etc. 40:
It appears by the Scotch act in 1617, That the Scotch Troye was intended to be the same as the French Troye.
Edb. 1800 Edb. Weekly Jnl. (3 Sept.) 288:
Oatmeal per boll of 128 lbs. Scots Troy.
Abd. 1811 G. Keith Agric. Abd. 556:
Before the late convulsions of Europe, which were occasioned by the French Revolution, three-fourths of the various commodities used among merchants, were sold by the ancient weight of Charlemagne, known by the names of French, Dutch, Brussels, and Scots Troy weight.
Ags. 1830 W. Shiress Tables 182:
The Pound of Scots Troyes Weight, commonly called Dutch Weight (as derived from the Lanark Stone), contains 7608.949 Imperial Standard Grains.

(3) of capacity, having as its standard for dry measure the Linlithgow firlot, and for liquids the Stirling pint. Obs. since 1824. See also Boll, Chalder, Chopin, Firlot, Gill, Lippie, Mutchkin, Pint.Sc. 1720 History and Mistery of France and England 4:
Their Milk and Wine are of one Price, a Threppence the Scots Pint.
Ags. 1764 Arbroath T.C. Minutes MS. (26 March):
The Brewers agreeing to pay at the rate of fourteen shilling scots or fourteen pence Sterling on each Barrel containing twelve scots Gallons of two penny Duty.
Sc. 1771 Weekly Mag. (19 Sept.) 383:
244 Scots pints (or 122 gallons English).
Sc. 1800 A. Carlyle Autobiog. (1860) 24:
The brandy-bottle — a Scotch pint — made its appearance immediately.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xx.:
Shall we cry in a blythe Scots pint at ance?
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. ix.:
Nane of Dominie Milligan's shilpit southern pints whilk he teaches ye in the school, but a gracious Scotch pint.

(4) of monetary units, which have also Eng. or sterling values. In this usage the adj. follows the noun, being short for Scots money used parenthetically, by way of distinction from sterling. Sc. money was abolished by the Act of Union of 1707 but calculations on the basis of it continued to be made till late in the 18th c. and survive still in some archaic legal usages. See Merk, Penny, Pund. Scots currency had depreciated throughout the 16th and 17th cs. and by 1700 was worth only of the corresponding Eng. value.Edb. 1703 W. Skinner Trained Bands (1889) 54:
That instead of sex shilling Scots as the penalty of cursing and swearing, it be extended to sex shilling sterling.
Wgt. 1717 G. Fraser Lowland Lore (1880) 35:
Twelve pund Scots money as ane year's Rent of the said house.
Ayr. 1744 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (31 Oct.):
The Sallary payable yearly to the schoolmaster in Straiton from this time forth shall be the sum of One hundred merks scots money.
Sc. 1765 E. Henderson Dunfermline (1879) 482:
The Town Treasurer Accompts shall be drawn out and booked in Sterline or English money, and not in Scots money, as has been the bygone practice.
Abd. 1775 Fraserburgh Herald (24 Jan. 1939):
Nine Shilling Scots for each piece of the said stone long and short over head.
Sc. 1780 Session Papers, Grant v. Duke of Gordon (22 April) 43:
There must be some mistake, in stating Sterling money for Scots.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 176–7:
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie, Wi' twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches).
Per. 1807 Farmer's Mag. (Nov.) 425:
The valued rent [of the county of Perth] is 339,818 l. Scots, the real rent is at least as many pounds in sterling money.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.:
“My master would gie twenty punds sterling — ” “Punds Scotch, ye bitch!” interrupted Milnwood.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona iii.:
Twa shillin' Scots: no pickle mair.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xviii.:
I'd gie a pound Scots to ken wha chaps.
Sc. 1954 Scotsman (9 March) 4:
Fines of £100 Scots (£8 6s. 8d. sterling) have been imposed on the Scottish Association of Watchmakers and Jewellers and an Edinburgh die-cutter by the Court of the Lord Lyon for “unlawful use of unregistered coats-of-arms”.
Sc. 1960 Daily Express (26 July) 9:
A labourer who stole trout from an artificial loch, charged under an Act of the Scots Parliament of 1607 at Perth yesterday, was fined £40 Scots.

4. Of language: speaking Scots, expressed in Scots (see II. 1.). Gen.Sc.Sc. 1706 J. Watson Choice Coll. i. Pref.:
This being the first of its Nature which has been published in our own Native Scots Dialect.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 388:
You have a Scotish tongue in your Head.
Inv. 1732 J. Noble Misc. Inv. (1902) 123:
Donald Chisholm was then sworn in the Irish language, and deponed . . . that he did not observe what passed betwixt them, being ignorant of the Scots language.
Sc. 1774 Weekly Mag. (20 Oct.) 128:
His [R. Fergusson's] talent of versification in the Scots dialect has been exceeded by none.
Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 47:
A Scots idiom.
Sc. 1936 J. G. Horne Flooer o' Ling 71:
But wae's me! sir, it canna last, Oor auld Scots tongue.

II. n. 1. The Scots language, the speech of Lowland Scotland, which became distinct from Northern English in the 15th. c. and was the official language of the Kingdom of Scotland until 1707, though gradually anglicised from the mid-16th. c. and now surviving as a series of dialects and in a modified literary form, the speech treated in this dictionary. See Lallans. Freq. also called braid Scots, which is extended occas. to mean plain speaking in gen., without reference to its form.Sc. 1706 Marriage betwixt Fergusia and Heptarchus 17:
To speak broad Scots, it's a Mariage God neither sends nor comes to.
Sc. 1707 R. Sibbald Hist. Slg. (1892) 40:
A Man came to him speaking Scots.
Sc. 1712 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 111:
In plain Scots, to leave a room for complyance.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 114:
In blyth braid Scots allow me, Sir, to shaw My Gratitude, but Fleetching or a Flaw.
Sc. 1739 Session Papers, Petition J. Boyd (1755) 5:
Lett me know if you cannot rid French or Vlames, for I have forgot most all mij Scots.
Sc. 1747 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) I. 117:
She talks English (or rather Scots) easily, and not at all through the Earse tone.
Sc. 1775 Weekly Mag. (30 Nov.) 294:
The English language would soon supersede the Gaelic and the Scots.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Brigs of Ayr 167:
In plain braid Scots held forth a plain, braid story.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xviii.:
I want my bairn! is na that braid Scots?
Slk. 1831 Hogg Good Queen Bess (1874) 192:
Unless ye speak to me in plain, braid Scots, I'll never be a bawbee's worth the wiser.
Sc. 1873 Murray D.S.C.S. 78:
The interval of a hundred and fifty or two hundred years that has elapsed since Scotch was a literary language, used in the church and taught in the schools.
Fif. 1900 S. Tytler Logan's Loyalty ii.:
In making the mistake of copying my Scots you heard me take into my mouth such an expression as that of giving a man up his foot.
Sc. 1911 W. Grant in S.D.D. viii.:
The Scottish language in the modern sense thus has its root in the Anglian of ancient Northumbria. Its subsequent history has been described as covering three periods — viz. Early, Middle, and Late Scots.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick v.:
The Highland marches of our shire where the folk speak both the Gaelic and the Braid Scots.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 107:
'Is there anyone here who speaks it [Gaelic]?' asked Tammy.
'No, no. Just broad Scotch we speak.'
Sc. 1992 Herald (15 Sep) 12:
Had Jamie Saxt, whose first tongue was that parallel development of old English which came to be known as Scots, chosen to stay in Scotland all the little social climbers in Scotland would have been speaking Scots to this day and children would be reproved for speaking in the accents of the Home Counties.
Abd. 1993:
We jist say Scotch. I regard Doric as literary too.
1994 A. J. Aitken in Alexander Fenton and Donald A. MacDonald Studies in Scots and Gaelic 7:
No doubt the study of modern Scots benefited from changes in the climate of opinion among English philologists and linguists generally, with increasing interest in, accompanied by greater tolerance of, non-standard varieties of English, ...
Sc. 1999 Scotsman (22 May) 13:
Some, of course, would regard speaking Scots, or agitating for its development, as a clear political statement, and certainly many hopes will be pinned on the Scots parliament further to free up the language and its re -acceptance.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 111:
'That's tae Sir Walter Scott,' said his father. 'He was a famous writer, like Rabbie Burns, only he wrote stories mair than poems. He was a toff but a Scotch yin at least. He could speak Scotch wi the best o them.'
Sc. 2002 Herald (24 Aug) 12:
"Sometimes people's only access to Scots is through Rab C Nesbitt or Chewin' the Fat or The Broons so humour is obviously a useful tool. But we're keen to show the pathos of Scots too," says Fitt, author of the futuristic thriller But n Ben A-Go-Go. " It's a very expressive language and we're trying to show the whole range."

2. The Gaelic language, the descendant of the language of ancient Ireland, established in Scotland in the 7th to 11th cs. and still surviving in the Highlands and Western Isles. In this sense rare and now only hist. as a translation of lingua Scotica applied to Gaelic up to the 15th c. See Scot, n., and cf. A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. (1741) 171: “Galig Albanach. The old Scots Language.”Sc. 1706 Earl of Cromartie Trialogus 12:
As a Part of the Kingdom, retain'd the Scots Language; so a part of Pictland retain'd an Idiome of the Gothish; as Buchan, Cathness and Orkney; albeit it be almost worn out, as the old Scots is agoing.
Sc. 1831 Scott Castle Dangerous v.:
An antique language, like that formerly used in the kingdom of Strath-Clyde, being a species of Scots or Gaelic, which few would have comprehended.

3. Phrs. Scotch and English (‡Gen.Sc.), Scotch and French (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 265), Scotch and Irish, the name of various similar games consisting essentially of two opposing sides trying to capture or strike one another or to seize some object guarded by the other across a dividing line. See also English and Scotch s.v. English, n., 2. and cf. Eng. French and English, also in n.Eng. dial. Scotch and English.Slk. 1822 James Hogg The Three Perils of Man i:
Then was the play of Scots and English begun, a favourite on the school green today.
Per. c.1855 D. W. Buchanan Leisure Lays (1899) 77:
At Scotch an' English we've engaged, Played hide-and-seek and Jockie-Blindie.
Ags. 1876 J. Grant Burgh Schools 180:
Games still less known are “cross-tig” and “Scotch and English, Jackson”, which are played at Arbroath high school.
Lnk. 1880 M. Gebbie Strathavon 199:
“Scotch and English”, a sort of sham fight, the locale being the Common green, was a game at one time indulged in by the youths of Strathavon.
Edb. 1930:
Usually Scotch and Irish was played only on St. Patrick's Day, which suggests a historical origin. With us it lasted two or three weeks at a stretch. Elsewhere the modus operandi was to fold up a bonnet or a newspaper tightly, tie it with a length of twine, and, swinging the bonnet at the end of the twine, to belabour members of the other side or anyone at all.

[A reduced form of O.Sc. Scottis, Scottish, 1375, the Scots language, 1494, North. Mid.Eng. Skottis, late O.E. Scottisc, earlier Scyttisc. For the form in -s (= Eng. -sh), cf. dens- in Densaxe, Erse, n.2, Inglis. The form Scotch does not appear in Scotland till the mid 17th c.]

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"Scots adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2024 <>



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