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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.

SIC, adj., pron., adv. Also sicc, si(c)k, †sike (Sc. 1702 T. Morer Acct. Scot. 71), †seck (Sh. 1862 Sh. Advertiser (29 Sept.)), †syk (Fif. 1819 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 18), †seik. The Eng. equivalent such is freq. substituted in the following usages by affectedly anglicised speakers. [sɪk]

I. adj. Such (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Sic a(n) is freq. followed by a pl. noun in exclams. = ‘what a lot of . . .!' Proverbial phrs. sic dog, sic maister, like master, like man, sic saw(in), sic maw(in), “whatever a man soweth, that shall he reap” (Abd. 1960).Abd. 1706 Sc. Antiquary XI I. 102:
We'er na sick Feels but we ken how tee make our own vantage of sick a game.
Sc. 1750 Scots Mag. (March) 113:
But bide ye, billy, mak na sic a noise.
Ayr. 1792 Burns Witlie Wastle i.:
Sic a wife as Willie had.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxxv.:
To make your reception sic as I could have desired.
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 82:
I thought it was just “sic dog, sic maister”.
Dmf. 1846 R. W. Thom Dominie's Charge I. 106:
He didna aye wear sic braw black cloth.
Bnff. 1872 Banffshire Jnl. (17 Sept.):
It's sic saw sic maw Until the day we dee.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 163:
Nae woner, then, in sic a case, At sic a time, in sic a place.
Ags. 1899 Barrie W. in Thrums iii.:
Ye daur to speak aboot openin' the door, an' you sic a mess!
Sc. 1904 E.D.D.:
No such a thing = no such thing.
Ork. 1907 Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 64:
Wi' their naves an' seck wapons as they hed.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 19:
Sic a floors ee heh in eer gairdeen!
m.Sc. 1928 O. Douglas Pink Sugar xiv.:
It maun tak the wumman hours to pit up her hair — sic a curls an' twists!
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 136:
"He's sic a man of experience, James, and a sailor forby, no' a farmer. ... "
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 11:
He Amen-ed and Hallelujah-eh and - the soul o' tact -
Humbly begged me to receive this holy tract
Which himsel' had funn sicc a boon and a blessing
Abd. 1987 Sheena Blackhall in Joy Hendry Chapman 49 57:
A mirey, dubby, tapsalteerie burn
Teirin alang a bank o' reidest thorn
Nae tinklin puil, o' tranquil blessed calm
Twar better sic a thing war niver born!
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 47:
But ach, I doot
I'm no cut oot
for sic mense
(that's dowit leid for "common sense");
the auld coorse Scotland's in me,
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 14:
The skillet skailed, bluid struled
Sutherland cursed tae hae
Sic reid hauns.

II. pron., also construed as the adj. with suppression of a n. following to be understood: such a person or thing, one of the kind.Sc. 1793 Tam Thrum Look before ye Loup 4:
I speak to sic o' ye as hae time and siller to throw awa.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxxiii.:
I could hae carried twa sic then.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 352:
She daffed awee wi' sic as ye.
Gsw. 1856 “Young Glasgow” Deil's Hallowe'en 47:
Ilk sic was waur aff than his neighbour.
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (3 May) 4:
Guid yins there are frae ither pairts, Yet hae ma doots if sic can match Those o' ma native land.

III. adv. In such a way, so, thus; how. 1. In idiomatic phr. ‡sic fares o . . ., that is just like . . ., typical of . . . . See Fare, v., II. 2. and Suppl.; 2. exclam. with adjs. = Eng. how . . .!, so . . . .1. Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 6:
Sic fares the fool, like me, who tries To wade throw drift.
Abd. 1932:
If somebody was mentioned whose behaviour was criticised adversely, a listener told an illustrative anecdote regarding the person and the first speaker would say “sic fares o'm”.
2. Kcd. 1934 L. G. Gibbon Grey Granite 113, 249:
Look, Willy, such cheap. . . . She was such sorry that the place was breaking up.
Abd. 1969:
Eh, sic bonnie she is! If ye only kent, sic sair as it is.

IV. Combs. and Phrs., mainly of I.: 1. sic a bodie, so-and-so, such a person (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 78; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1970). See Body; 2. sic-a-like, as an excl. of surprise, gen. connoting disparagement, “what a . . .”. Gen. (exc. Sh.) Sc. The form appears to be a conflation of sic a with Siclike. Phr. sic a like bodie, so-and-so, = 1. above (Dmf. 1958); 3. sic-(an-)sae, -sey, alike, similar, much of muchness (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd. (sic-sae), Dmb., Lnk., s.Sc. 1970); 4. sic-an-sic, such-and-such, soand-so. Gen.Sc.; et cetera; 5. sic-an-siclike, of a similar kind, all of a piece, = 3. (I.Sc., Abd., Ags. 1970). See Siclike. Freq. in contexts of disparagement; 6. sic-a-place, such-and-such a place, used euphemistically in quot.; 7. siclike, see Siclike adj., n., adv.; 8. sic-sae, see 3. above; sic-sae as, as for example (Abd. 1970); 9. sic-sam, = 3. (Sh. 1970). See Sam, adj.2. Edb. 1827 M. & M. Corbett Busy-Bodies I. xiv.:
Preserve us a', sic a like fire.
3. s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 175:
They're duist sic an' sae wi them ye hae.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
Lilliard's Edge hed been sic-an-so that verra day.
Abd. 1966 Buchan Observer (26 July) 6:
White Fish Year was “muckle sic sey.”
4. Ayr. 1706 Arch. and Hist. Coll. Ayr. & Wgt. IV. 219:
Bygone rent, land tealling, borrowed money, and seik and seck.
Ags. 1893 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XV. 341:
Oh, did you hear o' sic an' sic?
Bnff. 1917 E. S. Rae Private J. M'Pherson 66:
An' fa gaed hame wi' sic-an'-sic Fae so-an'-so's hairst ball.
Abd. 1924 M. Argo Janet's Choice 16:
Back-speired aboot foo I dee sic-an'-sic.
5. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. v.:
It was just sic and sicklike about the seat in the kirk o' Kilmagirdle.
Sc. 1825 Jam. s.v. siclike:
They're just sic and sicklike; there's no ane o' them to mend anither.
s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin x.:
I ken the kind. They're all sic and siclike.
6. Abd. 1733 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 34:
No man not you Should e'er hae touch'd my sic a place Or kiss'd my mou'.

[Northern unpalatalised form of O.E. swilc, Eng. such. O.Sc. sic, sike, from 1375.]

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"Sic adj., pron., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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