Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
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.

SICCAN, adj. Also sican, -in, sic(c)en; sickan, -en, -in, siecan; sikkan, -en, seckan, saekkin. When followed by the indef. article the reduced form sicna is freq. Suchan is occas. used by affected speakers. See Sic. [′sɪkən]

1. Such, of such a kind, of a sort already mentioned (Sc. 1825 Jam.; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 175). Gen Sc.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 9:
But sicken a day there never was.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 87:
Gin sickan things were true.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 183:
To cow an' horse, an' sican beast.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xviii.:
I'll ride in nae siccan troop.
Sc. 1824 S. Ferrier Inheritance I. iv.:
Sicna a discreditable like thing.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) II. 277:
To use sickan freedoms.
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 589:
I nevvir gat sek an a flegg i ma lyfe.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 40:
There doesna seem a trace O' even siccan ane.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 130:
I mind of ae siccan a nicht.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xxi.:
Ye'll do no siccan thing.
Ork. 1907 Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 62:
Whin id waas dark aneuch dey met a' ermed, boy, an' seckan erms.
Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane Scotland of Our Fathers 39:
The writer remembers the indignation of a gardener, also an elder in the church, at the ‘Englishy' butler's skimp traditional grace on the occasion of a solid supper. ‘Sicna grace for sicna supper!' as he laconically observed.
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 191:
"There's a thing that happens, though you are not o a family to understand it, but married men hae sometimes a difficulty o putting their wives wi a bairn. Now there are ways in siccan a mechanter. Sometimes it's the man that's no on his mettle and a diet o good green kale can kittle him. ..."
Bnff. 1962 Banffshire Advert. (25 Oct.):
Gin thir wis siccan a player hereabouts he wid seen be snappit up.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 38:
An' the band wis takin' a brak'
A bottle o' ale I wis drinkin'
Fin ma feelins' got sicken a whack.
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 32:
a groo-graithit taet
againss the mair groo
o the ondeemas luft,
o the doore orrie erd
in sicna groo border
whaur the nicht
mells a weird wi the bricht

2. Used exclam. with nouns = “what (a) . . .!”, with adjs. = “how . . .!” Gen.Sc.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxii.:
Sicken a day as we had wi' the fumarts and the tods, and sicken a blythe gaedown as we had again e'en.
Dmf. 1829 W. Caesar Jaunt 9:
And siccan shops! nae country clown Did ever see.
Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town I. xiv.:
Siccan a lee!
m.Sc. 1922 J. Buchan Huntingtower x.:
“Siccan weather,” said the hostess, as she opened the door to let in a swirl of wind.
Abd. 1927 Banffshire Jnl. (2 Aug.) 2:
“Siccan blethers!” rudely exclaimed a nonconformist bailie.
Rnf. 1935 L. Kerr Woman of Glenshiels ii.:
Fancy daeing suchna thing.
Abd. 1960:
Eh, siccan bonnie (as) the flours were!

3. In derivs. (1) sicken-like, -lek, = Siclike, similar, like (ne.Sc., Ags., Dmb., sm.Sc. 1970). Also as a n., the like: (2) in phr. siccan-a-like yin, so-and-so (em.Sc.(b), sm. and s.Sc. 1970). Cf. Sic, IV. 2.(1) Sc. 1828 Outlaw Murray in Child Ballads No. 305 A. lxiv.:
Sicken-like mercy sall ye have, On gallows ye shall hangit be.
Cai. 1916 J. Mowat Proverbs 8:
Sican lek tae sican lek, an auld horse to a fail dik.
Sh. 1964 Nordern Lights 18:
We wir set abön da saekkin laeks o dee.
(2) Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Sicc'n a like yin tell'd her.

[O.Sc. sikkin, such, from 1513, from Sic, adj., + -kin, kind, sort. Cf. Whatten.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Siccan adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: