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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.

SIDELIN(S), adv., adj., n. Also -ling(s), -lan(s); sid-. Now chiefly dial. in Eng., having been replaced in standard usage by sidelong. [′səidlɪn(z), ′sɪd-]

I. adv., gen. in form with -.s: 1. Sideways, side on, to one side (Sc. a.1813 A. Murray Hist. Eur. Langs (1823) II. 10, sidlins; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 230; Kcb.4 1900; Ayr. 1926 Wilson D. Burns 183; Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Slg., Kcb. 1970).Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 45:
Sidelin to the fight they both come on.
Sc. 1823 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) VII. 320:
The snaw was an awsome depth and there was just room for twa folk to pass one another sidlings.
Mry. c.1850 Lintie o' Moray (1887) 30:
Sidlins upon the mare's hurdies he sat.
Lnk. 1883 A. R. Fisher Poems 12:
His bannet sidelin's stauns awee.
s.Sc. 1925 H. M'Diarmid Sangschaw 41:
Syne he hings sidelins Watchin' hoo lang.
Gall. 1932 A. McCormick Galloway 153:
The eagle fell “sidelins,” but righted itself and flew away.

2. Indirectly, obliquely, of speech or look (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., Ork., Abd., Kcb. 1970).Ayr. 1785 Burns To W. Simpson ii.:
Ironic satire, sidelins sklented.
Edb. 1866 J. Smith Merry Bridal 66:
Sidelins he meets the cauld averted gaze.
Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 21:
Though whiles at ane he'd sidelin's glance.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 8:
Whiles a skime she sidelins ga'e him.
Sh. 1966 New Shetlander No. 79. 10:
Da door at noo da younger fokk look sideleens at in scoarn.

II. adj. 1. Sidelong, oblique, moving or glancing sideways (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Abd., Kcb. 1970).Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 113:
For Nory's cause this sidlings cast he gae.
Edb. 1786 Edb. Ev. Courant (12 Dec.):
Weel, Rab, I conn'd a' o'er your beuk, Yestreen, nor coost a sidelin' look.
Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 98:
But Grizzie, on their neibour rig, Wi' sidelins, oglin ee.
Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 56:
Although she travels wi' a sidelins houd.
Bnff. 1852 A. Harper Solitary Hours 87:
Gin he girnt, wi' sidelins neck, An' flirr'd his tusks in disrespect. Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 114. The ship cam wi' a sudden kind O' sidlin's cowp. e. Lth. 1882 P. McNeill Preston 76: He cuist a sidelan' glance at Bess.

2. Sloping, on an incline or declivity (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ork., Abd., Kcb. 1970). Also in Eng. dial.Kcb. 1815 J. Gerrond Poems 153:
O what a flutter! Or sidlins brae in o' a gutter.
Gall. 1904 E.D.D.:
‘I wus ploughing a sidlans brae' means that man and horses were going neither up nor down hill but across the slope — leaving one foot higher than the other.
Abd. 1969 Huntly Express (10 Feb.) 3:
A sloping field, running from top to bottom, might also slope to one side. The horsemen would say, “It's nae gweed tae dreel: it's that sidelins.”

III. n., from adj. used subst.: a sloping piece of ground, a declivity, hill-side (Sc. 1808 Jam., sid(e)lin(g)s; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Sc., Rxb. 1970, sidlins), by some thought of as sidelan(d)s. Also in Eng. dial.; also road-scrapings accumulated at the sides (‡Per. 1970).Kcb. a.1914 J. Matthewson MS. Poems 55:
He on the sidlans tripped Stumbled, and laigher slipped.
wm.Sc. 1957 Glasgow Herald (2 March) 3:
Between the burn and the fence are “sidlings” — foothills too steep for the plough.
ne.Sc. 1996 Ronald W. McDonald in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 66:
E fairies Knowe wis an oot-o-e-wye, flat tappit hillockie; a dreich place, wie e sidelings sair owergrown wi scrog it raxed fir e sky wi scruntit beuchs an twistit cleuks.

[O.Sc. sidelangis, -lingis, sideways, c.1460, sidlens, a steep slope, 1666.]

Sidelin adv., adj., n.

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"Sidelin adv., adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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