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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.

SIN, adv., prep., conj. Also syn, sen, san(e), sene. See also Syne. [sɪn, sən]

I. adv. Since, ago, from now, from that time (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.). Gen.Sc. and in Eng. dial.wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan 132:
Ae Sabbath morning mair than thretty years sin'.
Abd. 1894 Mrs Jackson A Bundle of Old Stories 99:
The doctor gaed bye o' the meer an 'oor sin'.
sm.Sc. 1923 R. W. Mackenna Bracken and Thistledown 6:
It was maybe three year sin'.
Rxb. 1965 Hawick Express (21 July) 4:
Exactly a hunder and fifty eer sin.

II. prep. Since, from the time of, after (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc.Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 22:
Sin the first fight these ten lang years.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Address to Deil xix.:
Sin' that day Michael did you pierce.
Sc. 1805 The Mother's Malison in Child Ballads No. 216 A. addition xiv.:
I dreamed a dream nou san the streen, God read a' dreams to gued!
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xix.:
Things were strangely changed in his country sin' the sad and sorrowfu' Union.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 23:
They wur never a right crap i' Orkney sin' that day.
Dmf. 1915 D. J. Beattie Oor Gate-En' 130:
Sin' the day that war broke oot, He's just been fechtin' mad.
Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. II. 77:
Mony a bastle we're hed wi dis weary world sin dan.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 28:
Warlds frae the lyft hae fled, an sterns gane black
Sen yesternicht, bot anely God can read
In the derkened universe o my tuim hert
What galaxies He ended whan you deed.

Freq. in comb. sinsyne, syn-, -seen, since-, sen-syne, sin sine, adv., since then, from that time (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 95, since-; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 107; Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 20; I., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Slg., Peb., Dmb., Kcb., s.Sc. 1970).Peb. 1703 Burgh Rec. Peebles (B.R.S.) 169:
Sincesyne the said deacon has now been admitted a member of the counsell.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. v. iii.:
That gars me like to sing sinsyne, O, corn-riggs are bonny!
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 110:
I am left my lane, An' monie a weary foot synsyne hae gane.
Ayr. 1793 Burns Logan Braes. 3:
Years sinsyne hae o'er us run.
Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 130:
O! wae's me, for't, I hear, sinseen, His thigh is broken!
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xi.:
I have heard your leddyship often speak about that grand morning sin' syne.
Slk. 1819 Hogg Tales (1874) 148:
I have often thought about it sin' syne.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 72:
I saw his speerit flachteran' by the window fower meenits sin' sine.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister xxiii.:
It has been turned sax times since syne.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (4 Sept.):
A wrak ship 'at cam i' da bred gios aboot five year sin-syne.
s.Sc. 1925 H. M'Diarmid Sangschaw 2:
But I hae thocht o' that foolish licht Ever sin' syne.
Bnff. 1941 Abd. Univ. Review (Spring) 94:
It's lang years sin syne.
ne.Sc. 1979 Alexander Scott in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 70:
And Scots sinsyne
hae tholed the pyne
whaur richt-wey roun
means upside-doun.
Slk. 1986 Harvey Holton in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 169:
kennin the corries whaur the stag's been sen-syne.
Sh. 1993 New Shetlander Sep 22:
"It's a year since he was taen and, ever sin sine, what atween the croft and the bairns, I'm hardly had time to blind my een. ... "
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 8:
(Davie's faither wis a larry driver an aince in an awfa nicht o blindrift an hailsteens as big as fitbas he'd stukken jist ooto Knockandhu an taen an ill-will at the place sinsyne: "No can do at Knockandhu," he aye said.)
m.Sc. 1996 John Murray Aspen 3:
an that yer leaves, siller ablow
an green abuin, heiven an yirth
in yin, aye hae shougled wi shame
sinsyne, fer me yer flooer haadsna
the fusty reek o soorit wine,
yer sap the creashiness o bluid

III. conj. 1. Since, from the time that (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1970). Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1745 Scots Mag. (June) 274:
Sad things hae happen'd syn ye clam the hill.
Ayr. 1785 Burns Twa Herds iii.:
The Lord's cause ne'er got sic a twistle Sin' I ha'e min'.
Sc. 1805 The Laily Worm in Child Ballads No. 36 addition iv., ix.:
Seven knights ha I slain Sane I lay att the fitt of the tree.
Dmf. 1817 W. Caesar Poems 148:
But ne'er sin' I was a bit callen.
Ags. 1826 A. Balfour Highland Mary I. xi.:
It's the feck o' twa hours sin' ye left it.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
It's half-a-dizzen o' year sin I was at the skweel.
Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Buddie 11:
Da door, sin he left her, wis still a grain open.
Lnk. 1926 W. Queen We're A' Coortin' 19:
I've bidden here sin' I wis born.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 29:
The mither looks frae her buik then:
"Nae lass, bot fower hae deed
Sen your faither they hae yirdit
Doun at the graifan-stede."
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
Life hid niver bin the same fur Davie Donald sin Graham Reid hid meeved tae the clachan o Blackbrae.

2. Since, because, as (Sh., ne.Sc., Fif. 1970).Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 232:
His bow he marvell'd sair, Sen blows till then on him but darr'd.
Edb. a.1730 A. Pennecuik Poems (1787) 14:
Sen your gotten out o's grips, Gie John a bucky.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 22:
Sin we're speaking o' journals.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 45:
Now sin' the gate o' traps I see Foul fa' the trap sall close on me.
Sc. 1791 The Lads of Wamphray in Child Ballads No. 184 xxxvii.:
Sin we've done na hurt, nor we'll take na wrang.
Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xxxiv.:
Sin ye're gawn awa' the morn, I'll see nae mair o' ye enoo.

[O.Sc. sen, = III., 1375, = II., 1576, sinsyne, 1541, Mid.Eng. sen, sin, reduced forms of sithen, sethen, O.E. siþþan, since, after(wards). See also Syne.]

Sin adv., prep., conj.

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"Sin adv., prep., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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