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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SKAIR, n.1, v.1 Also skare, scare. Sc. forms of Eng. share. [sker]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., a portion, an allotted part (Ags., Lth. 1808 Jam.).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 24:
Ilk Pleasure has of Pain a Skare.
Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 17:
Tho' they come to my skair.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 90:
[Browsters] dinna scimp ye o' a skair O' kebbucks frae their pantries.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 89:
The whisky ran frae reaming pails; Some lasses got their skair o't.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Entail xliii.:
Hitherto it has na been without a large scare o' comfort.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 30:
We made a hearty meal, Syne drank a skair o' water frae the spout.

2. Specif.: a plot of land, esp. one of many similar pieces of ground parcelled out of village or common lands in Dumfriesshire.Dmf. 1727 A. Steel Annan (1933) 69:
The Lotts drawn for the Severall Skairs.
Dmf. 1788 Dmf. Weekly Jnl. (1 Jan.):
The skair or Plot of Land in Carlyle's Yards, which . . . was laid off for the said Sir William Douglas, in lieu and place of his skair of land in Longcroft, which consisted of half an acre.
Dmf. 1800 Edb. Advertiser (14 Jan.) 32:
A Skair in Brow or Ward Part of the Ten Pound Land of Annan.

II. v. As in Eng., to share, to participate in.Sc. 1722 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 33:
China and Men the same Fate skair, An me! baith bruckle Earthen Ware.
Gsw. 1777 Weekly Mag. (16 Oct.) 63:
And, a' ye pow'rs aboon! let Willie skair Your greatest bennisons — your eident care.
Ayr. 1858 M. Porteous Real “Souter Johnny” 31:
To seek, wi' fremmit folk, to skair A safer bield.
Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables 76:
The braw things that war there They spread a' oot, an' sattl't doon to skare.

[O.Sc. skar, share, from 1476. The sk- suggests some Scand. or Du. influence, phs. from the cogn. words, O.N. skera, to cut, carve, M.L.Ger. schare, a share, troop of soldiers, Mid. Du. scare, scaer, a share in common grazing ground.]

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"Skair n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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