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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

THAT, pron., adj., adv., conj. Also thaut (Edb. 1910 Scotsman (9 Sept.)); †wm.Sc. and pseudo-Highl. tat, t'at (Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxix., 1818 Scott Guy M. xxxvi., Ayr. 1822 Galt Entail c.; Rnf. 1854 Laird of Logan 53; Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 196); thit; reduced form 'at (see 'At, dem. adj.., dem. pron., adv., At, rel. pron., At, conj.). For I.Sc. form see Dat. Derivs. thaten (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.), thattan, with indef. art. thatna. For pl. forms see Thae. Sc. forms and usages:

I. pron. 1. As a relative pron. used as in Eng. but also in Gen.Sc. use where St. Eng. would use who(m) of persons, and which of things (Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Uls. 1953 Traynor).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
I ance was neepours wi' a chap't cud 'a deen that.
Sc. 1921 Grant and Dixon M.M.S. 102:
Quha and quham as relatives, never passed into popular speech. The relative is always “that”, “'at.”
Abd. 1939:
It's the minister that aichts the bonny bairn.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
We socht for safticks for bait, green backs
noo slippit oot their hard shalls that floatit
in the shallow pools whaur the flukes bided
on the sand, that like the sand that nae ee
kent ane frae tither.
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 13:
Too-bloody-true ah'm gaunnae kick up a song'n dance! If it's no the peanut butter thit's coastin mair, it's the meat's noo 69 cents a pund instid ae 49; and if it's no that it's somethin else is dearer!
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 54:
'I was thinkin aboot this guy Mitchel,' said Carlin. 'The man that tried to shoot the archbishop. ... '

It is very freq. omitted in Sc. Colloq. or informal Eng. omits only when the pron. is the object of the relative clause.Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 160:
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxviii.:
Her house was taen up wi' them wadna like to be intruded on wi' strangers.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 329:
There's no' mair than twa acre seen the ploo.
Dmf. 1929 T. W. Paterson Readings II. 65:
Wha was the leddy gaed doon the road afore ye?

The possessive case is expressed by various circumlocutions, as that (hi)s, that her, that their, that . . . . . . o't, o' them, where the governed word is the subject of the relative clause; where it is the object of the verb or of a preposition, the word order after the pronoun remains as if it had been a principal clause. The 's of that (hi)s was later construed as a possess. ending as in its and is used of masc., fem. and neut. antecedents sing. and pl. alike. See also At, rel. pron.s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 196:
When the Relative is used in the Possessive Case (whose) it is necessary to express it by the conjunction at (that) and the possessive pronoun belonging to the antecedent; thus, “the man at his wife's deid”, the man whose wife is dead, “the woman at ye ken her son”, the woman whose son you know, “the dog at its leg was run ower”, the dog whose leg was run over. . . . For inferior animals and inanimate objects, hits being but little in use, o't, o'd, is used, as “the hoose 'at the end o't fell”, “the sheep at the tail o't was cuttit off.”
Sc. 1921 Grant & Dixon M.M.S. 102:
That's the man 'at's hoose was brunt.
Bnff. 1929:
The crew that their boat wis vrackit are in Aiberdeen.
ne.Sc. 1972:
The woman that's sister mairriet the postie. The kye that's caur were born aa about the same time.
Gsw. 1988 Michael Munro The Patter Another Blast 29:
Green Lady A familiar name for a Health Visitor, originally from the colour of their uniform. Although nowadays they no longer wear a uniform this is still the general term in common use: 'She's friendly with Mrs Sloan, ye know, her that's daughter's a Green Lady.'
ne.Sc. 1993 Brian Whittingham in A. L. Kennedy and Hamish Whyte New Writing Scotland 11: The Ghost of Liberace 157:
and the two-ply toilet paper that's tear line is out of synchronisation.

2. As a dem. pron.: (1) used where Eng. has this. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xx.:
I will say that for the English, that they are a ceeveleesed people.
Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost 119:
The usual salutation — ‘that's a braw day'.
Sc. 1905 E.D.D.:
A Scotchman will say, “that is a fine day,' when an Englishman would say ‘this is a fine day,' or simply ‘a fine day.'

(2) used instead of repeating a previous word or phrase in giving emphasis to what has already been said, so, indeed, just as you say. Gen.Sc. Also in colloq. Eng., obsol. Also aa that (Cai., m.Sc. 1972).Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage ii.:
He asked if he recollected him. “Weel that, weel that.”
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
He was ance a thief and he'll aye be that.
Crm. 1835 H. Miller Scenes and Leg. 322:
“I'm just thinking it will be no bodie's wyte but your ain.” “How that, man?”
wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 203:
Just that, just that; man, Willie, you've said it.
Lnk. 1885 R. Naismith Stonehouse 185:
“Did the master not tell you to take off your cap?” “No.” “Why that?”
Abd. 1896 Gregor MSS.:
Nivver enter o' the ice after the first gair o' the sea bracks. Faht for that?
Knr. 1905 H. Haliburton Excursions 3:
“A fine nicht, Mrs Wricht!” “It's a' that, Mrs Henderson.”
Ags. 1924 J. M. Smith Nettles 25:
Mr. Crabbe is your factor, I understand? He's a' that.
Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie i. vi.:
“He hutt me!” repeated Jeanie. “He did that!” cried her girl guardian.
Fif. 1940 St Andrews Cit. (10 Feb.) 3:
“Have you ever been on the north side of the bridge?” “I have that.”
Uls. 1950:
“Are you for the fair?” “I am that.” “It's a very cold day.” “'Tis that.”
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxiii.:
Maybe that than, mullert.

(3) Phrs.: (i) and that, and so on, et cetera. Gen.Sc., and also in colloq. Eng.; (ii) (juist) like that, used parenthetically: as it so happened, as it was (Fif. 1972); (iii) like aa that, like anything, at full speed, with the utmost energy or abandon. Gen.Sc.; (iv) or that, or the like, or something similar (Per., Kcb. 1972); (v) that o't, see It, pron., 3. (3).(i) Rnf. 1925 G. Blake Wild Men ii.:
He'll be comin' back soon wi' milk and that.
Gsw. 1978 James Kelman in Moira Burgess and Hamish Whyte Streets of Stone (1985) 75:
Gis straight ben the toilit. Sits doon in that oan the lavatri pan. ... Coupla oors gis by. In comes the wife in that ti stick oan a kettle. ... ... In comes the lassie. Eywis comes roon fir a blethir wi the maw in that whin the auld yins oot it his work.
Gsw. 1983 James Kelman in Moira Burgess and Hamish Whyte Streets of Stone (1985) 74:
Maybe they had seen him play and that, or heard about him and the rest of it.
Edb. 1991 Gordon Legge In Between Talking about the Football 46:
Dave would brilliantly take off Steve's wary demeanor and Glasgow accent, saying, 'Oh, I don't want to talk about it and that, you know'.
m.Sc. 1992 A. L. Kennedy in Elizabeth Burns et al. Original Prints Four 19:
You could sit, if you wanted, on the brick edge of the flower bed. But that would make you dirty; earth and chewing gum and that. Folk stubbed out their chewing gum on the bricks.
wm.Sc. 1995 Alan Warner Morvern Callar 2:
I needed to boil the kettle to get the mess offof my face, what with the greeting and that.
(ii) Ags. 1965:
But, like that, she was in company and I was in company, so we didna stop tae speak.
(iii) Abd. 1971:
He gaed fleein ben the road like aa that. Singin' like aa that.
(iv) Arg. 1947 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 191:
A summer visitor and maybe a painter or that.

II. adj. 1. Used as a pl. for Eng. those (n.Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 93; I. and n.Sc., Per. 1972).Sc. 1728 Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 91:
The said David became officer in that bounds.
Sc. 1772 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 266:
To see his wife with that black clouts dangling at their lugs.
ne.Sc. 1802 Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet in Child Ballads No. 66. B. xx.:
There was nae mean made for that godd Lords.
Abd. 1833 Abd. Shaver (14 Nov.) 22:
People of that names.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 12:
The' wur nee parlours an' kitchens i' that days.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 149:
Ye maun pit a stop tae that veggybons o' loons playin' at bools at the ga'le o' my hoose.
Abd. 1929 P. Grey Ravelled Yarn 21:
Ane o' that machines for darnin' socks.
Abd. 1970 Huntly Express (10 July) 2:
You an' me'll gyang an' see fat's come o' that men.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 9:
I wis gan tae get thirty-eight shillings a week and for that coppers I wis gan tae hae tae work a forty-eight hoor week.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 86:
A' that slammachs on the girst ... A' they spider wobs on the whuns.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 123:
' ... D'ye no read aboot that things at the school?'

2. Used parenthetically without its following noun, which is understood from the previous clause. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxix.:
He was a little black man, that.
wm.Sc. 1907 N. Munro Daft Days xi.:
Oh, but she's the clever one that!

3. = Eng. this (Sc. 1825 Jam.).Sc. 1724 P. Walker Life A. Peden 84:
He and his army saw a vision in the heavens, with that motto upon it, ‘In Christ ye shall overcome.'

4. Such, so much. Also in form thattan and, with indef. art., that a, dat-an-a, thatna, such a, so great a. Cf. Siccan, Whatten and etym. notes.Sc. 1799 W. Mitchell Scotticisms 82:
He was no longer able to go through the business with that vigour as he wished.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (11 Aug.):
Sibbie is in dat an a ontack aboot de supper.
Ags. 1910 J. Lee Poems 112:
Some folks wad mak' an unco wark 'Bout thisna pleasance, thatna park.
Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 10, 45:
I cudna lat my mind wander alang thattan road. . . . Bel hed that a cauld, an' it wiz sic a nicht o' rain.

III. adv. So, to such a degree; to that extent, very (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 38, 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., now only dial. in Eng. Also in form that a, id. See II. 4.Sc. 1703 R. Calder Vindication of Sermon 9:
He is that Ingenuous as to tell that he wrote not all I said.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 1:
The skaith ye've met wi's nae that sma'.
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf x.:
Elshie's no that bad a chield.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod i.:
Ye had yer brakfast, an' ye warna that hungry for the word.
Ayr. 1873 A. Aitken Poems 19:
She's whyles in the house, an' her gang's no' that birthy.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Bog Myrtle 410:
I was drunk every Monday nicht, an' that often atweenwhiles.
Lnk.1 1932:
It wis that a caul' mornin' I jist keepit ma bed. She's that a bonnie lassie.
Arg. 1939 I. Malcolm Songs o' Clachan 34:
She was that young, and weary were her eyes.
Sc. 1953 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 149:
He was that frightened he woke with a start.
ne.Sc. 1980 James Fowler Fraser Doctor Jimmy 107:
I often wondered whether it was the actual work of the Unit or because I knew all these people that we got that good a report.
Edb. 1989 Gordon Legge The Shoe 126:
'Yeah, I've seen him that desperate he's run to get there. I've seen him throwing up there. ...'
m.Sc. 1992 Janette Walkinshaw in Elizabeth Burns et al. Original Prints Four 138:
I was that embarrassed, but the man took it all right. Jimmy says you shouldn't judge by appearances.
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 26:
Liftin' oor wee Danny
Get up oan the caur,
Where are ye goin', Missus?
Says the conductor, face that soor.
Gsw. 1995 Chris Dolan Poor Angels 45:
She almost felt sorry for him, he was that deflated when she just upped and offed.

IV. conj. Sometimes used superfluously after another conj.Kcd. 1880 W. R. Fraser Laurencekirk 341:
What will we do when T' [that] October comes?
Abd. 1971:
He said that fu that he'd been swickit wi the coo.

That pron., adj., adv., conj.

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"That pron., adj., adv., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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