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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.

THERE, adv. Also thair, thar(e), their, ther, thir, thur, therr, err; theer (Dmf. 1912 J. Hyslop Echoes 102; s.Sc. 1962 Southern Annual 28); and also in unstressed position in predicative use (see 1.) the reduced forms th(e), they. Gen.Sc. See also Dir. Sc. forms and usages. [ðe:r; Dmf. ‡ðiər-; unstressed ðə(r)]

Sc. forms:Sc. 1979 T. S. Law in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 81:
Thare is naething byordinar tae yer nichtit ee
atween the day ye saw an the day ye daenae see,
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 9:
A wheen o heathen Vikings liggan thare,
eftir some wild gilravigin affair.
Ags. 1993 Mary McIntosh in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 112:
Thar wis a spladge o orange i the sky aa shotten through wi a crammasie glowe, an he shiddered as the nicht creepit roon him.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 23:
err Broad Glasgwegian pronunciation of:
1. there: "Whit's at daein err?"
wm.Sc. 1985 Linda McCann in Julie Milton Original Prints 7:
"Ah'm tellin' yeze - two pound fifty ther up the road. Each!"
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 21:
Thurz people cannae make ends meet.
wm.Sc. 1991 Liz Lochhead Bagpipe Muzak 5:
But, I cannot tell a lie, the truth is that I
Just stuck on my headsquerr and snuck awa oot o therr -
I know I did right, it wisnae contrary
m.Sc. 1997 Tom Watson Dark Whistle 51:
Thir's auld yins gaun aboot
That's jist the same. - A'
Mid-week the caird's no merked
But perfect sixes aye drawn oot
Oan Sundays. Aye, yer maw!
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 21:
Thirs gowf links, boolin rinks,
dominoes an tidd'ly winks, ...

Sc. usages:

1. In predicative position with the verbs to be and the future auxiliary will, freq. in reduced forms the(y), and, in contradistinction to Eng., freq. followed by the pl. verb, although the subject may be sing. (see quots.). Gen.Sc. The usage prob. arises from a confusion between the Sc. verb pl. forms in -s with the Eng. forms in -re, further complicated by 2. below.Abd. 1733 W. Forbes Dominic Depos'd (1765) 28:
They'll something wamble in your wame.
Ayr. 1745 Hunterston Papers (S.R.S.) 89:
They wer ane Ingedement yesterday in which the Ribels his Got the Beter.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 227:
They'll be nae peace in the house.
Kcd. 1796 J. Burness Thrummy Cap (1887) 10:
They're nane about from town Sall put me out till a new day.
Lnk. 1808 J. Black Falls of Clyde 165:
When you come o'er the'll be a din.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. i.:
The' wur t'ree ha' hooses brunt i' the Nort' Isles.
Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 61:
Th'ill be a gude hairst.
Slk. 1909 W. S. Brown Ne'er-Do-Well 28:
The're yer freends awa down the road tae meet us.
Inv. 1911 Bch. Observer (10 Apr. 1962) 7:
They wis soon a crood.
Abd. 1920 C. Murray Country Places 1:
The'll be nae wird o' this in the mornin'.
Ork. 1968 M. A. Scott Island Saga 99:
The' wur too little watter for ventering that wey.
Abd. 1971:
The' were a man run ower wi a bus the streen.

2. As a reduced form of there is (Ork., Per., Slg., wm.Sc., Kcb., Rxb. 1972).Fif. 1704 P.S.A.S. LVI. 55:
They clapt their hands and cryed, There our Prince, there our Prince.
Sc. a.1830 Gay Goshawk in Child Ballads No. 96. H. xxiv.:
“Alas! alas!” her father cried, “For there nae life within.”
Sc. 1855 Scotticisms Corrected 21:
There a man asking for you, Sir.
Rxb. 1894 Sc. Fairy Tales (Douglas) 138:
Theer a wife com'd for ye the nicht, Patie lad.
Gsw. 1902 J. J. Bell Wee Macgreegor x.:
O! Paw, there a wee doug ootbye.
Gsw. 1915 Ian Hay The First Hundred Thousand (1985) 45:
"There a pit heid!" exclaims another voice.
Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 77:
There naebody in.
Per. 1955 Tocher 21 170:
There a man'll save my life if ye marry him.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 144:
And with her stick she chapped the walls; the stonework around the lum, the wooden skifting at floor-level, the floorboards themselves. Chap! 'There a mystery,' she said. Chap! 'There anither.' Chap! 'There a secret, Thomas Weir.' Chap! 'There a wee thing tae keep tae yersel.'

3. In adv. combs., sometimes written as two words: (1) thereanent, concerning the matter already mentioned, relating to what has been said above. Common in legal usage; ¶(2) there-attour, id. See Atour; (3) thereawa(y), (i) of place: away to or in that district, over there, in that general direction (Sc. 1825 Jam.; m.Sc. 1972), also in conflated form there-away-abouts; (ii) of time, number, amount, etc.: thereabouts, somewhere around that figure, approximately. Also in Eng. dial.; (iii) of distance: as far as that, also in form there-and-away (Abd. 1825 Jam.); †(4) thereben(n), thairben, in an inner apartment, within (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Used as a n. in 1889 quot. See also Ben, n.1, 4. (5) and The, 10.(2); †(5) therebut, in an outer apartment, in the kitchen-end of a two-roomed cottage, out there. See also But; (6) thereby, of number or amount: approximately, thereabouts, round about the figure mentioned (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 50, 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; (7) theredown, down there, down below (Abd. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 204). Obs. in Eng.; †(8) therefra(e), from there, thence (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (9) therefurth, see Furth, V. and cf. The, 10. (2); (10) therein, at home, indoors (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Cf. (12); (11) thereintil(l), therein, in that place or matter; (12) thereout, thair-, th(e)ir-, throut, ¶thrat, from or out of there, that place, etc. Obs. in Eng.; outside, abroad, at large; specif. in(to) the open air, out of doors (ne.Sc. 1930). Cf. (10); (13) theretill, -tull, thereto, to that place, time, or affair, in addition, besides; (14) thereup, up there, up above (Abd. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 204).(1) Sc. 1701 Records Cloth Manuf. (S.H.S.) 262:
The tennor of the act of parliament thereanent.
Kcd. 1720 Urie Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 117:
They declined to give their oats of veritie thereanent.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 190:
Lang's their debating thereanent.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter ix.:
I could not civilly urge him thereanent.
Per. 1881 D. Macara Crieff 64:
His forecasts were not verified, and he was twitted thereanent.
Hdg. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles 75:
Ye spier hoo I think thereanent!
(2) s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws iv.:
There-attour I'll just cheip a word in your lug.
(3) (i) Sc. 1769 D. Herd Sc. Songs 291:
Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie, Here awa, there awa, here awa hame.
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf viii.:
D'ye think we dinna ken the road to England as weel as our fathers before us? All evil comes out o' thereaway.
Edb. 1839 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxii.:
If any of the martyrs had been buried there-away-abouts.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxviii.:
There were a vast o' grand new hooses oot thereawa.
Knr. 1886 H. Haliburton Horace 87:
Tell us what kin' o' beas' an' birds Live thereawa'.
Dmf.2 1917:
Hei come frae Cairl or theeraway.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xviii.:
A'm thinkin ye'll be fae thereawa.
(ii) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. i.:
The three miles extended themselves into ‘four miles or there awa'.
(4) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 150:
He is well boden there benn, who will neither borrow nor lend.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 150:
'Tis ill brought butt that's no there ben.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 156:
Sic be their fa' wha dirk thir ben In blackest business no their ain.
Ags. 1889 Arbroath Guide (30 Nov.) 3:
'Tis refreshing when sipt in a cosie ‘thirben'.
(5) Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 185:
Let them ken That they maun byde their butt, an' they their ben.
Sc. 1827 The Earl of Errol in Child Ballads (1956) IV. 291:
And there was three thairbut, thairbut, And there was three thairben.
(6) Sc. 1706 Munimenta Univ. Gsw. (M.C.) I. 463:
His aiker and half aiker of land or thairby.
Abd. 1730 in A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) ix.:
Mr Alexander Ross, son of Andrew Ross, subtenant in Torfins, aged 27 years or thereby.
Sc. 1821 Scott Kenilworth x.:
There was one maiden of fifteen or thereby.
Sc. 1855 Scotticisms Corrected 56:
His father is seventy years old, or thereby.
Ork. 1999 Orcadian 7 Oct 6:
Ork. 2000 Orcadian 18 May 6:
Edb. 2002:
I bought a field with my redundancy money. It was described in the Purchase Agreement as 'thirteen acres or thereby'.
(8) Sc. 1709 Compend of Securities 7:
To Warrand, Acquit and Defend them therefrae at all Hands.
Sc. 1710 Descr. Sheriffdom Lnk. and Rnf. (M.C.) 1:
It was disjoyn'd therefra by King Robert the Third.
Dmb. 1886 D. MacLeod Clyde District Dmb. 61:
I would stick like a man tae my loom, an' be tempted therefrae by neither bird, beast, fish, nor body.
(10) Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. vii.:
Bessy Chisholm — Heh! Are ye therein?
ne.Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 113:
If ye'll work therein as we thereout, Well borrow'd shou'd your body be.
Abd. 1914 Rymour Club Misc. II. 103:
Reid thir-oot and white thir-in And a' the gut's aboon the skin. — A fiddle.
(11) Sc. 1706 Acts Gen. Assembly 11:
To take special care, that the Registers be correctly Written, and that they allow no Blottings or Interlinings thereintil.
Gsw. 1722 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 156:
The touns quarrell for winning of stones thereintill.
Bte. 1759 Rothesay T. C. Rec. ( 1935) II. 829:
All matters and things whatsomever that shall be proponed agitated or handled thereintill.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam-Boat xii.:
The box with my new wig thereintil.
(12) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. iii. ii.:
Spae-men! the Truth of a' their Saws I doubt; For greater Liars never ran there out.
Sc. c.1750 J. Nelson Journal (1836) 58:
They had better never known the way of salvation than, after knowing it, be turned thereout.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 187:
The coat ben-by i' the kist-nook . . Is brought yence mair thereout to look.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
To lie thairout, to lie in the open air during night.
Cai. 1829 J. Hay Poems 9:
Until a tale a furlong lang Wad get the rout [sic].
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 68:
A hen that lays thereout, should hae a white nest-egg.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiii.:
Oor bits o' duds bein' laggered wi' gutters, an' no fit to be seen thereoot.
Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Confessional 184:
I daurna gang in; I'll bide here thereoot.
Abd. 1893 G. MacDonald Heather & Snow vii.:
It's as dark theroot as i' the hoose.
Per. 1896 D. Kippen Crieff 96:
He would stop his shuttle, look suddenly out at the window, and remark, “What is that going down the street, thrat?”
Sc. 1971 Univ. Abd. Gazette (Feb.) 9:
Subject always to the reservation thereout by my Trustees of such funds as they shall consider it desirable to retain.
(13) Sc. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 63:
Wi' angry bill, and wing theretill, They wapp't and swapp't.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 158:
A shower of rain in July, when the corn begins to fill, Is worth a plough of owsen and a' belangs theretill.
Bnff. 1870 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 268:
Cauld Carnousie stands on a hill, And many a fremit ane gangs theretill.
Abd. 1928 Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (11 Oct.) 6:
I saw ye startin' an' that's nae sae lang theretull.

[O.Sc. ther = there are, 1638, therabout, 1659, thairanent, 1535, thar away, 1375, thair ben, c.1500, thar by, 1420, thairfra, 1476, thairintill, 1490, tharowte, a.1400, thare tyll, 1420.]

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



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