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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TIME, n. Also teime (Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith 'Mang Howes 18), toime (Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 322), †tym-, and in unstressed position tim (Sc. 1935 Sc. One Act Plays (Reid) 170), common in m.Sc. Sc. forms and usages. [təim; unstressed tɪm]

1. As in Eng. Sc. combs., phrs. and deriv.: (1) a time or twa, once or twice (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.; Sh., n.Sc., Per. 1972). Also in n.Eng. dial.; (2) at aa time, at any or all times. Gen.Sc.; (3) at a time, at times, now and again, occasionally (Sh., n., em.Sc., s.Sc. 1972); (4) by a time, id.; (5) by times, gradually, in instalments; (6) in aa time, betimes, in plenty of time, early (Abd. 1972); (7) in (all) time coming, for all time to come, for the indefinite future. Gen.Sc.; (8) oot o' time, dead, passed away (Cai. 1905 E.D.D.); (9) the time that, while, during the time that (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc.; (10) this side of time, in this world, while life lasts (Sh., ne.Sc., Ayr. 1972), freq. in neg. sentences = never more; (11) time about, alternately, in turn (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 50). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.; (12) timey, see quot.; (13) time o' day, (i) a clock, a time-piece (Sh., n., em.Sc. (b) 1972); (ii) the appropriate time, the proper season or juncture, freq. ironically, as in (a fine) time o' day, a pretty pass (Sc. 1905 E.D.D.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc.; (iii) as in Eng., of salutations: a polite greeting, a civility; hence by extension in 1837 quot. a glass of liquor, a dram; also ironically, a drubbing, a severe manhandling or reproof, one's quietus (Lnk., Ayr. 1972). Gen. in phrs. to get or gie the time o' day.(1) Per. 1972:
I rang ye up a time or twa but got nae answer.
(2) Abd. 1966 Huntly Express (30 Sept.) 2:
Yon lads is wan'erin' the road at a' time evnoo.
(3) m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 67:
They're best tae my taste in their nat'ral state, — unless it be a bit skeegin' o' sugar at a time!
Abd. 1970:
I've seen me dae that mysel at a time.
(4) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 26:
A Horse with four Feet may snapper, by a Time.
Gall. 1888 G. G. B. Sproat Rose o' Dalma Linn 107:
A man's nocht the waur bein' fou by a time.
(5) Cai. 1939 Scots Mag. (May) 94:
Barnie's promised to let me pay it by times.
(6) Abd. 1928 Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (20 Sept.) 6:
Ye'll be in a' time.
(7) Abd. 1701 Records Old Abd. (S.C.) II. 103:
To prevent the lyke in tyme coming.
Ags. 1777 Dundee Weekly Mag. (9 May) 336:
To take the bell from his cart, and blow with a horn in all time coming.
(9) Wgt. 1723 Session Bk. Wgt. (1934) 322:
They take it under an avisandum the time that he shall apply for sealing ordinances.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 241:
I'll be reamin' a bowl o' milk the time ye're gettin' oot the pickin' frae ben the house.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 22:
A thocht ee'd come ti the door the teime that A was oot.
Abd. 1959:
The time at I was at the hyow, they were amon' the hey.
(10) s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin xii.:
Once lay him on the trail, and I'll wad my soul he'll no leave it this side of time.
(11) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 155:
When little Midges frisk in lazy Air, And Time about how up and down they wheel.
Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 272:
A protestant emperor should be chosen time about with a popish.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
It is used in the vulgar Proverb, Time about's fair play.
Sc. 1855 Scotticisms Corrected 19:
Let us read time about.
Wgt. 1897 66th Report Brit. Ass. 491:
He saw the fairies riding ‘time aboot' round the knoll on the goat's back.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 22:
Oo've duist aye ti taik oor hoalidays teime aboot.
(12) Ags. 1934 G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 178:
In the game of Mites [see Mite, n., 3. (3)] … according to the weight of brass, a valuation was made; a large button could be a“Twa Timey”,“Three Timey”, etc.
(13) (i) Abd. 1970 Huntly Express (6 March) 2:
There's nae a time o' day here.
(ii) Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 73:
Time o' day to find the nest when the birds are flown.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption vii.:
Your auntie is no past the time o' day yet for jumping at a man.
(iii) wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 194:
The sergeant wouldna let me ower the door-stane till I would tak' my time o' day frae him.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 58:
Dey saw t'ree veelant great arkmaes ferkian' like mad i' the net. An' de peur selkies seun got deir time o' day.

2. The journey once across a field in ploughing, harrowing, etc. Also n.Eng. dial.Bwk. 1809 R. Kerr Agric. Bwk. 198:
The completest harrowing is called a double double time; in which the harrow goes four times successively over the same range.
Sc. 1857 N. and Q. (2nd Series) IV. 80:
A time . . . is the act of once furrowing between two ploughings.

3. A fuss, a great to-do, gen. in a pleasurably excited sense. Occas. in pl. with def. art. in phr. to have the times, to be in the thick of things. Phr. to haud a time wi, to make a fuss of, to sport or dally with (Sh., n.Sc. 1972).Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid xxxi.:
Ah, lad, lad! Haven't we the times?
Abd. 1899 J. R. Imray Sandy Todd 65:
She haes been hauddin' a sair time speakin' aboot ye.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (4 Aug.):
Da lasses is hadden dem a time aboot her.
Ayr. 1901 G. Douglas Green Shutters xiv.:
When Ah'm in the business, Ah'll have the times.

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"Time n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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