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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.

UNCE, n. Also unse (Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 172), onse (Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Gleams 49). Deriv. forms ouncle, uncel. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. ounce (Sc. 1702 Analecta Scotica (Maidment 1837) II. 361; Abd. 1710 Sc. N. & Q. (April 1929) 71; Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xx.; Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vi.; Fif. 1909 J. C. Craig Sangs o' Bairns 204; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson, Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. [ʌns; dim. ʌnsl]

Sc. usages. In expressions of weight the sing. is freq. used coll., e.g. three unce, sax and a half unce. Combs. and derivs.: ouncle-weight, n., a weight used on farms for scales, consisting of stones of appropriate sizes found by the sea-shore (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 368); uncels, ouncles, pl.n., a small household spring-balance used for weighing light articles (Kcb. 1964).Sc. 1700 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 271:
A silver possit dish weighing 31 unce.
Inv. 1731 Trans. Inv. Scientific Soc. I. 232:
3 unce brown candy.
Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xliv.:
Twall unce o' the best lead bullets.
Ags. 1901 W. J. Milne Reminisc. 292:
Twa unce o' tea i' the week.
Dmf. 1921 J. L. Waugh Heroes 109:
Twae unce o' black twist.

[O.Sc. unce, c.1425.]

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"Unce n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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