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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.

UNTELLIN, ppl.adj. Past reckoning, impossible to tell, beyond words (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Lnk., Slk. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial. See Un-, pref., 2.Lnk. 1816 G. Muir Minstrelsy 7:
The royal banner that has splendid flown Its annual course for ages past untellin'.
Slk. 1823 Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) i.:
It was untelling what land that man possessed.
Peb. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 66:
The draps o' guide drink that we got were untelling.
Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 96:
The evils thereby done were “untelling”.
Lnk. 1892 Scots Mag. (June) 30:
It's untellin' what a cat'll eat aboot a ferm-toon.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 1:
The road was thrang wui droves o nowt — aa keinds, untellin.

[O.Sc. untelland, id., 1531.]

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"Untellin ppl. adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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