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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HEAVEN, n. Also Sc. forms: heev(a)n, -en, -in, heivin, hivven; hean, heien (Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 128); haiven, h'aven, hiven, -in. [I. and m.Sc. ′hi(:)vən, n.Sc. ′hɪvən, ‡he:vən]Dmf. 1731 in J. & R. Hyslop Langholm 533:
And pray to Hea'n neen times “God bless the King” and thrice the muckle Loard of Relton.
Sc. c.1746 in R. Chambers Hist. Rebellion (1869) 455:
Lord Balmerino . . . maintained before his friends a show of resolution . . . twice taking wine, with a little bread, and desiring them to drink him “ain degrae ta haiven.”
Ayr. 1826 Galt Lairds xxxviii.:
The birds o' heevan bigg their nests.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 31:
The thing at her command gaed scrievin' Wi' sic a breesil down the heivin, It beat the thunder-boltit leven.
Abd. 1879 G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie liii.:
Gien ye dinna tak the better care, ye'll be soopit aff to haiven afore ye ken whaur ye are or what ye're aboot. [Ib. xlvi. h'aven]
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. I. 62:
As fur yon edder whepper-snapper, heeven help da man at gets da laek o yon fur a wife.
Abd. 1941 Bon-Accord (27 Nov.) 12:
She wid get little wark oot o' me leavin' me danglin' 'twixt hiven an' earth, as the sayin' is.
Gsw. 1985 Stephen Mulrine in Joy Hendry Chapman 40 28:
An some aul cronie'll luft her heid,
Noddin away owre her purl an plain,
An cry oan hivven tae bless ma name
That sung yir praises fur aw tae read.
Sc. 1991 William Wolfe in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 64:
But gin the Spirit werena swack
The Strath no geylies fu
Heiven'd whummle an yird'd faa
Giean life a chitteran grue.
m.Sc. 1996 John Murray Aspen 3:
an that yer leaves, siller ablow
an green abuin, heiven an yirth
in yin, aye hae shougled wi shame
Lnk. 1998 Duncan Glen Selected New Poems 50:
"Dee, my verse,
dee as the unnumert fell
- in storming heiven ...

Phr.: (the Ladie o') Heeven's hen, the lark (Mearns 1880 Jam.; Abd. 1950, Heaven's hen).Lth. 1844 Zoologist II. 558:
Malisons, malisons mair than ten, That herry the Ladie o' Heeven's hen.

[The long vowel forms derive from the nom. case and the short from the trisyllabic oblique cases of O.E. heofon, gen. heofones, North.Mid.Eng. hevin, hevenes.]

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"Heaven n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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