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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STRANGE, adj., v. Also strynge. Deriv. stringie. [Cai., Ayr., sm. and s.Sc. ‡strəindʒ]

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. Sc. forms (see etym. note).Sc. 1863 J. Brown Horae Subs. (1882) 321:
The len o' a gun, John! that's strynge.
Dmf. 1930:
It's gey strynge that our ain gray meer, the neibour's dun coo, and your wain should aa hae slippit awa i the yae nicht.
Abd. 1993:
E bairnie's aye a bittie strynge amon new fowk.
Edb. 2005:
When Ah wis a bairn Ah wis aye strange wi new folk.

Phrs.: (1) strange be here, an exclamation of surprise: extraordinary! great Scot!; (2) to give the strange cow's welcome, to be very inquisitive of another without telling much of oneself, “all inquiry and no information” (Arg. 1901 N. Munro Shoes of Fortune xxviii.), an adaptation of the proverb given in Macintosh's Gaelic Proverbs (Nicolson 1881) 8, as aithneachadh bò badhail, of the hostile reception of a straying cow by others.(1) Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1873) 39:
Strange be here, Sirs! na that dings!

2. Aloof or distant in manner (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.; Sh., Cai., m. and s.Sc. 1971); shy, self-conscious among strangers, esp. of children. Gen.Sc. Obs. exc. dial. in Eng. Cf. Strunge. Deriv. †stringie, id., stiff, affected (Lth. 1808 Jam.; Abd., Per. 1904 E.D.D.; Ags., Per. 1971).

II. v. tr. and intr. To marvel or wonder (at) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh. 1971). Obs. in Eng. since mid 18th c.Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 164:
I strange to hear ye speak in sic a stile.
Gall. 1796 J. Lauderdale Poems 93:
Spak' ye wi' the deil: I wadna strange't, As I'm a sinner.
Sh. 1949:
I stranged at dat = I wondered at that.

[For the diphthongal forms (from au > ā > ai, ay) which are found in North. Mid.Eng. from the 15th c. cf. chynge, rynge, s.v. Cheenge, Reenge, v.1 Cf. also Streenge.]

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"Strange adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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