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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.

VACANCE, n. Also vacans(e), vaecans, vakens (Fif. 1897 D. Pryde Queer Folk 119), vakins (Slk. 1893 R. Hall Schools 43); vagans, vaigance, vaigands (s.Sc.). Construed as pl. in 1795 quot. [′vekəns; s.Sc. + ′vegəns]

1. A vacation, a holiday, a period of suspension of business or other function (Sc. 1752 D. Hume Polit. Discourses 56, 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also attrib. as in vacance-time.Abd. 1700 Records Burgh Abd. (B.R.S.) II. 331:
The first three lawfull dayes of Januarie be allowed to the schollars for play dayes, instead of the Yooll vaicance.
Sc. 1713 Two Students (Dickinson 1952) 35:
Alexander says he designs to read Homer this vacance.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 128:
Tho' their stamack's aft in tift, In vacance time.
Sc. 1795 Dunlop Papers (1953) III. 113:
George was left with Mr Allisson till the vacance which take place about the tenth of next month.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 241:
The Edinburgh Military Academy, on the Saturday afore their vacanse.
m.Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 58:
When ye was about Edinburgh way at the vaecans.
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 85:
He was a young Colleginer wha cam' frae the toon in the College vacans.
s.Sc. 1933 Border Mag. (Aug.) 115:
The “vagans” was on and the law courts in recess.

2. A vacancy, an unfilled post or situation (Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 99).Sc. 1788 J. Mill Diary (S.H.S.) 83:
The death of Dundas of Arniston, President of the Court of Session had made such a vacance that could hardly be supplied.

[O.Sc. vacance, a vacancy, 1524, an interregnum, 1533, a vacation, 1532, prob. from Fr. vacance, holiday, though this is not attested earlier than 1596, or formed independently ad. late Lat. vacantia, a vacation, Eng. vacancy.]

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"Vacance n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jul 2024 <>



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