Versions and Changes

DSL Online provides free access to The Scottish National Dictionary (SND) and A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST). First published during the twentieth century, their 12,000 pages in 22 volumes provide a remarkable record of the language, history, culture and traditions of the Scots-speaking people. By sharing these dictionaries online we allow their contents to be enjoyed far and wide.

DSL Online’s current database version is 3.0, which was published on 26 April 2022. Version 1.0 was published in March 2004 and version 2.0 in September 2014.

As differences between versions are substantial, we strongly recommend that any publication or research using DSL Online indicate the version number of the database used.


Version 1 to version 2 (September 2014)
• An improved interface makes the dictionary easier to use.
• All 90,000 internal cross-references are hyperlinked.
• Nearly all 750,000 citations are hyperlinked to the relevant entry in DSL’s bibliography.
• Many more variant forms are now searchable.
• An autocomplete facility is added to Quick Search.

Version 2 to version 3 (April 2022)
• All 8,000 entries marked ‘supplementary (1976)’ or ‘supplementary (2005)’ which originated in SND’s supplements are now fully integrated with SND’s original entries.
• All 2,000 entries marked ‘supplementary’ which originated in DOST’s Additions and Corrections are now fully integrated with DOST’s original entries.
• We now say when each entry was first published and whether it incorporates any supplementary material.
• Thousands of corrections and minor edits have been implemented, including restoration of most of the special characters that were inadvertently lost in version 2.0.
• All 3,000 references to ‘next’ or ‘preceding’ entries have been replaced by hyperlinks to the relevant entries. This addresses a hangover from the dictionaries’ original print format.
• There is easier access to explanations of abbreviations and symbols used throughout the dictionaries.
• The maximum number of search results displayed is increased to 500 and the total number of results is now shown.
• The browse order of headwords is fully alphabetical. The previous system ordered by headword ID number, which sometimes produced words out of sequence.
• Dates have been added to thousands of quotations in DOST. Previously these dates were only accessible via the bibliography.
• 360 sources cited but not listed in SND have been added to the bibliography.