Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
AINCE, ANCE, ANES, YINCE, Anis, Yinst, Yance, Yence, Eence, Wance, Wanst, adv. and conj., also quasi-noun (as in at anes). Once. [ens mn.Sc.(b), em.Sc.(a); eins Cai., e.Rs.; ins I.Sc., mn.Sc.(a), Mearns, e.Ags.; jɪns + , wm.Sc., Ayr. + jɑns, em.Sc.(b) + jɛns, sm.Sc., s.Sc. + jɛns, Uls.; jɪnst wm.Sc., em.Sc.(b), s.Arg., Wgt., Uls.; wans I.Sc., Cai.; wɑns Gsw., s.Arg., w.Dmf. + jɪns; wɑnst Gsw., s.Arg. z for s may be heard, esp. before voiced cons. and vowels.] The Sc. uses agree almost entirely with those of the St.Eng. form, and are not here shown separately; exceptions will be found in B. Quots. are given in approx. chron. order.
A. 1. Anes. Meanings as in St.Eng.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems, Wealth 240:
But anes a Year their River heaves his Tide. Abd.(D) c.1750 R. Forbes Journal from London, etc. (1767) 11:
Fan anes it was down your wizen, it had an ugly knaggim. Abd. c.1760 J. Skinner The Ewie wi' the Crookit Horn (1809) 64:
Anes she lay an ouk and langer Furth aneath a wreath o' snaw. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 34:
A' this was good, I anes was won awa' Resolv'd ere I yeed back a' nails to ca'. [This peculiar usage of once = if once, when once, is now very rare in Mod.Eng. and Sc. It is found in O.Sc. See D.O.S.T. anis.] Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson in Dmf. Wkly. Mag. (Sept.) reprinted in Gallovidian Annual (1930) 78:
Nae mair he'd sung to auld Mæcenas, The blinking ein o' bonny Venus, His leave o' them he'd ta'en at anis For Claret here. [The rhyme requires anis to be disyllabic here — no doubt a jocular archaism.] Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xii.:
I downa take muckle siller at anes.
2. Ance. This form was next historically to anys, anis, anes.
Sc. c.1756 J. Elliot Flowers of the Forest v.:
The English for ance by guile wan the day. Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween ii.:
Where Bruce ance rul'd the martial ranks. Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems, Ep. to J. Buchanan ll. 47–48:
'Tis also said, our noble prince, Has play'd the wee saul't loon for ance. [Note the rhyme for the pronunciation here.] Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xii.:
Odd, ance I gat a wee soupled yestreen, I was as yauld as an eel. Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet i.:
“Hoot, noo,” said Peter, “gudeman, ye were ance young yersel'.” Sc. 1864 J. C. Shairp The Bush aboon Traquair in Kilmahoe, etc. viii.:
The luve that ance was there. Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliv.:
Fan ance fowk's at oor time o' life they sud be willin' to lat the theets slack a bit.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Halloween iv.:
Their “stocks” maun a' be sought aince. [Ed. 1786: ance.] Slk. 1822 Hogg Poet. Wks. II. 122:
I aince gat a glisk of thy face. Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods, Counterblast xi.:
The shoon ye coft, the life ye lead, Ithers will heir when aince ye're deid. Ags. 1891 J. M. Barrie Little Min. I. iv.:
Aince you're used to it, writing letters is as easy as skinning moles. Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems and Sketches 235:
Doon went . . . Tam McPhail mair nor aince. Cai. 1929 “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (13 Dec.):
A wonder will he min' 'e auld man A kent aince.
Abd.(D) 1905 W. Watson Glimpses o' Auld Lang Syne 93:
“Have you heard him oftener than once?” “Ou, fie na, jist eence.” Sh.(D) 1916 Burgess Rasmir's Smaa Murr Iktober 15:
Watter can get braaly dear, if ye eence caa it aqua. Bnff. 1931 2 :
Eence Jamie wiz in, we'll begin wir supper.
5. Yince, yence, yance. Yince is a common spelling south of the Forth, indicating the usual modern pronunciation in that area.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 1:
Yence I could hear the laverock's shrill-tun'd throat. Gsw. 1783 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 11:
An yence my father's muck were out, my mither downa wirk at the midden. Ayr. 1879 J. White Jottings 186:
And a' at yance I'll e'en engage To send relief. Gsw. 1891 N. Dickson Kirk Beadle 47:
It's at yince the maist interestin' an' the maist religious buik I ever read. Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 19:
It's no' easy gettin' the Eerish oot if they yince get in. Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 5:
I am yince mair within Drumelzier glen. Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 6:
“Bring ben the loch!” yince quo' “Jamie the Poyeter.” Ayr. 1929 R. Crawford In Quiet Fields 34:
Big Ma-Comb, the tattie prince, Though twenty stane, de'ed a' at yince.
Wgt. 1885 G. Fraser Poems 41:
We yinst had a Castle at Wigtown toon. Uls. 1900 A. McIlroy By Lone Craig-Linnie Burn 131:
He tried tae get merriet mair nor yinst. Gsw.(D) 1902 J. J. Bell Wee Macgregor ii.:
A man yinst tell't me the beast wis trampin' on his keepers. Gsw. 1921 H. Chapin The Philosopher of Butterbiggins 10:
I'm no' sayin' ther's ony harm in it this yinst, faither; but it's no' richt to gae on nicht after nicht wi' never a break.
7. Wance, wanst. Local modifications of St.Eng. once.
w.Dmf. 1908 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (2nd ed.) 143:
Man, Sanday caa'd him up at wance. Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 113:
If a body says a wird ye tak hit ta you at wance. Tyr. 1929 Mat Mulcaghey Rhymes of a Besom Man 45:
I wance had a boothry gun. Tyr. 1929 W. F. Marshall Ballads and Verses from Tyrone 43:
I creep to Carmin wanst a month. Arg. 1931 1 :
Weel I'll len' ye yer rent this wanst, but min' yer no tae come back again.
B. Phrases: (1) Anes and awa, just for a moment; (2) anes and aye, for ance and ay, from that very moment, for ever; (3) anes and for aye, without more ado; (4) anes (yince) on (in) a day, ance-a-day, once upon a time; (5) till ance, till at length; (6) yince an, when, when once (cf. Aincin).
(1) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxi.:
He has a gloaming sight o' what's reasonable — that is anes and awa' — a glisk and nae mair. wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan I. 136:
[Of tooth-extraction.] John, just bide still now — it's just ance and awa'. (2) Ayr. 1795 (publ. 1800) Burns To Collector Mitchell v.:
Then farewell Folly, hide and hair o't, For ance and ay! Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
As for the whistle, it was gaen anes and aye. (3) Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy ix.:
Zounds! that a chield wi' sic a black beard should hae nae mair heart than a hen-partridge! — Come on wi' you, like a frank fallow, anes and for aye. (4) Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
He was a gude customer anes in a day, and wants naething but means to be a gude ane agane. Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Doun i' th' Loudons, etc. 15:
But ance-a-day, it was as popular As auld Broun's kirkings yont at Hedinton. Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 25:
Yince in a day the maist o this wheit-seem (white-seam: plain needlework) was shewd be hand. (5) Wgt. 1880 J. F. C. The Kelpie, etc. in G. Fraser Lowland Lore 165:
Frae this I learn'd anither fac', That Kelpies silence never brak Till ance aneath the sand they're doon, An' in their caverns safe an' soun'. (6) Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Yince an ee change a note, it suin gangs in thae times. Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 25:
Yince an oo'd the wunter bye, oo'll no be sae ill-off.
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"Aince adv., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/aince>
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