Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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AMANG, 'MANG, Amon', Amo', Imang, Among (Anglicised variant), prep. = St.Eng. among. For uses other than those of St.Eng. see A. and C. below. Gen.Sc. [ə′mɑŋ, ə′mɔŋ, ə′mʌŋ Sc.; ə′mɔ + o, ə′mɔn, chiefly ne.Sc. and sn.Sc., but Bch. ə′mʌ, ə′mʌn; Sh. ə′mæŋ; ɪ′mɑŋ w.Sc.]

A. The chief difference of usage from St.Eng. appears to be that in Sc. the meaning more often resembles that of amid, amidst, or in, with ref. to a place or a composite substance, which, whether expressed by a sing. or a pl. noun, is regarded as a whole, surrounding the other object spoken of. Sc. 1736  Ramsay Sc. Proverbs (1819) 182:
He kens his ain groats amang ither fowks kail.
Abd. 1928  J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 7:
Her tails amo' the glaur.
Ags.(D) 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi. 42:
He began to mak' a lot o' fairlies wi' his finger amon' the floor [flour] aff the rows on the table.
Ayr. 1792  Burns Posie i.:
But I will doun yon river rove amang the wood sae green.

B. Further illustration of forms. (Meanings partly Sc., partly gen. Eng.) Sc. a.1783  Willie's Lady in Ballads ed. Child (1904) No. 6, xl.:
And Willie's taen out the kaims o care That hang amo that ladie's hair.
Sc. 1887  R. L. Stevenson Underwoods, Scotsman's Return ll. 61–62:
An' 'mang the first, as it befell, Wha should I see, sir, but yoursel'.
Abd.(D) c.1750  R. Forbes Journal from London, etc. (1767) 11:
To set her up amon' a curn bear to fley awa' the ruicks.
Abd. 1925 7 :
“Amo' the lave,” amongst the others; “amon' a' the lave,” among all the rest or others.
Mearns 1889  J. and W. Clark Leisure Musings 88:
I've five milk kye, amo' the best That e'er wi' thumbs were drawn.
West and South of S[cotland] 1887  Jam.6:
Imang, among.
Ayr. 1790  Burns Willie Brew'd iv.:
Wha first beside his chair shall fa', He is the King amang us three!
Rxb.(D) 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 10:
A dandert aboot amang the auld byres an smiddie-ends an yetts.

C. Phrases and combs.: (1) Amang feet. (See quot.) Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 41:
Ti fa' doon-amang feet, to collapse or suffer speedy ruin (said of persons or things).

(2) Amang my (his, etc.) feet, between or (more vaguely) at or beside my feet. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxvi.:
The book had fa'en out o' his pocket, I fancy, for I fand it amang my feet when I was graping about [etc.].
Kcb. 1897  A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine 6:
She lifted her faither's pipe frae amang his feet.
Slk. a.1835  Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) II. 53:
If I had got him amang my feet as I had you lately, mercy! how I would have laid on!

(3) (a) Among-hands, in one's hands or possession. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 41:
Yin has plenty o' freends whan yin has ocht among-hands.

(b) Amang han(d)s.

(i) Of work done in the intervals of other work, or by co-operation. (See quots.) Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 18:
Amang hans. — Amongst hands. Little jobs are sometimes done amang hans; that is to say, they are done without in any shape retarding the large job.
Uls. 1880  W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
“He'll daet amang hans,” i.e. he will get it done somehow, by dividing the labour, and finding spare time for it. [Cf. e.Yks. 1889 Nicholson Flk.-Sp. 91 (E.D.D.): Oor fooaks is undher-handed . . . bud they'll mannish amang-hands.]

(ii) Gen. at intervals (cf. ay amang in O.Sc.: “for, ay amang, The wawys reft thar sycht of land,” Barb. Brus iii. 714). Sc. 1701–1731  Wodrow's Analecta (Maitland Club 1842) I. 70:
He would sometimes rejoice, among hands, at the sweetness of the discovry.

(iii) In the meantime. w.Sc. 1825  Jam.2:
Amang hands, in the mean time.
Ayr. 1823  Galt Entail I. xxxii.:
[My father] put a' past me that he could, and had he no deet amang hands in one o' his scrieds wi' the Lairds o' Kilpatrick, I'm sure I canna think what would hae come o' me and my first wife.

(iv) Imang hands. (See quot.) West and South of S[cotland] 1887  Jam.6:
Imang hands, in hand, at command, in process, on the anvil.

(4) Amang oor (etc.) hands. Gen.Sc.

(a) On hand (of work on which one is engaged) = (3) (b) (iv). Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 41:
The woark we hae amang oor hands (= are engaged on).

(b) In possession. Bch.(D) 1930  P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 106:
Peer boddie, mony a time she hidna very muckle amon' 'er han's.

(5) Amang you (them, etc.) be it, settle it among yourselves. Gen.Sc. Sc. a.1832  A. Henderson Sc. Proverbs (1881) 101:
Amang you be't, priests' bairns; I am but a priest's oye. [Kelly (1720) explains: Spoken when we see people contending, in whose contests we have little concern.]
Uls. 1880  W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Among ye be it, blind harpers — i.e. settle it among yourselves: said to persons quarrelling.

(6) (a) Oot amang, out from among or amidst. (See also Oot.) Gen.Sc. Ags. 1894  “F. Mackenzie” Humours of Glenbruar xvii.:
I'm shure I wish I were oot among ye.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 41:
Come oot amang thae neeps!

(b) Oot amon's han's, out of control. Abd.(D) 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb (1884) xv.:
I'm seer he hed latt'n 'im oot amon' 's han's i' the theets.

[O.Sc. amang, also emang, imang, O.E. onmang, ongemang, prep. = among, from on, on, in + gemang, company, crowd.]

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"Amang ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Dec 2017 <>



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