Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
ANENT, 'Nent, prep. and adv. [ə′nɛnt Sc.; ə′nænt s.Sc.]
(1) In a line with; on a level with; alongside of. (Also in Mid.Eng. and in Yks. dial.)
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays and Legends of the North (1908) 5:
[We] ran anent her doon the banks For half-a-mile or mair. Abd. 1813 D. Anderson Poems 71:
Twa wee boaties . . . . . . trail'd by horses at a slow jog trot, Scarce fit to haud anent an auld wife on her foot. Bch.(D) 1930 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 104:
He wiz ower sax fit an' hid a terrible lang back, an' I wizna muckle bookit an' gey active, an' wi' ma less hicht mair anent the corn nor he wiz.
(2) Of persons: before the face of, in the presence of. (Also in Mid.Eng. — e.g. Wyclif.)
Bnff. 1931 2 :
Droggie'll hae t'appear anent his betters the morn. Abd.(D) 1924 J. C. Mathieson in Swatches o' Hamespun 60:
I niver thocht a mairret man Wad spyke sic styte anent his bairn.
(3) Of position (of persons or things): fronting, opposite, over against. (Also in Mid.Eng. and dial. Eng.) cf. Fornent.
Sc. 1755 Johnson Dict. Eng. Lang. s.v.:
Anent, prep. A word used in the Scotch dialect. . . . 2. Over against, opposite to; as, he lives anent the market-house. Nai. 1927 G. Bain Dauvid Main 15:
I couls have whipped the clock aff the wall, and put it anent yer very eyes. Abd.(D) 1931 P. Murcar Dauvit's Digressions in Abd. Ev. Express (May 30):
Jist aiven anent far we had come intae the market . . . there was a billie blawin' awa at the pipes. n., nw.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 42:
Anent, opposite. [Marked obsol. in this sense.]
(4) Concerning, about. Gen.Sc. (Freq. in legal and quasi-legal phraseology. A Sc. use imitated by Mod.Eng. writers.)
Sc. 1701 Records of a Sc. Cloth Manuf. [Hdg.] (S.H.S. 1905) 250:
Orders William Blackuood to wryt to Mr Drumond and partner anent tuo samples of wyre. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxii.:
Glossin sent for Deacon Bearcliff, to speak “anent the villain that had shot Mr Charles Hazlewood.” Slg. 1787 Records Shoemakers Incorp., Trans. Stirl. Arch. Soc. (1924) 47:
Anent the stands or flakes in the market, agreed that the King's freemen should stand uppermost [etc.]. Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh 68:
Lawsuits anent unlawful stoppages. Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of the Lairds xxv.:
They'll be comin to consult you anent takin the law o' me. s.Sc. 1873 Murray Book of Ruth, D.S.C.S. 247:
Nuw, the way thay uist-tui dui î the days aald ynna Yzrel, anænt byein', an' anænt cowpin', for tui meake aa-thung syccar, was thys. The aphetic form is occasionally found. Abd. 19th cent. W. Carnie in Northern Muse (1924) 235:
'Nent horse and nowt he'd never tire, His skill confoonit Farrier Harrow.
2. adv. In front; opposite.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross The Scot at Hame 62:
And his heid was in the cl'uds When the maister cam' anent.
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"Anent prep., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jan 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/anent>
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