Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BANE, BEEN, BEAN, Bein, Bain, n.1 [ben Sc.; bein Abd. (coast), Bl.I., Cai.; be1n w.Ags.; bin e.Ags., Mearns, Abd., L.Bnff., I.Sc. + + ɛ; bɪən s.Sc.]

1. A bone, a limb. Also in pl. the whole body, a framework. Sc. 1836  J. G. Lockhart Life of Scott I. ii. 83 Note:
“The banes” (bones) — that is to say, the boards — of a Psalm-book.
Ork.(D) 1880  Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 2:
Weel, Geordie an' Charlie foucht, like twa dogs for a been.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 106:
She's just as gueed an aught, As wysse an' fu' of seelfuness an' saught, As onie she, that ever yeed on bean.
Abd.(D) 1905  W. Watson Glimpses o' Auld Lang Syne 174:
I wid tak' a sook o' their fusky oot o' a keg wi' a been o' a baud's leg.
Edb. 1720  A. Pennecuik Streams from Helicon 83:
But for the good of Scotland, they gate aft sare banes.
Lnk. 1894  R. Reid Poems, etc. 1:
And side by side wi' the banes that lie Streikt there in their hinmaist sleep.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Death and Dr Hornbook (Cent. ed.) xvi.:
It just played dirl on the bane.
Rxb. 1924  Hawick Express (22 Aug.) 3/7:
Aw've yince or twice risked ma auld banes in a motor car.

2. A person, each member of a group. Abd. c.1782  Ellis E.E.P. (1889) V. 774 (17):
We'll be a' tane (teen) to the session o' Sunday, ilkye bane o'z.

3. A comb made of bone; also in comb. Bane-kaim(e), q.v. Sc. 1887  Jam.6 Add.:
Bane. . . . A bone-comb, a small fine-toothed comb made of bone, very necessary for family use [as illustrated in next quot.].
Ayr. 1786  Burns To a Louse iii.:
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle, Your thick plantations.

Phrases: (1) Bane is used as bone in St.Eng. with adjectives meaning “thoroughly,” as bane dry, bane idle, bane lazy, bane ready.

(2) Aw frae the bein, a' fae the been. (See first quot.) Sc. 1808  Jam.:
One is said to be aw frae the bein, all from the bone, when proud, elevated, or highly pleased.
Ags. 1932  Forfar Dispatch (6 Oct.) 3/2:
Shoosy Tosh cam in the nicht afore, michty big aboot haen gotten a ticket for a free ride. She wiz a' fae the been aboot it.

(3) (In) blood and bane, in the flesh. Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet vii.:
Ay, ay, Mr Herries of Birrenswork, is this your ainsell in blood and bane?

(4) Bluid, flesh, and bane, entirely, whole-heartedly. m.Sc. [1838]  A. Rodger Poems and Songs (1897) 5:
And when we're ane, bluid, flesh, and bane.

(5) Fra the bane. (See quot.) Sc. 1825  Jam.2:
“It does na cum fra the bane,” a proverbial phrase applied to a confession that does not seem sincere. It is probably borrowed from meat, that is not sufficiently roasted or boiled, which does not easily separate from the bone.

(6) Near the bane, miserly. Lnk. 1933 3 :
Used of a skinflint. “He's awfu' near the bane.”

(7) Pike ye'r bain, to consume the last drop or fragment of drink or food. Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems 18:
We drank and drew, and fill'd again . . . O it was nice, To hear us a' cry, Pike ye'r Bain. [Ramsay adds the footnote: “A Cant Phrase, when one leaves a little in the Cup, he is advised to ‘pick his Bone' — i.e. Drink it clean out.”]

(8) “To have a gude bane in one's sleevei.e. a strong arm” (Ags.2 1933).

Combs.: (1) Bane-dyke. (See quot. and Banefire, infra.) Clydesd. 1825  Jam.2:
A beast is said to be gane to the bane-dyke, when reduced to skin and bone. Perhaps q[uasi] good for nothing but to travel to the dyke where the bones of dead horses lie.

(2) Bane-gatherer, one who gathers and sells bones. wm.Sc. [1835]  Laird of Logan (1868) 503:
Vagrants . . . Bane-gatherers and Rowley-powleys — Criers o' Hanging-speeches.

(3) Bane-kaim(e), baine-, a comb made of bone placed in a woman's hair to hold it in position, or a small-toothed comb for removing dust and vermin from the hair. Sc. 1874  W. Allan Hame-Spun Lilts 156:
Wi' large bane-kaims an' trinkets on their heids.
Cai. 1930  “Caithness Forum” in John o' Groat Jnl. (9 May):
If some o' wir folk hid a 'oo'ie face lek 'at they wid be at him wi' a baine kaime.

(4) Bane-pikin', corpse-stealing. Abd. 1865  G. Macdonald Alec Forbes III. ii.:
We want a resurrectioner 'at bides i' this hoose — a foul bane-pikin' doctor.

(5) Bane-prickle, “the stickle-back” (Clydesd. 1825 Jam.2). Cf. Banstickle.

(6) Banes-brakin', a fight in which bones are broken, a violent physical encounter between foes. Abd. 1742  R. Forbes Ajax his Speech, etc. (1801) 3:
But at banes-brakin', it's well kent, He has na' maughts like me. So also in other compounds, as, bane-grease, bane-mill, where bone is replaced by bane.

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"Bane n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Mar 2018 <>



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