Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COMMON, Comoun, Komin, Komon, adj., n., and v.

1. adj. in combs.: (1) common corn, “oats of that kind where each grain hangs by itself upon the stalk [in distinction to potato corn, where two grains hang together]” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 141; Bnff.2 1937); (2) common debtor, Sc. law: a debtor whose effects have been arrested, and who has several ereditors claiming a share of them; (3) common dines, see Dine, n.; (4) common good, — gude, “the property and revenues of the Corporation [of a burgh] which are not held under special acts of Parliament, nor raised by taxation” (Gsw. 1896 J. Bell and J. Paton Gsw., its Municipal Organization and Administration 88). Sometimes common good fund. Gen.Sc. (1) Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 141:
There is little of this “common corn” now used; the other kind . . . has superseded it, as thought to be more prolific and “early,” which has caused the other, “common” over all the land anciently, to be now branded with the epithet of “late corn.”
(2) Sc. a.1856  G. Outram Lyrics (1874) 42:
And he whom they call Common Debtor, alone Has uncommon good luck — he's got off with his own.
(4) Sc. 1887  Jam.6, Add.:
The common gude of a burgh, which gen. consists of lands and customs anciently conferred by royal charter, accumulations of burgh revenues or property mortified to or acquired by funds of the burgh, must be kept for the common profit of the burgh, and expended on common and necessary things of the burgh.
Fif. 1935  St Andrews Cit. (17 Aug.) 911:
[Rouping the stances for the Lammas market at St Andrews produced] ¥590 which will go to the Common Good Fund of the City.

2. n. †(1) The common people. Obs. earlier in Eng., last quot. in N.E.D. 1663. Sc. 1746  D. Warrand More Culloden Papers (1930) V. 81:
The Country of Glengarry is ready upon call (I mean the Common).

†(2) A debt, obligation. Sc. 1925  T. D. Robb in Scots Mag. (Dec.) 164:
How jolly and spendthrift a time Yule in particular was, we see from other old proverbs. . . . Another tells us that a Yuill comoun (reckoning) was sometimes only repaid at Easter when the “lang lentern” made folks lean with abstinence.

Phrs.: (a) to be good (gud i) one's common (komon), to be incumbent on one, to be one's duty; (b) to be ill i' one's komin, to be ungrateful of one, to be a poor return (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); †(c) to be in someone's common, to be indebted to a person. (a) Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 116:
Good your common to kiss your Kimmer. Spoken to them whom we see do Service, or shew Kindness to them, to whom they have great obligations.
Sh. 1914  Angus Gl.:
Hit was gud i my komon ta du it.
(b) Sh. 1866  Edm. Gl.:
It's . . . ill i' dy komin to du it.
(c) Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 227:
I am as little in your Common, as you are in mine.

3. v. To have dealings, to negotiate (with someone). Mearns 1730  Baron Court Bk. of Urie (S.H.S. 1892) 137:
The liferentrix of Reid Cloack and Ury common'd about it, but [plaintiff] does not know what agreement they made.

[O.Sc. commoun, common, the common people, a.1400, a debt or obligation, c.1540, phr. in (one's) commo(u)n, from 1575; v., to have dealings or intercourse with another, 1456 (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Common adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2018 <>



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