Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COMPLEEN, v. Sc. form of Eng. complain, which is here illustrated only in a Sc. sense. [kəm′plin]

1. To complain, as in Eng. Edb. 1915  T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 101:
A' compleen o' want o' siller; nane, o' want o' sense.

2. To be ailing, to “complain” of feeling unwell. Often as ppl.adj. compleenin', complainin(g), ailing, unwell. This sense is now obs. in Eng. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1815  Scott Familiar Letters (1894) I. 337:
We were rather a complaining family, as the Scotch say.
Abd.(D) 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Mrs Birse . . . informed Johnny Gibb that he “hedna been vera stoot, an' was compleenin' war nor eeswal the nicht.”
Fif. 1895  “S. Tytler” Macdonald Lass vii.:
But you know, Ewan, my mother is often complaining (sickly), and I ought to be with her as soon as I can.
Edb. 1894  W. Grant Stevenson Puddin' iv.:
I'm no' sae strong as I've been . . . an' Mrs Inglis is kind o' complainin' too.

[O.Sc. complene, complein, c.1480, variant of complain (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Compleen v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Oct 2018 <>



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