Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOON, adv.1, prep., adj., v. Also doun, ¶duin (Peb. 1793 Peggy's Myll (ed. R. D. C. Brown 1832) lxiv.). Sc. forms of Eng. down. Sc. usages only are given below.

I. adv.

1. Of prices or reckonings: (1) By way of reduction (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Fif.10, Slg.3 1940). Sc. 1887  Jam.6:
Gie me a saxpence doun o' the price. How muckle doun will ye gie? — i.e., what or how much reduction will you allow?

(2) With o(f): below (Sh.10 1949; Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940; Fif., Slg. 1945 (per Abd.27); Kcb.10 1940). Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 73:
O'er heigh by far ye've ta'en up thro' the glen, Of miles frae it, ye are na down of ten.
Abd. 1935 2 :
That cauf cudna 'a been bocht doon o' twa poun'.

2. Of seed: sown (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.19, Fif.10 1940). Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb i.:
Johnny Gibb had got the “neeps doon.”

3. Of a river: in flood. Gen.Sc. Cf. III. 44. Per. 1915  Wilson L. Strathearn 200:
The burn's doon.
Slk. 1899  C. M. Thomson Drummeldale 103:
The waiter wad be doon direckly.

4. Of a school: closed for holidays (e.Dmf. (per. Fif.13), Kcb. correspondents 1940). Cf. III. 45.

5. Mining (see quot.). Sc. 1944  (per Edb.6):
A stratum is doon not when it has fallen, but when it has broken away from the stratum above and must be supported.

II. adj. and adv. Compar. douner, lower; superl. doonmaist, -mist (Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.10, Slg.3 1940), †downermost, lowest. Sc. c.1690  Hogg (ed.) Jacobite Relics I. 24:
Wi' his back boonermost An' his kyte downermost.
Sc. 1710  Descr. Sheriffdom Lnk. and Rnf. (Maitland Club 1831) 66:
The downmost parish of the over waird upon the south syde of Clyde.
Abd. 1886–94  [J. Cowe] Jeems Sim (1st Series) 19 in North. Figaro:
We were at the doonmist en' o' the Castleget' gin this time.
Ags. 1887  A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 88:
The twa doonmaist panels o' the door were charred hauf through.
Per. 1897  C. M. Stuart Sandy Scott (1924) 50:
They take the downmost road.
wm.Sc. 1868  Laird of Logan 310:
The upper and the douner man did not move in accordance.

III. Phrs. and Combs. (where down is similarly compounded in Eng. the word is not listed: for other combs. see separate arts.): 1. doon-aboots, the private parts; 2. down-bearing, the pangs of approaching parturition (Sc. 1900 E.D.D.; Fif.10 1940), also used attrib.; 3. down brow, a frown; cf. phr. s.v. Broo, n.2; hence down-browed, adj.; 4. doon-by(e), adv., down there, in the neighbourhood; often used euphemistically with the exact location to be derived from the context; Gen.Sc.; †5. down-casting, depression; 6. doun-ding, (1) n., a heavy fall of rain (Abd., Kcd. 1825 Jam.2, down-), or of snow (Fif. Ib.); known to Abd.2, Ags.17, Fif.10 1940; (2) also doun-dang, v., to beat down, to defeat, to oppress; vbl.n. doun-dingin, irreg. ppl.adj. (used substantivally) down-dang; see also Ding, Dang, v.1; 7. doon-drag, -drug, anything which brings a person down in the world or prevents him rising, a handicap (Bnff. 1825 Jam.2, -drug; Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17 1940); 8. doondrap, a heavy shower of rain (Ags.17 1940); 9. doondraught, -draucht, a depressing influence, oppression, a heavy load, a handicap (Sc. 1808 Jam., down-draucht; Ags.17, Slg.3 1940; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 180; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., doondraucht); 10. doon-draw, (1) fig. = 9. (Ags.17 1940; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (2) lit. a drawing down; 11. doon-drawin' (see quot.); referring to the drawing down or launching of the boats at the opening of the spring fishing season; 12. doun-drug, see 7; 13. doonefter, following downwards, down behind (Sh.10 1949); 14. doonfa', (1) a declivity, a sloping piece of ground (Abd.15 1949; Ags.17, Fif.13, Lnk.11 1940; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Slk. 1825 Jam.2); obs. in Eng. since 17th cent.; (2) in combs. †(a) winter downfall, “the practice of allowing the sheep to descend from the hills in winter to the lower lands lying contiguous” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.2); also in Cum. dial.; (b) doonfa klok(k), a kind of beetle, bluish in colour, found in moory ground (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1914 Angus Gl.); so called from the fact that it flies a short distance and then falls down; (c) doonfa-sickness, epilepsy; 15. doongang, (1) a swallowing (Abd.27 1949); (2) an appetite; cf. gae-doun, id., s.v. Gae, v., B. VI.; 16. doongaun, “the downward slope of a road” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); 17. doon-ha(u)d, a handicap, something that prevents one rising in the world (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39 s.v. doondrag); Gen.Sc.; also rarely used as v. = to keep in subjection, esp. in ppls. (1) doonhadden, kept in subjection; Gen.Sc.; †(2) dounhaddin', “depressing, in what way soever” (n.Sc., Fif. 1825 Jam.2); 18. doon hame, adv., (at) home; freq. applied to Dumfries by the people of that district; hence doonhamer, a native of Dumfries; †19. doon-head, a grudge, dislike, a “down”; 20. down in yonder meadow, a form of the children's game kiss-in-the-ring (Abd., Per., Kcb. 1898 A. B. Gomme Trad. Games II. 416–417); 21. doon land, low-lying ground (Ags.17 1940); 22. doonlay, a heavy snowfall (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1914 Angus Gl.); 23. doonleuk, downlook, †(1) a displeased look; hence disapproval; (2) a hangdog expression (Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940); hence (3) down-look'd, -lookin', adj., sullen, guilty-looking (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 222); 24. doon-lyin', confinement, gen. in the phr. at the —, about to be confined; also in n.Eng. dial.; Gen.Sc.; 25. doon mouth, a sad or dejected expression (Bnff.2 1940; Abd.27 1949; Ags.17, Fif.10, Slg.3 1940); hence doon-moo't, adj., “melancholy; in low spirits” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 39; Abd.27 1949), also in Lakel. dial.; 26. down-pour, a heavy downfall of rain; now accepted as St.Eng.; ¶27. doonrichteous, adj., downright; ¶28. down-steep, reduction; 29. doon straight, adj., forthright, downright; also in Eng. dial.; cf. Evendoun, adj., 3; 30. doontak, †(1) “anything that enfeebles the body” (Sc. 1808 Jam., down-); (2) a humiliation, disparagement, taunt; Gen.Sc.; hence doon-takkin', adj., humiliating, disparaging (Abd.27 1940); 31. doon the brae (hill), towards the grave or dissolution, gen. in phr. to gae —, to deteriorate (in health and strength, condition, fortune), cf. Eng. to go downhill in its fig. sense; Gen.Sc.; 32. doon the gate, down the road, yonder; 33. doon the hill, see 31; 34. doon the hoose, in the best room (Kcb. 1950 (per Fif.17)); cf. ben-a-hoose s.v. Ben, n.1; 35. doon the wat(t)er, down the river (see Water), gen. applied to the Firth of Clyde as a holiday resort and hence used as a n. = Clydeside; 36. doonthro(ugh), adv., in(to) the lower-lying part of the country or the coastal areas (n.Sc., Cld. 1825 Jam.2; Cai.9, Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940); also used as adj.; 37. doontum(e), -tøm, a downpour of rain (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), -tøm; 1914 Angus Gl., -tüm); 38. doon upon it, dejected; 39. doonwan, adv., downwards, in the private parts; cf. 1. above; see Wan; 40. doon weicht, good weight; obs. in Eng. since 17th cent.; 41. downweigh, v., to weigh down, depress; 42. dounwith, -woth, adv., adj., downwards, downhill (Cai.1 c.1920; Bnff.2, Abd.19 1940; Kcb.4 c.1900); also phr. †to the dounwith, downwards (Sc. 1808 Jam.), and as †n. = a declivity (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 180, -woth); 43. to be on the doon-hand, of prices: to fall (Bnff.2 1940; Abd.27 1949); 44. to come down, of rivers: to be in flood; cf. adv., 3. above; 45. to gang doon, of a school: to close for the holidays (Slg.3, Kcb.9 1940); cf. adv. 4. above; 46. to take down, see Take. 1. Fif. 1940 10 :
There's something wrang wi' the bairnie's doon-aboots.
3. Sc. c.1760  J. Maidment Ballads (1859) 38:
Down browed was the quein, And sairly did she gloome.
Dmf. 1898  J. Paton Castlebraes 60:
The Miller, despite the down brows of his Leddy, found or invented some excuse for leaving “Parlour and Laird and a'.”
4. Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lamm. xxvi.:
Dinna . . . expose yoursell before the weans, or before the Marquis, when ye gang down bye.
Sc. 1898  L. B. Walford Leddy Marget i.:
My leddy is doun-bye, gi'ein' directions to gairdner aboot her beddin'-oot plants.
Sc. 1935  D. Rorie Lum Hat 18:
“. . . it's a' that, Deil,” says Jock, “What kin' o' weather has't been doon-bye?”
Abd. 1949 27 :
“Are ye gaun doon-bye?” — i.e. to the nearest public house for a drink.
m.Sc. 1917  J. Buchan Poems 52:
The morn in some black sheugh dounbye We floonder sairly.
Lnk. 1923  G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 4:
Ay, the Faither's haun fa's saft on the muirs an' fells; There's nocht befa's doonby that He disna ken.
Rxb. 1897  J. C. Dibdin Border Life 147:
There was “John, wha lived doun-by.”
5. Sc. 1714  J. H. Thomson Cloud of Witnesses (1871) 350:
You must not want your down-castings and desertions.
Sc. 1724  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) III. 120:
The occasion of your downcastings.
6. (2) Sc.(E) 1879  P. H. Waddell Isaiah vii. 15:
Till wauken the spreit o' the down-dang, an' till blythen the heart o' the sair-tholin anes.
Bnff. 1887  W. M. Philip Covedale 77:
The devil . . . was marshallin' his forces for the doun-dingin' o' every fort and bulwark that the Almichty had planted to haud him again.
Hdg. 1896  J. Lumsden Battle of Dunbar, etc. 7:
The morn, my lads, the brek o' day, Shall see yon beggary scum doun-dang'd.
7. Sc. 1865  D. and C. Livingstone Zambesi 596:
They must prove a down-drag, a moral millstone on the neck.
Bnff. 1814  Northern Antiq. 429:
Sae love in our hearts will wax stranger and mair, Thro' crosses and down-drug, and poortith and care.
Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 39:
That loss, it he hid wee's freen, wiz a gey sair doondrag till 'im .
8. Sh. 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 153:
Whin dey wir comin' hame frae da kirk dat Sunday he cam' on a horrid doondrap, an' ivery ane ran fir da lee o' da daek yunder abune da wirlie.
9. Sc. 1829  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 204:
His feelings are even mair divine from being free o' the doundraught o' realities.
Abd. 1835  Abd. Shaver (Jan.) 125:
He is kept on very short allowance at home, as he is there looked upon as being nothing better than a down-draught, or ne'er-do-weel.
wm.Sc. 1868  Laird of Logan 298:
The Fashes, Fykes, and Downdraughts o' Office.
Dmb. 1846  W. Cross Disruption xxxi.:
A doun-draught to the Kirk — a reproach to religion.
Rnf. 1813  E. Picken Poems I. 68:
Keep vi'lence aff our head, we yield To nae downdraught but perfect eild.
10. (1) Rnf. 1813  E. Picken Poems I. 81:
Poortith's sair down-draw.
Rxb. 1825  Jam.2:
A profligate son is said to be “a downdraw in a family.”
(2) Abd. 1875  G. Macdonald Malcolm I. xix.:
Wi' a doon-draw o' the broos, an' a wee side shak o' the heid.
11. Sh. 1899  J. Spence Folk-Lore 188:
During the season the crew of a haf boat had three feasts, viz.: the Doon-drawin' at Beltane . . .
13. Sh. 1898  W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 103:
In a peerie start I maks hit oot ta be a man comin' slowly doonefter.
14. (1) Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 2:
Now, at lang last, the hinmaist doonfaa o the road brings ee oot richt at Bosells Green.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man I. 63:
We wad be a great deal the better o' twa or three rigs aff Skelfhill for a bit downfa' to the south.
(2) (a) Peb. 1802  C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 127:
The proprietors of hill land pasturages would appear to have often obtained, through mere sufferance and custom, the right of Winter downfall for their sheep, upon low lying contiguous arable lands, belonging to other proprietors.
(c) Ork. 1920  J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 95:
Johnnie o' Smodgar aye regretted, after his friend Willie “fell by i' the kirk wi' the doon-fa-sickness, that some ane had no' pared his nails an' clipped a lock o' his hair an' buried them under whar he fell.”
15. (1) Abd. 1880 15 :
It had an ull guff i' the doongang.
(2) Cai. 1900  E.D.D.:
A person with a great appetite is said to have a “geed doongyang.”
17. Sc.(E) 1926  “H. M'Diarmid” Penny Wheep 70:
Lang ha'e they posed as men o' letters here, Dounhaddin the Doric and keepin't i' the draiks.
Sc. 1931  M. P. Roy in Scots Mag. (May) 89:
Belinda, “puir thing,” was a “doonhaud” and a worry.
Abd. 1921  M. Argo Janet's Choice 21:
Debt is a terrible doon-haud.
n.Sc. 1825 ,
It is said of a puny child, who has not grown in proportion to its years; “Illness has been a greit doun-had.”
(1) Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 30:
I canna say that I was very sairly doonhadden at hame.
18. Sc. 1949  Sunday Mail (22 May) 16/5:
Recently he played a trial for Queen of the South, and the “Doonhamers,” fully convinced that Rodgers is the man for them, would gladly give him a peg at Palmerston Park if he would just say the word.
19. Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 218:
She took a doon-head at Merryhigen, an' cuist glamour on his kye.
21. Ork. c.1912  J. Omond Ork. 80 Years Ago 21:
By the first of February all the doon land would have been wared.
22. Sh. 1900  Sh. News (17 Feb.):
Der been nae gale wi' dis doonlae, an' dat wye der no a bare knowe 'at a annamil can lay doon a mooth apon.
  Ib. (24 March):
Da white mist . . . wisna ta geng 'ithoot a doonlay o' snaw.
23. (1) Sc. 1761  Magopico (1791) 46:
These down looks o' yours are standing yevidences against you.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 79:
'Twas na for fear that I my fouks forsook, An' ran the risk to win their sair downlook.
(2) Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 222:
He hiz a wile doonleuk, yon fabrick; he canna be the berry.
(3) Sc. 1814  Scott Ld. of Isles (1815) iii. xix.:
Men . . . of evil mien, Down-look'd, unwilling to be seen.
Sc. 1823  Scott Q. Durward ii.:
A . . . middle-sized man . . . with a downlooking visage.
Edb. 1925  C. P. Slater Marget Pow 21:
The man that pulls the string is an awfu down-lookin' chiel, with both eyes gleyed, and a mouth like the de'il pu'in' heather.
24. Abd. 1927  G. R. Harvey The Shepherds 9:
The puir 'umman body jist at the doonlyin'.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) vii.:
For many a worse provided for and less welcome down-lying has taken place, time out of mind.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Ann. Parish viii.:
The second Mrs Balwhidder was at the downlying with my eldest son.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 121:
I mind of ance that Hughoc Gorbie of the Fleemland cam in for me when his wife was at the doon-lyin'.
25. Sc. c.1925  R. Thomas Sandie McWhustler's Waddin, 42:
I'm no muckle heedin' for waesome tales for ordinar. They mak' a body unco doon-moo't.
Fif. 1887  “S. Tytler” Logie Town I. v.:
[She] never showed a dejected face, or what was called in her old Scotch “a doon mouth” in public.
26. w.Sc. 1811  J. Macdonald Agric. Hebrides 741:
A down-pour which had persevered in deluging the island for a week.
27. Rnf. 1877  J. M. Neilson Poems 54:
In my case I'd say that was doonrichteous greed.
28. Dmf. 1822  T. Carlyle Letters (ed. Norton) II. 19:
We hear that Mr Sharpe is about to give us some down-steep of Rent.
29. Sh. 1918  T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. 158:
Aandrew Maikomson he knew to be a hardworking, “doon straight,” upright, respectable man.
30. (2) Sh. 1898  J. J. H. Burgess Tang 232:
“Shö's no been da first,” said Janny, “an' it wid serve her, for da pride o her wis sorely needin a doontak.”
Sh. 1949 11 :
A person who delights to make others feel small is described as “very doon-takkin'.”
Kcb. c.1916 6 :
He had to own he was wrang, and that was a gey doontak for him.
31. Sc. 1828  G. R. Kinloch MS. Proverbs:
If a man's gaun down the brae ilka ane gies him a jundie.
m.Lth. 1922  “Restalrig” Sheep's Heid 32:
It's been a gey lang time on the road, an' it'll see some o' their fine motor caurs gey weel doon the brae an' oot o' sicht a'thegither ere its days are dune.
Dmb. 1777  Weekly Mag. (3 July) 20:
I'm nae sae tight as anes I us'd to be, Na, na, it's a' gawn down the brae wi' me.
Lnk. 1881  A. Wardrop J. Mathison's Courtship, etc. 78:
Doon the brae we a' maun gang When auld and dune like you.
Ayr. 1790  J. Fisher Poems 90:
Wi' learned lumber in their heads, Gaun doun the hill. To get their wages for their deeds, In torments still.
Ayr. 1879  J. White Jottings 167:
To tell us baith the truth, John, We're creepin' doon the brae.
32. Abd. 1929  J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 85:
It's aboot twenty meenits to five, an' time we wis weerin' doon the gate or we'll be ahin' wir tay.
Lnk. 1853  W. Watson Poems 84:
An' caps o' yill for richt advice Were swappet doun-'e-gaet, man.
Ayr. a.1796  Burns To J. Kennedy (Cent. ed.) i.:
And down the gate in faith! they're worse An' mair unchancy.
34. Dmf. 1821  T. Carlyle Early Letters (ed. Norton) I. 360:
We shall meet over a savoury dish of tea down-the-house.
Dwn. 1888  W. G. Lyttle Betsy Gray iii.:
They sat in the kitchen and in the sleeping apartment also, or “doon the hoose” as it was then and still is termed in County Down.
35. Bnff. 1908  B. D. Dey in Bnffsh. Jnl. (22 Sept.) 5:
The unmistakable voice from doun the watter . . . floated in on the sweet summer air.
Fif. 1894  J. W. M'Laren Tibbie and Tam 36:
Tibbie wadna leave the place till Tam had promised to gang twa days doon the water to Paris, as she expressed it!
wm.Sc. 1904  “H. Foulis” Erchie 89:
I hae nae great notion for doon the watter mysel' at the Fair.
Gsw. 1910  H. Maclaine My Frien' 35:
Doon the watter, five in a bed, an' takin' your meat on the tap o' a tin box is nae holiday wi' ma reckonin'.
s.Sc. 1931  “Herd Laddie” in Border Mag. (April) 53:
He and his party were received by a record audience . . . hailing from Tynecastle . . . and a good number of “doon th' wayter folks.”
36. Cai. 1930  Caithness Forum in John o' Groat Jnl. (31 Jan.):
Wir no' so foosem as in 'e days fan 'e doonthro' men [“inhabitants of Canisbay parish neighbourhood” (Cai.7 1940)] used til come wi' loads o' peyts.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb i.:
Mains of Yawal, when he had occasion to “gae doon throu'” on business, actually drove . . . out of his direct route.
Abd. 1924  Leebie's Wooin in Swatches 67:
Her father had been “geyan weel te dae” on a “doon-throwe” farm.
37. Sh. 1947  New Shetlander (June–July) 2:
“Na, no i wir time,” said his grandfather, “neddir uptak nor doontume, bit wez laand ida homm an hae a keek roond.”
38. Sh. 1886  J. J. H. Burgess Sk. and Poems 21:
He saw that Aandrew was “doon ipun it” aboot something.
39. Fif. 1940 10 :
The tribble's doonwan.
40. Ags. 1887  A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 141:
He aye taen care to gie him doon weicht when he bocht guids.
41. Edb. a.1851  D. M. Moir Poems (1852) II. 65:
The gloom . . . downweighs My spirit.
42. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 24:
As mickle up with, as mickle down with. Spoken when a Man has got a quick Advancement, and as sudden Depression.
Sc. 1825  Jam.2:
A dounwith road, opposed to an acclivity.
Bnff. 1881  J. G. Phillips Wanderings 66:
I's warrant ye'll be gaun doonwith.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 68:
What can they do? downwith they dare na budge, Their safest course is on the heights to lodge.
43. Abd. 1922  Abd. Weekly Press (7 Jan.) 3/1:
Corn's been on th' doon-han' again. Aw some thocht we wis t' get a rise, bit na, it's teen anidder turn th' idder wye.
44. Sc. 1800  A. Carlyle Autobiog. (1860) 303:
By good luck the river Tweed was not come down, and we crossed it safely at the ford near Norham Castle.
45. Kcb. c.1916 6 :
Whan the schule gan's doon = when the holidays begin.

IV. Derivatives: 1. doonlins, adv., (1) downwards (Bnff.2 1940; Abd.15, Abd.27 1949); †(2) very; †2. dounnins, “a little way downwards” (Slg. 1825 Jam.2). 1. (2) n.Sc. 1808  Jam.:
Ye're no that doonlins ill; You are not very bad; or, you do not ail much.

[O.Sc. has doun(e), etc., adv., from 1375, in sense 1 (1) from 1456; douner, lower, 1689; O.E. dune. Of the combs., doun-look, -lying, -throw, -with are all found in O.Sc.]

Doon adv.1, prep., adj., v.

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