Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FOLLOW, v. Also follie, folla; folloo (Cai. 1872 M. McLennan Peasant Life 10). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. follow. [n.Sc. ′folə, m. and s.Sc. ′fole]

1. To accompany, escort on a journey, see (someone) home (Sh., Ork. 1952). Sh. 1879  Shet. Times (3 May):
Tak' weel aboot dee, Babie, an' follow Robbie hame.
Uls. 1910  C. C. Russell Ulster 27:
He follied her hame.
Sh. 1932  J. M. E. Saxby Trad. Lore 194:
A child too young to walk on its own feet must, on no account, “follow a man to the sea.”

2. To gratify every wish of (someone), to pamper (Abd.27 1952). Ppl.adj. follat, petted, spoiled, of a child (Id.). Abd. 1943 2 :
A muckle follat vratch o' a bairn that canna be contert.

3. With out: to pursue to a conclusion, carry out, execute (a plan). Occas. in Eng. for follow (up), but considered a Scotticism in the 18th cent. (Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scotticisms 35). Sc. 1762  Kames Elements Crit. I. 36:
Avarice having got possession of his mind, he follows out that theme to the end, and never returns to the question proposed in the beginning.

4. Comb. and derivs.: †(1) followander, a follower, an assistant [from the obs. pr.p. followand + -er]; (2) follow-dick, a “shadow,” hanger-on, toady (Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xvi.); (3) follower, the young of any animal, esp. while still dependent on the mother. Gen.Sc. Sometimes of a little child; (4) following, (a) a body of retainers, domestic or military. Now mainly Sc. hist., esp. in reference to Highland chiefs; †(b) Mining: an overlying stratum which comes down as the mineral is extracted from under it (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms, s.v. falling). (1) Abd. 1920  A. Robb MS.:
The foreman pairtet the muck an' the followanders spread or broke it.
(2) Kcb. 1897  Crockett Lads' Love xxi.:
“Followdick!” she said. . . . The epithet implied at once the meanness of a spy, the superfluousness of the third party in those affairs of love where two is company — as well as the contemptible nature of one who not only imitates another, but thrusts his ungrateful society upon the imitated.
(3) Fif. 1793  D. Jamie Ballingry (1890) 61:
Two cows and their followers, one stud mear and her followers, six ewes and a ram and their followers.
Sc. 1811  J. Macdonald Agric. Hebr. 145:
25 shillings for every cow and followers, i.e. one three, one two, and one one year old, with the dam; and 5 shillings for every sheep with followers.
Slk. 1829  Hogg Tales (1874) 202:
She has a follower too, poor woman! a dear kind-hearted, little girl.
Sc. 1887  Jam.:
A hen and its followers, a cow and its follower.
Ayr. 1953  B.B.C. Broadcast (1 Jan.):
At Mossgiel . . . we keep fifty cows and followers.
(4) (a) Sc. 1711  Hist. MSS. Comm. Report (Portland MSS.) X. 367:
Duke Gordon — He has the best following in the kingdom, especially for gentry; . . . he has a great following of Highland foot, for he is Superior of Lochaber Str[i]doun and Glenlivat.
Sc. 1816  Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) IV. 178:
You will be surprized to learn what a following I could turn out.
Sc. 1830  Scott Tales Grandfather lxxii.:
The dignity of the Chief of the Frasers — no empty honour, since the clan contained a following of from seven hundred to a thousand men.
Sc. 1847  R. Chambers Hist. Rebellion I. 70:
Stewart of Glenbuckie . . . and Macgregor of Glencairnaig . . . were both passing Leny House . . . with their respective “followings” to join the Prince.
(b) w.Lth. 1845–7  Trans. Highl. Soc. 233:
The coal was worked along with the ironstone, which is in the Following, or soft stratum which lies immediately above the coal.

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"Follow v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Dec 2017 <>



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