Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HAND, n., v. Also haun(d), haand (Sh.), han(n) (Ork., n. and sm.Sc., Uls.), hon (Bch. coast 1891 Trans. Bch. Field Club II. 12). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. hand. [em. and s.Sc. hɑnd, hnd; n., sm.Sc. hɑ:n, wm.Sc. h:n]

I. n. Also dim. forms handie (Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 159); hannie (Abd. 1923 Bnffsh. Jnl. (8 May) 10); haunie (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 61).

1. In pl.: a perquisite granted gen. to a female servant to employ her leisure time in doing work for her own advantage (Sh. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl., ‡Sh. 1956). Ork. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 VII. 587:
Women servants . . . when they get their “hands to themselves”; that is, liberty to spin and knit stockings, for their own behoof and emolument, at leisure hours.
Sh. 1892  G. Stewart Fireside Tales 247:
She haed fir her voar-fee tree shillins, twa pair o' rivlins, an' her haands.

2. As in Eng., direction, quarter, neighbourhood. In Sc. used with preps., and adv., after place-names, and in bowls and curling, etc. (Bnff., Abd., Ags., m.Lth. 1956). See 8. and Ahinthand, Forehand, Nearhand, etc. Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 200:
Tibby . . . married a ploughman up in the Colmonel han'.
Wgt. 1877  Saxon Gall. Gossip 271:
A Booer's wife, from about Auchneel hand.
Sc. 1924  Scots Mag. (June) 240:
Ony haun' ye like, man; Ony yin ava! . . . Juist tak' a wheen mair green noo.
Abd. 1941 16 :
They've flitted somewye Aiberdeen-han'.

Phrs.: helin' [i.e. hailin] han', the port side of a ship (Crm. 1919 T.S.D.C. III. 17); skipper han, starboard (Crm. 1911 per Mry.2).

3. In pl.: bearings, landmarks by which fishermen determine their position in the open sea (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1956).

4. The horse that walks on the left-hand of a plough-team, i.e. on the unploughed land (Ags., Fif., m.Lth., Wgt. 1956). Prob. orig. arising from the incorrect reading of Burns's To His Auld Mare. Cf. Land, id. e.Lth. 1885  J. Lumsden Rhymes & Sk. 61:
You couldna fit him wrang In whatna yoke ye bade him gang . . . Following or leadin', hand or fur.

Hence (1) phr. to be in the han(d), of a horse: to walk on unploughed land (m.Lth. 1956); (2) comb. hanbeast, “the horse a ploughman directs with the left hand” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 252). (1) Uls. 1880  Patterson Gl.:
The horse that walks on the unploughed land is said to be “in the han'”; the other horse is called the “fur horse”, because it walks in the furrow.

5. Used in Shetland in oaths and asseverations with preps. (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., bi mi hand) and also int. Obs. in Eng. since 17th cent. The form handi is also occas. found. Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
Guid hand, . . . upo my hand(i)! . . . yea hand!

6. A handful (Ib., Sh. 1956). Ork. 1929  Marw.:
Pit another hand o' meal on the pot (of porridge).

7. A handle (Sh., ‡Abd., m.Lth. 1956). Obs. in Eng. since mid 18th c. Arg. 1845  Stat. Acc.2 VII. 244:
On the upper surface of the upper stone [of a quern], and near its edge, there was another hole bored half through, into which was inserted another stick, which is the hand by which the mill is driven.
Lnk. 1877  W. McHutcheson Poems 210:
An' there I stood amidst that group, Without a lid, or haun, or stoup.

8. Phrs.: (1) aboot han(s), about-hand, at hand, in the vieinity (Sh., Ork., Cai., Abd., Kcb. 1956). Cf. phr. aboot one's hans, s.v. Aboot, and 2. above; (2) above one's hand, above one's head, beyond comprehension, beyond one's control; (3) aff one's han(d), at one's side, on one's initiative (m.Lth., Ayr. 1956); (4) ahin(t) (the) han(d), see Ahint-(hand); (5) amang (one's) hands, (a) in spare moments, at intervals (Kcb., Dmf. 1956). See also Amang, C. (3) (b); (b) on hand, of work on which one is engaged. See also Amang, C. (4) (a); (6) at no hand, on no account, by no means. Obs. in Eng. since 17th c.; (7) at one's own ha(u)nd, by oneself, on one's own account or initiative, “off one's own bat” (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 120); (8) at short hand, for immediate needs only; (9) (at the) farhand, near —, applied to applicants for membership of the incorporated trades according to whether they are strangers or related or apprenticed to those already members (see quots.); (10) atween hands, see Atween, 3. (2); (11) ayont one's hand = (2) (Per. 1956); (12) behind the hand, after the event (Ags., Ayr., Uls. 1956); overdue. This phr. is not found in Eng. after 1530. Cf. ahin(t) the han(d), s.v. Ahint; (13) between han's, in the interval (Ork., Abd., Ags., m.Lth., Gall., Dmf. 1956). See also Between, 1.; (14) by hand, (a) disposed of, dealt with, past, over and done with (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 53, 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Abd. 1956). Also by the hand; (b) in reserve, at one's disposal, available (Ork., Abd. 1956); (c) casually. See also By-hand, Behan(d); (15) even hands wi', see Even, adj., adv.; (16) for one's own hand, (a) for one's own part, for one's own interest (Sh., Cai., Arg., Rnf., Gall. 1956); (b) from one's own experience; (17) ha(u)n for nieve, hand in hand, side by side, abreast (Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D., Cai. 1956). Also used fig. (Abd. 1956); (18) han(d) o(f) writ(e), (wreet), handwriting, style of writing (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 42, hand of writ). Gen.Sc. See Writ(e). Hence transf. to the writer in person, a handwriter (Abd. 1956); (19) han(s) owre head(s), hand over head, without discrimination (Per., m.Lth., Kcb., Uls. 1956), common in various Eng. dials. in similar senses but now rare or obs. in St. Eng. Cf. Owreheid; (20) han(d)'s turn, han'-, a stroke of work (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Abd.29 1952), gen. with dae or other verbs of action. Gen.Sc. Also found in colloq. and dial. Eng.; (21) hands up, excl. used in the game of curling, = cease sweeping; (22) han(d) to ni(e)v(e), (a) hand to hand, applied to a contest between two people (Gall. 1825 Jam.). Also hanny-nivel, adv., by a duel with fisticuffs (Abd. 1956). See Nieve, Nevel; (b) from hand to hand (Mry.1 1925; Ags. 1956); (c) = (17); (23) in han(d)s wi(th), occupied, busy, engaged with, negotiating for (Abd., em. and sm.Sc. 1956); specif. paying court to (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Obs. in Eng.; (24) near hand, see Near hand and (10); (25) the back o' my hand, see Back, 5. (11); (26) there's my hand, an expression of sincere conviction = I assure you (em.Sc., Kcb., Rxb., Uls. 1956); (27) through (etc.) han(d)(s), gen. with get, hae, pit, tak, to deal with, dispose of, discuss or investigate (a matter) thoroughly, to take (someone) to task, to cross-examine (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 205, thro' hand, 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., throw hand(s); Sh., ne.Sc., Per., Arg., Ayr., Kcb., Rxb. 1956); (28) to get hands on, see Get, v.; †(29) to have in hands, to have under arrest; (30) to hold hand to, to support, maintain. Cf. main-tain. Obs. in Eng.; (31) to keep in hand, to keep in suspense, to delay (m.Lth., Arg. 1956). Obs. in Eng.; (32) to pit hand till (tae), to lay hands on, to touch; hence to pit hand till (†in, on) anesel, to commit suicide (Sc. 1825 Jam., — till —; Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 323, — on —; Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 634; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh., m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb. 1956); (33) to pit in (oot) one's hand, to help one's self at table (Gall. 1902 E.D.D., oot; I. and n.Sc., m.Lth., wm.Sc., Kcb., Rxb. 1956); (34) to pit tae one's hand, (a) to lend a hand, to “buckle to” (Cai., ne.Sc., Arg., Ayr., Kcb. 1956); (b) = (33) (Ork., Cai., Abd., m.Lth., Kcb. 1956); (35) to shift hands, to change sides (m.Lth. 1956); †(36) to spede hand, to make haste (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis); (37) to tak' in han(d) wi', to undertake, commit oneself to. (1) Slk. 1818  Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) xx.:
Held in estimation . . . for their docility in . . . gathering sheep at a distance, but . . . never very good at commanding sheep about hand.
Dmf. 1823  Carlyle Letters (Norton) II. 243:
If you have any pills about hand you may send me a few down.
Abd. 1880  G. Webster Crim. Officer 82–3:
She gaed into hooses an' deman'it fatever she wantit, especially if there was nae man body aboot han'.
Ork. 1907  Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 61:
The Irelan' men hed hidie holes i' the hill, whar they bed for days api' en' whin dere waas ony wird o' a warship bean aboot han's.
(2) Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet xi.:
Ye ken these matters best, and you will do your pleasure — they are far above my hand.
Sc. 1846  C. Johnstone Edb. Tales II. 403:
With an income of 11s. 6d. . . . Jack would get rampant, — he would soon be above my hand.
(3) Ayr. 1871  J. K. Hunter Life Studies 39:
I was aye for our ane to mak' that proposal to you, but it has come better aff your haun.
(5) (a) Ayr. 1834  Galt Lit. Life I. 318:
The Member was rather written among hands, as the Scots say, than as a task.
Abd. 1952  Buchan Observer (11 March):
Sae some wye or idder ye aye got “winter” as weel's clyack, tho' nae withoot some grumblin' amo' hands.
(b) Sc. 1717  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 310:
Since I heard of your design of continuing Buchanan . . . I was extremely pleased to hear it was among your hands.
(6) Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality vi.:
Ye maun never, at no hand, speak o' leaving the land, or of selling the gowd chain.
Sc. 1849  M. Oliphant M. Maitland xiv.:
I would, at no hand, betray your cousin.
(7) Dmf. 1718  Mr Taylor's Cases Stated 23:
The said Mr John Taylor removed the said Marches, and set and affixed, at his own Hand, beyond and without the said true Meithes and Marches of the Gleib.
Sc. 1756  M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 179:
There is no such thing as girls running about giddy at their own hand.
Rs. 1838  Justiciary Reports (1842) 219:
David was bled by Robert Mackay. He is a Doctor at his own hand.
(8) Sc. 1743  Kames Decisions (1766) 63:
Selling some houses which belonged to his pupil at short hand, without authority of a judge.
(9) Gsw. 1768  P. B. McNab Hist. Incorp. Gardners Gsw. (1903) 198:
1 Jany. Archibald Colquhoun, far-hand. 22 Feby. John Finlay, near-hand (son).
 1903  Ib. 308–309:
The privilege of becoming Members of the Incorporation at the Near-Hand is confined to Sons, and Husbands of daughters, of Members or deceased Members. . . . Each Applicant for admission at the Far-Hand must satisfy the Master Court as to his character, general health, etc.
Gsw. 1905  R. D. McEwan Old Gsw. Weavers 137:
Applicants at the Far-Hand are those who have had no previous connection with the Incorporation. Apprentices of Members of the Incorporation . . . shall be entitled to admission as Members at the Near-Hand on the termination of their apprenticeship.
Edb. 1911  Robertson & Wood Castle & Town (1928) 75:
In 1911 the Incorporation of Cordiners presented to the Court a scheme to regulate the admission of new members. The old distinction was preserved between burgess' bairns and strangers, the former being designated entrants “at the near hand” and the latter entrants “at the far hand.”
Gsw. 1914  Lumsden & Aitken Hist. Hammermen Gsw. 435:
The entry-money is as follows: — For “far-hand” entrants not exceeding 35 years of age, ¥50. For “near-hand” entrants not exceeding 25 years of age ¥10.
(12) Sc. 1717  Atholl MSS. (26 Feb.):
I made but a bad journy, and fulfil the Scots proverb wise behind the hand.
Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 28:
A Scottish Man is wise behind the hand.
Sc. 1820  Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) Vl. 302:
The next night being like true Scotsmen wise behind the hand the [bailies] had a sufficient force sufficiently arranged and put down every attempt to riot.
Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
Stephen Stevenson, or Steenson, ye are down here for a year's rent behind the hand — due last term.
(13) Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.T.Misc. 122:
Between Hands now and then we'll lean, And sport upon the Velvet Fog.
(14) (a) Inv. 1865  J. Horne Poems 100:
The verra best o't Wis a' by han'; I pay't attention to the rest o't, Like a wise man.
Fif. 1954 17 :
There is a saying: “If it's no weel dain, it's weel by haund,” meaning “It's maybe not very well done but at least it's done.”
(b) Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie III. xxiii.:
I have had a better trade by the hand, and ye should be nane the waur o't.
Sc. 1838  Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 173:
My husband had nae trade by the hand, nae friends, nae hame.
Lth. 1856  M. Oliphant Lilliesleaf lvii.:
It was aye a necessity for him, whether in business or in pleasure, to have something by the hand.
(c) Ayr. 1834  Galt Howdie (1923) 256:
She was far advanced in life when it was by-hand noticed.
(16) (a) Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 94:
Every Man for his own Hand as John Jelly fought. A Proverb barring Partners.
Sc. 1775  L. Shaw Hist. Mry. 52:
The victory was much owing to Henry Wyne, which gave rise to the Proverb, “He did very well for his own hand, as Henry Wyne did.”
Sc. 1828  Scott Tales Grandfather II. v.:
When the battle [the Clan Fight at Perth, 1396] was over, he was not able to tell the name of the clan he fought for, replying, when asked on which side he had been, that he was fighting for his own hand. Hence the proverb, “Every man for his own hand, as Henry Wynd fought.”
Sc. 1849  M. Oliphant M. Maitland xxiii.:
He had given up a situation he had, . . . to begin for his own hand.
(b)   Ib. xviii.:
Wae's me! that I should ken o' sic things for my ain hand!
(17) Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems 53:
Whan, han'-for-nieve, the haukies stan' Wha live by dissipation.
Gsw. 1793  R. Gray Poems 85:
It grieves me ay to see a pair Gawn hand for nieve to kirk or fair.
Lnk. 1893  J. Crawford Sc. Verses 107:
Haun for neive doon life's brae We'll toddle fu' couthie thegither.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 77:
No' a frien' to lippen to, an' the Irish han'-for-nieve wi' oor enemies, an' oor ports a' blockaded.
(18) Gall. 1743  Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) II. 416:
The said youth is recommended as capable of teaching Latine and Greek, has a good hand of write and understands a competancy of arithmetick.
Abd. 1760  Abd. Journal (11 Aug.):
A Young Man with a good Hand of Write, that understands Book-keeping and Arithmetic, and inclines to serve as a Clerk.
Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xv.:
Div ye think naebody can read hand o' writ but yoursel?
Ayr. 1826  Galt Lairds iii.:
Ye're troubled wi' my hand o' write, and deed I must own it's no a schoolmaister's.
Sc. 1860  E. B. Ramsay Reminisc. 100:
I am not a good hand of write, and therefore shall stop.
Slk. 1875  Border Treasury (13 March) 373:
The gentleman . . . garrd me show 'im my hand o' writ.
Ags. 1893  F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. v.:
Ye wad ken oor Jean's hand o' writ?
(19) Sc. 1714  Vindication of Sir J. Dalrymple's Hist. Coll. 57:
Here is Squeezing with a Witness, and bringing in Things Hand over Head, to evade the Force of Sir James's Argument.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 252:
In large droves of cattle, there are some fat and others lean. Drovers, in purchasing these, will sometimes take the good, and leave the bad, this is called shooting; others will take the lot as it is, this is buying them hand owre head.
Uls. 1880  Patterson Gl.:
Now how much a piece will you say for them, if I take the whole lot hand over head.
(20) Dmf. 1836  A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. x.:
He couldna do a hand's turn . . . No, he'll never do weel, take my word for't.
Abd. 1868  W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 82:
Ilk ane yokes some friendly han'-turn.
Lnk. 1895  W. C. Fraser Whaups of Durley 94:
She's a rale wee leddy yon, and canna dae a han's turn.
Sh. 1897  Shetland News (30 Oct.):
Dü ye tink 'at we'd grudged your maet if ye'd niver be duin' a haand's turn.
Edb. 1915  T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 56:
He wadna dae a haun's turn — deil-be-lickit! — Whan he could lat alane.
Uls. c.1920  J. Logan Uls. in X-Rays 151:
Up the house when I'm weary to do a han's turn.
(21) Ayr. a.1822  A. Boswell Poet. Wks. (1871) 196:
I carena though ye're twa ells short — Hands up — there's walth o' pouther.
Sc. 1897  Encycl. Sport I. 264:
Hands up, the command of the Skip . . . to stop sweeping.
(22) (a) Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 133:
But Hand to Nive we twa maun skelp Up Rhine and Thames.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 87:
Some han' to nieve Wi' manly pith o' arm, beyond the mark, Far fling the pond'rous mell.
Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 42:
But man to man the toulzie maun be tried, An' hanny-nivel the affair decide.
(23) Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxxii.:
He . . . desired me to get him half-a-dozen ruffled sarks, and Peg Pasley's in hands wi' them e'en now.
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 90:
I was in han's wi' the Laird, at that very time, for a tack o' this house.
Dmf. 1912  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 26:
As I'm in hauns wi' Nancy I may as weel tell ye o't the noo.
(26) Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (1925) 2:
An' there's my hand she'll tire, and soon sing dumb.
(27) Abd. 1763  Trans. Highl. Soc. (1902) xiv. 92:
He was using the Norfolk plough, and by means of it putting a great deal of work through hand.
Abd. 1794  Tam Thrum Look before ye loup 6:
We had aw thae things through hand afore.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxxix.:
I had her through hands once, and could then make little of her.
Bwk. 1869  J. Landreth Fastern's E'en 42:
It was the fourth time that they had him thro' hands.
Slk. 1875  Border Treasury (27 Feb.) 353:
A' her auld grievances were taen throo haunds, an' kiel-hauld to the utmost.
Ayr. 1890  J. Service Notandums 3:
Haith! we'se hae mony an auld ploy through hauns again!
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 22:
Let iz ken whan ee've hed the maitter throwe hands.
Kcd. 1934  L. G. Gibbon Grey Granite 20:
Segget took the matter through hand at the Arms.
(29) Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxxiii.:
Mac-Guffog, the thief-taker . . . had a man in hands in the kitchen.
(30) Sc. 1717  R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 218:
I hope you'll hold hand to this History of the Sufferings, since you have it so much at heart.
Sc. 1718  Question between Non-Jurant and Jurant Ministers 14:
The King engages to main and hold hand to the Established Laws.
(31) Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
Now these were the very words that the bloody Earl of Douglas said to keep the King's messenger in hand, while he cut the head off MacLellan of Bombie.
(32) Sc. 1701  J. Brand Descr. Ork. 14:
Belus being much discouraged . . . despairing of life, put hand in himself, and became his own Executioner.
Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxxviii.:
But there's nae law, I trow, that makes it a sin to ken where ither folks' siller is, if we dinna pit hand till't oursel?
Edb. 1894  W. G. Stevenson Stories 19:
It's the best funeral I've been at this lang time, — as much as ye could pit yer haun' tae.
(33) Edb. 1895  J. Tweeddale Moff xii.:
Jist put oot 'er han' for yerselves.
Sh. 1897  Shetland News (18 Sept.):
Whin we wir set wis in, I says, “Gud bliss wis, men. Pit in your haands an' begin”.
Ork. 1956 5 :
All people that on earth do dwell Pit in yer han's an' help yersel.
(34) (a) Ayr. 1786  Burns Merry Muses (1911) 134:
When such as he put tae their han', What man on character need stan'?
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 163:
He is very anxious to put to his haun' . . . I dinna like to discourage him.
(b) Abd. 1952 29 :
Jist pit tee yer han', dinna weyt t' be prigget.
(35) Sc. 1708  Brief Acct. Electors North Britain (Pamphlet) 4:
The very same People who had, in the last 20 Years, shifted Hands and shifted Sides upon any Occasion, now with the Jacobite, then with the Court.
(37) Ayr. 1833  J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 197:
They dinna ken what they tak in haun wi', that set oot to be teachers.
Dmb. 1846  W. Cross Disruption 141:
What for do ye think, Mr Jimes, that this job wad fit me when ye'll no tak' in hand wi't yersel'?

9. Combs.: †(1) han-an-hail, the game of hand-ball (Dmf. 1825 Jam.). See also Hail, v.2, n.3; (2) han(d) ban(d), haun-, the wrist-band or cuff of a shirt (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 75; Abd.7 1925, han' ban'; Sh., Bnff., Abd., Ags., Fif., m.Lth. 1956); (3) han(d) barrow, a large rectangular wooden frame with four projecting shafts to allow it to be carried by two people (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 252). Gen.Sc. Now mainly dial. in Eng.; hence †comb. handbarrow beggar, “a mendicant cripple carried from door to door on a stretcher, as formerly customary in Scotland” (Sc. 1901 N.E.D.); (4) ha(a)nd-bin(d), a variant form of (2) (Abd. 1956); (5) hand-bound, fully occupied, very busy; (6) han(d)-breed, -breid, -braid, and erroneous form -brode, a hand's breadth (Sh., Cai., Bnff., Ags., Fif., Ayr., Kcb. 1956). Also found in n.Eng. dial. See Breed; (7) han'-canny, “handy at anything as with tools and at craftsman's work” (Abd.7 1925); (8) hand-catch, a name for the game of fives. For illustrative quot. see Cache; (9) hand-chair, a chair of the type easily lifted by the hand, e.g. a straight drawing-room, or dining-room chair (Ags., Fif. 1956); (10) han(d) clap, handla-, a clap of the hands, the time taken to clap the hands, hence an instant (n.Sc. 1825 Jam., handclap; Rxb. Ib., hand(la)-, 1923 Watson W.-B., handla-; Sh., Cai. (hanieclap), ne.Sc., Ags., m.Lth., Kcb. 1956). For handla-, cf. Handlawhile; (11) hand-cloot, a towel (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Ags., m.Lth., Ayr., Wgt., Rxb. 1956). Common in n.Eng. dial.; (12) han'-cole, = (15) (Rnf., Kcb. 1956). Cf. Cole; (13) han'-daurk, handiwork, labour. See Darg; (14) handfast, -fist, see Handfast; (15) hand-frandie, “a hand-rick of corn, or small stack no higher than can be reached with the hand” (Fif. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Frandie; (16) hand gun, in phr. to crack like twa handguns, see Crack, v., and cf. Pengun; (17) haund-haill, -heel, fit for work, hale (Sh. 1956); ¶(18) hand-hankin, marriage, betrothal. See Hank, v.; (19) hand-hap, only in phr. at hand-hap, by chance (Fif. 1825 Jam.); (20) han' hose, gloves, used jocularly (Abd. 1956). Cf. (33); (21) hand-hut, a small stack of corn built no higher than is possible for one standing on the ground to reach by hand (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Cf. (15) and Frandie, and for second element see Hot, n.; (22) ha(a)n(d)-idle, having nothing to occupy one's hands, with idle hands (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 113; Sh., Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Kcb., Dmf. 1956); (23) han'-ledder, a piece of leather worn by shoemakers on the right hand to protect the palm (Abd.13 1928); (24) hand-makin', the making of an article by hand (‡Sh., Ags. 1956); (25) hand-payment, a thrashing (Abd. 1825 Jam.). Cf. Pay; (26) hand-plane, the carpenter's plane usu. called in Eng. a smoothing plane (Sc. 1825 Jam., 1899 A. Mathieson and Son's Catalogue Index iii.). Gen.Sc.; ¶(27) hand-prap, a walking-stick; †(28) hand-rackle, adj., (a) “rash in striking” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (b) careless, heedless, acting without consideration (Rxb. Ib.); (c) active, ready (Ib.). Cf. Rackle; (29) hand-rick, a small rick or stack (m.Lth. 1956). Cf. (15) and Frandie; (30) hands-a-bosy, the arms folded on the breast (Ags. 1956); (31) hand-scroo, “a rick of sheaves such as can be built by hand from the ground” (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., Cai. 1956). Cf. (15) and for second element see Scroo; (32) handshakin(g), (a) a shaking of hands to mark the conclusion of a bargain (Sh., m.Lth. 1956); (b) a grappling at close quarters, a fight in order to settle a grudge (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); (c) fig. a coming to grips with, association, connection (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (33) hand-sho, hinsho, hand-skoove, -skuve, (a) a mitten, a fingerless glove (Fif. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 125, -skuve; Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1956), pl. hand-shoes, gloves; (b) fig. a stock of money, sc. from the receptacle in which money might be saved. Cf. Moggan. [Ad. Du. handschoe(n) or Norw. handske]; ‡(34) ha(a)nd-spaik, -spake, -spik, and anglicised form -spoak, a spoke or bar of wood, esp. that used in carrying a coffin at a funeral (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (35) han'-spike, an erroneous form of (34) due to confusion with Eng. hand-spike; (36) ha(u)n(d)-staff, -stay, (a) the part of a flail which is held in the hand (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Mry. 1822 Farmer's Mag. (May) 247; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 49; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., han' stav; Ork., Cai. 1956); (b) a walking stick; †(37) hand-stane, -stone, “formerly a small stone, or one that could be easily lifted and thrown by the hand” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (38) handvreet, see (41); (39) hand-wale, to select by hand (Abd., Fif., Dmf. 1956). Hence ppl.adj. hand-wa(i)l(e)d, -weal'd, -wall't, hand-picked, carefully or individually selected, choice (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also used in a pejorative sense (Ib.); vbl.n. han(d)walin, careful selection; †(40) handwaving, a method of measuring grain, as in quot. (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also in n.Eng. dial.; ‡(41) han(d) write, -wreat, ‡-vreet (ne.Sc.), handwriting, penmanship (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.). Gen.Sc. Also used fig. Cf. 8. (18). (1) Sc. 1927  D. Murray Old Coll. Gsw. 423:
The most popular of Scottish games for many generations was Hand-Ball . . . otherwise Gouff-the-ba' or Han-an-Hail in Scotland . . . The ball was struck with the palm of the hand . . . by a player on each side alternately . . . The side which made the longest hits gradually advanced on their opponents, until the ball was struck over the hail or goal.
(2) Gall. 1819  Edb. Ev. Courant (1 July) 4:
Linen sarks were only wore by the tap gentry, an' nane o' them had either necks or hanbans.
Dmf. 1914  J. L. Waugh Cracks wi' R. Doo 13:
He aye wore white shirts wi' stairched fronts and joined-on haun-bands.
(3) Bwk. 1764  Session Papers, State of Process, Yules v. Others 108:
Whether they were brought home in a cart or on a hand-barrow.
Sc. 1793  Earl of Dundonald Culross 55:
A more expeditious way of shipping Coal, from an elevated Coal Steath and Spout, instead of by Hand-barrows carried by two men.
Sc. 1854  H. Miller Schools (1860) 234:
We could see . . . a dead body borne forth by two persons on a hand-barrow.
Kcd. 1890  J. A. Henderson Banchory-Devenick 228:
As recently as 1840 it was not uncommon, in one day, for several of these hand-barrows to be set down at the door of a dwelling-house.
Abd. 1903  W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 60:
I have seen him lift the end of a hand-barrow with a stone on it so heavy that it required two good men to lift the other end along with him.
Fif. 1922  St Andrews Cit. (9 Sept.) 4:
Strong Hurley for Timber; Hand Barrow; . . . Iron Stable Troughs and Haiks.
Gall. 1955  Quest No. 20. 13:
On very rough or steep ground the stones were carried on hand-barrows.
(4) Sh. 1898  Shetland News (7 May):
Dey wir nae buttin i' da haandbind I tink, an' hit wis as weel for Geordie.
(5) Edb. 1856  J. Ballantine Poems 276:
How may hand-bound minnie get Her tottums clad sae gaily?
(6) Ags. 1728  in A. Lowson John Guidfollow (1890) 282:
He perceived a nitch in it, some more than a hand-brode from the hilt.
Ayr. a.1796  Burns Willie's Wife iii.:
Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xi.:
I misgoogled Patie's corduroy slacks, by cuttin' the legs o' them a hand-breed ower short.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 89:
I . . . went out from his presence a handbreid heicher in my own estimation.
(9) Fif. 1915  St Andrews Cit. (9 Oct.) 1:
Sets of Hand-chairs in Oak and Mahogany.
Bnff. 1954  Banffshire Jnl. (1 June):
2 Easy Chairs with Tartan Cushions and 4 Carved Oak Hand Chairs to match; . . . Pair Oak Hand Chairs Set of 6 Carved Oak Dining Chairs in Leather.
Ags. 1955  Dundee Courier (28 Feb.) 8:
Four hand chairs in leather cloth for sale.
(10) Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 5:
Down in a han-clap comes the corby cock, Upo' the middin tap.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man III. 205:
It is God speed, or spulyie wi' thee in three handclaps.
Dmf. 1863  R. Quinn Heather Lintie 176:
To let ye see where I can bog ye, just in about a handclap.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ix.:
Him an' me keest it up in a han'clap.
Abd. 1928  P. Gray Making of a King 67:
I'se wager she'd gang tae you in the han'-clap.
(11) Edb. 1890  Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XIII. 280:
An' the lint-wheels they span on are juist keepit for fun, Or to let lasses see the wey hand-cloots were spun.
(13) Ayr. 1786  Burns Twa Dogs 75–78:
Himsel, a wife, he thus sustains, A smytrie o' wee, duddie weans, An' nought but his han'-daurk, to keep Them right an' tight in thack an' raep.
(15) Knr. 1813  J. Bruce The Farmer 15:
In kittle times, when ony feck [of corn] Ye ha'e past dede-thraw, it protect By the hand-frandy.
(17) Knr. 1891  H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 40:
The man that sits, as I do here, Haund-haill, an' neither slow to steer Nor quick to tire.
(18) Per. 1904  R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories (Ser. 2) 59:
In the rejoicement that followed the hand-hankin, there was a new version sung o' . . . “Ha, Ha, the wooin' o't.”
(22) Ags. 1845  G. Webster Disputed Inheritance II. i.:
It is no business of yours whether Miss Barbara sits hand-idle or not.
Abd. c.1880  W. Robbie Yonderton 53:
Od, man, aw'm nae that ill as lang's aw gang aboot han' idle, bit dinna bid me dee onything, for the wark's fairley ower ma.
Lth. 1914  C. P. Slater Marget Pow Comes Home 18:
We landed right opposeed a bonny pictur of a young lady . . . sittin hand-idle, with her elby on a cushion.
(24) Ags. 1887  A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 2:
The days o' hand-makin' are aboot past an' dune noo.
(27) Per. 1857  J. Stewart Sketches 27:
Losh me! wha negleckit to bring your hand-prap? O' whaur i' the warld's your bane-headit staff?
(28) (b) Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man III. 312:
The hard-rackle [sic] Homes, the dorty Dunbars.
Rxb. 1825  Jam.:
He's as hand-rackle a fallow as is in a' the parish.
(29) Fif. 1800  J. Thomson Agric. Fif. 164:
When half dried, it can be put up in hand ricks consisting of from 6 to 10 stooks each.
(30) Sc. 1838  J. Taylor Curling (1884) 134:
There shall be no legs oer 'em: no hands a-bosy, or across.
(32) (a) Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A'll hae a handshakin' wi' ee suin.
(b) Rxb. 1825  Jam.:
My blood boiled when I saw them burning the houses o' Scotsmen, and fain wad I hae had a handshaking wi' them.
(c) Rxb. 1825  Jam.:
I wad like naething better than to hae a handshakin' wi' that business.
(33) (a) n.Sc. 1837  Wilson's Tales of the Borders III. 142:
The skin of the goat that furnishes . . . soft hand-shoes, as they call gloves in the Pictish counties of Scotland.
Sc. 1905  H. Haliburton Excursions 30:
The “hand-skooves” and “shanks” and other articles of hosiery, for which the northern counties had a name.
(b) Ork. 1929  Marw.:
He got a guid hinsho o' money wi' baith his wives . . . Cf. the proverbial “stocking-foot.”
(34) Wgt. 1709  Session Bk. Glasserton MS. (11 Aug.):
The Session appoynts Patrick McKie, treasurer, to provyde a box for keeping of the mortcloath and sufficient hand specks as soon as possible.
Sc. 1740  Caled. Mercury (7 April):
Here the Long-boats hooked her in, but were beat off with Hand-spakes.
Per. 1773  Sc. Farmer I. 197:
One man may raise a stone of greater weight, than six men will do with their hands, pinches or handspakes.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 263:
Those who fall when at the handspake, aneath the corpse, will soon be the corpse themsell.
Edb. 1897  P. H. Hunter J. Armiger xv.:
The coffin was carried out on“hand-spaiks.”
Sh. 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 119:
Bi dis time [at a funeral] da men wis fix'd da twa fowereen staangs 'at Geordie Moad wis taen frae da banks fir haandspiks.
(35) Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxxi.:
The coffin, covered with a pall, and supported upon handspikes by the nearest relatives.
(36) (a) Hebr. 1794  R. Heron Gen. View Agric. Hebr. 14:
The flail, consisting of a polished hand-staff, and a supple, thicker, shorter, and often knotty, . . . is the instrument for threshing.
Per. a.1843  D. M. Forrester Logiealmond (1944) 116:
A man perambulating the market with bundles of eel-skins, for attaching the “souple” of a threshing-flail to the “hand-staff” thereof.
Ork. 1907  Old Lore Misc. I. ii. 62:
I deuna min dem a' noo bit dere waas saetrees, an' flaal-sooples an' han' staffs.
(b) Knr. 1891  H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 59:
Hoastin' on their haund-staffs, And crynin' wi' the cauld.
(37) Gall. 1684  A. Symson Descr. Gall. (1823) 27:
There is a cairn, or great heap of small hand-stones, with five or six high stones erected.
(39) Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 134:
Thy raffan rural Rhyme sae rare, Sic wordy, wanton, hand-wail'd Ware.
Sc. 1728  P. Walker Remark. Passages xxxv.:
Some remarkable Judgments inflicted upon some of our Hand-weal'd persecutors.
Ayr. a.1796  Burns To Maj. Logan vii.:
My hand-wal'd curse keep hard in chase The harpy, hoodock, purse-proud race.
Ayr. 1836  Galt in Tait's Mag. (June) 392:
His wife . . . was a hand-waled woman, and had from the womb been ordained to bless the man she was made for.
Bwk. 1863  A. Steel Poems 45:
Our hand-waled few wha Caldstream mense, The cream o' a' her wit and sense.
s.Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms Intro. 3:
Folk, like Moses an' David, o' his ain han'-walin.
Ayr. 1886  J. Meikle Lintie 57:
He's gaun to do Jock Howie for some haun wall't robbery that he has practised upon him.
Sc. 1928  Scots Mag. (July) 275:
Wi' Psaulms and Paraphrases we're at ease, And speeritual music hand-waled frae the Word.
(40) Abd. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 II. 533:
Small oats, hairy oats, or shiacks . . . are measured by handwaving, i.e. they are stroked by the hand about 4 inches above the top of the firlot.
(41) Fif. 1712  Two Students (Dickinson 1952) 16:
My dear Tammy shall at spare hours not only write themes, but also after a Copy in order to mend his handwrite.
Edb. 1844  J. Ballantine Miller xx.:
The same handwrite that's on the estimate, the specifications an' plans that you signed.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xvi.:
I examined the hand-wreat o' the direction.
Bnff. 1872  W. Philip It 'ill a' come Richt 128:
They scoff at the very han'-vreet o' the Almichty!

II. v. As in Eng. and also in Sc. usages:

1. Phrs.: a hand-roun (Gen.Sc.), hand-aboot (Ags.), handit (Abd.) tea, supper, a tea or supper at which a person is served individually and is not seated at table. Fif. 1897  S. Tytler Lady Jean's Son vi.:
It was the same through Mrs Cockburn's modest “hand-about” supper of carved roast hens, jam puffs, wet fruit and dry.

2. To provide with a handle. Per. 1747  T. L. K. Oliphant Lairds of Gask (1870) 216:
I had found very good [curling] stones with much difficulty and gote them handed for the purpose.
Per. 1789  J. Kerr Curling (1890) 117:
That every stone handed or mended at the expence of the box is common to all the brethren.

3. Comb.: ‡ae-haunt, single-handed (Ayr.4 c.1928).

4. To advise or assist a competitor at a ploughing match. Hence hander, the adviser or helper, sc. who lends a hand (Arg., Gall., Uls. 1956). Gall. 1902  E.D.D.:
Every competitor has a friend, a ploughman, to help and advise him during the competition, who is called a “hander.” The friend walks beside the competitor, and is of special service in the opening up of the first furrow, and at the ends of each furrow.
Kcb. 1956  :
I'm gaan the morn to hand Jimmy at the plooin-match.

[O.Sc. has n. = direction, quarter, from 1438, = a handle, from c.1470; at one's own hand, 1638 (of Henrie Winde); behind the hand, from 1470; by hand, in sense (a), from 1623; in hands = under arrest, from 1375; to put hand to, from 1455, — in, — on, from c.1500; to speid hand, 1513; handbreid, from 1455; hand-gun, c.1470; hand-ledder, Abd. 1541; handspake, from 1513, handspike; handstaff (of a flail), from 1513; hand-wail'd, late 17th c.; handwrit, from 1483.]

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"Hand n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Dec 2017 <>



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