Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
HARN, n.1 Also †harne, harran, haur(i)n, haarn (Sh. 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 11), harren (Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 126); hairn, hern (Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 152); and arns (Rs. (Avoch)). [hɑrn(z), hrn(z), ‡he:rn(z)]
1. In pl. The brains, lit. and fig., the intelligence (Sc. 1693 Sc. Presb. Eloquence (1718) 116, hairns; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Per., Ayr. (hairns) 1915–23 Wilson; Mry.1 1925; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; I., n. and em.Sc.(a), Peb., Ayr., Kcb. 1956). Also fig. the contents of anything.
Sc. 1722 Ramsay Poems (1800) II. 390:
Nor shall our Herds as heretofore, Rin aff with ane anither's Store, Nor ding out ane anither's Harns. Sc. 1755 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 410:
Say but that again, and I will gar your harns clatter, though it be the Sabbath-morning. Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 61:
On me ye've laid yer crazy harns, An' fix't me for a bouster. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xvii.:
Thae whigamore bullets ken unco little discretion, and will just as sune knock out the harns o' a psalm-singing auld wife as a swearing dragoon. Ags. 1861 R. Leighton Poems 24:
His haurins are dosen'd, his een sair bedizen'd. Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 104:
When the string at the mouth, wi' the wecht within it, broke, An' oot fell the haurns o' my muckle meal-pock. Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ix.:
The lad was a natural born dunce . . . his “harns,”after deducting the outer case, might have been contained in an eggshell. Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 371:
Their heads had aye mair hair than hairns. Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 102:
Shü wis sittin' waitin for a shance o' da harns, whin da lamb's head wis klov'n. Sc. 1923 R. Macrailt Hoolachan 7:
Is he a wyce bairn — mensefu', — wi' a' his harns aboot him? Bwk. 1943 W. L. Ferguson Vignettes 69:
The mair ye bittle her auld harns, The waur she bleezes oot at ye! Mearns 1956 5 :
Ye'll blaw your harns out! — said to anyone blowing his nose violently.
Hence harnless, brainless, stupid (Abd.19 1930; Sh., Cai., Bnff., Knr. 1956).
Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 83:
Du's, güd traath, a harnliss snül Ta be sae led. Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Songs 88:
Juist fancy yonder hernless wight. Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 83:
The lave o' them haiveless like harnless deer.
Comb. (in sing.): harnpan, the skull (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 692, hern-; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 256, haurn-; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., hern-, harn-; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Knr., Peb. 1956).
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 188:
The Harn-pan of an umquhile Mare, He strung, and strak Sounds fast and clear. Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 24:
A hag sailt i' his toom hairn-pans Awa' to France. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie ciii.:
Robin has gotten an awful cloor on the broo, we think his harnpan's surely dunklet. Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 273:
I'll lea' to you my harnpan, It is baith lang and sma'; I'll lea' it to yoursell, my lord, To drink your wine witha'. Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin vi.:
Haud back if ye dinna want a bullet through your harran-pan! Rxb. c.1870 Jedburgh Worthies 27:
An over-sized hat, which contrived to keep its place despite the scanty “harn-pan” beneath it. Ork. 1931 J. Leask Peculiar People 134:
Sheu wad spelt apen da harnpan o' da first ane 'at darkened 'er doorstane.
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"Harn n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/harn_n1>
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