Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
JO, n.1 Also joe; pl. joes. [dʒo:]
1. A sweetheart, a lover; gen. male, but sometimes applied to women (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc., now mostly poet. Comb. penny jo, a prostitute.
Peb. 1702 C. B. Gunn Linton Church (1912) 82:
She heard Isobel call Mr Robert, “Heartsome Joe.” Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 44:
Which gars my Jo aft grip my Hand 'Till his Heart pitty-pattys. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 25:
This laid her eery thoughts, but yet her pain For her dear jo did still its strength maintain. Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 68:
When lads gang out on Sunday's even To treat their joes. Ayr. 1796 Burns Cardin o't i.:
Johnie is my only jo — I lo'e him best of onie yet. Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery iv.:
Aweel, aweel, I had mair joes than ane, but I favoured nane o' them. Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 174:
I would gie somethin' to ken if I would hae ony chance to get her for a Jo. Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 128:
Penny joes on causey stanes. Lnl. 1896 Poets Lnl. (Bisset) 129:
The sang o' the lintie a-courting his joe. Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 32:
But my feet danced oot to meet my joe.
Hence phr. to play “jook my jo”, to flirt. See Jouk.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xviii.:
That's what auld Airlie gies to young birkies like you that come in graund coats to play “Jook my jo” wi' his lasses.
‡2. Used as a term of endearment: my dear (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). For phr. hinny and jo, see Hinnie.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 57:
There ye'll see ye'r bonny sell, My jo Janet. Ayr. 1792 Burns Lea Rig i.:
When o'er the hill the e'ening star Tells bughtin time is near, my jo. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
Your father was a douce, honest man, . . . my jo! [a mother to her son]. Slk. 1820 Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 242:
But, Janet, my joe, warna ye at the corpse-kisting? m.Lth. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller xvii.:
Gin your friend be worth a preen, He will offer bail, jo.
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"Jo n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/jo_n1>
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