Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LANG SYNE, adv. comb., adj., n. Also -sin; -seen (ne.Sc. 1960). [′lɑŋ′səin, ne.Sc. + ′sin]

I. adv. Long ago, long since. Gen.Sc. See Syne. Also in extended forms lang-back-syne, langainsyne [ < gane, gone] (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.), -frae-syne, -sin-syne (Sh., Abd. 1960). Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 20:
Well, nae lang syne, fan our auld fouks were laid, An' taking their ain crack into their bed.
Edb. 1788  J. Macaulay Poems 141:
The thought o' bliss enjoy'd lang syne.
Fif. 1806  A. Douglas Poems 11:
Let's do as did our sires langsyne.
Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel iii.:
It was just Laurie Linklater, ... that was my father's apprentice langsyne.
Lnk. 1865  J. Hamilton Poems 53:
Again I paidle in the burn, But, Oh! it's lang-sin-syne.
Ags. 1897  in A. Reid Bards 105:
Fu' aft I think on bairnhood's days, Thae happy days sae lang-syne gane.
Sh. 1899  Shetland News (14 Oct.):
Leebie tell'd Bawby an' me no very lang frae syne.
Sc. 1910  L. M. Watt Poets' Corner 128:
Lang, lang syne i' the Sea-toun.
Dmf. 1912  A. Anderson Later Poems 36:
Langsyne, afore my grannie was born.
Bch. 1929  Abd. Univ. Review (March) 130:
Lang seen news traivelt naeder fast nor far.

II. adj. Of long ago, of yore, ancient. Gen.Sc. Edb. 1798  D. Crawford Poems 49:
An' yet the langsyne ploys fu' fain You lo'e to tell.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian l.:
In that single word there was more of her sister — more of lang syne ideas — than in all the reminiscences which her own heart had anticipated.
Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 33:
'Tis langsyne fauts, that puts me in a steer.
Clc. 1870  Alloa Advert. (7 Jan. 1922) 3:
Whup ye aff some langsyne sermon.
Gsw. 1877  A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 15:
The plaided hap o' auld-warl' ways, The leisure o' the langsyne days.
Rxb. 1919  Hawick Express (7 Feb.) 4:
Jingo ring was mair i' ma line i' th' lang-syne days.
Lnk. 1923  G. Rae Lowland Hills 55:
We're needin' the torch wi' the lang syne flame.

III. n. The years of long ago, old times, memories of the past. Gen.Sc. Freq. in phr. auld lang syne, id.; the well-known song by Burns gen. sung at the break-up of a social gathering. Also attrib. See also Auld, 9., Phrs. (2). Sc. 1711  J. Watson Sc. Poems (1869) iii. 72:
Thou canst never once reflect On Old-long-syne.
Ayr. 1788  Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 290:
Is not the Scotch phrase, “Auld lang syne,” exceedingly expressive?
Sc. 1808  Scott H. Midlothian xxxviii.:
I have a friend in office who will, for auld lang syne, do me so much favour.
Sc. 1823  Byron Don Juan x. xviii.:
As “Auld Lang Syne” brings Scotland, one and all, Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear streams.
Dmf. 1823  J. Kennedy Poems 38:
The days that are past, the sweet days o' langsyne.
Edb. 1844  J. Ballantine Miller 181:
We maun try and forget for the time the lang years that hae rowed ower us sin' we parted, and dedicate this meeting to auld langsyne.
wm.Sc. 1854  Laird of Logan 304:
Just gave me ane o' the auld langsyne blinks of affection.
Mry. 1883  F. Sutherland Poems 2:
'Twas there, in langsyne, whaur we wore rashy mitres.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr Duguid 190:
The delicious, though whyles, alas! dowie memories, of the dear auld days of langsyne.
Sc. 1892  P.S.A.S. XXVI. 379:
Perhaps it is not too much to say that “Auld Lang Syne” is the best known and most widely diffused song in the civilised world.
Kcd. 1900  W. Macgillivray Glengoyne I. ii.:
We hinna seen ye for mony a lang syne.
Rxb. 1921  Kelso Chron. (3 June) 2:
In spite o' what grandfaithers say O' the grand Langsyne!
Abd. 1949  W. R. Melvin Poems 69:
Wi' Aul' Lang Syne we said gweed nicht.

[Lang, adv. + Syne. O.Sc. lang syne, long since, 1438, as a n., 1694.]

Lang syne adv. comb., adj., n.

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"Lang syne adv. comb., adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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