Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MAE, adj., n.1, adv. Also ma. [me:]

I. adj. 1. More in number (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per. 1903 E.D.D.; Sc. 1921 M.M. Sc. 108; Kcb., Dmf., Rxb. 1962). Lnk. 1710  Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 93:
To conveen the saids contraveeners and evidences before some one or mae Justices of the Peace.
Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 165:
For Rowth shall cherish Love, and Love shall bring Mae Men t'improve the Soil and serve the King.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 184:
The wyliest an' best o' men, Has gi'en you dishes ane or mae.
s.Sc. 1801  J. Leyden Complaynt 355:
In the popular Scottish dialect, mae is applied to numbers, and mair to quantity.
Sc. 1814  Scott Waverley lxiii.:
Killed that same night in the tuilzie, and mony mae bra' men.
Sc. 1832  A. Henderson Proverbs 11:
The less debt the mae dainties.
Ags. 1846  A. Laing Wayside Flowers 22:
It's been tell'd me sin' mornin' by mae folk nor ane.
Kcb. 1893  Crockett Raiders xvii.:
I doubt you and me maun twine afore we hae gane mony mae miles.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
The nearer nicht, the mae beggars The mair siller, the mae cares.

2. Less frequently: greater in quantity or amount (Kcb. 1962), additional. wm.Sc. 1837  Laird of Logan 59:
Sirs, will ony o' ye tak' a pickle mae kail?
Edb. 1851  A. Maclagan Sketches 174:
Wi' mae broken gear, that are meant to be men't.

3. Adv. phrs.: (1) a ma, all the more. Poet.; (2) mae ways, in more ways; (3) to be at ane mae wi, to be at breaking point, “at the end of one's tether”, at the point of death, lit. at the last stage before the end, when one more would finish it. (1) Sc. 1791  Archie o Cawfield in
Child Ballads No. 188. B. xv.:
Out then spak Dickie and said, Let some o the weight fa on me; “O shame a ma!” co Jokie Ha, For he's no the weight of a poor flee.”
Sc. 1802  Scott Minstrelsy (1848) II. 122:
I wot they cost me dear eneugh. The shame a ma.
(2) Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 2:
Fleis an midges . . . war skiddlin an bizzin aboot ma lugs in cluds, areddies — kittle craiters (mae ways as yin).
(3) Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man I. 309:
Here's the chap that began the fray . . . He rather looks as he were at ane mae wi't.
Slk. 1823  Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) i.:
As to the storm, I can tell you, my sheep are just at ane mae wi't.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 14:
At yin mae wui'd = at one point from the end or limit of anything. Applied to a critical illness, as, Hei's duist at yin mae wui'd, i.e., he is at death's door.

II. n. and quasi-n. Freq. with pronominal force, a greater number of persons or objects (Kcb., Rxb. 1962); a greater amount or quantity. Sc. 1700  Acts Parl. Scot. X. App. 66:
To be managed by ane or mae to be named by the magistrats.
Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 124:
If they allow my Pictur's like the Life, Mae shall be drawn; Originals are rife.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 117:
'Twill tak this seven year, I fear, an' mae.
Dmf. 1808  J. Mayne Siller Gun 88:
Carts, syne, wi' sic as dughtna gae, Were pang'd till they cou'd haud nae mae.
Gall. 1832  J. Denniston Craignilder 55:
Some gaed for love, and mae for fear.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 14:
The mae the merrier.

III. adv. In addition to the number previously specified. Hence phr. ance mae, once again. Edb. 1798  D. Crawford Poems 2:
Thae scraps, an' a wheen mae.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Siege Rxb. (1874) 624:
I hae mysel an' my three billies, deil a shank mae.
Ags. 1920  A. Gray Songs 26:
I ettled sair to rise up And meet my love ance mae.

[O.Sc. ma, more, in its various senses, from 1375, O.E. , id., corresponding to Eng. †mo.]

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"Mae adj., n.1, adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2018 <>



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