Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NAE, adv.2 Also ne(e). [ne:]

1. Not (mainly n.Sc. and rare south of the Tay, where No is now reg. usage). Hence nae but, -bit, no more than, only, merely, just (ne.Sc. 1963). Cf. colloq. n.Eng. nobbut, id. The neg. in this construction was dropped in Eng. in the 15th c. Comb. nae weel, unwell, ill. Cf. no weel s.v. No. Abd. c.1700  J. Maidment Sc. Ballads (1859) 20:
But women now are nae sae blate.
Abd. 1772  Weekly Mag. (22 Oct.) 102:
Fat ivir ye've impriv'd in, Sir, weel I wite, it's ne i' your langige.
Per. 1773  in Fergusson Poems (Grosart 1879) 76:
O' Whistledry I'm nae the laird.
Ags. 1776  C. Keith Farmer's Ha' 21:
Take tent, and nae wi' strunts offend, I've seen queans dink, and neatly prin'd.
Ayr. 1789  Burns O' Willie Brew'd i.:
We are na fou, we're nae that fou, But just a drappie in our ee.
e.Lth. a.1801  R. Gall Poems (1819) 28:
Nae seeing whare we're gaun.
Mry. 1873  J. Brown Round Table Club 117:
We wint kail, nae tawtie soup.
Rxb. 1875  N. Elliott N. Macpherson 73, 77:
I'll nae mention your name . . . If Miss Eppie's nae sae young.
Abd. 1884  D. Grant Keckelton 16:
The nae-to-be-misunderstood looks o' love.
Cai. 1909  D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 3:
An' 'id's nee for me . . . t' pit tee'd nor tak fee'd.
Abd. 1923  Banffshire Jnl. (8 May) 10:
A fisher wife was lying ill. “Foo's Mistress Laitin the day?” says one neighbour to another. “Ow, she's nae bit sowber.”
Lnk. 1923  J. S. Martin Sc. Earth 37:
To pree the caller cress-grown spring And hear the white-throats flyte and sing Were joy that's nae to mene.
Per. 1952  Scotsman (26 March):
Here is pure Crieff, as I have heard it during many years: — “A'll nae be lang.”
Bnff. 1960  :
She's nae bit a han'fu o' a craiter. The bairn's nae bit new waken't. It's nae bit new deen.
Abd. 1961  People's Jnl. (19 Aug.) 3:
He'd been richt nae weel.

2. Phrs., with imprecatory or strong neg. force: nae a bit, you don't say so, really, indeed (ne.Sc. 1963). See Bit, n.1; nae a marrow, I never heard the like! (Id.) See Marrow. Abd. 1926  Abd. Univ. Review (July) 225:
Oh, nae a marrow! Folk surely lived in idleseat at that time.
Abd. 1958 31 :
“Mains left ¥10,000 tae the dother.” “Nae a bit! ”

[O.Sc. na, from 14th c., O.E. , not.]

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"Nae adv.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 10 Dec 2018 <>



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