Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
NEAR, adv., prep., adj. Also nere, neer-. Compar. neard(h)er (Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders xxxiv.; Uls. 1953 Traynor, Ayr., Gall., Uls. 1963); superl. neard(h)est (Traynor), nearmost (ne., m. and s.Sc.). Sc. forms and usages. See also Nar. [′niər; em.Sc.(a), sm.Sc. ner]
I. adv., prep. 1. As in Eng. Deriv. nearlins, neir-, nearly, almost (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Sh., Abd. 1963). Also in n.Eng. dial.
Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 146:
[She] glow'rd, an' shook, as she cam' ben, An' very nearlins fainted. Sc. 1815 Poems in Sc. Dialect 15:
But fareweel, Pate, I'm nearlins through. Abd. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 9:
A ploy that nearlins smoret the goupen.
Sc. combs. and Phrs.: (1) nearabout, prep., near, close to; adv. (also nearabouts), nearly, almost, by and large. Gen.Sc.; (2) near-be [ < nearby] -g(y)aun (Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xvi.), -gawn, -ga(a)n, -g(j)aain (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.), -gaean (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch Bk. 221), -gaein (Sh. 1924 T. Manson Peat Comm. III. 99), -gone (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., 1953 Traynor), neer-, -begun, -bigyaun, miserly, greedy, close-fisted (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Kcb. 1900; Sh., Ork., Cai., ne. Sc., Fif., Slk. 1963). See (5) and (6). Hence near-b'gyaunness, stinginess; (3) nearbehadden, id. (Rxb. 1825 Jam.); ‡(4) near-b'hand, id. (Abd. 1963). Cf. Nearhand; (5) nearby, also nearbe, as in (2), (3) and (4), (i) adv., close at hand, near; (ii) nearly, almost); (iii) prep., close to, beside. All Gen.Sc.; (iv) as an adj., close at hand, neighbouring; (6) near-gaun, -gaw(i)n, = (2) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1916 J. Mowat Proverbs 7; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; I. and n.Sc., Slk. 1963) [cf. Norw. dial. nœrgangande, id.]. Also in n.Eng. dial. Hence near-goingness, greed, close-fistedness, parsimony; (7) near geddert, gathered in a mean or avaricious manner (Abd. 1963); (8) near oneself, = (6) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor, Uls. 1963); (9) near the bane, -been, id. (Sc. 1880 Jam.; e.Lth. 1930; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc.; (10) near the bit, id. (Lnk. 1919 T.S.D.C.; wm.Sc., Kcb. 1963); †(11) to go one near, to affect closely or deeply. Obs. in Eng.; (12) to look near, to approach, visit, pay attention to, take an interest in (ne.Sc. 1963). See Leuk.
(1) Ayr. a.1878 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage (1892) 357:
A towmond nearabout has run Sin' last we saw thy face, man. Ayr. 11910:
I'm nearaboot finished. — I was nearaboot deed wi caul. Abd. 1960 27 :
Three fit sax near or nearabout. (2) Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems II. 158:
He's sic a hard, near-be-gawn miser. Fif. 1830 A. Stewart Dunfermline (1889) 143:
Ye auld near-be-gaun jade, an' ye'll no let him howk a wee pickle tatties for a puir auld body like me! Ayr. 1834 Galt Howdie, etc. (1923) 249:
Many that were thought of ne'er-begun dispositions shed a tear when it was reported that she had been so destitute. Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xli.:
It's a gweed thing fan near-b'gyaunness an' gentility rins thegither. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 60:
Sheu wus a nabal, near-bega'n skrunt. Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 19. 43:
He wis is nearbegaain is wan could fin. (4) Abd. 1941 C. Gavin Black Milestone xiii.:
The French was awfu' near-b'hand, and socht a twa-three bawbees afore they would verilys gie ye a drink o' watter. (5) (i) Sc. 1728 Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 34:
The preaching was near-by, for we heard the Psalms sweetly sung. Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 228:
A farmer who lived near by. (ii) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlv.:
After a trot o' sixty mile, or near by. Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems 82:
'Tis fourscore winters nearbye now, Sin' I first follow'd up the plew. (iii) Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poet. Wks. 18:
Oh! never saw thy wil'-kail seed Near by the poet's houseless head. (iv) Abd. 1858 G. Macdonald Phantastes (1870) 120:
The cows in a near-by field were eating. (6) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 157:
Shall Man, a niggard, near-gawn elf! Rin to the tether's end for pelf. Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 25:
But peevish neargawin wights an' cunnin, An' for the maist part bent on winnin. Crm. 1854 H. Miller My Schools xi.:
The blasted old sinner, after a' his neargoingness wi' them, was now but a dyvour bankrupt. Sc. 1938 M. Innes Lament 13:
Folk hated his very name, he was that near-going. (7) Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 203:
Fin the young fowk nooadays wun in amon' near geddert siller they fairly gie't a spread. (8) Sc. 1814 C. I. Johnstone Saxon and Gael III. v.:
I'm no a man that's near mysel'; the wealth he has seen it meet in his providence to bestow on me, I wad like to use in moderation. (9) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 117:
He's unco near the bane, wi' a' thing it he gees. Abd. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 11:
The folk o' Aiberdeen are a' byous near the been. (11) Sh. 1912 J. Nicolson Hame-Spun 57:
It's dis hosiery 'at's goin' me near.
2. Nearer. Obs. in Eng. from 16th c.
Sc. c.1829 Lord Thomas in
Child Ballads No. 73 F. 37:
And ay at every year's ane They grew them near and near.
3. Nearly, almost. Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial.
Abd. 1758 Session Papers, Grant v. Farquharson (4 Aug.) 15:
Haddo's own Tenants, who could not near drink the Ale of a Boll. Lth. 1856 M. Oliphant Lilliesleaf xl.:
There very near was a quarrel between them. Sc. 1887 Jam.:
He near missed it: aye, gae near. Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums vi.:
I was near daft wi' fear. Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister 254:
She has been troubled wi' a kin o' dwaminess in her inside for near three weeks. Rnf. 1928 G. Blake Paper Money 42:
“Ye've taken that house?” “Taken it? I very near bought it!”
4. Narrowly, only just (Sh., Ags., Ayr., Kcb. 1963). Obs. in Eng. from 16th c.
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 67:
Acquentin' him 'tween ilka gabbot, How near he 'scape't frae bein' stabbit.
II. adj. 1. Phrs. and Comb.: (1) as near, nearly of the same degree or quality, near enough (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr., Kcb. 1963); (2) at the nearest, by the shortest or quickest way (ne.Sc., Ags., Arg. 1963); (3) at the near hand, see Hand, n., 8. (9); (4) near cut, a short cut, a quick or more direct way (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., now obsol. in Eng. To take the near cut of one, to cheat (Traynor).
(1) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 40:
Gin it be sae, ye's be provided here. With may be nae sae gueed, but yet as near. (2) ne.Sc. 1746 Origins '45 (S.H.S.) 159:
Never going a yard out of the way for a bridge or any burn they met with, but wading through at the nearest. m.Lth. 1783 Session Papers, Petition Lady Greenwich (5 March) Proof 11:
People passing that way had to go through the fields at the nearest. Slk. 1835 Hogg Tales (1874) 541:
Lady Jane called me up to her, and asked me if we could pass over to the chapel on the hill at the nearest. Abd. 1961 Buchan Observer (14 March):
Oh, I cam' throu' at the nearest or I micht ha'e cried in aboot for ye. (4) Slg. 1756 Session Papers, Buchanan v. Loch (16 Dec.) 15:
People went through his Possession at Keppoch Glin, as a near Cut to the Glins. Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 196:
Boot-gaits are taiglesome, and near-cuts are seldom clean. Rxb. 1881 Border Counties Mag. II. 126:
I tuik a near cut masel' to strike the Dean. Ags. 1890 A. Simpson Muirside Mem. 146:
Crossing the plank that makes a near cut to the smiddy. Abd. 1914 J. Cranna Fraserburgh 66:
The postrunner . . . would gravitate to the links for “a near cut.”
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"Near adv., prep., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Mar 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/near>
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