Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NO, adv.

1. Not, as the adv. negativing a v., adj. or adv. (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 136; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 228; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen. (exc. n.) Sc., though freq. adopted by n.Sc. writers as a liter. usage. More emphatic than the enclitic -Na. Freq. also in double neg. constructions. Cf. Nae, adv. Sc. 1703  Toleration Defended 18:
The Book of may-bees is no more, but just as broad as the Book of may-no-bees.
Mry. 1710  Boharm Parish Mag. (Aug. 1897):
The Session after consideration thought fitt no to refuse the offer.
Sc. 1725  Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
Ye'll no let the wee thing tak the Air.
Sc. c.1770  Herd's MSS. (Hecht 1904) 183:
I can drink and no be drunk, I can fight and no be slain.
Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
Bluid's thicker than water; and it liesna in kith, kin, and ally, to see motes in ilk other's een if other een see them no.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Annals Intro.:
I therefore counsel you, . . . no to lend your ears to those that trumpet forth their hypothetical politics.
m.Lth. 1837  Misty Morning 20:
I houp he's no nane the waur o' his doukie.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 40:
Tak' atent at ye deu no' believe some day tae your cost.
Ags. 1891  Barrie Little Minister x.:
Have you on your Sabbath shoon or have you no on your Sabbath shoon?
Sc. 1896  Stevenson W. Hermiston viii.:
Oh, my dear, that'll no dae!
Bwk. 1900  A. T. G. Ann. Thornlea 100:
A'm no bad, maister, amn't a no?
Sh. 1916  J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Jooly 7):
Come no ower near a mare wi a foal at her fit.
Fif. 1929  A. Taylor Bitter Bread 151:
And I doubt ye'll no' can help that.
Dmb. 1931  A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle II. xiii.:
What was't he said, “a loyal wife and devoted mother,” wasn't no?
Ags. 1964  D. Phillips Hud Yer Tongue 34:
Yer mither's brah sideboard disna' hae bonnie wee drahrs like Granny's dresser, disn't no'?

Freq. with adjs., advs., etc., to form quasi-combs. and to give an impression of understatement or qualified admission or approval, where Eng. would use a positive construction, e.g. no bad, pretty good, no but, only, just (cf. dial. Eng. nobbut), no canny, -chancy, risky, unlucky, tempting Providence, no easy, difficult to master, smart, quick-witted (Arg. 1930), no far, near, no weel, ill (Gen.Sc.). no wise, -wice, foolish, mad. See also and for other exx. under the second element. Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xii.:
But hark, what's that? Surely my father is no weel?
Sc. 1825  Jam.:
That's like a no-wyss body.
Lnk. 1873  J. Nicholson Wee Tibbie's Garland 72:
The no-weel lassie's dream.
Lnk. 1880  W. Grossart Shotts 263:
The witch's-thorn of popular superstition, which it was thought “no canny” to remove.
Sc. 1887  Jam.:
I've nobut saxpence.
Ags. 1889  Barrie W. in Thrums iv.:
“Yer mother's no weel,” he said to Leeby.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
She has 'er ain adaes, wi' a no-weel man.
Lth. 1930  J. Cockburn Country Love 89:
Or if some bairn should be noweel . . . They rin tae you for auld wife skeel.
Arg. 1931 2 :
He's that quick wi his tongue that whiles he's no canny. It's no canny tae be speakin lake that.
Arg. 1936  L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 21:
She's no easy that yin: ye should hae heard her last nicht. Ye'll hae tae watch yersel' when yer dealin' wi' that lot: they're no easy.
Lnk. 1960  Stat. Acc.3 609:
Traditional country phrases (like “fair no weel”, signifying a certain stage in incipient illness).

2. = Do or does not, will not, with absorption of the auxiliary (s.Sc. 1887 Jam.; Edb. 1964). Rarely with omission of verb to be. s.Sc. 1835  Wilson's Tales of the Borders I. 119:
It's weel for ye that no kens what it is to be a footba' at your ain fireside.
s.Sc. 1873  D. S. C. S. 228:
He no can.
m.Lth. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xii.:
I no' mind o' ever hearin her say onythin o' the sort.
Ags. 1895  Caledonia I. 309:
Eat her up, man, an' no haiver.
Bwk. 1906  D. McIver Eyemouth 183:
The old woman covered her eyes with one hand, saying: “A no want to see the man that put ma Wullie in prison.”
e.Lth. 1924  I. Adair Glowerower 90:
“I no want onything,” I said.

[A reduced form of Nocht, appearing first in O.Sc. c.1600.]

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"No adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/no>

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