Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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RUE, n., v. Also rew (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1862 G. Henderson St Matthew xxi. 29, 1907 D. MacAlister Echoes (1923) 167). Sc. usages:

I. n. Sc. derivs. and phrs.: 1. ruefu', rewfu'(s.Sc. 1857 H. S. Riddell Psalms xxxviii. 18), rufu, as in Eng., also Sc. usage: terrible, dreadful; 2. rueless, without regret, having no regret; 3. ruesome, sorrowful, pitiable. Also in n.Eng. dial.; 4. to mak a rue (Slg., Fif., Lth., Wgt. 1968), to tak the rue, to repent, regret; to change one's mind about a course of action (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Fif. 1930; Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne.Sc., m. and s.Sc. 1968); to take offence or a dislike (Ayr., Dmf., Slk. 1968). 1. Sc. 1825  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 68:
A deep dungeon-den o' ruefu' rocks, and the waterfa' its ragin prisoner.
Dmf. 1836  J. Mayne Siller Gun 134:
Cou'd sic a ruefu' scene display O' men and guns!
Sh. 1879  Shetland Times (29 April):
Taering doon my barn an' wirkin' rüfu spüllie.
2. Mry. 1804  R. Couper Poetry I. 192:
The goodwife's hand's in Willy's niv — They trip wi' rueless pride.
3. m.Lth. 1870  J. Lauder Warblings 36:
His ruesome ill-faur'd looks.
4. Sc. 1789  Shepherd's Wedding 10:
I own, indeed, I've ta'en the rue, My mind is fairly altered.
Ayr. 1803  A. Boswell Works (1871) 5:
Pledg'd the morn to be your bride — O ha'e ye, ha'e ye, ta'en the rue?
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xl.:
He may hae taen the rue, and kensna how to let me wot of his change of mind.
Slk. 1824  Hogg Shep. Cal. (1874) xii.:
Turn back! . . . certainly not, unless you hae ta'en the rue.
Dmb. 1844  W. Cross Disruption xxiv.:
He has ta'en the rue already about Shusie.
Lnk. 1881  A. Wardrop Poems 86:
I'm ready for a wife, Mag — You're no tae tak' the rue.
Uls. 1891  R. Mulholland Ailsie's Shoe 246:
“But it's no use takin' the rue now,” she said. “I be to go through with it.”
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 18:
A'm no gaun ti dui'd; A've taen the rewe.
Slg. 1935  W. D. Cocker Further Poems 41:
The fermer took thocht, an' syne pit it to grass, Wi' a guid feed o' aits; but he then took the rue.

II. v. 1. With on: to feel compassion for, to pity (Ags., Fif. 1968). Now arch. in Eng. Ayr. 1788  Burns Fair Eliza i.:
Rew on thy despairing lover! Canst thou break his faithfu' heart?
Sc. 1827  G. R. Kinloch Ballads 61:
To see gin my love will on me rue.
Sc. 1879  P. H. Waddell Isaiah xiv. 1:
For the Lord, he sal rew on Jakob.

2. To regret a promise, bargain or contract into which one has entered, to break or withdraw from a bargain or contract, to resile, back out (n.Sc., Per., Kcb. 1968). Derivs. ruance, an opportunity to withdraw from a lease or contract, ruer, one who repents of a bargain, in proverb below. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 284:
Reavers should not be Ruers.
Fif. 1732  Session Papers, Cleghorn v. Dempster (17 Dec. 1805) App. I.:
Full power and liberty to rew, quitt, and overgive their possession of the said links and communty.
Abd. 1790  A. Shirrefs Poems 87:
Aft has he promis'd, that he wad be true; But, now, I find my lad begins to rue.
Fif. 1808  St Andrews Baxter Bks. (Macadam 1902) 209:
We have a Ruance at the end of the Sixth year, but it is left in our Option to give up or give the raise of Rent.
Rnf. 1861  J. Barr Poems 1:
Dinna ye say no at nicht, And maybe rue the morn.
Cld. 1882  A. Nimmo Songs 19:
Ye'll best rue before ye be bun'.

Comb. rue-bargain, money given as compensation for breaking a bargain or withdrawing from an agreement to buy (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1871 J. Paterson Reminisc. 51; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Gall. 1968). Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xxvii.:
It would cost him a guinea of rue-bargain to the man who had bought his pony, before he could get it back again.
Slk. 1920  P. Sulley In Our Burgh 135:
If from special circumstances a transaction needed to be cancelled, it is customary for the one who had to cry off to pay a “rue bargain”.

3. tr. To change one's mind or attitude towards, to reject. wm.Sc. 1907  N. Munro Daft Days xxxi.:
It's not that I'm feared, or that I've rued the gyurl, but — but it's kind of sudden!

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"Rue n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/rue_n_v>

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