Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

SIC, adj., pron., adv. Also si(c)k, †sike (Sc. 1702 T. Morer Acct. Scot. 71), †seck (Sh. 1862 Sh. Advertiser (29 Sept.)), †syk (Fif. 1819 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 18), †seik. The Eng. equivalent such is freq. substituted in the following usages by affectedly anglicised speakers. [sɪk]

I. adj. 1. Such (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Sic a(n) is freq. followed by a pl. noun in exclams. = ‘what a lot of . . .!' Proverbial phrs. sic dog, sic maister, like master, like man, sic saw(in), sic maw(in), “whatever a man soweth, that shall he reap” (Abd. 1960). Abd. 1706  Sc. Antiquary XI I. 102:
We'er na sick Feels but we ken how tee make our own vantage of sick a game.
Sc. 1750  Scots Mag. (March) 113:
But bide ye, billy, mak na sic a noise.
Ayr. 1792  Burns Witlie Wastle i.:
Sic a wife as Willie had.
Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xxxv.:
To make your reception sic as I could have desired.
wm.Sc. 1837  Laird of Logan 82:
I thought it was just “sic dog, sic maister”.
Dmf. 1846  R. W. Thom Dominie's Charge I. 106:
He didna aye wear sic braw black cloth.
Bnff. 1872  Banffshire Jnl. (17 Sept.):
It's sic saw sic maw Until the day we dee.
Wgt. 1880  G. Fraser Lowland Lore 163:
Nae woner, then, in sic a case, At sic a time, in sic a place.
Ags. 1899  Barrie W. in Thrums iii.:
Ye daur to speak aboot openin' the door, an' you sic a mess!
Sc. 1904  E.D.D.:
No such a thing = no such thing.
Ork. 1907  Old-Lore Misc. I. ii. 64:
Wi' their naves an' seck wapons as they hed.
Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 19:
Sic a floors ee heh in eer gairdeen!
m.Sc. 1928  O. Douglas Pink Sugar xiv.:
It maun tak the wumman hours to pit up her hair — sic a curls an' twists!

II. pron., also construed as the adj. with suppression of a n. following to be understood: such a person or thing, one of the kind. Sc. 1793  Tam Thrum Look before ye Loup 4:
I speak to sic o' ye as hae time and siller to throw awa.
Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxxiii.:
I could hae carried twa sic then.
s.Sc. 1847  H. S. Riddell Poems 352:
She daffed awee wi' sic as ye.
Gsw. 1856  “Young Glasgow” Deil's Hallowe'en 47:
Ilk sic was waur aff than his neighbour.
Rxb. 1918  Kelso Chron. (3 May) 4:
Guid yins there are frae ither pairts, Yet hae ma doots if sic can match Those o' ma native land.

III. adv. In such a way, so, thus; how. 1. In idiomatic phr. ‡sic fares o . . ., that is just like . . ., typical of . . . . See Fare, v., II. 2. and Suppl.; 2. exclam. with adjs. = Eng. how . . .!, so . . . . 1. Abd. 1801  W. Beattie Parings (1813) 6:
Sic fares the fool, like me, who tries To wade throw drift.
Abd. 1932  :
If somebody was mentioned whose behaviour was criticised adversely, a listener told an illustrative anecdote regarding the person and the first speaker would say “sic fares o'm”.
2. Kcd. 1934  L. G. Gibbon Grey Granite 113, 249:
Look, Willy, such cheap. . . . She was such sorry that the place was breaking up.
Abd. 1969  :
Eh, sic bonnie she is! If ye only kent, sic sair as it is.

IV. Combs. and Phrs., mainly of I.: 1. sic a bodie, so-and-so, such a person (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 78; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1970). See Body; 2. sic-a-like, as an excl. of surprise, gen. connoting disparagement, “what a . . .”. Gen. (exc. Sh.) Sc. The form appears to be a conflation of sic a with Siclike. Phr. sic a like bodie, so-and-so, = 1. above (Dmf. 1958); 3. sic-(an-)sae, -sey, alike, similar, much of muchness (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd. (sic-sae), Dmb., Lnk., s.Sc. 1970); 4. sic-an-sic, such-and-such, soand-so. Gen.Sc.; et cetera; 5. sic-an-siclike, of a similar kind, all of a piece, = 3. (I.Sc., Abd., Ags. 1970). See Siclike. Freq. in contexts of disparagement; 6. sic-a-place, such-and-such a place, used euphemistically in quot.; 7. siclike, see sep. art.; 8. sic-sae, see 3. above; sic-sae as, as for example (Abd. 1970); 9. sic-sam, = 3. (Sh. 1970). See Sam, adj. 2. Edb. 1827  M. & M. Corbett Busy-Bodies I. xiv.:
Preserve us a', sic a like fire.
3. s.Sc. 1873  D.S.C.S. 175:
They're duist sic an' sae wi them ye hae.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
Lilliard's Edge hed been sic-an-so that verra day.
Abd. 1966  Buchan Observer (26 July) 6:
White Fish Year was “muckle sic sey.”
4. Ayr. 1706  Arch. and Hist. Coll. Ayr. & Wgt. IV. 219:
Bygone rent, land tealling, borrowed money, and seik and seck.
Ags. 1893  Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) XV. 341:
Oh, did you hear o' sic an' sic?
Bnff. 1917  E. S. Rae Private J. M'Pherson 66:
An' fa gaed hame wi' sic-an'-sic Fae so-an'-so's hairst ball.
Abd. 1924  M. Argo Janet's Choice 16:
Back-speired aboot foo I dee sic-an'-sic.
5. Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. v.:
It was just sic and sicklike about the seat in the kirk o' Kilmagirdle.
Sc. 1825  Jam. s.v. siclike:
They're just sic and sicklike; there's no ane o' them to mend anither.
s.Sc. 1898  E. Hamilton Mawkin x.:
I ken the kind. They're all sic and siclike.
6. Abd. 1733  W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 34:
No man not you Should e'er hae touch'd my sic a place Or kiss'd my mou'.

[Northern unpalatalised form of O.E. swilc, Eng. such. O.Sc. sic, sike, from 1375.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Sic adj., pron., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Oct 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down