Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SIDELIN(S), adv., adj., n. Also -ling(s), -lan(s); sid-. Now chiefly dial. in Eng., having been replaced in standard usage by sidelong. [′səidlɪn(z), ′sɪd-]

I. adv., gen. in form with -.s: 1. Sideways, side on, to one side (Sc. a.1813 A. Murray Hist. Eur. Langs (1823) II. 10, sidlins; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 230; Kcb.4 1900; Ayr. 1926 Wilson D. Burns 183; Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Slg., Kcb. 1970). Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 45:
Sidelin to the fight they both come on.
Sc. 1823  Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) VII. 320:
The snaw was an awsome depth and there was just room for twa folk to pass one another sidlings.
Mry. c.1850  Lintie o' Moray (1887) 30:
Sidlins upon the mare's hurdies he sat.
Lnk. 1883  A. R. Fisher Poems 12:
His bannet sidelin's stauns awee.
s.Sc. 1925  H. M'Diarmid Sangschaw 41:
Syne he hings sidelins Watchin' hoo lang.
Gall. 1932  A. McCormick Galloway 153:
The eagle fell “sidelins,” but righted itself and flew away.

2. Indirectly, obliquely, of speech or look (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., Ork., Abd., Kcb. 1970). Ayr. 1785  Burns To W. Simpson ii.:
Ironic satire, sidelins sklented.
Edb. 1866  J. Smith Merry Bridal 66:
Sidelins he meets the cauld averted gaze.
Ags. 1872  J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 21:
Though whiles at ane he'd sidelin's glance.
Sc. 1928  J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 8:
Whiles a skime she sidelins ga'e him.
Sh. 1966  New Shetlander No. 79. 10:
Da door at noo da younger fokk look sideleens at in scoarn.

II. adj. 1. Sidelong, oblique, moving or glancing sideways (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Abd., Kcb. 1970). Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 113:
For Nory's cause this sidlings cast he gae.
Edb. 1786  Edb. Ev. Courant (12 Dec.):
Weel, Rab, I conn'd a' o'er your beuk, Yestreen, nor coost a sidelin' look.
Rxb. 1808  A. Scott Poems 98:
But Grizzie, on their neibour rig, Wi' sidelins, oglin ee.
Abd. 1832  W. Scott Poems 56:
Although she travels wi' a sidelins houd.
Bnff. 1852  A. Harper Solitary Hours 87:
Gin he girnt, wi' sidelins neck, An' flirr'd his tusks in disrespect. Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 114. The ship cam wi' a sudden kind O' sidlin's cowp. e. Lth. 1882 P. McNeill Preston 76: He cuist a sidelan' glance at Bess.

2. Sloping, on an incline or declivity (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Ork., Abd., Kcb. 1970). Also in Eng. dial. Kcb. 1815  J. Gerrond Poems 153:
O what a flutter! Or sidlins brae in o' a gutter.
Gall. 1904  E.D.D.:
‘I wus ploughing a sidlans brae' means that man and horses were going neither up nor down hill but across the slope — leaving one foot higher than the other.
Abd. 1969  Huntly Express (10 Feb.) 3:
A sloping field, running from top to bottom, might also slope to one side. The horsemen would say, “It's nae gweed tae dreel: it's that sidelins.”

III. n., from adj. used subst.: a sloping piece of ground, a declivity, hill-side (Sc. 1808 Jam., sid(e)lin(g)s; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m.Sc., Rxb. 1970, sidlins), by some thought of as sidelan(d)s. Also in Eng. dial.; also road-scrapings accumulated at the sides (‡Per. 1970). Kcb. a.1914  J. Matthewson MS. Poems 55:
He on the sidlans tripped Stumbled, and laigher slipped.
wm.Sc. 1957  Glasgow Herald (2 March) 3:
Between the burn and the fence are “sidlings” — foothills too steep for the plough.

[O.Sc. sidelangis, -lingis, sideways, c.1460, sidlens, a steep slope, 1666.]

Sidelin(s) adv., adj., n.

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"Sidelin(s) adv., adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2019 <>



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