Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SOME, adj., adv., pron. Also sum-, som-, sam-; sun-, son- (Sh.).

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. Sc. combs.: (1) somat, summat, something. Also in Eng. dial.; (2) someane (Edb. 1839 W. McDowall Poems 40), somean (Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 2), someen (Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 3), someyin (Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (March) 424). Phrs. somean idder, someone else (Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 76; I.Sc. 1971), some idder een, id. (Abd. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (30 Jan.) 6; I., ne.Sc. 1971); (3) somebit, somewhere (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; wm., sm., s.Sc. 1971). See Bit, n.1, 1. (1); (4) somedeal, (i) adv., somewhat, rather, a good deal. Also in Eng. dial.; (ii) n., a good deal. Now only liter.; (5) somegate, -gait, -git, (i) somewhere (Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Kcd., em.Sc.(a), Lnk., Slk. 1971). See Gate, n., 3. Pl. somegates, in some places (Abd. 1971); (ii) somehow, in some way (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Mry., Bnff., em.Sc.(b), wm.Sc. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.; (6) somehoo (Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xlvii.), samhoo (Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 25, 26), somehow. As in Eng. See Hoo, adv. Gen.Sc.; (7) somepairt, (i) somewhat. Now only liter.; (ii) somewhere (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; m.Sc. 1971); (8) someplace, (i) adv. somewhere (Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Bethy Blether 62). Gen.Sc. See Place, n., 1. Phr. someplace else, somewhere else (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., also in Eng. dial.; ¶(ii) euphemistically, as a n., the backside; (9) somethin(g), somtin, sontin, so'nting, sunte(e)n, suntin (I.Sc.), (i) n., as in Eng.; (ii) adv., somewhat, rather, a little, slightly (Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 188, Ayr. 1971). Now rare or dial. in Eng.; (10) someway, -wey, -wye, (i) somehow (Sc. 1880 Jam., s.v. somegate; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 269; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. (exc. Sh.). See Wey. Now only dial. in Eng.; (ii) somewhere (Wilson; Sh., Bnff., Abd. 1971); (11) somewhare (e.Lth. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheephead 164), -whaar (Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 320). Also in adv. genitive form -wheres (Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (July) 271), -wheers (Ib. (May) 142), id.; (12) somewhiles, adv., ¶for some time, for a considerable time, used adj. in quot. (1) Dmf. 1875  P. Ponder Kirkcumdoon 3:
Heart disease or summat o' that sort.
(3) Rxb. 1947  Hawick Express (27 Aug.):
The hawkers hev teh gaun somebit teh camp.
(4) (i) Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry 69:
A laird he was, though somedeal auld, In spreit yet juvenil and bauld.
Sc. 1828  Scott F. M. Perth xvii.:
He was somedeal hurt in that matter.
Sh. 1896  J. Burgess Lowra Biglan 45:
Sitting by themselves some deal of late.
Edb. 1897  W. Beatty Secretar iii.:
Wiping his brow, which was some-deal heated.
(ii) Kcb. 1896  Crockett Grey Man x.:
You have had some deal of that too.
(5) (i) Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality v.:
Ye maun take shelter somegate for the night.
Slk. 1829  Hogg Tales (1866) 202:
The Spey rises somegate i' the Heelands.
Lth. 1854  M. Oliphant M. Hepburn ix.:
There's a bonnie lady somegate pining in her bower for a glance of your e'e.
Knr. 1891  H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 17:
That some ane some gate has her hert, (God save the mark!) I ken.
Kcb. 1901  R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 54:
He wudna muddle his chapel, but gang an begin the dingin-doon somegate else.
Lnk. 1902  A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 87:
They've baith ran aff some-gate abrod.
Ags. 1945  S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 25:
I thocht I'd seen something like that somegit.
Abd. 1952  Buchan Observer (26 Feb.):
The last three days of February used to be known “some gates” as the “futticks”.
(ii) Sc. 1816  Scott B. Dwarf x.:
Elshie's a real honest fallow, yet somegate I would rather take daylight wi me when I gang to visit him.
Per. 1897  C. Stuart Sandy Scott's Bible Class 10:
He maun try somegait.
Sc. 1928  Scots Mag. (July) 271:
Somegait he managed to wring gowd oot o't.
(7) (i) s.Sc. 1898  E. Hamilton Mawkin vii.:
'Twould make the road somepairt easier.
(8) (ii) Sc. 1725  Ramsay Gentle Shep. v. iii.:
She's baith a slee and a revengefu' bitch And that my some-place finds.
(9) (ii) Ayr. 1785  Burns 2nd. Ep. J. Lapraik iii.:
She's saft at best an' something lazy.
Slk. 1819  Hogg Tales (1866) 148:
I feer aye he's something regardless.
Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet xiii.:
A young friend of ours, that is going upon a something particular journey.
Dmb. 1931  A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle iii. i.:
I began to think ye were something feared to talk to me.
(10) (i) Lnk. 1838  M'Ilwham Papers (Morrison) 7:
Someway I never could get alang side wi' ye.
Gall. 1901  R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 35:
He couldna keep fae cursin him somewey.
Arg. 1914  N. Munro New Road xxvi.:
His eyebrows, someway, seemed to jut extraordinarily.
Sc. 1933  N. B. Morrison Gowk Storm II. ix.:
Ma butter wouldna taste the same somewey oot o' ony ither dish than ma grannie's.
Abd. 1969  Huntly Express (11 July):
I hid the mony an ill-luck efterhin, an' wis never the same somewye.
(ii) s.Sc. 1834  Wilson's Tales of the Border I. 24:
They went abroad someway.
Bnff. 1924  Swatches o' Hamespun 20:
He'd gotten intill a snorl wi' a quine this airt somewye.
Abd. 1928  P. Grey Making of a King 7:
I min' seein' a beuk somewey in the shop aboot that fancy dresses.
(12) Bte. 1718  Session Bk. Rothesay (1931) 325:
Taking this affair to ther serious consideration and after somewhiles conference theranent.

2. Construed as an ordinary adj. with the indef. art.: large, considerable. Common in Ags. The usage prob. derives from II. 1. with suppression of an adj. qualifying the n. Ags. 1947  Forfar Dispatch (3 April):
I've a some hack on my thoomb.

II. adv. 1. With adjs. or their equivalents: somewhat, a little, slightly, rather, very, a great deal (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 33, 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.; excessively, too (Abd. 1971). Inv. 1741  Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XIII. 174:
He is some Better than he was.
Bnff. 1754  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. I. 92:
Turning some uneasie with the fatigue of the market.
Sc. 1800  Edb. Advertiser (15 July) 34:
A Grey Work or Draught Horse, some foul at the point of the sheath.
Abd. 1877  G. MacDonald M. of Lossie lxviii.:
It's a some suddent shift o' the win'.
m.Sc. 1893  A. S. Swan Homespun xii.:
She was some glad to go to the milk-house for a jug of milk for her neighbour.
Per. 1897  C. M. Stuart Sandy Scott's Bible Class 51:
It's some like a shower.
Abd. 1922  Weekly Free Press (11 Feb.) 2:
Ye wunna be lang or ye're het aneuch; some het fyles.
Abd. 1968  :
I'm some to blame for't masel.

Phr.: and some, ellipt. for “and that to some considerable extent,” “and more so” (Bnff., Ags. 1971). Cf. colloq. Eng. “and how!” Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 83, 126:
Nae o' the worst ye look as ye were come, But o' the best o' cuintray fouk, an' some . . . Jean says, “I thought ay good o' her wad come, For she was with the foremost up, an' some.”
Abd. 1825  Jam.:
She's as bonny as you, and some. . . . He'll sing wi' her, and some.

2. With verbs: to some extent, rather, a little (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971); with verbs of thinking, supposing, etc., = Eng. rather, sim. interposed between the subject and the verb. Bwk. 1756  G. Ridpath Diary (S.H.S.) 68:
Wrought some in the glebe.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Tales (1837) VI. 272:
He spoke some to himself likewise.
Abd. 1905  C. Horne Forgue 192:
I some thocht that ye was the young laird.
Abd. 1922  Weekly Free Press (7 Jan.) 3:
Aw some doot they wid seen stop.
Mry. 1927  E. B. Levack Lossiemouth 9:
A sat till A cam' tae masel' some.

III. pron. As in Eng., someone. Phr. some or ither, someone or other. Obs. in Eng. since 17th-c. For phr. ither some see Ither, I. 2. (3). Abd. 1836  J. Grant Tales 27:
Ye maun get some or ither o' the members to do this for ye.

Some adj., adv., pron.

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"Some adj., adv., pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2017 <>



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