Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SONSE, n. Also sonce, shonce, ¶sonsy (metri causa in 1790 quot.). [sons] 1. Good fortune or luck, prosperity, abundance (Lth. 1808 Jam.; Uls. c.1840 W. Lutton Montiaghisms (1924), 1953 Traynor; Cai. 1971). Phrs.: sonse fa' (ye), sonsy-, may prosperity attend (you), bless (you) (Bnff., Fif., Ayr. 1825 Jam.), sometimes simply as a friendly expletive. Cf. Speed; sonce (on) ye, id. Sc. 1705  Dialogue between Country-Man and Landwart School-Master 7:
More Luck and Sonce follow'd me, than his former Master.
Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 134:
Folks of more tender Consciences have turned their Expletives to friendly Wishes, such as this; or, Sonse fa' ye, and the like.
Edb. 1773  in Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 71:
Sonse fa' me, gif I hadna' lure I cou'd command ilk muse as sure.
Rnf. 1790  A. Wilson Poems 193:
Sonsy fa' your Muse, my laddie! She's a wench can mount fu' heigh.
w.Lth. 1908  J. White Sketches 5:
Sonce me, his thoughts tae vary like the rollin year.
Cai. 1958 7 :
Shonce on ye!

2. Sedateness, dignity of manner (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.). This usage is doubtful and may be due to confusion with Mense.

[O.Sc. sons, = 1., a.1300, Gael., Ir. sonas, good luck. prosperity.]

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"Sonse n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Nov 2018 <>



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