Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

THAT, pron., adj., adv., conj. Also thaut (Edb. 1910 Scotsman (9 Sept.)); †wm.Sc. and pseudo-Highl. tat, t'at (Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxix., 1818 Scott Guy M. xxxvi., Ayr. 1822 Galt Entail c.; Rnf. 1854 Laird of Logan 53; Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 196); reduced form 'at (see At, pron., adj., conj.). For I.Sc. form see Dat. Derivs. thaten (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.), thattan, with indef. art. thatna. For pl. forms see Thae. Sc. forms and usages: I. pron. 1. As a relative pron. used as in Eng. but also in Gen.Sc. use where St. Eng. would use who(m) of persons, and which of things (Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
I ance was neepours wi' a chap't cud 'a deen that.
Sc. 1921  Grant and Dixon M.M.S. 102:
Quha and quham as relatives, never passed into popular speech. The relative is always “that”, “'at.”
Abd. 1939  :
It's the minister that aichts the bonny bairn.

It is very freq. omitted in Sc. Colloq. or informal Eng. omits only when the pron. is the object of the relative clause. Ayr. 1791  Burns Tam o' Shanter 160:
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal.
Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xxviii.:
Her house was taen up wi' them wadna like to be intruded on wi' strangers.
Per. 1895  I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 329:
There's no' mair than twa acre seen the ploo.
Dmf. 1929  T. W. Paterson Readings II. 65:
Wha was the leddy gaed doon the road afore ye?

The possessive case is expressed by various circumlocutions, as that (hi)s, that her, that their, that . . . . . . o't, o' them, where the governed word is the subject of the relative clause; where it is the object of the verb or of a preposition, the word order after the pronoun remains as if it had been a principal clause. The 's of that (hi)s was later construed as a possess. ending as in its and is used of masc., fem. and neut. antecedents sing. and pl. alike. See also At, rel. pron. s.Sc. 1873  D.S.C.S. 196:
When the Relative is used in the Possessive Case (whose) it is necessary to express it by the conjunction at (that) and the possessive pronoun belonging to the antecedent; thus, “the man at his wife's deid”, the man whose wife is dead, “the woman at ye ken her son”, the woman whose son you know, “the dog at its leg was run ower”, the dog whose leg was run over. . . . For inferior animals and inanimate objects, hits being but little in use, o't, o'd, is used, as “the hoose 'at the end o't fell”, “the sheep at the tail o't was cuttit off.”
Sc. 1921  Grant & Dixon M.M.S. 102:
That's the man 'at's hoose was brunt.
Bnff. 1929  :
The crew that their boat wis vrackit are in Aiberdeen.
ne.Sc. 1972  :
The woman that's sister mairriet the postie. The kye that's caur were born aa about the same time.

2. As a dem. pron.: (1) used where Eng. has this. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1824  Scott Redgauntlet xx.:
I will say that for the English, that they are a ceeveleesed people.
Fif. 1894  A. S. Robertson Provost 119:
The usual salutation — ‘that's a braw day'.
Sc. 1905  E.D.D.:
A Scotchman will say, “that is a fine day,' when an Englishman would say ‘this is a fine day,' or simply ‘a fine day.'

(2) used instead of repeating a previous word or phrase in giving emphasis to what has already been said, so, indeed, just as you say. Gen.Sc. Also in colloq. Eng., obsol. Also aa that (Cai., m.Sc. 1972). Sc. 1818  S. Ferrier Marriage ii.:
He asked if he recollected him. “Weel that, weel that.”
Sc. 1825  Jam.:
He was ance a thief and he'll aye be that.
Crm. 1835  H. Miller Scenes and Leg. 322:
“I'm just thinking it will be no bodie's wyte but your ain.” “How that, man?”
wm.Sc. 1837  Laird of Logan 203:
Just that, just that; man, Willie, you've said it.
Lnk. 1885  R. Naismith Stonehouse 185:
“Did the master not tell you to take off your cap?” “No.” “Why that?”
Abd. 1896  Gregor MSS.:
Nivver enter o' the ice after the first gair o' the sea bracks. Faht for that?
Knr. 1905  H. Haliburtin Excursions 3:
“A fine nicht, Mrs Wricht!” “It's a' that, Mrs Henderson.”
Ags. 1924  J. M. Smith Nettles 25:
Mr. Crabbe is your factor, I understand? He's a' that.
Edb. 1931  E. Albert Herrin' Jennie i. vi.:
“He hutt me!” repeated Jeanie. “He did that!” cried her girl guardian.
Fif. 1940  St Andrews Cit. (10 Feb.) 3:
“Have you ever been on the north side of the bridge?” “I have that.”
Uls. 1950  :
“Are you for the fair?” “I am that.” “It's a very cold day.” “'Tis that.”
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxiii.:
Maybe that than, mullert.

(3) Phrs.: (i) and that, and so on, et cetera. Gen.Sc., and also in colloq. Eng.; (ii) (juist) like that, used parenthetically: as it so happened, as it was (Fif. 1972); (iii) like aa that, like anything, at full speed, with the utmost energy or abandon. Gen.Sc.; (iv) or that, or the like, or something similar (Per., Kcb. 1972); (v) that o't, see It, pron., 3. (3). (i) Rnf. 1925  G. Blake Wild Men ii.:
He'll be comin' back soon wi' milk and that.
(iii) Ags. 1965  :
But, like that, she was in company and I was in company, so we didna stop tae speak.
(iv) Abd. 1971  :
He gaed fleein ben the road like aa that. Singin' like aa that.
(v) Arg. 1947  Scots Mag. (Dec.) 191:
A summer visitor and maybe a painter or that.

II. adj. 1. Used as a pl. for Eng. those (n.Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 93; I. and n.Sc., Per. 1972). Sc. 1728  Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 91:
The said David became officer in that bounds.
Sc. 1772  Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 266:
To see his wife with that black clouts dangling at their lugs.
ne.Sc. 1802  Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet in
Child Ballads No. 66. B. xx.:
There was nae mean made for that godd Lords.
Abd. 1833  Abd. Shaver (14 Nov.) 22:
People of that names.
Ork. 1880  Dennison Sketch-Bk. 12:
The' wur nee parlours an' kitchens i' that days.
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 149:
Ye maun pit a stop tae that veggybons o' loons playin' at bools at the ga'le o' my hoose.
Abd. 1929  P. Grey Ravelled Yarn 21:
Ane o' that machines for darnin' socks.
Abd. 1970  Huntly Express (10 July) 2:
You an' me'll gyang an' see fat's come o' that men.

2. Used parenthetically without its following noun, which is understood from the previous clause. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xxix.:
He was a little black man, that.
wm.Sc. 1907  N. Munro Daft Days xi.:
Oh, but she's the clever one that!

3. = Eng. this (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Sc. 1724  P. Walker Life A. Peden 84:
He and his army saw a vision in the heavens, with that motto upon it, ‘In Christ ye shall overcome.'

4. Such, so much. Also in form thattan and, with indef. art., that a, dat-an-a, thatna, such a, so great a. Cf. Siccan, Whatten and etym. notes. Sc. 1799  W. Mitchell Scotticisms 82:
He was no longer able to go through the business with that vigour as he wished.
Sh. 1900  Shetland News (11 Aug.):
Sibbie is in dat an a ontack aboot de supper.
Ags. 1910  J. Lee Poems 112:
Some folks wad mak' an unco wark 'Bout thisna pleasance, thatna park.
Ags. 1945  S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 10, 45:
I cudna lat my mind wander alang thattan road. . . . Bel hed that a cauld, an' it wiz sic a nicht o' rain.

III. adv. So, to such a degree; to that extent, very (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 38, 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., now only dial. in Eng. Also in form that a, id. See II. 4. Sc. 1703  R. Calder Vindication of Sermon 9:
He is that Ingenuous as to tell that he wrote not all I said.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 1:
The skaith ye've met wi's nae that sma'.
Sc. 1816  Scott Black Dwarf x.:
Elshie's no that bad a chield.
Abd. 1863  G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod i.:
Ye had yer brakfast, an' ye warna that hungry for the word.
Ayr. 1873  A. Aitken Poems 19:
She's whyles in the house, an' her gang's no' that birthy.
Kcb. 1895  Crockett Bog Myrtle 410:
I was drunk every Monday nicht, an' that often atweenwhiles.
Lnk. 1932 1 :
It wis that a caul' mornin' I jist keepit ma bed. She's that a bonnie lassie.
Arg. 1939  I. Malcolm Songs o' Clachan 34:
She was that young, and weary were her eyes.
Sc. 1953  Scots Mag. (Nov.) 149:
He was that frightened he woke with a start.

IV. conj. Sometimes used superfluously after another conj. Kcd. 1880  W. R. Fraser Laurencekirk 341:
What will we do when T' [that] October comes?
Abd. 1971  :
He said that fu that he'd been swickit wi the coo.

That pron., adj., adv., conj.

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

"That pron., adj., adv., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jan 2018 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down