A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Na, adv.3 [North. ME. na (1228), midl. and south. no (13th c.), special use of prec. In the mod. dial. the regular word of negation or contradiction is na, naa, naw, of which this is the earlier representative. The phonol. history is therefore irregular, but possibly the treatment is similar to that of the widespread eastern and central Scottish treatment of quha and twa, i.e. with the vowel not undergoing the regular fronting and raising by the Great Vowel Shift. In contrast with the synonymous Nay, instances in rhyming position do not occur in our collections, which suggests a lack of suitable rhyming words.] A word used in answering a question, or, chiefly, contradicting a statement or rhetorical question, rejecting a suggestion or refusing a request, to express negation, dissent, denial or refusal:

No. = Nay adv. (1) ‘Na,’ sad thai,, we wil nocht spare Bot kyste hyr owt'; Leg. S. xvi. 495.
Thane cane thai at hym hertly spere … Gyf he wist quhare he was … ; He sad, ‘Na’; Ib. xxix. 600.
Ib. xli. 126.
Alex. i. 329, ii. 6315, etc.
Gif dysspyt at vantone wyll That hop and resone sais na tyll; Ratis R. 1051.
‘Na, be Sanct Bryde,’ quod he, ‘me think it better [etc.]’; Henr. Fab. 1030 (H).
Rauf C. 79.
Bk. Chess 1200.
I sall nocht sit … and se thame … Discomfit clein my men … ; Na, we sall wrik ws on ane vther wys; K. Hart 215.
Scho said, Na, douchter; do nocht sa; Seven S. 1347.
Knaw ȝe nocht me than? said the King. Na schir, said thai, Bot of a thing [etc.]; Ib. 2708.
Ib. 124, 865, etc.
Dunb. Flyt. 98.
Doug. vii. v. 32.
Freiris Berw. 90.
1570 Sat. P. xxiv. 32.
Dalr. II. 75/4.
Rollock Wks. I. 435.
He gangs earlie to steal, that cannot say na; Ferg. Prov. No. 349.
Carmichael Prov. No. 1749.
(2) Na na this cowartnes sall nocht betyde; K. Hart 487.
Quhy suld I than … With bad harsk spech … Presume to … contyrfate sa precyus wordys deir? Na, na, noth swa, bot [etc.]; Doug. i. Prol. 24.
Na. na, trewlie; sen the veritie [etc.]; Winȝet I. 9/21.
Now brethren, may I not speir at you, … fayth, houpe and charitie … gif they be auctorised amonges the thrie esteatis; na, na, brether, na; 1571 Bann. Trans. 179.
Hume 104/51.
Peden Lord's Trumpet 20.
(3) To wyt quhat is na & ȝa; Ratis R. 1115.
Bot your talking sal be, ye ye, na na; Hamilton Cat. 62.
After … lawful tryell of his knowledge … they may say yea or na to his admission; 1613 Cramond Ch. Aberdour 9.

b. To say na til, to deny or refuse (one). — Ratis R. 1051 (see Nay adv. 2 b).

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"Na adv.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/na_adv_3>



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