Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ony, Onie, a., pron. and adv. Also: onye, onyie, oney, -ay, oiny, oni, oné, onny, onnie, onné, hony. [ME. and e.m.E. ony (c 1300), onie (1258), oony (14–15th c.), var., with unexplained change of vowel (but perh. after Mony), of ME. and e.m.E. eni, eny, and ani, any, OE. ǽniᵹIn the mod. dial. this form is Sc. and north. and north midl. Eng.]

In origin an indeterminate derivative of ‘one’ or of its derivative, the article ‘a, an’: Any.

1. adj. a. In interrogative, conditional and hypothetical contexts.Some one, (with plur.) some, no matter which or what.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 60.
Quhill foundyn mycht be ony male … ewyn descendand
1381 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 4.
Gif ony man be duelland in our landes … kyndmane to the landes of hir thrid forsaid
1399 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 377.
The foirsaid masonys … sall delyvir frely thaim at ony key of Abirden
1401 Ib. (S.H.S.) 210.
Gif yhe will adres yhu to be at ony day with hym
c1420 Ratis R. 500.
Quhar is thar ony syk honore?
1456 Hay I. 191/25. a1500 Seven S. 170.
He wald gang the sternis to se Gif thar ony remeid mycht be
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxiv. 34, 35. 1533 Gau 13/25.
Giff thay cane in oni maner
1559 Inverness Rec. I. 38.
Quhat ewyr he be that byis leddyr fra onne oder merchant
1560 Ib. 50. 1561 Ib. 58.
To onne kynd of labyr
1586 Thanes of Cawdor 190.
In cais thay gett my lord in thair keiping or in ony ane of thair keppingis
1587 Grant Chart. 166.
1588–9 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 131.
It sall nocht be lesum to him … to big ony laiche windois … quhill [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I. 46/14. 1587-99 Hume 74/190.
The censor … That in himselfe hes ony kinde of bleck
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 6.
1615 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 172.
All sick landis as hes bein in use … of payment … at ony tyme sen the first impositioun
1648 Peebles B. Rec. I. 383.
(2) 1471 Acts II. 100/2.
That quhar ony partijs folowis ony accone befor the lordis of consail
1496 Acta Conc. II. 29.
Til inquire … gif ony instrumentis be made … to ony persons of ony part of the sade fischeing
1531 Bell. Boece I. 278.
Or to tak peace … with ony inhonest conditionis
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 41.
Rede to defende aganis one invadouris of the same [country]

b. With a preceding negative expressed or implied: (Not) one, (none, not any) whatever.(1) ? a 1360 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. xix.
Immediate sequentes (gl. for vtin oni mene foluand)
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 6.
But settyng to of ony glose
1379 Douglas Chart. 29.
Be ony maner of way
1389 Liber Melros 449.
That the forsaid wollys … yhe suffre … to pas withoutyn ony askying or takyng of custume
1475 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 34.
Be ony juge
c1475 Wall. i. 67.
We deny Ony our-lord, bot the gret God abuff
1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 286/2.
Nochtwithstanding ony proclamatioun [etc.]
1509 Coll. Aberd. & B. 473.
That ye … ceis fra … calling the said Thomas for onny sute … or ony vthir seruice quhat sumeuer
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I. 359; etc.
Thir offeris proceding mair be febill curage than ony manhede
1535 Stewart 2762.
Without kitching or ony kynd of kaill
1537 Aboyne Rec. 68.
1556 Inverness Rec. I. 3; etc.
Nocht to … gyf fredome of burgesrie … to oney manyr of person excep allan erlie [etc.]
1562-3 Winȝet I. 24/2. 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 682.
[He] stude ane lang hour … Or he could ony entres geatt
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 260.
To any landwart … man to buy ony fuilyie
(2) 1549 Compl. 96/28.
That na Scottis man suld veir ony clais bot hardyn cotis
1551 Acts II. 483/2.
That nane … hauaris of tauernis … huird or hyde ony sic wynis coft be thame
1561 Inverness Rec. I. 60.
That he suld nocht by onne mettis … sic as kydis, lammis, muttons
1592 Crim. Trials I. ii. 279.
Lippynning for na violence … of ony personis

c. In these contexts, with ‘non-countable’ nouns or nouns capable of being treated as such and with plurals, also tending to pass into:Any amount, quantity, extent, degree or number of, no matter how much or little or how many or few.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 350.
Gyff he throw ony payn Mycht wyn agayn his heritage
1456 Hay I. 99/13.
To do thame ony lak
1475 Cart. S. Giles lxviii.
Nocht doand … ony preiudice or scaith
a1500 K. Hart 10.
For wes he never ȝit … ourrun with rouk or ony rayne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 316. 1524 Holyrood Chart. 258.
We … dischairgis all utheris of ony teching of gramar skules
1551 Acta Conc. & Sess. MS. XXVII. 106.
That nane … hwyrd … ony bere or malt to be kepit for regrating
1559 Inverness Rec. I. 35.
Quhilk of the saidis personis hes instantle onne wyld leddyr or onne oder leddyr
1570 Misc. Bann. C. I. 48*.
It is nocht possible to it for to induir ony lang tyme
1581 Burne Disput. 146.
That thair aucht nocht to be onie distinction of temporal magistratis in heichar orlaichar degrie
c1590 J. Stewart II. 5/8.
Nane … that hes onnie skill
1638 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 387.
1647 Durh. Univ. J. XXXIV. 62.
If the meat did her oney good
(2) 1466 Reg. Dunferm. 356.
Giff … I … gevis ony leiffe … to mak ony drauchtis of the said Magdelan burn
1471 Acts II. 100/1.
Na at na bowar … mak ony speris bot gif [etc.]
1533 Boece vi. xv. 216.
Quhare he fand ony Scottis liffand in feild
1563 Acts II. 543/2.
That na maner of persoun … transport … ony coillis be … ony bait
1581 Ib. III. 226/2.
To mak onie mixitioun of onie auld wynis and new wynis

d. adv. Qualifying comparative adjs. or advs.: In any degree, to any extent. 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Rather … than ony mar harme war done tharfor
14.. Acts I. 355/2.
Thai ar nocht haldin to len thaim ony mar
c1450-2 Howlat 144. 1471 Acta Aud. 16/2.
Gif thar be ony mar of the Lord Halis landis than [etc.]
a1500 Rauf C. 149.
Withoutin ony mair
a1500 Seven S. 1862. 1513 Doug. ii. i. 76.
Bot ony langar tary
1533 Bell. Livy I. 176/18. 1564 St. A. Kirk S. 208.
[She] refusis to eyk or reforme ony mayr
a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 62.
Onne layngar

2. Referring generally to persons or things of the sort named, without indicating a particular one or ones: = Whatever, each and every. a. In hypothetical contexts. 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 41.
& at the arbutry be vallyt with ony payn
1492 Myll Spect. 275/22.
Onye man that has mekle carnall daill with wemen sall outher sone de or wax ald
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxiii. 6.
Be blyth in hairt for ony aventure
1523 Fam. Rose 199.
This contrak sall stand in effect, … to ony othir dochttyr of the said David
1543 Soc. Ant. III. 61.
Sen the deceis of Lady Sammelstoun or ony vther last lauhchfull possessour
? 1544 Bk. Carlaverock II. 30.
Or hony hother thyng that I hayff wryttyng
1559–60 Ib. XI. 522.
All gudis … pertening to ws or ony vtheris
1574 Reg. Morton I. 80.
1596 Dalr. I. 1/22.
Gif laying asyd … ony displesure, diligentlie thai reid the historie quhilke I write
1630 Banff Ann. I. 65.
1637 Ib. 81.
Muttoune blowin or onye pairt of the craig or schoulder cuttit frome the bodye to be confiscat

b. In comparisons.In simple similes, illustrated as (3), appar. chiefly or only in verse.(1) ?1438 Alex. i. 36.
The vale of Josaphas, That of mair stoir aboundand was, … Than ony vther land thairby
Ib. 1432. c1450-2 Howlat 457. c1475 Wall. iii. 126.
His hede mycht mar … ples the King Than … ony warldly thing
1490 Irland Mir. II. 86/34.
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I. 162.
Ane castell moir strang be strenth of ane crag than ony artificiall labour
1594 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II. 248.
He luiffit the laird of Ardkinglas best of ony man levand
(2) 1454 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 335.
Alsfrely … as he did ony tyme befor
a1500 Peblis to Play 52.
Als cant as ony colt
a1500 Lanc. 1091. 1513 Doug. iv. ix. 56; etc.
Hir vissage wolx als pail as ony wall
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1320. 1610 Hist. Carnegies 343.
In all his lordships adois ȝe haiff kyith as reddy and willing as ony freind
(3) a1500 Prestis of Peblis 514.
His wounds war fillit ful of fleis As euer in byke thair biggit onie beis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii. 25 (Asl.).
A rak of fartis lyk ony thunnere
Id. lxxii. 85.
The day wox dirk as ony nycht
1535 Stewart 9638. Ib. 15402. 15.. Christis Kirk 96 (B).
It buft lyk ony bledder
Ib. 148. 15.. Clar. iv. 310. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 328 (W).
And trime As ony arrow evin
Id. Misc. P. xlviii. 188. 1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 58.
I … whindg'd … lyke ony man

3. absol. in the prec. applications.Either with a following of phrase (also with ellipsis of of) or otherwise separated from the noun to which it refers.(1) 1397 Acts I. 208/1.
Gif ony of tha misdoeris fleys
1409 Exch. R. IV. ccxi. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2898 (Ch.).
Or ony [Bann. owthir.] of thame wist
1512 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 154.
1557 Inverness Rec. I. 15.
To onne of ye all
1622-6 Bisset I. 13/25. 1658 Paisley B. Rec. 100.
As the said Williame Lord Cochrane or onie of thame or theire forsaids micht have done
(2) 1493 Acta Aud. 173/1.
Of alienatioun of ony his landis
1540–1 Macritchie Gypsies 38.
Nochtwithstanding ony oure writingis sinisterly purchest
1565 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. xlix.(3) 1393 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 26.
Saufand to the said lorde … the warde … of the said landez with the apertenance qwen ony hapnys
1407 Ib. No. 65.
Gif ony be
(4) 1477 Misc. Spald. C. II. 253.
We sal gif him the best counsale we can quhen he ony askis at ws
1482 Acta Aud. 103/1.
To haue lettres to summond ma witnes to the saide day geif thai ony haue
1488–9 Ib. 120/1. 1518 Bk. Carlaverock II. 457. 1565–6 Inverness Rec. I. 132.(5) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 44/24.
Quhil thou restore wrangwis gud, gif thou has ony
1569 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 30.
That your l. contramandit me to pay him ony
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 98.
Elspett Reid was than presentlie withe bairne (the said Elspett nawayes knawing nor suspecting hir self to be withe ony)

b. Any one of two, one or other, either. c 1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 53.
Ony of the said partis
1481 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 462.
Til ws or oiny of ws the langast liefar of ws twa
1501 Acta Conc. III. 30.
And [he] askit ony of thir twa wayis til be schawin
1532 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I. 99. 1531 Bell. Boece (M) II. 278.
He that mycht bring ony of thair heedis to King Edward suld haif [etc.]
Ib. 368.
The supplicacionis maid be ony of the twa Kingis of Ingland or Scotland sall stand [etc.]
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 45. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 11/20.
Fra al spot … in ony of baith

4. indef. pron. Any one, anybody.In applications as 1–2 above. 1375 Barb. i. 201.
Gyff ony thar-at war wrath, Thai [etc.]
Ib. xvii. 436 (E).
Ane engynour thar haif thai tane That wes sleast of that myster That men wist ony fer or ner
a1400 Leg. S. i. 184.
In vertu als he had mar grace Than ony at with Crist than wes
Ib. ii. 527. 1381 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 4.
Vs, our spouse forsaid, our heires or ony in our name
1397 Acts I. 208/2. ?1438 Alex. ii. 6801.
Mare than ony that leuand is
c1420 Wynt. vi. 2275. a1500 Prestis of Peblis 196.
Or ony wist
1494 Loutfut MS. 9 a.
Quhen he passis ony the message he suld be richt diligent [etc.]
1535 Stewart 53317.
Into compair na ony of the laif
a1568 Scott xiii. 30.
For weill nor wa sall ony knaw our mynd
a 1568 Sempill Sat. P. xlvi. 43.
I am layth to mell with ony
1573 Davidson Ib. xlii. 158.
To God thay ar als deir As ony in the inland heir
a1578 Pitsc. I. 16/2. 1596 Dalr. II. 473/18. Ib. I. 21/14.
[Not] leuesum … til onie except to thame
1587-99 Hume 97/16.
Leist ony suld be dissaivit heirin
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 10.
1614 Crim. Trials III. 297.
That … Johnne Guild and Andro Martine wer farrest vpoun Robertis counseill of ony in the haill company

5. Ony ane (a, one), in various above applications.(1) ?1438 Alex. i. 3178.
That ony ane manis body Sould put him-selfe in sik bandoun
1562-3 Winȝet I. 24/20.
As becumis of ony a scuil
Ib. 33/1, 2.
And leir to prefer the samyn Kirk to the iugement of ony ane man [etc.] … or ony ane aige of men of ane vther spirit
(2) 1537 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 413.
And in kes the said bernis or ony ane of them be absent
1544 Reg. Cupar A. II. 29.(3) 1531 Bell. Boece I. 21.
The injuris done to ony ane of thaim sal be reput commoun to thaim baith
Ib. (M) II. 18.
That Franche men sall suppoit Scottis men and Scottis men Franche-men gif it happynnyt Englismen to invaid ony ane of thame
Ib. 24.(4) a1540 Freiris Berw. 54.
Ane fair blyth wyf he had, of ony ane, Bot scho wes sumthing dynk and dengerous
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 758.
Father Adam wes allone, But cumpanye of ony one
c1590 Fowler I. 28/41.
Than stayed I a whyle to see if onye one I knew [etc.]

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

"Ony adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: