Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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A', AA, AW, A, Aal, adj., adv., all. [ em.Sc., wm.Sc.: ɒ sm.Sc., s.Sc.; ɑ I.Sc., n.Sc.; a I.Sc., Cai.; a:l I.Sc., Cai. The vowel is generally long.]

A. adj. 1. Used in Sc., as in St.Eng., before a few singular collective nouns, before abstracts, names of countries and districts, plural nouns, nouns denoting some definite length of time (as day, nicht, June, Spring), to express the entire number, quantity, or extent: a' Scotlan', a' fowk, a' flesh, a' guidness, a' craeters, a' nicht, a' June, etc. Sc. 1862 Alex. Hislop Proverbs 13:
A' cracks maunna be trew'd.
Sh.(D) 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. 118:
Some o you is been very good freends wi him, ta aal appearance, truly.
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy 93:
But a' forenicht I hard Sandy wirrin' awa' till himsel'.
Lnk. 1919 Gilbert Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 80:
Sic is the po'er o' risin' fame! It meets me at a' turns.

2. So also when a defining word is used, as in St.Eng.: a' the fowk, a' thae men, a' his tune, a' Jock's frien(d)s. Edb. 1866 Jas. Smith Poems (1869) 46:
Oh sad I think on a' thy ways, sae gentle an' sae kind.

3. Used with a pronoun or alone, as in Eng., in the sense of “the whole of it” or “the whole of them.” Gen.Sc. Fif. 1896 Gabriel Setoun R. Urquhart i. 20:
After a' I've done for ye mysel'.
Rxb. 1897 J. C. Dibdin Sc. Border Life 86:
Abune the heids o' them aw I could see Jock Lowrie.

4. Meaning every before (1) airt (direction), (2) body, (3) gait (way), (4) kind, (5) kin kin(d), (6) sort, (7) thing, (8) wye (way), q.v. for other examples. See also A'gait. Gen.Sc. (1) Abd.(D) 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 62:
Haudin a' airt in a yagamint, maroonjeous as the Deil.
(2) Sc. 1832 And. Henderson Proverbs 20:
The thing that a'body says maun be true.
Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Kitty Reid's House (1869) 61:
An' a'body thocht the lift it would fa'.
Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems in Two Tongues 49:
And ilkae street-stravaigin' loon Is a ghaist tae a'body.
Rxb. 1897 J. C. Dibdin Sc. Border Life 57:
That awthing that awbody had dune would be read ower tae them oot o' a muckle buik.
(3) Bnff.2 1929:
She lookit throw the hail hoose, an' ran a' gait, bit nae a sign o' the bairn cud she see.
Lnl.1 1930:
Aye, she's a fair raker! She stravaigs a' gait!
(4) Abd.(D) 1922 C. P. Dunbar A Whiff o' the Doric 21:
Faur a' kin' o' weyds maistly grew.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 102:
In whase loud praise the Muse has dung A' kind o' print.
(5) Bnff.2 1929:
It wis a gran' show, wi' flooers an' vegetables o' a' kin'-kine.
Ags. 1875 J. Watson Samples Com. Sense in Verse 36:
Confuse their lines wi' a' kin-kind O' high pretence.
Per. 1857 Jas. Stewart Sketches 55:
She's a' kin kind o' groceries, Sugar, cinnamon an' spice.
Lnk. 1827 Motherwell Minstrelsy 71:
Wi' a' kin kind of things.
s.Sc. 1856 H. S. Riddell St Matthew iv. 23:
Haelin' a' kinkind o' ailment.
(6) Abd.(D) 1884 D. Grant Lays and Legends of the North 31:
Fat cash was in't was never kent, A' sort o' tales were rife.
(7) Sh.(D) 1916 J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr Jöne 11:
If aathing is vennity, ta say sae is da sam.
Mry. 1865 Tester Poems Preface v.:
Till I'm fairly dumfounder'd wi' ae thing an' a' thing.
m.Sc. 1898 J. Buchan John Burnet of Barns iii. ix. 271:
“Oh, your honour, I am ready for a' thing,” said Nicol.
(8) Bnff.2 1929:
The craitur follow't 'im like a dog a' wye 'at he gid.
Abd. 1914 A. McS. The Bishop 29:
He's a' wye an' athort, dairtin' aboot.

B. adv. All over, altogether. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1771 W. J. Mickle (?) There's nae Luck aboot the Hoose:
It's aw to please my ain gudeman For he's been lang awa.
Nai. 1927 G. Bain Dauvid Main Seaman 24:
Jockey was a' trimlin' and as white as a young gull.
Bnff.2 1929:
I got an aafa skelp, an' in the mornin' m' face wis a' black an' blue.
m.Sc. 1882 Chas. Neill in Mod. Sc. Poets ed. Edwards IV. 206:
O, waefu' wee Lily, a' scartit and blae.
Arg.(D) 1909 Colville 114:
My heart is a' to muilins minched (lit. chopped into crumbs).
Lnk. 1919 Gilbert Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 80:
When ye are a' yer lane.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems and Songs 345:
Thou art a' sae sweet and bonnie, Nane was e'er like thee my Annie.

C. Phrases: (1) aal aboot, never at rest, alert, stirring. (2) a' bi' teer, a' bit ir, a' the teer, as much as can be done. (3) a' come, in full possession of one's senses. (4) a' eer daidies, foremost, master of all. (5) a' his lane, a' their lane(s) , etc., all alone. (6) a' nails (to ca'), try all ways. (7) a' one's feet, with all speed. (8) a' on for, eager or earnest about. (9) a' oot, (a) too late; (b) mistaken; (c) disappointed. (10) at a' wull, as fast as one could, the utmost that one could wish. (11) in a' time, in good time. (12) it's a', it is finished. (1) Arg.1 1928:
That boy's all aboot.
For examples of (2) to (10) see under Daidies, Teer, etc. (11) Bnff.2 1929:
We thocht we wid be late, bit we wir in a' time.
Abd.(D) 1928 Abd. Wkly. J., Mains and Hilly 20 Sept. 6/4:
Ye'll be in a' time.
(12) Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De tale or story is a' — i.e. ended, completed.

[O.N. allr; Goth. alls; Du. al; O. North. all; W.S. eall. In Older Sc. all was used as adj., pron. and adv. In Barbour it appears with the spelling “all,” but in later writers — e.g. Dunbar — it is sometimes written “au” and “aw,” and often rhymes with words which had no “l” — e.g. draw. In these cases “l” must have been vocalised, but the consonantal form probably existed alongside of “au” for a considerable time. In Mod.Sc. (colloquial) the “l” of “all” is normally vocalised, and the “all,” “aal” written forms are due to St.Eng.]

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"A' adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2021 <>



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