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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

A', AA, AW, A, Aal, adj., adv., all. [ǫ 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.m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 7:
A thae gowden lyrics liggin aside ye, Chris
Yirdit there i the moul wi yer best-loo'ed thochts.
Edb. 1866 Jas. Smith Poems (1869) 46:
Oh sad I think on a' thy ways, sae gentle an' sae kind.
Gsw. 1991 John Burrowes Mother Glasgow 152:
' ... It's the travelling and a' that high life abroad that does it, like.'

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.m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 5:
Ye left the door open intentionally so's we aw could hear, eh?
m.Sc. 2000 Herald 14 Aug :
"Here Boab, did ye see the wy the boy birled roon' there and sold us aw a dummy? Whit a loup that wiz, eh?"
Fif. 1896 Gabriel Setoun R. Urquhart i. 20:
After a' I've done for ye mysel'.
wm.Sc. 1991 Liz Lochhead Bagpipe Muzak 3:
Well, I wiggled tapselteerie, my heels were that peerie
While a kinna Jimmy Shandish band
Played 'Flower of Scotland' -
But it aw got droont oot wi wolf whistles.
Gsw. 1989:
Is that aw?
Rxb. 1897 J. C. Dibdin Sc. Border Life 86:
Abune the heids o' them aw I could see Jock Lowrie.

Phr.: a's, all that (is) ... (Ags., Edb., Dmf. 2000s).Edb. 2003:
A's necessary for a guid pairty is guid champagne.
Ayr. 1989:
A's we need ti dae is ... A's we dae is ... A's he dis is ...

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.
ne.Sc. 2000 Herald 16 Oct 20:
The skipper put into practice the full force of their then navigational equipment. "Awbody spread oot roon the boat and if ye see the harbour gie's a shout."
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven A Play About St Ninian 8:
Arch: Yin day Ninian arrived back at Whithorn fir a feast. Awbodie wis seated at the banqueting table when a request wis made.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 171:
'The crims hold an illegal court,' he said. 'Awbody's there. Look at this guy in the leather coat. ... '
Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Kitty Reid's House (1869) 61:
An' a'body thocht the lift it would fa'.
Per. 1997 Perthshire Advertiser 14 Jan :
That's an affy fancy name made up bi psychologists or ither siclike smert fowk tae tell us whit we aw ken oniewey - in the middle o Winter ye kin get gey depresst. Awbody in Scotland kens aboot that - ...
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 8:
Aab'dy kens the market's reduced, ...
Edb. 1928 A. D. Mackie Poems in Two Tongues 49:
And ilkae street-stravaigin' loon Is a ghaist tae a'body.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 12:
Oh quite the philosopher! Well that's me told.
A solomon! A dominie! you're no' saft -
A peety that a' body but yirsel' is daft.
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.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 64:
... an cleekt up the weans' swings an birlin-wheel;
an awkin ither barebaned godlie wark
thay thocht wad shuin ding doun the Pouers o Daurk.
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.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 7:
They keepit thirsels tae thirsels, wi the exception o their laddie Graham. Like rinny jeelie he seemed tae spreid himsel aawye.

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) aa bit de (y)ae, all but the yea, in sea-taboo usage for an emphatic neg., no indeed, not at all (Sh. 1958). See Yea.; (3) a' bi' teer, a' bit ir, a' the teer, as much as can be done. (4) a' come, in full possession of one's senses. (5) a' eer daidies, foremost, master of all. (6) a' his lane, a' their lane(s) , etc., all alone. (7) a' nails (to ca'), try all ways. (8) a' one's feet, with all speed. (9) a' on for, eager or earnest about. (10) a' oot, (a) too late; (b) mistaken; (c) disappointed. (11) at a' wull, as fast as one could, the utmost that one could wish. (12) before a' gangs to a', gin a' comes to a', before or if all things come to an end, everything is over and done with, all is finished or lost. Cf. obs. Eng. when all comes to all; (13) in a' time, in good time; before the name of a month or season = sometime in; (14) it's a', it is finished; (15) like a' that, like anything, with the utmost energy, speed, gusto, etc. Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.(1) Arg.1 1928:
That boy's all aboot.
For examples of (3) to (11) see under Daidies, Teer, etc.(12) m.Lth. 1858 Dark Night 234:
Things may be brocht aboot, gin a' comes to a'.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Gathering of the West 274:
Then, for gudesake, before a' gangs to a', let us take our pleasure o't.
(13) Sc. 1855 Scotticisms Corrected 12:
The ship will sail in all June.
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.
(14) Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
De tale or story is a' — i.e. ended, completed.
(15) Abd. 1970:
He ran efter them like aa that but couldna kep them.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1890) 100:
They nickered an' leuch like a' that.

[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 21 Jul 2024 <>



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