Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

ADAE, ADO, Adeu, Adü, Adee, v., n. Sc. forms of ado. (See also Adow, n., and Adow, v.) [ə′dø: I.Sc., sn.Sc., em.Sc.(a) + e:, sm.Sc. + e:, s.Sc. + e:; ə′de: m.Sc., s.Sc. + ø:; ə′di: mn.Sc., nn.Sc.]

1. v. Inf., used as complement of predicate, esp. after certain nouns and pronouns.

(1) Of work: To do. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 27:
I have nothing ado — nothing to do.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlvi.:
The thing that's deen the day winna be adee the morn.
Abd.(D) 1928 Abd. Wkly. J. 23 Aug. 6/4:
We'll aye get a jobbie adee.
Lnk. a.1782 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 62:
And do ye think I have naething a-do, but come here every other day hoiting after you?
Ayr. 1792 Burns Hey Ca' Thro':
Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro', For we hae mickle ado!

(2) Used after naething, little, what, and other expressions of indef. amount depending always on the verb to have: the combined expression meaning have no, little, etc., dealings, concern, connexion, right to meddle with. Gen.Sc.Abd.(D) 1929 Mains and Hilly, Abd. Wkly. J. 3 Jan. 6/4:
I widna hae naething adee wi' ye gin ye cudna sup sowans.
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop R. Tamson's Hamely Sketches 29:
What has that adae wi' hoo oor sex cam' alang?
Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 9:
What hev ee adae? (= what business is it of yours?)

(3) With the same words, but after the v. be: the matter with. Gen.Sc.Bnff. 1989:
Fit's adee wi him?
Abd.(D) 1894 G. Greig Mains's Wooin' (1909) 6:
Fat's adee wi' the Dominie?
Kcd. 2004:
Fit's adee wi you that yer face is trippin ye?
Per. 1990 Betsy Whyte Red Rowans and Wild Honey (1991) 175:
He took off up and over the rocks like a mountain goat shouting, 'What's wrong wi' ye? I never said anything wrong! What's a dae wi' ye, silly lassie?'
Edb. 2004:
Whit's adae wi ye? Ye're no yersel the day.

(4) In the same construction as in (3), but absol. = a-doing, going on. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 35:
the man no kennin whit tae say,
the wumman feart whit was adae,
an stuid as suddentlie fair-baet
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) x.:
She cam' rinnin' to speer what was ado.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 39:
What's adae?
N.B. — From phrases like little ado, muckle ado, eneuch ado, mair ado, etc., the verb gradually became a noun and the substantive an adj. Sometimes ado may be regarded either as v. or as n.Sc. 1870 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 393:
There's muckle ado when muirland folk ride — Boots, and spurs, and a' to provide.

2. n.

(1) Fuss, stir. Gen.Sc.Abd.(D) 1928 W. Robbie Mains of Yonderton 18:
Od, aw min' 'at there wis a terrable adee amo' the faimly aifter their faader's deeth.
Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 9:
Ee're maikin owre muckle adae aboot eet.

(2) Trouble, difficulty. Often in plur. in phr. to hae his (her, etc.) ain adaes. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage (1826) I. xxxv. 382:
Weel a wat, yere wife maun hae her ain adoos to manage ye.
Sc. 1929 M. P. Roy Tarry, Scots Mag. Oct. p. 8:
I've had ma ain adae wi' them upbye.
Mry.(D) 1873 J. Brown (ed.) Round Table Club 375:
Ye ken we had oor ain adee wi' that gaun tae Hillheid through the snaw.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 43:
An' wi' sair pingling [I] wan at last awa', Crap hame, wi' meikle adi [= adee].
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 68:
A dersay she whiles had her ain ado's wi him.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 39:
She has 'er ain adaes, wi' a no-weel man.

(3) Ceremony; pl. doings, displays.wm.Sc. 1835 J. D. Carrick Laird of Logan I. 271:
It was quite different with my wife, that hadna seen ony sic grand adoes.

(4) Occupation.Ayr. 1834 J. Galt Lit. Life III. 89:
Being a man of several adoes, I could not spend time in idle talk.

3. Phrase: To make ado, to make it appear that, make pretence of.Sh.(D) 1886 J. J. H. Burgess Sh. Sketches and Poems 108:
1 wantit ta mak' adü 'at I didna ken onything aboot it.
Sh.4 1930.Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orc. Sk. Bk. 7:
He wus lyan' the neest day aff o' Burro Heid, makan' adeu o' fishan'.

[Ado is found in O.Sc. as early as Barbour. In Mod.St.Eng. it is only a n., with the meanings fuss and difficulty. The prefix a is what is left of the prep. at, and is of Scand. origin. Through lack of stress at was reduced to [ət], and t was absorbed by d in the foll. word. At is still, though rarely, used as a prep. = to with inf. in n.Eng. dialect. See E.D.D.]

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

"Adae ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: