Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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AFTEN, AF'EN, AFFEN, adv. Often, frequently. [ɑfn Sc., afn + ɑ I.Sc.] Compar. aftener (af'ner, etc.), superl. aftenest. Gen.Sc., exc. s.Sc. in which the orig. vowel o is more common. See P.L.D. § 105.2. Sc. a.1733 in Orpheus Caled. I. 114, Down the Burn Davie iv.:
They aften shou'd return, Sic Pleasure to renew.
Sc. 1737 A. Ramsay Proverbs (1776):
A bit is aften better gi'en than eaten.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
Vara right — that's what I hae aften said.
Sc. 1917 D. G. Mitchell Kirk i' the Clachan 132:
They that are nearest their Lord an' aftenest wi' Him.
Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orc. Sk. Bk. 14:
Ye witless impident quine. . . . I'me aften telt you tae close the door efter you.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 22:
For she was aften starting thro' her sleep.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii.:
Oh weel, it's owre af'en to hae them ilka nicht 'cep Sunday for a haill ook.
Abd.4 1928:
Af'ner here nir i' the pairis kirk.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Auld Reikie, Poems (1925) 75:
Yet fearfu' aften o' their maught, They quat the glory o' the faught.
Edb. 1795 H. MacNeill Scotland's Scaith xl.:
Let us aftener meet thigither.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs l. 47:
I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath, What sort o' life poor dogs like you have.
Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 199:
The Factors is geyan affen Bank-Agents forbye.
Dwn.(D) 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxix. 122:
Gie an' affen he's no back whun Tam an' me gangs till oor bed.

[Altered form of Mid.Eng. (and Eng.) often.]

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"Aften adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Jun 2021 <>



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