Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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AGAIN, Agane, Agean, Agen, Agin, adv., prep., conj. (For aphetic forms see Gin.) [ə′gen, ə′gɛn, ə′gɪn Sc.; ə′gɪən s.Sc.]

1. adv. (Besides St.Eng. meanings.)

(1) At an indef. time (in the future). Sc. 1820  Blackw. Mag. VII. 160:
Here's Sunket for ye; . . . fifteen sugar pippins. . . . Even take some o' the ripest, and greet about his gifts again, and get another; he was a leash lad and a leal.
Sc. 1823  J. G. Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 199:
This will learn ye, again, ye young ramshackle.
Bnff. 1931 2 :
“I never saw a mids teen oot that wye afore.” “Ah, weel, ye'll ken again.”

(2) Back, in the phr. haud again = hold back, check. (Now appar. only ne.Sc. and Ags.). The phr. is sometimes used as n. = check. Sc. 1808  Jam.:
To hald again, to resist, to withstand, by word or action.
Sc. 1825  Jam.2:
To hald again, to stop, to arrest.
Bnff. 1931 2 :
Tak' a Steen an' haud again t' m' till I ca' a nail into the treviss.
Haud again that calf there, an' dinna lat it oot o' the closs.
He craws braw croose eynoo, bit he'll get haud again shortly. [Phr. used as n.]
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 39:
Looking like threescore an' ten wi' care: Tho' sax an' thirty held her yet again.
  Ib. 94:
Sair bargain made our hirds to hadd again.
Abd. 1825  Jam.2:
Hald-again, Ha'd again [n.]. Opposition, check.
Abd.(D) 1929  Mains and Hilly, Abd. Wkly. Jnl. 7 Feb. 6/4:
There hiz been a gey haud agen o' the matches wi' the frost. [Phr. used as n.]
Ags. 1878  A. Whamond James Tacket x. 60:
One of them [sc. cows] was running down a pathway. . . . Betty cried “O Jamie, haud again.”

(3) With v. of motion = back, esp. in order to return to where one started. Exc. after “back” this is obs. or arch. in St.Eng. (N.E.D.). Also with v. “to be,” in sense back again. Sc. a.1805  The Mother's Malison, Ballads ed. Child (1904) No 216 a, xvi.:
Hey, Willie! an hou, Willie! An Wilie, winnë ye turn agen?
Bnff. 1931 2 :
“Ay, ay,” said Jock, pu'in his watch oot o's hip pooch, “ it's turnin' ower i' the nicht, I'll need t' be gaain again” [i.e. returning home].
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 40:
Gin she'd been living she had been again [i.e. she would have been back by this time].
  Ib. 63:
Now win my benison, an' run again [i.e. back].

(4) Of reciprocal action: in return. Obs. in St.Eng. Bnff. 1931 2 :
I thinkna muckle o' wir new neepur; he's aye needin' something, bit he's nae vera obleegin' himsel'; len' an' len' again's my motto.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 97:
Nae doubt we wiss, when we our liking set, That we with just as good again be met.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Ep. to J. Rankine xiii.:
But pennyworths again is fair, When time's expedient.
  [Cf. Dunbar, “I salbe als weill luvit agane” (early 16th cent.)]

2. prep. = Against. Obs. or dial. in Eng.; some uses survived till 17th cent., others are not found later than the 15th. See N.E.D.

(1) Leaning or resting against; close to or touching. Sc. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables frae the French, A Tod's Trick 52:
Sae lift yer forefeet up again' the wa', Than up yer lang back-bane I'se clim wi' speed.
Sc. 1923  R. Annand End of Fiammetta 84:
We'll mak' your bed again the wa' Safter than silk.
Ags.(D) 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 82:
Ay weel, here he was wi' a bawbee can'le stuck up again' the boddom o' the lookin'-gless.
Edb. 1851  A. MacLagan Sk. from Nature, Smiddie iv.:
Up agen the auld gable 'tis like you may view A tramless cart or a couterless plough.
Dmf. 1908  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (2nd ed.) 3:
And a broon curly heid restin' again' his knee.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
He leaned again the wa'.
Uls.(D) 1879  W. G. Lyttle Readings by Robin 10:
I hadnae went many steps when I saw a big bunnel lyin' agen a hoose side.

(2) Of striking or beating against: into collision with. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1787  J. Beattie Scotticisms 10:
He came again him (= against).
Sc. [1828]  J. Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 96:
We yokit, and on me tryin to hough him, we tumbled again' the mantel-piece.
Edb. 1895  J. Tweeddale Moff 219:
Wadn't I be a dooble-distilled gowk tae again rin my head agin a wudden post.
Kcb. 1894  S. R. Crockett Raiders ii:
“Lift me up, Paitrick,” said my father, “till I see again the bonny tide as it lappers again' the auld toor.”
Wgt. 1931 3 :
Ye wad ha'e been frichtit too, if ye had heard . . . his heid gaun crunt again' the wa' an' his cluits prancin' again't.

(3) In hostility or opposition to, in defiance of, in disparagement of, to the hurt or disadvantage of, in accusation of, forbidding or unfavourable to (a person, or a course of action), not in accordance with. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality III. ix.:
Sae the law gaed again the leddies at last.
  Ib. Conclusion:
Though he was acting again the law.
Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy III. ii.:
There's nae law again a man looking after his ain, I hope?
Abd. 1865  G. Macdonald Alec Forbes (1892) ii.:
Dinna daur to say a word again' the bairn.
Abd.(D) 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
The Presbytery an' the lawvyers concludit the sattlement i' the manse again a' sponsible objections.
Ags. 1889  J. M. Barrie W. in Thrums ix.:
I say naething agin her waist, speakin' in the ord'nar meanin'.
Slg. 1744  Rec. Shoemakers Incorp. in Slg. Arch. Soc. Trans. (1924) 44:
Deacon James Heartley complained again Robert Morison, jurnayman to John Hill, for offering to feght him [etc.].
Hdg. 1902  J. Lumsden Toorle, etc. 3–4:
Lammie's an elder o' the Auld Kirk — he was made ane after the Disruption, sair again' his will, it was said.
Gall.(D) 1901  Trotter Gall. Gossip 314:
Wullie lookit at the book an saw yt there wus echteen shillin stannin again them a'ready.
s.Sc. 1857  H. S. Riddell Psalms liii. 5:
Him that encamps agayne thee.
s.Sc. 1873  D.S.C.S. 242:
Aa'm sayr væxt for yuwr seakes at the haand o the Loard hes geane seae agean us.

(4) Of time: towards, by. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1815  Scott Guy Mannering II. i.:
Sicken a blythe gae-down as we had again e'en!
Inv. 1729  in Letter Bk. of Bailie Steuart ed. Mackay (1915) 331:
For God sake be serrious wt. Scotas, and try if can persuad him to pay the bills due me by Glengarry again Michalmass.
Lth. a.1885  J. Strathesk More Bits from Blinkbonny (1887) 110:
I wad get eight shillin's for't easy in Larkton agin Tyesday fortnicht.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
Fastern's E'en fa's three weeks again Tuesday.
  [Cf. Dunbar (early 16th cent.): “agane this ȝuill” = by (the time of) Yule.]

(5) In anticipation of, to be ready for. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian iv.:
He wants it [sc. a saddle-cloth] agane the Kelso races.
Gall.(D) 1901  Trotter Gall. Gossip 137:
Jean begood tae hing oot her ringlets . . . again his comin.

3. conj. In anticipation of, in readiness for, the time when. Gen.Sc. Obs. in St.Eng. since early 17th cent. (N.E.D.) Cf. A. Scott (middle of 16th cent.) Ane New Ȝeir Gift l. 184 (S.T.S.): Agane thy Grace gett ane guid man þis ȝeir [Agane = in case that, in the event that]. Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xxiii.:
I hae been just putting your honour's things in readiness again ye were waking.

[O.E. ongegn, ongægn, etc., from on + gegn = direct; O.Sc. agane, agayn(e). Occurs as adv., prep. and conj. in O.Sc.]

Again adv., prep., conj.

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"Again adv., prep., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2020 <>



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