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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.

AMANG, 'MANG, Amon', Amo', Imang, prep. Also Among (Anglicised variant);  amae (Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 38, Ags. 1975), amu. = St.Eng. among. For uses other than those of St.Eng. see A. and C. below. Gen.Sc. [ə′mɑŋ, ə′mɔŋ, ə′mʌŋ Sc.; ə′mɔ + o, ə′mɔn, chiefly ne.Sc. and sn.Sc., but Bch. ə′mʌ, ə′mʌn; Sh. ə′mæŋ; ɪ′mɑŋ w.Sc.]

A. The chief difference of usage from St.Eng. appears to be that in Sc. the meaning more often resembles that of amid, amidst, or in, with ref. to a place or a composite substance, which, whether expressed by a sing. or a pl. noun, is regarded as a whole, surrounding the other object spoken of.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Sc. Proverbs (1819) 182:
He kens his ain groats amang ither fowks kail.
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 7:
Her tails amo' the glaur.
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi. 42:
He began to mak' a lot o' fairlies wi' his finger amon' the floor [flour] aff the rows on the table.
Ayr. 1792 Burns Posie i.:
But I will doun yon river rove amang the wood sae green.

B. Further illustration of forms. (Meanings partly Sc., partly gen. Eng.)Sc. a.1783 Willie's Lady in Ballads ed. Child (1904) No. 6, xl.:
And Willie's taen out the kaims o care That hang amo that ladie's hair.
Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods, Scotsman's Return ll. 61–62:
An' 'mang the first, as it befell, Wha should I see, sir, but yoursel'.
Abd.(D) c.1750 R. Forbes Journal from London, etc. (1767) 11:
To set her up amon' a curn bear to fley awa' the ruicks.
Abd.7 1925:
“Amo' the lave,” amongst the others; “amon' a' the lave,” among all the rest or others.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 13:
Bit wir fadder sottert i the yaard
An skeppit amo bees
An keepit fancy dyeuks an doos
At warna muckle eese.
Mearns 1889 J. and W. Clark Leisure Musings 88:
I've five milk kye, amo' the best That e'er wi' thumbs were drawn.
Ags. 1968 William Allen Illsley ed. The Third Statistical Account of Scotland: The county of Angus (1977) 376:
THE FARFAR TONGUE...To those who have the good luck to belong 'too Toonie', the 'f' instead of the 'wh' at the beginning of a word comes naturally. They are also familiar with 'ee' (in the); 'tee' (to the); and 'fee' (from the) all peculiar to 'hez lads' as well as 'amae' and 'amu' for among.
s.Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Imang, among.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Willie Brew'd iv.:
Wha first beside his chair shall fa', He is the King amang us three!
Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 10:
A dandert aboot amang the auld byres an smiddie-ends an yetts.

C. Phrases and combs.: (1) Amang feet. (See quot.)Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 41:
Ti fa' doon-amang feet, to collapse or suffer speedy ruin (said of persons or things).

(2) Amang my (his, etc.) feet, between or (more vaguely) at or beside my feet. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxvi.:
The book had fa'en out o' his pocket, I fancy, for I fand it amang my feet when I was graping about [etc.].
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine 6:
She lifted her faither's pipe frae amang his feet.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) II. 53:
If I had got him amang my feet as I had you lately, mercy! how I would have laid on!

(3) (a) Among-hands, in one's hands or possession.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 41:
Yin has plenty o' freends whan yin has ocht among-hands.

(b) Amang han(d)s.

(i) Of work done in the intervals of other work, or by co-operation. (See quots.)Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 18:
Amang hans. — Amongst hands. Little jobs are sometimes done amang hans; that is to say, they are done without in any shape retarding the large job.
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
“He'll daet amang hans,” i.e. he will get it done somehow, by dividing the labour, and finding spare time for it. [Cf. e.Yks. 1889 Nicholson Flk.-Sp. 91 (E.D.D.): Oor fooaks is undher-handed . . . bud they'll mannish amang-hands.]

(ii) Gen. at intervals (cf. ay amang in O.Sc.: “for, ay amang, The wawys reft thar sycht of land,” Barb. Brus iii. 714).Sc. 1701–1731 Wodrow's Analecta (Maitland Club 1842) I. 70:
He would sometimes rejoice, among hands, at the sweetness of the discovry.

(iii) In the meantime.w.Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Amang hands, in the mean time.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail I. xxxii.:
[My father] put a' past me that he could, and had he no deet amang hands in one o' his scrieds wi' the Lairds o' Kilpatrick, I'm sure I canna think what would hae come o' me and my first wife.

(iv) Imang hands. (See quot.)s.Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Imang hands, in hand, at command, in process, on the anvil.

(4) Amang oor (etc.) hands. Gen.Sc.

(a) On hand (of work on which one is engaged) = (3) (b) (iv).Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 41:
The woark we hae amang oor hands (= are engaged on).

(b) In possession.Bch.(D) 1930 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 106:
Peer boddie, mony a time she hidna very muckle amon' 'er han's.

(5) Amang you (them, etc.) be it, settle it among yourselves. Gen.Sc.Sc. a.1832 A. Henderson Sc. Proverbs (1881) 101:
Amang you be't, priests' bairns; I am but a priest's oye. [Kelly (1720) explains: Spoken when we see people contending, in whose contests we have little concern.]
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Among ye be it, blind harpers — i.e. settle it among yourselves: said to persons quarrelling.

(6) (a) Oot amang, out from among or amidst. (See also Oot.) Gen.Sc.Ags. 1894 “F. Mackenzie” Humours of Glenbruar xvii.:
I'm shure I wish I were oot among ye.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 41:
Come oot amang thae neeps!

(b) Oot amon's han's, out of control.Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb (1884) xv.:
I'm seer he hed latt'n 'im oot amon' 's han's i' the theets.

[O.Sc. amang, also emang, imang, O.E. onmang, ongemang, prep. = among, from on, on, in + gemang, company, crowd.]

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"Amang ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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