Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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AS, conj.adv., conj., rel.pron. [ɑz, (weak forms) əz, z, s]

1. conj.adv. of comparison = than. Common in m.Sc., s.Sc. and in Sh., but not common in ne.Sc., and regarded as an Irishism in Gall. (See Trotter Gall. Gossip 223.) Also appears in O.Sc. of the 16th cent., and north.Eng. dial. The writers on Scotticisms — Sinclair, Beattie and Mackie — all give as = than, as a Scots idiom. Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxix.:
She doesna value a Cawmil mair as a Cowan, and ye may tell MacCallummore that Allan Iverach said sae.
Sc. 1824 S. Ferrier Inheritance (1825) II. xix.:
I wad rather hae scrapit the mool for my bread, as I wad hae blackit paper to beg for siller.
Sh.(D) 1931 W. J. Tulloch in Sh. Almanac 193:
I wis nae mair able ta keep awa frae da hoose as da shackled cock.
Fif. 1909 Colville 90:
I would rather go as stay.
Arg.1 1930:
Sometime that chape stuff does better as dear.
Ayr. 1900 “G. Douglas” House w. the G. Shutters iv.:
There'll be dafter folk as me in your hoose yet.
Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 18:
It wad heh been naething till iz ti heh bidden aa nicht ti sei'd owre again, bonnier as ever.
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn. 3:
I'd rather sell as buy.

2. conj.adv. = how (rare). N.E.D. marks this usage as obs. or dial. It is found in O.Sc. in the 16th cent. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlvi.:
See as it's glooming to seaward abune yon sloop in the bay — that's no for naething neither!
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 43:
Wow, dear sir, as time slips on! Now the cheerfu' days are gone, When we twa, at Gibbie's school, Wont at times to play the fool.

3. conj. of consequence or purpose = that (rare). Found also in O.Sc. Sc. 1799 H. Mitchell Scotticisms 15:
There was something so amiable, and yet so piercing in his looks as it inspired one at once with love and terror.
m.Lth. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 119:
She wad hae laugh'd for joy to see me near, Syne crun'd, an' sung sae loud as I might hear. [According to N.E.D. this usage is now obs. in St.Eng. Its latest quotation (1777) is from Hist. America I. 203, by Robertson, a Sc. author.]

4. conj.adv. of condition (1) = as if. Known also in O.Sc. Found in Shakespeare (see E. A. Abbott A Shakespearian Grammar § 107), but archaic in Mod.Eng. Sh.(D) 1926–1928 J. G. Sh. Times, Lowrie on Vitamins:
Everything wis staandin da sam as he'd been yard-fasted.
Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheephead and Trotters 124:
He quickly flung Him from the saddle, as't had been the “whale,” And ran for his dear life.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) IV. 280–281:
An' a' our hens [begun] a-cackling, as the hale o' them had been layin' eggs.

(2) = if, with a negative. Sh.6 1932:
Guid bliss me, boy, as I didna ken dee!

5. conj. = that — i.e. introducing a noun clause. Prob. through contact with uneducated Eng. speakers. Edb.1 1931:
I'll see as he comes to nae herm.

6. rel.pron. = that. Rare in Sc. Ags. 1896 J. Barrie Sentimental Tommy xviii.:
The man as ocht Jerusalem greets because the Fair Circassian winna take him.
Fif. 1909 Colville 89:
This is the man as told me.

7. Phrase: As gude (gweed), as well that, or as well to. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxiv.:
I ken it's no pleasing for you to hear, madam, . . . and it's as little pleasant for me to tell; but as gude ye suld ken a' about it soon as syne, and the haill castle's ringing wi't.
Abd.(D) 1877 W. Alexander North. Rural Life 18th cent. 147:
“As gweed to ye tak a millstane oot o' Pennan,” they said, when a man had a task before him difficult enough to bid defiance to his unaided strength.

[As from O.E. allswā, used by 1200 both as antecedent in principal and relative in subordinate clause alswa brihht alswa gold. Then the correlatives became alsease or as, and finally asas. The distinction between the two in sound survived to a recent period. See Alse.]

As conj. adv., conj., rel. pron.

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"As conj. adv., conj., rel. pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Jul 2020 <>



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