Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ATOUR(E), ATOWER, Attour, at(t)owre, prep. and adv. Cf. Outour. [ə′tʌur]

1. prep.

(1) Of place: over; out of; above; across; beyond. Also fig. Sc. 1725 Lady Wardlaw Hardyknute in T.T. Misc. (1876) xix.:
Syne he has gane far hynd attowre Lord Chattan's land sae wyde.
Sc. [1826] Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 194:
Your lang arms hanging down to the verra floor, atower the bend o' the chair-settee.
sn.Sc. 1932 (per Ags.1):
Atour, still in use in Angus and Mearns.
Per. a.1837 R. Nicoll Poems (1877) 15:
The sunshine creeps atour the crags Like ravelled golden hair.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 43:
The fiddles scrapit and atower the din The “Floo'ers o' Embro'” soughed oot on the win'.
Lothians 1932 (per Lnk.3):
Atour was in regular use in the Lothians 30 years ago. E.g., “In a meenit he was atour the bed.”
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 241:
It took him a fortnicht afore he was able to win atour the bed.
Hdg. 1885 “S. Mucklebackit” Rural Rhymes 69:
To waft me atower yon eerie hill.
w.Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes in Homespun 25:
I was born in that white hoose atour the muir there.

(2) Besides, in addition to. Cf. (5). Mearns 1705 Baron Court Bk. Urie (S.H.S. 1892) 114:
Wnder the penaltie of tuentie pounds attour performance.
Lnk. 1712 Minutes J.P.'s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 131:
They will be . . . lyable to a fine of fourty merks toties quoties, attour half an years imprisonment.

(3) †Besides, = (2), with dependent noun clause. Abd. 1778 (2nd ed.) A. Ross Helenore 119:
Attour that Bydby tauld she liked you, She yet says mair, and that's, that ye did vow.

(4) In spite of. (Also in O.Sc.) Mearns 1825 Jam.2:
“I'll do this attour ye” — i.e. in spite of all resistance on your part.

(5) Phrase: by and attour, (= (2) above) in addition to, esp. in legal phrases. Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xii.:
She is maybe four or five years younger than the like o' me, — bye and attour her gentle havings.
Mearns 1738 Baron Court Bk. Urie (S.H.S. 1892) 157:
The Baillie ordained the contents of the said Decreet to be punctually observed by the haill tennents forsaid, under the highest pains of law, by and attour the performance thereof.
Edb. 1772 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 70:
I'm restin you a pint o' yale, By and attour a Highland gill Of aquavitae.
Lnk. 1708 Minutes J.P.'s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 20:
The said masters shall be compelled to pay the saids fees by and attour the damnages.

2. adv.

(1) Of place: farther off or out; back; away; across; over; out; apart. Sc. 1808 Jam.:
To stand attour is to keep off; to go attour, to remove to some distance.
Sc.(E) 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah i. 16:
Awa wi' the ill o' yer doens, atowre frae the sight o' my een!
Sc. 1897 C. Moody Stuart Sandy Scott's Bible Class (1924) 27:
Atour wi' your burden to the Lord.
Sc. 1920 D. Rorie The Auld Doctor, etc. 7:
An' if he met a Sassenach, Attour in Caledonia, He gart him lilt in a cotten kilt Till he took an acute pneumonia.
Abd.(D) 1928 Letters of Jeems, Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (30 Aug.) 6/5:
A muckle notis warnin' a' gyaun aboot craiters t' keep weel atour fae th' area gate.
Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xviii.:
Atower to the middle o' the flure he comes again.
Per. 1915 J. Wilson L. Strathearn 95:
Cum utour. Come out (e.g. of a cart). — Hud utour fay dhe fiir. Keep back from the fire (farther off). — He pood dhem utour. He pulled them back (or away). [Simplified spelling.]

(2) Besides, over and above, in addition. Cf. (3). Abd. 1778 (2nd ed.) A. Ross Helenore 129:
Attour I hae a ribbon twa ell lang.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross The Scot at Hame 53:
I think atour my bawbies are a' dune.
Ayr. 1715 Charters R. Burgh Ayr (Ayr and Wgt. Arch. Assoc. 1883) 220:
Attour decernes the saids William and Matthew Hunters . . . to make payment [etc.].

(3) Phrases: by (and) attour, mair attour, in the same sense as (2) above. Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems 342:
By and attour, . . . Ten Lambs at Spaining-time . . . . . . I'll yearly to them give.
Abd.(D) c.1750 R. Forbes Journal from London, etc. (1767) 13:
An' mair attour, I did na' care to bachle my new sheen.
Ayr. 1796 Burns Lass o' Ecclefechan i.:
Bye attour, my gutcher has A heich house and a laich ane.

[Atour has been derived from at, prep. + Ower = over, and alternatively from out + ower. The sense favours the latter explanation; cf. Backout owre and Backit ower. O.Sc. has both attour and outour (e.g. Barbour Brus has both), and both have continued in use in Mod.Sc.]

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"Atour(e) prep., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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