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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BY-GAUN, -GYAAN, BYE-GAEN, -GANGEEN, n. comb. Also by gaen, by-going. Bygoing, passing. Gen.Sc. [′bɑɪ-′gah.ən, -′gjɑən, -′geɪn, -′gɑŋin] Sc. 1987 Scotsman 3 Jan :
...the Breton Onion Johnny who dies in Turriff before Christmas after selling ingans in the North-east for 40 years and making countless friendships in the by-going.
Sc. 1994 Scotsman 27 Jan :
... he strode about wrapped in his cloak of shepherd tartan, and telling worldly truths to those who would listen in the by-going.
Sc. 1998 Herald 29 Jun 12:
I welcomed Ron Ferguson's critical reference to Flower of Scotland as a "cringe-making" pseudo-anthem (June 12). So I also welcome the main theme of his piece on "that ditty again" (June 26) though I think that, in the by-going, he is too hard on Andy Stewart and his unpretentious repertoire which gave so much genuine pleasure, derived more from genuine sentiments than from sentimentality.
ne.Sc. 2003 Press and Journal 22 Sep 12:
Pick up es paper ony day an ye read o yet anither charity prottick raisin siller for a favourite caase an fowk getting gran saitisfaction an fun in the bygaun.
ne.Sc. 2004 Press and Journal 30 Aug 12:
I tell ye I cam skytin doon that hill at a fair bicker, clutchin at trees in the bygaun.
Abd. (Deeside) c.1782 (per B. Innes):
The sly cutty took a tit o's fuskers i' the by-gyaan.
 Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 71:
See-through tents micht be a guid idea - ye cud enjoy the beach wioot freezin tae daith in the by-gaun.
Ags. 1990s:
In the bygaen: in passing.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin viii.:
I then streekit mysel' oot a' my length on the riggin' as flat as a flounder, lest per-adventure, his Reverence micht get a vizzie o' me i' the bye-gaen an' command me to dismount.
Fif.10 1938:
Weel, see an' gie's a roar i' the by-gaun.
Edb. 2003:
If yer gaun doon the road onywey ye can deliver these cairds in the by gaun.
Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 1:
An ilka herd hed a bleithe word i the byegangeen.

[O.Sc. byganging, going past, 17th cent. (D.O.S.T.).]

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"By-gaun n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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