Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BY-HAND, Bye Hands, Byehan', adj. and adv. Orig. an adv. phr., but now used before noun as adj., or in pred. with adj. or adv. force. [′bɑɪ′hɑn(dz)]

1. Casual. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. v.:
Ye needna let on about my coming from the Hall at a', but pass me off as a by-hand job.

2. Disposed of; settled (in marriage); finished; aside. Known to our Abd. correspondents only. See also Behan(d). Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 53:
A good thing by-hand.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Marri'd and Woo'd an' A' iii.:
She neither kend spinning nor carding, Nor brewing nor baking ava'. . . . An sae I dread will be seen on her, When she's by hand and awa'.
Abd. 1873 P. Buchan Guidman o' Inglismill 27:
An' as he steppit o'er the stibble lan', — “The wark,” quo he, “is feckly a' byehan'.”
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. xxx.:
For the present, set them [the two questions] bye hands, for I have got dreadful news.

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"By-hand adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Jun 2021 <>



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