Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CARE, n. and v.

I. n. In phrases and comb.

1. Phrases: (1) care's my case, “woeful is my plight” (Abd. 1825 Jam.2; Abd.22, Ags.1 1938); (2) have a care o', watch over, protect (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.10 1938); (3) to take care o', to be a match for (someone); “to be on the watch so as not to be over-reached by (someone)” (Mry.2 1938). Known to Abd.2, Ags.1 1938. (2) Ags. 1899  W. L. Watson Sir Sergeant ix.:
“Losh, have a care o' us,” exclaimed the old woman, “but ye have the ways o' the deil.”
(3) Bnff. 1938 2 :
He thinks he'll get me t' rin at's fit fanever he likes, bit I'll tak' care o' 'im.
Abd. 1938 22 :
He's worth the watchin'; he tried tae jink me owre the price o' a stot, bit I took care o' 'im.
Ags. 1896  A. Blair Rantin Robin and Marget 143:
She tried to gar me put aff for anither week, but I took care o' her — I juist sat til't was dune.

2. Comb.: care-bed, sick-bed (resulting from physical or mental pain). Also used attrib. Arch. Sc. 1904  Johnie Cock in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 114 A. ii.:
Johny's mother has gotten word o that, And care-bed she has taen.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 52:
Sick, sick she was, as ever lay on strae, An' near gae up the gost 'tweesh that an' wae . . . In care bed lair, for three lang hours she lay.

II. v.

1. To cause pain or trouble; found only as ppl.adj. Obs. in Eng. since 15th cent. (N.E.D.). Bch. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 9–10:
Drinkin' to haud my entrails swack, Or drown a carin' oon [wound].

2. Uses with negative.

(1) With by, to be indifferent. Known to our Ags. correspondents (1938) only. Sc. 1831  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 335:
Yes — I hae fought an' won the day, Come weal, come woe, I carena by.
Abd. 1790  A. Shirrefs Poems 285:
Gin she be seated by my side, I carena by whate'er betide.
Edb. 1772  R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 5:
Thof to the weet my ripen'd aits had fawn, Or shake-winds owr my rigs wi' pith had blawn, To this I cou'd hae said, “I carena by.”
Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems, etc. (1813) I. 186:
Ilka wile the swain coud try, Whiles to flatter, whiles to tease her; But alake! she car'd na by.

Used as n.phr.: care na by, nonchalance. Sc. 1828  Scott Journal (1890) II. (9 March):
Something of serious misfortune may be the deserved punishment of this pusillanimous lowness of spirits. Strange, that one who in most things may be said to have enough of the “care na by,” should be subject to such vile weakness!

(2) To make no objection (Bnff.2, Ags.1 1938). Sc. 1825  Jam.2:
“I dinna care to gang wi' you a bit,” I have no objection to go, etc. “He wadna [hae] cared to hae strucken me,” he seemed disposed to have done so.
Mry. 1810  J. Cock Simple Strains 85:
I see ye've read my hame-spun lays, An' wadna care to soun' my praise; But dinna mak o'er great a phrase, Nor din about them.

[O.Sc. care, cair, n., care, distress of mind; trouble or pain, 1375; assiduous or benevolent attention; also care-bed, a bed of sickness, a.1400; v.intr., (1) to take care, have regard (for a person or thing); also used with neg. and by; (2) tr., to care for; (3) to be reluctant, to have objections (D.O.S.T.); O.E. cearu, caru, n., Mid.Eng. carien, O.E. cearian, v., to care, be anxious (Stratmann).]

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"Care n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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