Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DIN, adj. Sc. form of Eng. dun, of a dingy colour, mouse-coloured. In Mod.Eng. gen. used of animals but in Sc. also of persons = dark-complexioned, sallow. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. Also used as n. as in Eng. = dun colour, a dun-coloured horse. Also †dinn. Sc. a.1876  Twa Sisters in Ballads (ed. Child 1882) I. No. 10M. x.:
But ye was fair and I was din.
Sc. 1936  J. G. Horne Flooer o' the Ling 33:
On sic a dour Din-grey December day.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 123:
Her face was smear'd wi' some din colour'd gree.
Ags. 1912–19  Rymour Club Misc. II. 124:
The sixth pair they are twa dins.
wm.Sc. 1868  Laird of Logan 81:
Your ain man, waesucks, is nae great pennyworth; the skin o' him as din as a withered dockan.
Rnf. 1721  W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876–78) II. 117:
The said compleaner . . . had belonging to him ane dinn gray horse.
Ayr. a.1796  Burns Tarbolton Lasses (Cent. ed.) iii.:
She's dour and din, a deil within, But aiblins she may please ye.
Kcb. 1814  W. Nicholson Tales 87:
Thy belly's but a dirty din.
Slk. 1829  Hogg Shepherd's Cal. II. 207:
Poor Will o' Phaup . . . wi' his din sark and his cloutit breeks.

Hence 1. dinness, sallowness, darkness (Cai.7, Bnff.2 1940); 2. dinnish, adj., rather dun-coloured; 3. din-skinned, sallow-complexioned (Cai.7 1940; Abd.27 1948). 1. Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 172:
“It's a mercy dinness is na sair,” quoth an eminent wit to a certain auld Lucky who had the Ethiopian's skin.
2. Sc. 1720  Caled. Mercury (Nov. 14):
A whitish gray Colour'd Horse, pretty white all over, inclining a little to the Dinnish about the Hips.

[O.Sc. has din, of a dull or dingy colour, from 1513, variant of earlier dun. For change of vowel, see P.L.D. § 60.1.]

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"Din adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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