Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).

ETNACH, adj., n. Also †etnagh, aitn(y)ach. See Aiten, n.2, Eaten. [′etnəx, ′ɛtnəx]

1. adj. Of or belonging to the juniper, made of juniper wood (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.2, etnach, etnagh).Abd. 1778 A. Ross Helenore 64:
And spies beneath a buss of — what-ye-cawt? Ay Etnagh-berries; and yeed down the brae, And there she gets them black as ony slae.
Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 26:
Brave Jessy, wi' an etnach cud, Than gae her Daddie sic a thud.
ne.Sc. 1848 Tait's Mag. (Nov.) 723:
A number of the mountain berry bushes find means of taking root among the stones, and in the autumn season are black with fruit — the etnach berries come closely up to the fountains of the Dee.
Bch. 1932 P. Giles in Abd. Univ. Review (March) 106:
Her midder taucht 'er ta tak the spinnlie Wi' 'er an' spin the taits o' 'oo 'at the sheep hid leeft on the etnach busses.

2. n.

(1) The juniper, Juniper communis, the juniper berry (Mry. 1839 G. Gordon Flora of Mry. 29, Mry.1 1925, aitnach; Bnff.8 1920, aitnyach; Bnff., Abd. 1944, etnach).Bnff. 1792 A. Geddes in Trans. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 444:
To trim its hearth, and in their turn The elder and the etnach burn.
n.Sc. 1886 B. and H., App. 506:
The [juniper] berries are called aitnachs in N. Scotland.

(2) Applied as an expression of contempt to a diminutive person or child.Abd.17 1914:
Gin I had a haud o' ye, ye aitnach o' a creatur, I'll gie y'it.

[Gael. aitionnach, adj., aitionn, n., juniper.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Etnach adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: