Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EVEN, v. Also eyven (Bnff.2, Abd.7 1925), ¶eevn, evin, and reduced form ein (see P.L.D. § 70.1). Sc. usages and forms of Eng. even. [See Even, adj., adv., for Phonetics.]

1. tr. To compare, put on a level (with); to liken to. Gen. with to, occas., with. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 285:
But well dear Spec the feckless Asses To wiest Insects even'd and painted.
Gsw. 1777 Weekly Mag. (16 Oct.) 63:
Upon the field he shaw'd sae meikle skill, The lave were coofs when even'd to my Will.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xvii.:
God sain them! that I suld even the puir things to the like o' papists.
Bnff. 1862 [R. Sim] Leg. Strathisla 52:
I'm sure ye needna even yoursel' to ony Henny Lumsden, as ye ca' her.
Sc. 1880 Stevenson Deacon Brodie (1892) Act I. Tab. I. Sc. iv.:
What kind o' a man are you to even yoursel' to the likes o' him?
Gall. 1890 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. VII. 58:
I wad ill like tae even her wi' Jean.

2. tr. With to: to talk of one person as a suitable match for another in marriage (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 29; 1887 Jam.6, evin; Per. 1900); to propose. Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie III. xxviii.:
He spoke in the most contemptuous manner on the ludicrous idea of Martha Docken's oye being evened to his daughter.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 194:
The country people had a fashion some time ago of pairing the young folks about . . . if a young man had taken a girl to be his partner at a dancing school, or if he had been seen speaking to one about the kirk-stile . . . these two were instantly eind, evened to one another.
Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm I. i.:
To even . . . my bonny Grizel to sic a lang kyte-clung chiel as yon!
Lth. 1882 “J. Strathesk” Blinkbonny xii.:
He's a nice man an' a guid cracker, but he never “evened” marriage to me.

3. tr. To bring to the same level or condition; gen. to lower, demean (Ags.19 1950). Vbl.n. einin, evenin. Sc. 1808 Jam.:
I wad na even myself to sic a thing, I would not demean myself so far, as to make the supposition that I would do it.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail ii.:
Saxpence, gudeman! . . . ye'll ne'er even your han' wi' a saxpence to the like of Kittlestonheugh.
Dmf. c.1902 A. E. M. Lilts frae the Border 28:
I would na even ye my lass, To my auld farrant ways.

Phrs.: (1) to even one's wit to, to condescend to argue with (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.; Rnf. 1900–49 (per Abd.27)); (2) to tak einins, — eveninses, (see quot.) (Bwk.3 1950, — eveninses). (1) Uls. 1904 Victoria College Mag. 43–44:
When he speaks his remarks may be pointless or even vulgar, and so someone says . . “Do you think I would even my wit to him?”
(2) Kcb.6 c.1916:
To tak einins, in the game of marbles: to change to a more advantageous position at an equal distance from the ring. He [the player] has this right on exclaiming “einins”! unless an opponent has forestalled him with “Bar einins”!

4. tr. (1) With gerund or inf.: to charge, to associate by imputation with (a thing) (Sc. 1887 Jam.6, ein; Bnff.2, Arg.3 1944). Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 91:
Ye thief like widdyfu', said she, are ye evening me to be sib to the foul thief; it's weel kend I am come of good honest fouks.
Sc. 1827 Scott Chrons. Canongate, Croftangry iv.:
He would hae shot onybody wi' his pistols and his guns, that had evened him to be a liar.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe xxxiii.:
Ye're no pinched o' yer impudence to even me to haein a foggy heid.
Fif. 1895 “S. Tytler” Kincaid's Widow xiii.:
Well, that is droll, me evening you to be nae better than the lave.

(2) To impute (Bnff.2 1944). Dmb. 1846 W. Cross Disruption xviii.:
“I'll gaur ye baith repent it,” said the “Scooneral Customer”, “if ye daur to even ought like dishonesty to me.”
Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn. 35:
Would you even the like of that to me?
Sh. 1897 Shet. News (7 Aug.):
Hit's little 'at's no spok'n o', alto' we're no eevnin' dat ta Mr McLeod, jantleman.
Arg. 1936 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 19:
I wadna even the like tae him, i.e. accuse him of it.

(3) Refl. In a good sense: to think oneself entitled, to presume (Bnff.2 1944). Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 218:
The ither was a bonny modest lassie, and never evened hersel' to try on the shoe; for she considered wi' hersel' she wasna suitable to be the wife o' a great prince.
Sc. 1893 “L. Keith” Lisbeth xii.:
It would have turned my mother in her grave if we had evened ourselves to a fire in the living room in May.

5. tr. To take notice of (a person) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

6. intr. To make an appointment or tryst (with someone). Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders xlvi.:
He eined wi' the denty wee lass to meet him at the Myrestane black-yetts.

[O.Sc. has evin, to impute, 1590, to compare, a.1605.]

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"Even v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <>



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