Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

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).Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 18:
I bid you had your tongue, and no even your bystarts to my bairn.
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.]

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

"Even v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: