Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GRAIN-, n.1 Also graan (Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (7 Oct.)), grin (Uls.). Sc. forms and usages:

1. A Scots weight = Drap, oz. Scots or 825 Troy grains. Sc. 1779 Swinton Weights and Measures 38:
36 Scotch grains were reckoned to make a drop weight.

2. Used fig., as in Eng. = a small quantity or amount, a little bit, but in Sc. used with more commonly concrete nouns (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., grin.; I. and n.Sc., Ags., Per., m.Lth., Dmf., Slk., Uls. 1955). Freq. with the omission of o before the noun governed. Dim. grainie, a pinch (Abd.27 1955), grenock (Abd. 1908 in J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 292). Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 16:
Ev'ry grain, Baith waft an' warp.
Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 136:
An' still a fresh croud was advancin' That ne'er a grain room for the thrang They had for the fiddle an' dancin'.
Lnk. 1887 A. Wardrop Mid-Cauther Fair 273:
Women are jist as heid-strong every grain.
Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 255:
A' wis dark an' still except a peerie grain o' licht i' Eddie Maikimson's skylicht.
Ags. 1895 Arbroath Guide (5 Jan.) 3:
There was a grain snaw on the grund.
Ant. 1900 E.D.D.:
“A grain of hay,” a bundle, an armful. “A grain of sugar,” a good spoonful.
Bnff.2 1933:
Jeems's hoast's nae a grain better.
Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (7 Oct.):
Ye growl and grummel aboot blicht, fan it may hae been but a grainie o' fite frost.

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"Grain- n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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