Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HOO, adv. I. and m.Sc. form and usages of Eng. how. Hence hooever, -iver, however. See also Foo. [hu:]

1. As in Eng. Phrs.: (1) how-(a)n-a-be(e), -bei (s.Sc.), however, nevertheless, howbeit (Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Cf. Foo, 1. Phrs. (2); (2) hoo's a' (wi' ye)?, how are you?; used as a gen. greeting (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 276; m.Sc., Uls. 1957); †(3) how soon, as soon as (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 135); (4) how that, in what manner, how. Gen.(exc. I. and ne.)Sc.; also redundantly, that how that, = that. (1) Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck vi.:
Dinna think, howanabee, that I care for outher you or it.
Ags. 1823 A. Balfour Foundling I. vii.:
I fear I'll mak' a poor hand at the pleugh: how an' a' be, I'm willin' to lear.
Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 302:
Howanawbee, there was ae chiel there — he couldna be content wi' a dish.
(2) Sc. 1756 M. Calderwood Journey (M.C.) 201:
“How's a' wi' ye,” “Good e'en to ye,” “De'il tak ye,” was always his salutation in Scots, when he wanted to show his knowledge in that language.
Ayr. a.1796 Burns We're a' Noddin iii.:
How's a' wi' you, kimmer? And how do you fare?
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvii.:
How's a' wi' ye, Effie? — How d'ye find yoursell, hinny?
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lochinvar v.:
“Aye, man, an' hoo's a' wi' ye?” he said, as it is the custom for all Scots to say when they forgather with one another in any land under the sun.
(3) Sc. 1707 Acts Parl. Scot. XI. 488:
How soon the foresaid sum of Three hundred and ninety eight thousand eighty five ten shillings mentioned in the above Fifteenth Article shall be paid in unto the Commissioners.
Inv. 1716 Steuart Letter Bk. (S.H.S.) 32–3:
Twentie nine barells salmon and Grilses, which I [desire] you Dispose of to the best avail howsoon it arrives.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 12:
An' how soon as the jimp three raiths was gane.
(4) Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 133:
Sic things my gude-dam tauld to me, How that a switch o' rowan-tree, Gars a' the de'ils and witches fyke.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb viii.:
She said 't hoo 't she cudna help it.

2. Why (Sc. 1887 Jam.). Gen.(exc. ne.)Sc. Now obs. in Eng. Sc. 1771 Weekly Mag. (11 July) 36:
The word how is frequently employed instead of why; nothing being more common than to hear one person when challenging another for doing wrong, say How did you do this? instead of Why did you do it?
Sc. 1889 J. Moir Wallace (S.T.S.) 395:
It is difficult to see how Harry always calls him a traitor.
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister vii.:
If you're no angry wi' me, . . . how will you no look at me?
Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. I. 130:
Bit hoo is du here wi aa dis folk?
Sc. 1924 R. W. Campbell Spud Tamson out West vi.:
I want tae ken hoo he selt you the cattle.
Arg.1 1930:
You're not to go out this afternoon. How? You're not to put on those boots. How?

3. What, by what name? (Rxb. 1957). Now arch. in Eng. Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
How ca' ee 'im = What's his name?

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"Hoo adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2021 <>



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