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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INBY, adv., prep., adj. Also inbye; inbi, inbe (Sh.). Sometimes written as two words. See also Emby. [′ɪn′bɑe]

I. adv. 1. With verbs of motion: from outside to inside, closer towards oneself, from an outer to an inner part of a house or a room, towards the fire, etc., from the coast inland (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.);  to the inner part of a mine. Gen.Sc. For phrs. to come or cry inby(e), see Come, v., II. 10. (9) and Cry, v.Abd. 1714 Auchterless Session Rec. MS. (17 Jan.):
He took her in by to him and tugged her to take her out[side] but she denyed.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 37:
But I'll assure you I look'd unko blate; An' very thrawart like I yeed in by.
Ags. 1795 Session Papers, Arbuthnott v. Scott (11 March) 156:
He has rugged in-by stones to the face of the dike.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvii.:
“Gang in bye then, my woman,” answered the goodwife; and opening the door of a room, she announced the additional visitor.
Sc. 1863 Chambers's Jnl. (10 Jan.) 29:
The breezy links o' Gulane, stretchin' in by frae the sea.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin viii.:
“Inbye an' warm ye,” quoth my mither, “an gie's the news.”
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 215:
Tack in by yir chair, sit doon, an' tack an air o' the pipe.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (30 April):
In by, dog, or doo sall be da waur o' hit.
Lth. 1924 A. Dodds Poppies in Corn 9:
An', gin the nichts were weet and snell, she [horse] wad be brocht in-bye Tae the lown end o' the stable on a cosy bed tae lie.
Ags. 1950 Forfar Dispatch (23 Feb.):
A' Bob hed tae dee wiz tae draw inbye eez chair and sit doon.
m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 41:
When we won through in-bye,
howkin' the brattice up,
an' oor lamps, fresh-chairgit,
sklentit doon
on their wee, dyin' glint
ahint a hutch, ...
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 33:
the ilka day, an sent doon ben
toom rakes o hutches inbye gaein
ginn piece-timm at the darg alow
whoere collier bodies wrocht awo
contrack, or oncost keekiebo.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 42:
When they caa'd inbye ae time,
Some young students had in min,
Ti learn at first han the weys o plant an tree.

2. Inside, within, in the inner part (of a house, farm, etc.), indoors, at someone's house. Gen.Sc. Occas. = near here, in the vicinity; inshore (e.Sc. 1958).Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 360:
Genteel families in-by here in Embro, and the sooburbs.
Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sk. & Poems 74:
At lent dey got dem set doon inbe at da fire.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xxxvii.:
Ye need not wonder that her ladyship inby should ken all.
Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV. i. 21:
The but-end or kitchen . . . bore also the name of in-by or abune the fire.
Ags. 1918 V. Jacob More Songs 30:
What ails ye, that ye bide In-by — an' me ootside.
Dmf. 1921 J. L. Waugh Heroes 79:
Mary Oswald sang them at her wark — inby an' ootby.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 70:
Ootby the trees wi' wunds o' simmer bend, . . . Inby twae laddies weary for the end.
Abd.16 1958:
Wis ye in by? Did you call at our house or at the house of someone else indicated by the context?

3. Specif.: in that portion of farm land in the immediate neighbourhood of the farm buildings, corresponding to the former Infield (Rs., m.Lth., Bwk., s.Sc. 1958); in the low-lying district as opposed to the upland. Cf. III. 2.Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (15 Feb.) 4:
I do not know of a single farm in the district — out bye or in bye — where any attempt is made to utilise the urine of our animals.
Dmf. 1955 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (18 June) 12:
Good all-round working Collie Wanted for inbye.
Rxb. 1955 Scotsman (6 Jan.):
The farm is presently carrying about 25 score of South Country Cheviot Ewes and hoggs on the hill, and about 23 score of North Country Cheviot Ewes and hoggs inbye.

II. prep. Close to, beside, by way of; in the neighbourhood of (m.Lth. 1958).Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped i.:
Cramond (which is near in by Edinburgh).
Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' A' Oo' 18:
Fine, inbye the chumley lug, Tae needle at the clooty rug.
Abd. 1958:
Will ye hae time tae come in by the toun on the road hame?

III. adj. 1. Inner, in the interior;  inshore.Slk. 1824 Hogg Justified Sinner 227:
Gie up your crooning, or I'll pit you to an in-by place, where ye sall get plenty o't.

2. Lying close at hand (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 88), near at hand, near a habitation; specif. pertaining to the arable part of a farm which also has some hill-pasture, or to the cultivated land surrounding the farm buildings. Cf. I. 3. Hence low-lying (Slk. 1825 Jam.; m.Lth., Kcb., Dmf., s.Sc. 1958). See Inwith. Applied attrib. to stock reared or persons employed there (Rxb. 1958). Comb. in-by farming, ley or rotation farming (Rxb. 1950 B.B.C. Broadcast (29 Oct.)).Dmf. 1894 J. Cunningham Broomieburn vi.:
The in-bye hand Jock would emerge from his bed in the stable loft.
Rxb. 1898 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (23 Sept.):
He had first an inbye herding at Stanhopefoot on the banks of the Ettrick; and then he removed to an outbye one at Deloraineshiel.
Slk. 1918 Border Standard (18 May) 2:
Louping-ill or trembling is proving very destructive amongst in-by or park lambs, and it is greatly feared that this malignant disease will also prove destructive to hill flocks.
Dmf. 1947 Gsw. Herald (23 Aug.):
Cheviot ewe lambs (“tops” and “in-bye”).
Arg. 1979 Naomi Mitchison You May Well Ask: A Memoir 1920-1940 (1986) 216:
... and it was nothing new to me to go out and bind, when the in-bye field was cut, ...
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 101:
... by the time I was born, grandfather was an inby man, staying at sea for eight or nine days at a time in the spring before coming into port, and he never in my lifetime went to the far waters.

[O.Sc. in by, to the inner part of a house, 1643.]

Inby adv., prep., adj.

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"Inby adv., prep., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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