Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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INGINE, n. Also, in senses 1., 2. and 3., injine, -gyne, -jain; en-; in sense 4., ingin, -jin. Sc. forms of Eng. engine. [Orig. in all senses pronounced ɪn′dʒəin, but now in sense 4., ′ɪndʒɪn, Abd. + ′ɪndʒəin]

1. Natural cleverness, ability, wit, genius, ingenuity (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai., Kcd. 1958). Sc. 1702  Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 359:
His airt, ingyne and fittednes for keeping of the saids clocks and chimns.
Abd. 1710  Burgh Rec. Abd. (1872) II. 342:
That non enter to the said grammar schooll befor they be nyn years of age, unless they be of a large capacity and engyne.
Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 179:
Old Chaucer, Bard of vast Ingine.
Ayr. 1786  Burns To J. Lapraik v.:
He had ingine, That nane excell'd it, few cam near't, It was sae fine.
Sc. 1817  Carlyle Early Letters (Norton) I. 137:
He has ingine too — but as much laziness along with it as might suffice for a Presbytery.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xii.:
Their pawky policy, and earthly ingine.
Kcb. 1910  Crockett Dew of their Youth xiv.:
Not one in a thousand would have had the “engine” to do as I had done.
Abd. 1928  Abd. Book-Lover VI. 14:
Gi'e me social injine, herts couthie an' kin', Nae maitter hoo laich their degree, man.

2. An intellect, a clever mind, a person of ability. Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 144:
For mony a deep, and mony a rare engyne Ha'e sprung frae Herriot's wark, and sprung frae mine.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 279:
We say of any with a dungeon of a head, that that person is a “great injine.”

3. An ingenious thing (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., enjain, injain).

4. An engine. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1824  Blackwood's Mag. (April) 382:
There's the alarm-bell — and the fire-drum! . . . Hear till the ingines.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 23:
The motor dreiver . . . beguid o kirneen an caain eis injin.
Gsw. a.1937  Oor Mither Tongue (MacWhannell) 150:
An' I hope that a spark frae yir ingin Will set the whole d—d thing on fire.

[O.Sc. ingine, ability, intellect, from c.1420, a mechanical contrivance, from early 15th c. Engine has been obs. in sense 1. in Eng. since mid. 17th c.]

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"Ingine n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2020 <>



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