Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KNOW, n. Also (k)nowe; tnow(e) (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 213). Sc. forms of Eng. knoll, a hillock, mound, in folk-lore often associated with fairies. See P.L.D. § 78.2. Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial. Used fig. in Kcb. 1814 quot. Hence knowie, full of knolls (Cld. 1825 Jam.; Ayr.4 1928, Rxb. 1942 Zai; ne.Sc. 1960); knowefu, fig. a great amount, “heaps”. [(k)nʌu, Ags., Per. tnʌu] Lnk. 1709 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 70:
They went altogether over a know out of his sight.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 64:
Twa mile frae this I left them on a know, An' far beneath it lies a dreary how.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 83:
Nae sooner did the day begin to dawn, Than I beyont the know fu' speedy ran.
Ayr. 1794 Burns Twa Dogs 44:
Upon a knowe they sat them down.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 84:
E'en Nature's knows that now are fled, Where love in youthfu' days has play'd, She'll them supply wi' teats o' woo, That cheat the unsuspecting view.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf i.:
The bonny broomy knowe, where he liked sae weel to sit at e'en.
Ork. 1884 R. M. Fergusson Rambles 203:
At the close of the seventeenth century we hear much of the fairy dwellers of Orcadian knowes and streams.
Ags. 1893 Brechin Advertiser (14 Feb.):
There's howefu's o't an' knowefu's o't.
Dmf. 1914 J. L.Waugh Cracks wi' R. Doo 46:
I see oor trystin'-place among the silver birks on the auld quarry knowe.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxiii.:
A puckle o's . . . wis gart stan upo the tap o' a knowie wi wir taes dirlin wi the frost.

Combs.: (1) know(e)-head, t'now-, hill-top (n.Sc., Ags., Fif., Kcb. 1960). Common as a farm-name; (2) know-side, hill-side. (1) Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxvi.:
I can just tell ye a' about the castle on this know-head as weel as if ye were at it.
Slk. 1823 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) i.:
I canna steer the poor creatures frae ae knowe-head to another.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 160:
At bogle roun the ricks at e'en on oor knowehead; Or at hide an' seek amang the stooks on oor knowehead.
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums i.:
Within cry of T'nowhead Farm, still stands a one-storey house.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo vii.:
I kenned every knowe-heid and every dyke tap in the locality.
(2) Sc. 1702 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 24:
And lying on a knou-side, a black dogg came to his head and stood.

[O.Sc. kno(w), a hillock, 1505.]

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



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