Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
LENTH, n., v. Also lainth (ne.Sc. 1791 Caled. Mercury (17 Sept.)); lent (I.Sc.); leingth (Per. 1732 W. Fraser Red Bk. Grandtully ii. 338); len(t)gh; linth. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. length (Arg. 1701 Analecta Scot. (Maidment 1834) 115; Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xiv., Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 12; Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. 3; Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein, Rxb. 1942 Zai). For the form, which is due to assimilation, cf. P.L.D. § 79 and Strenth. Hence lenthie, lengthy, long (Rnf. 1813 E. Picken Poems I. 108). [Gen.Sc. lɛnθ; s.Sc. lænθ; I.Sc. lɛnt]
Sc. forms:ne.Sc. 1994 Alastair Mackie in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 93:
A granite Chinese waa that road was, the haill linth o't, that the bourgeoisie raised wi siller oot o siller.Abd. 1996 Norman Harper and Robbie Shepherd Anither Dash O' Doric 45:
'... Is it [the dress] the wrang colour? The wrang style? The wrang linth? Fit is't?'
Sc. usages: I. n. 1. With a demonstrative, possess. adj. or n., Gen. in adv. phrs. the lenth of, my lenth, this lenth, etc. = as far as.
(1) of distance (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 49; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gall. 1700 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 23:
It is reported Jean Dowglas cannot come this lenth, being near the time of child birth.Mry. 1716 A. & H. Tayler 1715 (1936) 287:
To goe the length of Elgine to propose this.Sc. 1746 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) iii. 383:
They threew none overboard of them till they came the lenth of the point of Ardmurchan.m.Lth. 1819 J. Thomson Poems 136:
Ye maun be thrang That ye could never spare As muckle time my length to gang.Slk. 1835 Hogg Life of an Edinburgh Baillie (1874) 567:
When we came the length of the Dee, Argyle was at a stand, not having heard aught of Huntly's motions or strength.Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister xxxiii.:
Mr Dishart never got the length of the pulpit.Abd. 1924 J. Hunter MS. Diary (31 May):
Mr Merson was down forenoon and I went up his length with him.Sh. 1930 Shet. Almanac 195:
If he sood ever come oot wir lent he s'all get a belly fu' o' burstin'.Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 46, 57:
“Ye canna walk mill length, Tammas,” said Willie … “We're takin' a big box the length o' Cormiston.”Abd. 1993:
Ye've gotten this linth. Edb. 2005:
A linth o Harris Tweed. Edb. 2005:
She went the linth o Musselburgh. Dmb. 2005:
We went the lenth o the station wi him.
Phr. A widna gang the length o masel, I wouldn't trouble myself. Gen.Sc. Ags. 1990s:
Uh widna geing the length o masel tuh see um: I wouldn't cross the street to see him.
(2) Of amount, extent, degree: as much as (to), to the amount or extent of. Also fig. Gen.Sc., also in Eng. dial. Phr. the length o one's tongue, the full volume of one's wrath or vituperation.Sc. 1700 Seasonable Precautions in Electing the Magistrates 8:
A good Accomptant who kept all his Accompts upon Nick-sticks, and was sure to Balance his Accompts with Profit, when they came the length of a Score of Ale.Sc. 1702 T. Morer Acct. Scot. 44:
Yet it never amounted to the force (the Scots say the length) of a Constitution.Ags. 1730 Arbroath T.C. Rec. MS. (28 May):
Above fifty bolls and not the Lentgh of seventy five bolls.Mry. 1735 Lord Elchies' Letters (MacWilliam 1927) 215:
I wad have accquented yow or goan your lengh as I promist you … but that I have not your money.Ags. 1824 Literary Olio (24 Jan.) 28:
Them that's born to a fardin' will never win the length o' a bawbee.Abd. 1878 J. C. Hutchieson Village Voices 106:
But I micht manage tae contrive Tae gather in the len'th o' five.Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 26:
Bit pleg on de dogs! gin his nose began no' tae rin afore they waur the lent' o' the second verse o' the psalm.Abd. 1887 E. Bain Merchant Guilds 183:
Fortunately the “renewing” [of a portrait] did not go the length of any interference with the face.Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 22:
A bit bairnie aucht days auld, an' it never gettin' even the lenth o' bein' doakit, lat aleen growin' up.Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 154:
Has your mother brocht ye up woman length, an' you sae han'less?Dmf. 1925 W. S. Lockhart Guidhearts 57:
A'm no blamin' the woman for giein' the chiel the length o' her tongue.Cai. 1931 N. Gunn Morning Tide i. iii.:
He had got the length of washing his face.
2. Stature, height (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Lth., Rnf., Uls. 1960).Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 247:
Girzie wis a winderfil lent o' a woman.Abd.27 1959:
He's a byordinar lenth o' a chiel, that.
3. Phrs. and Combs.: (1 ) at (the) lenth an lang, at de lang an' de lent, at last, in the end (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1960). See Lang, III. 1.; (2) breadth an lenth, adv., one's full length, flat on one's face, prone (Fif., m.Lth., Kcb., Dmf. 1960); (3) far a-lenth, far ahead, forward in progress (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1960). See Alenth; (4) for a(ny) or some lenth o time, for very long. Gen.Sc.; (5) lang lenth, the whole length, gen. in adv. phrs. (a) at lang lenth, i' the lang lenth, at long last. Gen.Sc. See also Lang, I. 7. (1) and III. 1.; (b) for lang lenth, for a very long time, as long as possible (Sc. 1887 Jam.); (c) one's lang lenth, one's full length, prone (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Cai., ne. and em.Sc. 1960). Cf. Ger. langelang; (6) ta or til da or ane's lent, lengthwise, to one's full length (Sh. 1960); (7) to gae (gang) a bonnie ((aa) one's) length, to let oneself go, to follow one's inclinations or feelings as far as one can or dares, to “go the pace” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. s.v. gae). Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.; (8) to get (gie one) one's lent, to (cause to) fall flat on one's face (Sh. 1960); (9) up da lent, at length, at last.(1) ne.Sc. 1791 Caled. Mercury (17 Sept.):
At lainth an' lang I've thought a wie, an' syne hae writ'n A merry sang.Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin v.:
At length an' lang a hole in her chackit apron claught hauds o' the temper-pin.Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 53:
At de lang an' de lent' they wan up under de lee o' the craigs.(2) Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Tales (1874) 304:
Ye'll fall belly-flaught, breadth and length, on the lily-white linen.Dmf. 1956:
Chrissie cam rinnin doon the steps an fell breedth an lenth on the cassy.(3) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxviii.:
Hairry Muggart gaed a hantle forder a-lenth nor ever I did.Abd. 1890 Bon-Accord (4 Jan.) 20:
Afore I cud get farer alenth, says the voice, “All right, I'll be just now.”(4) Sc. 1938 St. Andrews Cit. (26 March) 2:
He had not known Mr R — for any length of time.(5) (a) Sc. 1897 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 371:
At lang-length comes my ain love Frae far atowre the sea.Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 25:
Mairry a dochter o' the deil, an' she'll bring ye te hell at lang len'th.(c) Bwk. 1831 Border Mag. 9:
What sud I dae but fa' a' my lang length out owre a tub.(6) Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 10:
It lies on da flür for a meenit an smoks, Dan spoots ta da lent laek da jeck-i-da-box.Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 120:
Da first 'at we kent wis he lyin till his lent i' da gutter.(7) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xv.:
Juist when they were gaen their lengths aboot it, in comes Saunders Broganawl.Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 11:
Hei's gaun a bonnie length.(8) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (17 Dec.):
I gae him his lent apo' da tattie müld.Ib. (1 April 1899):
A'm gotten me lent at da neuk o' da hoos.(9) Sh. 1933 J. Nicolson Hentilagets 20:
An it was her 'at sent dem on der coorse, An up da lent dey caesed fae aa der waanders.
II. v. To take long strides, to cover a distance quickly (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sh. 1894 Williamson MSS. (26 Jan.):
Yon's shuirly Johnnie Andrew at's awa lentin doun da road.
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