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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MAGNUM BONUM, n. Also curtailed form magnum. A bottle containing two quarts of wine or spirits or the contents of it (Bnff., Wgt. 1962). Also used attrib.Sc. c.1755 Sc. Population Statistics (S.H.S.) p. xiii.:
His fondness for claret brought him the nickname of Dr Bonum Magnum.
Ayr. 1788 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 440:
If you add a tankard of Brown Stout, & superadd a magnum of right Oporto, you will see his sorrows vanish like the morning mist.
Sc. 1791 The Bee (March) II. 146:
In the time of episcopacy, the dean used to call boldly for a bottle of wine. Afterwards, the moderator whispered the maid to fetch a magnum bonum.
Dmf. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 57:
Dumfries, and a' its bonny Lasses, And gallant Lads, Were drank in magnum-bonum glasses.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary ii.:
Bearing in his hand an immense double quart bottle, or magnum, as it is called in Scotland.

[Lat. magnum bonum, a big good thing.]

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"Magnum Bonum n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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