Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MONIE, adj., n. Also monnie, mony; mauny (Cai. 1928 John o' Groat Jnl. (10 Feb.)); min(n)y, meny (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 3, 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 324, Ib. II. i. 29). Sc. forms of Eng. many (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. [′mone, ′mʌne]

I. adj. 1. Big, large, great, considerable, with words in pl. as construed in pl. (Sh., Ags. 1963). Sc. 1787  J. Beattie Scoticisms 18:
A great many company.
Sc. 1801  J. Leyden Complaynt 357:
Mony pricis is a popular phrase for a great price. The kye brought mony prices at the fair, i.e. they sold dear.

2. Followed by a n. in the sing. without indef. art. Obs. in Eng. Ags. 1796  Bards Ags. (Reid 1897) 150:
For mony back and mony wime Depend on me.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xviii.:
Mony time my mither wished the haill cleckin' o' them blawn into the German Ocean.
Cai. 1869  M. McLennan Peasant Life 240:
Wi' heads jamlin wi' book pride and toum stomacks, as yers maun be mony day.

3. In phr. many's the —, used as a separate clause or quasi-parenthetically = Eng. many a —. Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng. since 14th c. except dial. Sc. 1870  E. Phelps Hedged In xviii.:
An' mony's the time I've warned him o' the consequences.
Bnff. 1882  W. Philip K. MacIntosh's Scholars ii.:
Havena I warned you . . . mony's the time and aft to keep your een better on your charge, and you see noo fat it's come till.
Ayr. 1887  J. Service Dr. Duguid 67:
Mony's the basketful of blackbyds I have gathered there.
Sc. 1893  Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Mony's the time I heard him tell of this experience, and aye the swat ran upon the man.
Ork. 1908  Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 324:
Puir Sibbie after bidan minnys da day her leevan lane, de'ed i' da voar i' a madhoos.
Abd. 1911  Rymour Club Misc. IV. 26:
And sae nimbly as he led oor squad Owre mony's the thristle's croon.
ne.Sc. 1921  Swatches o' Hamespun 7:
Her bairnie dancin' roon her knee Playing mony's the prank.
Sc. 1929  Scots Mag. (April) 79:
Murdoch asked him if he had ever been to Taranty Fair. “Aye, and sold horses there mony's the time,” replied the man in blue.

4. Combs. and phrs.: (1) by mony fauld, by a long way; (2) mony a lang (syne), see Lang, I. 7. (4); (3) mony-a-mony, very many (Ags. 1963); (4) mony and aft, many times and oft, often (Sh. 1963); (5) mony ane, (i) adj., many, following the n., in apposition. Obs. in Eng.; (ii) n., many a person (Sh.. ne.Sc. 1963). Phr. mony ane mair, many another; ¶(6) mony an' mae, a great many people; (7) mony-a-where, in many places. Cf. (11); (8) mony-go-round, a revolving mechanism, a jocular name for a clock or watch; (9) mony lang, see Lang, I. 7. (4); (10) mony-might, great forces, armies. A nonce formation used in translating the Lord of hosts. Cf. 1.; (11) monie where, in many places. Rare in Eng. Cf. (7). (1) Abd. 1809  J. Skinner Amusements 65:
It wad na been, by mony fauld, Sae sair a heart to nane o's a.
(3) Mry. 1804  R. Couper Poetry II. 67:
Which for mony a mony year Hang on the reeky wa!
Gall. 1934  Galloway News (29 Sept.):
For mony-a-mony-a frien' o' mine He's gruppit wi' his cunnin' line.
(4) Sc. 1827  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 293:
But mony and aft's the time that I hae lain for hours ahint some auld turf-dyke.
(5) (i) Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 183:
Baith cooks and scullions mony ane.
Ayr. 1792  Burns In Simmer ii.:
It's ye hae wooers monie ane.
Abd. 1844  W. Thom Rhymes 80:
There were Earls on that glitterin' strand, Wi' diamonded Dame mony ane.
(ii) Edb. 1720  A. Pennecuik Helicon 79:
If this be not true, mony anes Liers.
Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xlii.:
Montgomery, and Ferguson, and mony ane mair that were King James's greatest faes, are on his side now.
Slk. 1820  Hogg Tales (1874) 187:
If Tibby Johnston wasna a good woman and a Christian, mony ane may be feared.
Rxb. 1873  Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 201:
Mooney yen's been hanged for less it-it-it have they.
Fif. 1894  D. S. Meldrum Margrédel xi.:
There's mony ane maks an errand to the ha' to bid my lady gude-day.
Abd. 1915  H. Beaton Benachie 96:
Gin there wis mair like you, mony een wid be weel aff.
(6) Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms iv. 6:
Wha will schaw us aught gude, quo' mony an' mae.
(7) Edb. 1798  D. Crawford Poems 39:
Fine plantations mony a-where, Wi' bra' houses baith but and ben.
(8) Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel iii.:
And then I was carried, beyond my kenning, to a sma' booth whare they make the whirligigs and mony-go-rounds that measure out time as a man wad measure a tartan web.
(10) Sc. 1871  P. H. Waddell Psalms xxiv. 10:
The Lord o' mony-might is he; him lane is that King right namelie!
(11) Bwk. 1801  “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 79:
Baith here and monie where.

5. Superl. forms moniest, monyest, maniest, most, the greatest in number, the majority. Obs. in Eng. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 43:
After Dispute, the moniest Votes agree.
Sc. 1728  P. Walker Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 41:
I know that ministers, elders, and witty professors will have maniest exceptions and sharpest reflections.
Rxb. 1848  R. Davidson Leaves 47:
Sure whisky best deserves the prize, For he has monyest tumbled, Right owre this day.

II. n. 1. With def. art.: the great majority, the dead, the departed. Also moniest. See 5. Kcd. 1884  D. Grant Lays & Leg. 115:
Noo he's gaen ta join the mony, Gaen the road we a' are gyaun.
Kcb.  1 1929:
Puir body, she's amang the moniest noo.

2. With indef. art.: a lot, a great number. For phr. deil a mony, see Deil, n., II. 1. (5). Edb. 1897  W. Beatty Secretar xlvi.:
You will meet amany yet before the last comes along.

[O.Sc. mony, many, 1375; mony ane, adj., a.1400; monyast, very many c.1500, Mid.Eng. moni, O.E. mniȝ.]

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"Monie adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



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