Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

MY, poss.adj. Also Sc. unstressed forms: ma (Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. v., Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xvi., Rxb. c.1870 Jethart Worthies 58; Rnf. 1873 D. Gilmour Pen Folk 25; ne.Sc. 1887 G. Green Gordonhaven viii.). Gen.Sc.; me (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 8, Sh. 1898 Shetland News (30 July), 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 9); mi (Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 68, 1928 Manson's Sh. Almanac 186); m'. [mɑe; unstressed mɑ, mə; I.Sc. mi, mɪ]

Sc. usages:

1. Used as in Eng. as an ejaculation of surprise. Sc. phr. my be here, dear me, good gracious. Sc. 1895  N. Roy Horseman's Word ix.:
My be here, life's but a glaik on the wa', we're auld afore we ken!

2. Comb.: my lord, milord, a Haggis, prob. a jocular reference to Burns's mode of address to the haggis: “great chieftain of the pudding race ” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.).

3. Used in certain noun phrs. where idiomatic Eng. omits, as with bed, dinner. Gen.Sc. Cf. usages of The. Sc. 1787  J. Beattie Scoticisms 57:
I am going to my bed, my dinner. — Better — to bed, to dinner.
Ayr. a.1796  Burns There's news, lasses ii.:
I'll no gang to my bed Until I get a man.
Gsw. 1947  H. W. Pryde First Book of McFlannels 132:
What . . . have ye in the hoose that ye can gi'e me fur ma tea in a hurry?

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"My possess. adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Nov 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: