Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

NA, adv.3 Also nae (Lnk. 1875 T. Stewart Doric Rhyme 12), neh, ni(h); no (Abd. 1895 J. Davidson Old Abd. Ministers 102, ne.Sc. 1963) and reduced form -in. Used interrog. or precatively at the end of a sentence or sense group (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S., neh; Ags. 1899 Barrie W. in Thrums vii.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 70; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., nae, neh, nih), the gen. force being to tone down or apologise for the directness or abruptness of the question, request or statement, = now, then. For comb. noona(e), -nih, -nie, -ny, see Noo, 2. (6). [nə, ne.Sc. + no] Ayr. 1833  J. Kennedy Geordie Chalmers 215:
“Was ye ever at the Green Oak in your travels! ” “Once, sir.” “Juist na.”
Edb. a.1850  J. Smith Hum. Sc. Stories (1875) 62:
I ken ye'll be for a fine braw cod, na.
Lth. 1857  Misty Morning 67, 240:
Jist sit ye doun there, nae . . . Ye needna be sae thrawart and cam-stram naither nae.
Abd. 1871  W. Alexander Johnny Gibb vii., xi.:
Did the wifie Wull come hame wi' yer aunt an' you, no?. . . . “The stibble lan', likein'? ” “Ay, ay, stibbles.”
Rxb. 1873  Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 202:
Where die leeve na, gin a may speer?
Ags. 1880  A. M. Soutar Hearth Rhymes 38:
What's i' the wind na' the nicht?
Kcb. 1897  Crockett Lad's Love xvi.:
Nance will hae been writin' regularly-na?
Abd. 1914  J. Leatham Daavit 36:
Fat kin' o' a dog wid ye ca' that, ni'?
Fif. 1926  I. Farquhar Pickletillie 80:
Ye'll be thrang puttin' in the seed, nae?
Lnk. 1951  G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 74:
“Let me see nae,” and Peter gazed on the ceiling to work out his arithmetical problem.

[A reduced or unstressed form of Noo, now, sim. used.]

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

"Na adv.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: