Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NAE, adj. Also ne (Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 19; Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 30; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), na. No, not any. Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. Sometimes found in double neg. constructions. Comb. nae evens, the name of a game. [ne:] Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 270:
Yee Hand is nee Hand; that is, one Hand. where there is no Help, can dispatch but little Work.
Edb. 1772  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 98:
Your noisy tongue, there's nae abideint.
Ayr. 1768  Burns Twa Dogs 16–17:
But tho' he was o' high degree The fient a pride na pride had he.
Sc. c.1791  Sir Andrew Barton in
Child Ballads No. 167 B. 46:
Sir Andrew called his nephew then: says, Sisters son I hi ne mae.
Ayr. 1793  Burns Tam o' Shanter 67–8:
Nae man can tether time or tide.
Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lamm. ix.:
Truly I ken nae title they have to be yowling and howling.
Slk. 1819  Hogg Tales (1874) 148:
Did you no hear them sayin' nae ill words?
Uls. 1879  W. G. Lyttle Readings 38:
She said nae mair.
Sh. 1916  J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Jooly 26):
A blinnd mind is hoppless, for der nae wy o trivlin.
Abd. 1923  Swatches o' Hamespun 18:
Aw houpe aul Meggie's nae nae waur.
Gall. 1928  Gallovidian Annual 91:
A ken naething aboot nae eggies.
Edb. 1956  Edb. Ev. News (19 May) 4:
He's no' glaikit. But he's nae gairdener.

In combs., gen. forming adverbs and nouns: naebody, -bothy (Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 76), nobody, no one. Gen.Sc.; naegat(e), -gait(s), -get, see Gate, n., 1. (2); nae-ho, nohow (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.); naelins, in no way, “used as a neg. interrog.” (Abd. 1825 Jam.); naerizzon, a “no reason”. an invalid reason; na(e)t(h)in(g), nai- (Sc. 1740 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 462, 1818 Sawers), ne(a)-, naw- (Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston i.), ni- (m.Lth. 1915 Gsw. Herald (22 Nov.)), nee- (Ant. 1928 Irish Breeder 18), nathan (Ork. 1909 Old-Lore Misc. II. i. 30), nichan (Mry. 1908 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 32), nothing. Gen.Sc.; naeway(s), -wise, -wye(s), in no way, nowhere. See Way: naewhere, -whaur, nowhere; nae-worth, worthless. Sc. 1720  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 152:
Naething can our wilder Passions tame.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 124:
Naething wrang I hae to lay to you.
Ayr. 1788  Burns I hae a Wife ii.:
I hae naething to lend, I'll borrow frae nae-body.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian xviii.:
I want naething frae nane o' ye.
Gsw. 1819  A. Rodger Poems (1901) 113:
I live naewhere; I starve at Tollcross.
Sh. 1836  Gentleman's Mag. II. 591:
Du tocht nethin ta pit dye mark . . . apo mye steag.
Ayr. a.1843  J. Stirrat Poems (1869) 52:
Hadst thou but seized some nae-worth creature.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 97:
Although the sight be naething rare.
Abd. 1874  N. N. Maclean North. Univ. 7.:
Robertson cam' in for a ¥1210s. bursary an' Macnicol wis naewhaur.
Abd. 1879  G. Macdonald Sir Gibbie xxvii.:
Naegait 'ithin my sicht or my cry, or the hearin' o' my ears.
Abd. 1882  G. Macdonald Castle Warlock lxv.:
I wad as sune think o' seein' my ain sister, gien I had ane, gang frae hame for sic a naerizzon as that!
Fif. 1894  J. Menzies Our Town 160:
He is naewise ower fond o' soap an' water.
Cai. 1909  D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 9:
Fatoor 'ey thocht 'ey said neethin'.
Rxb. 1916  Kelso Chron. (17 March) 4:
Naebody said onything bad aboot ye.
w.Sc. 1928  J. Corrie Last Day 49:
What aboot them? I see naethin'.
Bnff. 1957  Banffshire Jnl. Xmas Annual:
I lookit, an' there's nithing there.

[In O.Sc. from 14th c., O.E. nā(n). See P.L.D. § 32.2.]

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"Nae adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Nov 2019 <>



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