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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

NAME, n., v. Also neem (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 26; Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 10; Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 9; Sh. 1957 New Shetlander No. 45. 24), nem (Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 326), nemm (Sh., Ags., Edb., Arg., Dmf. 2000s), neame (Fif. 1844 J. Jack St Monans 165). Sc. form and usages, now obs., rare, or mainly dial. in Eng. [Sc. nem; I.Sc., Cai. nim, see P.L.D. §§ 147.1, 164.1]

Sc. form of Eng. name.Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 31:
"Swindler is no the neem for id," he reached into his pocket.

Sc. usages:

I. n. As in Eng. Phrs. and Combs.: (1) i(n) the name (o' a'), in the name o the wee man (Sh., Bnff., Ags., Fif., Edb., Gsw., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s), an ejaculation, gen. of impatience, in Heaven's name! (ne.Sc., wm.Sc. 1963); (2) in the name o' nae time, almost immediately, in a very short time, in a trice; (3) name-bairn, a child who bears one's name (Sh. 1963); (4) name-dochter, a girl who has been called after someone (I.Sc. 1963); (5) name-fa(i)ther, the man after whom one has been called (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 80; I.Sc., Kcd., Fif. 1963). Phr. to hae nae name-faither, to be illegitimate (Gsw. 1963); (6) namemamma, -mother, -midder, the woman after whom a female child is named (I.Sc. 1963); one who holds the child at a christening, a godmother; (7) name-son, a boy who bears one's name (I.Sc. 1963); (8) namespoken (o'), well-known (for). Cf. Namely; (9) nameuncle, the uncle after whom a nephew is called; (10) to ca (someone) out o' his name, to apply the wrong name to; hence to miscall, to speak to the detriment of; also to give a nickname to (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., 1908 Traynor (1953); Ags.17 1938; Uls. 1963); (11) to get the name, to have a child called after oneself (Abd., Ags. 1963); (12) to gie (a bairn) its (a) name, (i) to christen (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. s.v. Gie, 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 11). Gen.Sc.; (ii) to legitimise a child by the marriage of its parents (I.Sc., Ags. 1963); (13) to gie in or up the names, to hand in the names of a betrothed couple for proclamation of banns of marriage (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 225; I., ne.Sc., Ags., Kcb. 1963). Hence names-giein'-in, n.comb., the doing of this, a party to celebrate this (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (14) to pit a body's name intil, to reserve a portion of (food, etc.) for someone, gen. in offers of hospitality; (15) to pit a name on, to name (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 87).(1) Abd. 1885 G. Macdonald Castle Warlock vi.:
“I' the name o' a'!” cried her greatgrandmother.
(2) Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxv.:
I' the name o' nae time I grew as cosie as a pie.
(4) Sc. 1809 A. Grant Letters from the Mountains II. 212:
My eldest girl is now staying here, and your name-daughter with Duncan at the Fort.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie i.:
She gets aye the tither name-daughter.
Sc. 1876 S. R. Whitehead Daft Davie 200:
Can you tell me . . . what kind o' like bairn wee Kirsty, my ain namedochter, is?
(5) Abd. 1714 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VII. 233:
To John Gray's nurse that nursed his sone John to quhich I was name faither . £3.
Sc. 1780 in W. Hanna Memoirs of T. Chalmers (1849) I. 4:
The little fellow is named Tom — I wish him as good a man as his name-father.
ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 63:
There was a rivalry among those who had children to baptise, who should have his [minister's] first services. If the child was a son, he stood name-father, and presented the child with a dress.
Uls. 1963:
Sometimes used in regard to a married woman. “Her name-father was —,” i.e. her maiden name was —.
(6) Fif. 1791 Session Papers, Heriot v. Heriot (22 March) 21:
She has frequently seen him there, being often at the house, Miss Heriot being her name-mother.
Nai. c.1890 Gregor MSS.:
The mother did not give the infant into the father's arms to be presented for baptism. This was commonly done by the “name-mother” and if she was not present by the midwife.
(7) Sc. 1760 Smollet Sir L. Greaves xii.:
God for ever bless your honour, I am your name-son sure enough.
Sc. 1824 S. E. Ferrier Inheritance xxvi.:
The Major was . . . flattered by the interest expressed for his little name-son.
Ags. 1893 F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. iv.:
“A name-son, too; is it not, George?” “Yes, sir; he's to be ca'ed George Forbes.”
(8) Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
He is “namespoken o'” for sicc and sicc a ting.
(9) e.Lth. 1908 J. Lumsden Th' Loudons 53:
When his name-uncle, the testator, died.
(10) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xviii.:
What business has a blackguard like you to ca' an honest woman's bairn out o' her ain name?
Lnk. 1885 F. Gordon Pyotshaw 125:
Calls everything oot o' its proper name.
Lnk.3 1938:
I never caad him oot o' his name, I never said anything against him.
(11) Ags. 1868 A. Whamond James Tacket xxxi.:
Gin it be a laddie we are gaun tae kaw it James for Tamas wad like you to get the name.
(12) (i) Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chron. (17 June) 3:
Baptism, kirsenin', or “giein't a name” was effected at home.
(13) Slk. 1829 Hogg Shep. Cal. I. iii.:
A names-gieing-in, whilk was, o' a' ither things, the ane neist to a wedding.
Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket xii.:
If ye . . . are willin' tae marry me, gie in oor names tae Mr M'Loofie on Saturday, tae be cried on Sunday.
(14) Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (25 Nov.):
For she had put his name intil the pottage pot, an' she'd tak' nae nasay, but he'd sup an' brak' breid wi' them.

Deriv. namie, full of names.Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb x.:
Readin' namie chapters oot o' the Word o' Gweed.

II. v. 1. As in Eng., in phrs.: (1) to name for, to call after (m.Sc., Uls. 1963). See For, prep., conj., I7.; in pass. to be named for, to have the reputation for (Sh. 1963); (2) to name to, of two people of different sex: to couple one name with another as sweethearts (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Also to name wi, id. (Kcb. 1963).(1) Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston v.:
She was named for me, or my grandmother at least.
Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane Scot. of our Fathers 31:
As regards Christian names there was always in Scotland a regular ritual. The eldest son was invariably “named for” the father's father.
(2) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxi.:
She may be rael prood to be name't to ye.
Abd. 1884 D. Grant Lays 92:
He joked an' flirted wi' the queans, He joked wi' a', was named to nane.

2. With neg.: to be unable to call by the right name from forgetfulness or failure to recognise (ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Ayr., Gall., Uls. 1963).Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair iv.:
I'm sure I've seen that bonie face, But yet I canna name ye.

3. To pronounce (a word).Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 62, 77:
A little gilpie o' a chap cudna name the word . . . Mony a rook they wad hae aboot the namin' o' the words.

[O.Sc. namefather, 1679.]

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"Name n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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