Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NATURAL, adj., n. Also na(i)t(e)ral, na(i)tril, naitural, nayteral, nettural. Sc. usages. [′net(ə)rəl]

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. Also used adv. = naturally. Gen.Sc. Bnff. 1847 A. Cumming Tales 97:
It's but nat'ral to ha'e a bit dearie.
Ags. 1870 Kirriemuir Obs. (1 July) 1:
[It] maun be a blouster to begin wi', an syne end in a natral death.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 191:
Wi' a naitral heich shooder, an' a muckle limp.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xxx.:
I cannae lee, Alan, I cannae do it naitural.
Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 80:
We've plenty o' naitral intakes [cheats] without importin' ony.
Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes i.:
Yin wunners hoo it is that cheery whusslin' comes naitral to them.
Sc. 1930 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 189:
A bird that speaks like a buddy is no' nateral.

Hence (1) naiterally, adv., naturally; (2) natural(i)ty, n., (i) natural feeling or conduct, natural affection springing from kinship, sympathy (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (ii) natural ability. Obs. in Eng. from 17th c. (1) Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 131:
They naiterally dinna want tae use their ain folk.
Abd. 1927 T. McWilliam Around the Fireside 68:
It's nae that I'm the waur o' drink — it's jist that I'm naiterally steepid.
(2) (i) Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xcix.:
I was vexed when I thought he was dead, and that I should have so h.ttle naturality — strangely, at times, fancifying as if he could come back.
Sc. c.1830 J. W. Carlyle Early Letters (1889) 173:
It is almost worth while to have a sore throat “at a time” to rouse lethargic friends into naturality.
Sc. 1858 D. Webster Sc. Haggis 161:
Circumstances have naething altered the naturality of my heart.
(ii) Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. 38:
He was a capital hand at blauds of scripture — citing texts as if they came to him by naturality.

Combs. and Phrs.: (1) naitral-he(h)rtit, (i) kindly, affectionate (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 117; Uls. 1953 Traynor, Uls. 1963). Hence naitral-hehrtitness, kindliness, affection (Gregor); (ii) of soils: naturally fertile, producing a rich growth (Ib.); (2) nateralpox, smallpox, naturally contracted as opposed to the inoculated cow-pox; (3) natural philosophy, the study of physical science, physics. Obs. in Eng. since the middle of the 19th c. but still surviving from medieval usage as the formal name of the subject and the chair connected with it in the Scottish universities; (4) natural possession, in Sc. Law: the possession or occupation of property by the proprietor himself as opposed to civil possession, i.e. occupancy by a tenant, etc. (Sc. 1927 Gloag and Henderson Intro. Sc. Law 389). (1) Cai. 1871 M. MacLennan B. Blake i. iv.:
She's a verra bonny an' natral-hairted lass.
Abd. 1882 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 34:
A richt naitral-herted creatur . . . a' her days.
(2) Fif. 1899 Proc. Philos. Soc. Gsw. XXXI. 40:
Nateral pox is rare, as most children have been inockilate.
(3) Sc. 1708 A. Bower Hist. Univ. Edb. (1817) II. 71:
In the first of these classes, the students be taught logic and metaphysics; and, in the last, a compend of ethics and natural philosophy.
Sc. 1747 R. G. Cant Univ. St Andrews (1946) 89:
Three Professors of Philosophy, whereof one to be Professor of Logic, Rhetorick, and Metaphysicks, another to be Professor of Ethicks and Pneumaticks, and the third to be Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy.
Gsw. 1798 J. Denholm Glasgow 208:
In the fifth session, Natural and Experimental Philosophy, the Mathematics, and the private Moral Philosophy, complete their course as gown students.
Sc. 1884 A. Grant Univ. Edb. II. 353:
The Chair of Natural Philosophy . . . according to a tradition derived from 1708, was considered the Senior Chair in the Arts curriculum.
Abd. 1929 K. E. Trail Reminisc. Old Aberdeen (1952) 104:
All the subjects were compulsory for all students; they were Humanity or Latin, Greek, English, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Logic, Moral Philosophy, and Natural Science.
Sc. 1964 Univ. St. Andrews Gen. Council Agenda (25 Jan.) 5:
A Double Honours Course in Astronomy with Natural Philosophy; instead of the latter phrase, the word “Physics” should be used, as is already the case in the Regulation in question.
(4) Sc. 1722 W. Forbes Institutes I. ii. 77:
Possession is commonly distinguished into natural, and civil Possession. Natural Possession is the having or using a Thing naturally and corporally by our selves.
Sc. 1747 Caled. Mercury (21 July):
Certain Parts of the Lands of Drongan and Sheill, lying in the Shire of Air, which were in the natural Possession of the late Earl of Stair.
Lnk. 1799 Edb. Wkly. Jnl. (20 Jan.) II. 40:
If there are any persons who would rather wish to have the natural possession . . . the proprietor is willing to treat for a sale.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 754:
Natural possession is where the proprietor is himself actually in possession, as of lands by cultivation, and by sowing and reaping the crops; of a house, by inhabiting it; of moveable, by having them in the hand or in his custody.

2. Of the weather: pleasant, genial, mild, open (ne.Sc. 1825 Jam.).

3. In full possession of one's wits or senses, normal. Gall. 1714 Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) I. 347:
The Session considering that the said William is not very natural and declared he knew not the day he gave the offence was the Sabbath day, he was exhorted and dismissed.

4. Golf: in the same number of strokes, with the same score as one's opponent for the hole. Edb. 1862 R. Chambers Rambling Remarks 10:
A put his ball into the second hole possibly in five strokes, and B in the same number (the like, natural).

II. n. A natural philosopher; naturally clever person (ne.Sc. 1963). Lnk. 1838 J. Morrison M'Ilwham Papers 20:
I hae aye heard that ye wur great at mental pheelosophy; an' I aye thocht ye mair o' a natral, also than to mistak a Craw for a Corby.

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"Natural adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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