Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NESS, n. Also niss. A promontory, headland (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), as a common noun most freq. in I.Sc., but in Gen.Sc. use outside the Gaelic area as a place-name, e.g. Fife Ness, Buchan Ness, Tarbat Ness, Southerness, Skipness. Ork. 1706  W. Mackintosh Glimpses Kirkwall (1887) 47:
[They] went beneath the floodmark of the said ness.
Sh. c.1733  P.S.A.S. XXVI. 201:
That none keep scar sheep, except it be in holms or nesses.
Sh. 1897  J. Jakobsen Dial. Shet. 57:
Every headland, ness and point, every bay and bight.
Cai. 1909  D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 10:
He keepid 'r 'awa an' brocht up on 'e back 'e Niss.

Comb. nessland, the area of a headland. Nonce. Sh. 1949  P. Jamieson Letters on Sh. 30:
Whalsay has a fair depth of peat moor in various parts of the hills and nesslands.

[O.Sc. nes, as a common n., 1486, as a place-name, c.1150, O.N. nes, id.]

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"Ness n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <>



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