Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
1. Not, as the adv. negativing a v., adj. or adv. (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 136; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 228; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen. (exc. n.) Sc., though freq. adopted by n.Sc. writers as a liter. usage. More emphatic than the enclitic -Na. Freq. also in double neg. constructions. Cf. Nae, adv.
Sc. 1703 Toleration Defended 18:
The Book of may-bees is no more, but just as broad as the Book of may-no-bees. Mry. 1710 Boharm Parish Mag. (Aug. 1897):
The Session after consideration thought fitt no to refuse the offer. Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. ii.:
Ye'll no let the wee thing tak the Air. Sc. c.1770 Herd's MSS. (Hecht 1904) 183:
I can drink and no be drunk, I can fight and no be slain. Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
Bluid's thicker than water; and it liesna in kith, kin, and ally, to see motes in ilk other's een if other een see them no. Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals Intro.:
I therefore counsel you, . . . no to lend your ears to those that trumpet forth their hypothetical politics. m.Lth. 1837 Misty Morning 20:
I houp he's no nane the waur o' his doukie. Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 40:
Tak' atent at ye deu no' believe some day tae your cost. Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister x.:
Have you on your Sabbath shoon or have you no on your Sabbath shoon? Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. Hermiston viii.:
Oh, my dear, that'll no dae! Bwk. 1900 A. T. G. Ann. Thornlea 100:
A'm no bad, maister, amn't a no? Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Jooly 7):
Come no ower near a mare wi a foal at her fit. Fif. 1929 A. Taylor Bitter Bread 151:
And I doubt ye'll no' can help that. Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle II. xiii.:
What was't he said, “a loyal wife and devoted mother,” wasn't no? Ags. 1964 D. Phillips Hud Yer Tongue 34:
Yer mither's brah sideboard disna' hae bonnie wee drahrs like Granny's dresser, disn't no'?
Freq. with adjs., advs., etc., to form quasi-combs. and to give an impression of understatement or qualified admission or approval, where Eng. would use a positive construction, e.g. no bad, pretty good, no but, only, just (cf. dial. Eng. nobbut), no canny, -chancy, risky, unlucky, tempting Providence, no easy, difficult to master, smart, quick-witted (Arg. 1930), no far, near, no weel, ill (Gen.Sc.). no wise, -wice, foolish, mad. See also and for other exx. under the second element.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xii.:
But hark, what's that? Surely my father is no weel? Sc. 1825 Jam.:
That's like a no-wyss body. Lnk. 1873 J. Nicholson Wee Tibbie's Garland 72:
The no-weel lassie's dream. Lnk. 1880 W. Grossart Shotts 263:
The witch's-thorn of popular superstition, which it was thought “no canny” to remove. Sc. 1887 Jam.:
I've nobut saxpence. Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums iv.:
“Yer mother's no weel,” he said to Leeby. Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
She has 'er ain adaes, wi' a no-weel man. Lth. 1930 J. Cockburn Country Love 89:
Or if some bairn should be noweel . . . They rin tae you for auld wife skeel. Arg.2 1931:
He's that quick wi his tongue that whiles he's no canny. It's no canny tae be speakin lake that. Arg. 1936 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 21:
She's no easy that yin: ye should hae heard her last nicht. Ye'll hae tae watch yersel' when yer dealin' wi' that lot: they're no easy. Lnk. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 609:
Traditional country phrases (like “fair no weel”, signifying a certain stage in incipient illness).
2. = Do or does not, will not, with absorption of the auxiliary (s.Sc. 1887 Jam.; Edb. 1964). Rarely with omission of verb to be.
s.Sc. 1835 Wilson's Tales of the Borders I. 119:
It's weel for ye that no kens what it is to be a footba' at your ain fireside. s.Sc. 1873 D. S. C. S. 228:
He no can. m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xii.:
I no' mind o' ever hearin her say onythin o' the sort. Ags. 1895 Caledonia I. 309:
Eat her up, man, an' no haiver. Bwk. 1906 D. McIver Eyemouth 183:
The old woman covered her eyes with one hand, saying: “A no want to see the man that put ma Wullie in prison.” e.Lth. 1924 I. Adair Glowerower 90:
“I no want onything,” I said.
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"No adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Jul 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/no>
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