Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ONDING, n., v. Also ondin'. [′ondɪŋ]

I. n. 1. A heavy, continuous fall of rain or snow, a downpour (Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales (1869) 129; Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 95; ne.Sc., em.Sc. (a), Ayr., Wgt., s.Sc. 1964). ¶Also attrib. with snaw (Dmf. 1902 A. E. Maxwell Lilts 56). Cf. ding-on s.v. Ding, II. 2. Abd. 1774 C. Keith Farmer's Ha' xix.:
Rain we'll hae, Or on-ding o' some kind at least.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
Onding's better than black weet, i.e., Snow is to be preferred to rain.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian viii.:
“Look out, Jock; what kind o' night is't?” “On-ding o' snaw, father.”
Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums xv.:
If the on-ding still continued, clods of earth toppled from the garden dyke into the ditch.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy l.:
Snaw, an onding o' snaw.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 47:
Life canna aye be yae onding o' snaw.
Abd. 1958 Abd. Ev. Express (2 Aug.):
The “on-ding” of last week-end and the floods that followed.

2. Fig. An assault, attack, onset, outburst, of noise, talk, etc. Kcb. 1893 Crockett Raiders iv.:
The on-ding of their ill tongues.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xvi. 14:
The anger o' a king is like the on-ding o' daith itsel.
Edb. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 7:
At streek o' day, ae canty Spring, Tam wauken'd to the birds' onding.
Gall. 1932 A. McCormick Galloway 77:
As he cam' forrit he cried, “What's a' that dreadfu' ondin' in the lum?”

II. v. 1. To rain or snow heavily (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 228). Vbl.n., ppl.adj. ondingin(g). Sc. 1825 Jam.:
There'll be a heap o' ondingin.
Abd. 1869 G. Gall MS. Diary (11 Jan.):
Very cold and thick: I am sure we will have ondinging.
Abd. 1893 G. Macdonald Heather & Snow xxii.:
Throu the ondingin flauchter o' the snaw.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed Dedic.:
Yestreen, when wild ondingin' O' snaw swept up Tweedsmuir.

2. Fig. As vbl.n., = n., 2. Mry. 1828 J. Ruddiman Tales 68:
The cauld glaff of that ondinging [of a sermon] has not left my inward parts to this blessed hour.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 58:
Fruid folks are bien, they kenna' the toons ondingin'.

[On-, pref.1, + Ding.]

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"Onding n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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