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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.

ONIE, adj., pron., adv., n. Also on(n)y. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. any. [′one]

I. adj., pron. 1. As in Eng. Gen.Sc.Peb. 1707 Peebles Burgh Rec. (B.R.S.) 175:
John Hunter, officer, had keeped him eight or ten dayes befor without ony help.
Sc. 1733 W. Thomson Orpheus Caled. ii. 110:
Willy heght to marry me, Gin e'er he marry'd ony .
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 16:
As onie kurch his hair baith white and lang Like tap o' lint down o'er his shoulders hang.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Auld Mare iii.:
[Thou] could hae flown out-owre a stank Like onie bird.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. ix.:
Just that ye suld speer ony gentleman hame to dinner.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 19:
I speered him gin he hed ony hand i' hid.
Dmf. 1898 E. Bogg Border Country 326:
He . . . gied a grunt like onny soo.
Ags. 1899 Barrie W. in Thrums vi.:
It doesna do, mother, for the minister in the pulpit to nod to ony o' the fowk.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 26:
Dey might a hed a supper o' fresh fish, if ye'd geen hame in ony kind o' time.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 16:
Hes ony o ee ony on ee?
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 29:
It's closer noo, tho I canna yet
unfankle onie words.
Sc. 1991 Forbes Macgregor in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 17:
Mair dowf on eird there isna ony
Nor wee MacLean the circus pownie,
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 41:
Nae tairge I find is ony use against her,
Nae place to hide in frae thon nakit vision.

Phr.: onie o' the twa(e), either (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 77; Sh., ne. Sc., Ags., Per., s.Sc. 1964). See Twa. Obs. in Eng. from 16th c.s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 177:
Onie o' the twae o' them'll do.
Abd. 1929 Stories of Young Aberdeen 8:
He's nae a bit like ony o' the twa o' ye.

2. Hence in Combs.: (1) ony ane, -yin, -een, anyone (Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 130; Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 14). Gen.Sc. See Ane, Een; (2) ony bit, anywhere. See Bit; (3) on(n)y body, -buddy, anybody, anyone (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 260; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 15; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 257). Gen.Sc., also emdy, emdie; (4) ony-gate, -gait(s), (i) anyway, anyhow; (ii) anywhere (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 260; Abd. 1921; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Watson Cent. Scot. 257; em., sm. and s.Sc. 1964). See Gate, n., 3.; (5) onyhoo, -how (s.Sc.), anyhow. Gen.Sc. Phr. at ony how, id. (e.Sc. 1825 Jam.). See Hoo, adv.; (6) ony-place, anywhere; (7) onyrate, anyway, gen. in phr. at ony rate, id. (w.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 469; Edb. 1894 W. G. Stevenson Puddin' 108); (8) anyt(h)ing, on(n)ie-, anyhin, onythan, anything (Sc. 1827 Hind Etin in Child Ballads No. 41 B.; Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 211; Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson). Gen.Sc. Also adv., to any degree, in some measure; (9) onyway(s), -wae, -wy(e), -wey(s), oniwey, oanywie, oanyweh ( Dundee), anyhow, in any way, anywhere (Dwn. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of Sod v.; Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 11; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 260; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 257). Gen.Sc.; (10) onywhere, -whar(e), -whaur, anywhere (Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables 44). See Whaur; (11) ony which, any whatever, with influence from whichever. Tmesis of the above combs. is also freq. by the insertion of Ither = Eng. else, e.g. ony idder boddy (Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 53), ony ither gait (Abd. 1928 P. Grey Making of a King 21). See Ither, I. and III.(1) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 5:
Ony ane wham Fortune's wheel Has crusht wi' wae.
Wgt. 1912 A.O.W.B. Fables 12:
If onyane will dare To touch it, I wull choke him than an' there.
Sh. 1994 Laureen Johnson in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 168:
We fan Annie's graandmidder's death, June, 1945. Shö lay ida hoose for tree days afore onyeen fan her, poor body.
(2) Slk. 1912 H. J. C. Clippings from Clayboddie (1921) 54:
When a farmer was wondering whatever he would do with a bad and unsatisfactory field, “Saw't wi' factors,” said a gangrel body, “they'll thrive ony bit.”
(3) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. ix.:
And draw his salary, like Collector Snail, honest man, that never fashes onybody.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 17:
No' speakin' to onybody.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 23:
emdy Local pronunciation of anybody: 'Emdy else comin up the road?'
Gsw. 1988 Michael Munro The Patter Another Blast 22:
emdy's game If you come across an informal game of football and would like to join in, the popular etiquette is to ask 'Is it emdy's game?' ie is it anybody's game, can anybody play?
Edb. 1992:
Chap the door an see if emdy's in.
Gsw. 1993:
Emdie goat onie fags?
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 210:
'I could hae had a horse frae onybody, tae lend or hire.'
(4) (i) Dmf. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 221:
Onygate I'se no pretend to mair than I ken.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 14:
That's my price, onygate.
(ii) Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.:
If we're no sae bien and comfortable as we were up yonder, yet life's life ony gate.
Sc. 1934 Gallov. Annual 11:
She tint ane o' her gerss-green shoon and couldna find the same onygait.
(5) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. liv.:
He's gaun to die game ony how.
Sc. 1924 Edb. Ev. News (5 June) 4:
An' then to him wha next I met Said I you've no won ony hoo.
(6) Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Betty Blether 49:
We didna gang onyplace on the holidays.
(7) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxv.:
I'll no part wi' ye at ony rate.
(8) Sc. 1712 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1925) II. 31:
That is not nor can be my falt whill the lord allous me a thought of onnie thing.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 34:
I wad rather see the wean gin it be onything wally.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvii.:
Is there onything you would particularly fancy?
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 320:
Sae might I trive dat wad gae the muckle ferrylouper a gluff gin onyting wad fleg 'im.
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (12 April) 4:
I'm no gaunna say onything about the war this night.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 34:
hing 2 Broad Glaswegian version of thing: ... The final g is dropped in compound words like anyhin, everyhin ...
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 33:
The puir wally-draigle his ae fuit has liftit
syne stoppit afore he's oniethan duin.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web iii:
I didna draw jist onythin an aathin bit raither ferlies I wis smittit wi, ferlies that catchit ma thocht in their bonnieness or their feyness.
wm.Sc. 2000 Liz Lochhead Medea 4:
I dream of a dagger thrust in yon double bed
skewering the lovers thegither
I see the skailt blood of Kreon the king
she's capable of onything
(9) Sc. 1827 Scott Croftangry iii.:
Onyway, I wadna ha' liked to have offended Mr. Treddles.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 26:
Alang the lown side o' a dyke; Or outance, ony way they like.
Gall. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 169:
They wur ey dour, that kin' o' Gallawa folk, onywey.
ne.Sc. 1930 Scots Mag. (March) 428:
Gin it wis onyweys necessary.
Fif. 1952 B. Holman Behind the Diamond Panes 124:
It was then that he realised this and, looking at the crowd, now laughing, came out with the now famous expression, “Have you seen a band onywey?”
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 4:
"Weel, whit's mairrage bit a gamble onywey?" asked Mrs. Manson cynically.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 31:
Swats made nae bliddie corses oniwey,
in boattle, tankard, tassie, gless or joug.
Dundee 1990 Sheila Stephen in Joy Hendry Chapman 60 51:
" ... Jist iz Eh wiz thinkin aboot comin inside (it wiz gettin fell cald oanywie), Eh heard the wee Beetle car comin back. ... "
Dundee 1990 Sheila Stephen in Joy Hendry Chapman 60 52:
" ... Eh'v oanly been behin' meh mulk an' roalls there ulkie moarnin fir the past ileevn yeair. Oanyweh," she added, her voice softer, tinged with admiration, "Mr. Patel's a big-built man. Broahid shidders. A handsome man. ... "
Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 30:
Onieweys I think oor bairn's
made freens wi wan o them.
ne.Sc. 1996 W. Gordon McPherson in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 20:
" ... a lass in the hills up yonner maks ma bannocks, wi the lichtest han o a bannock i' aa the Nor'east - an that's ti say onywye else."
(10) Ayr. 1786 Burns Ep. to J. Smith xxix.:
Wi' you I'll scarce gang onie where.
Sc. 1858 Wilson's Tales of the Borders VIII. 250:
Important business to do, that maun be dune before I go onywhaur.
Rxb. 1913 Kelso Chron. (3 Oct.):
The snug and pretty town, With streets an' Square as clean and neat As onywhare ye'll see.
(11) Arg. 1951 Scots Mag. (March) 479:
And look at the wild bing o' stuff there is to tempt folk to come by the money ony which way.

II. adv. In any way, at all (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Edb., wm.Sc., Slk. 1964).Abd. a.1750 Garland of Bon-Accord (1886) 13:
Carlie can ye hushle ony?
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 34:
Like the wee bits a whalpies, nine nights auld before they had seen ony.
Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 172:
“Noo,” resumed his landlord, “can ye fish ony?”
wm.Sc. 1868 Laird of Logan 343:
Before I write ony, I'll tak' a sleep on the head o't.
Bnff. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (18 June) 8:
The fisher-covies dinna appear t' be ony feart.
Abd. 1956 People's Jnl. (10 March):
Great lochs o' watter stan'in' in parks that's ony laich at a'.

III. n. In football slang: a wild undirected kick at goal.Gsw. 1963 Scotsman (12 Aug.) 10:
Those Celtic shots were what they used to call in Glasgow “onies”, which meant that they could go “ony place at all.”

[O.Sc. ony, any, from 1375, the root vowel being apparently altered on the analogy of Monie, q.v.]

Onie adj., pron., adv., n.

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"Onie adj., pron., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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