Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

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?

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.; (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-, 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), 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.
(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.
(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.
(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?”
(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.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Onie adj., pron., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: