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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SANDIE, prop.n. Also Sandy; Sannie, -y, Sawnie, -(e)y, and in alternative dim. forms Sannock, Sa(u)nders, Sanners. Sc. hypocoristic forms and usages of the proper name Alexander. [′sɑndi, ′sɑni, ′sǫnɪ]

1. Used as a generic term for a young fellow, a chap, esp. a country man, a yokel. It was no doubt from this sense that was developed the 18th c. Eng. slang usage of the word to mean a Scotsman. This latter use is occas. found in Sc.Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 134:
Geneva trag an' burnin brannie, Gang slowly owre wi' Lawlan' Sannie.
Sc. 1815 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) IV. 117:
Mr Jeffrey, like myself and other gaping sawnies, has for some time been in France.
Bnff. 1847 A. Cumming Tales 4:
An' ay hae ti' your little sannocks, Hale duds o' claise, and dauds o' bannocks.
Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 91:
But blue surtout somebody tells, He grips the quarrelin' Sannocks.

2. The devil, Satan. Combs. auld Sandie (Abd. 1904 E.D.D.). Cf. Auld, 3., Sandie Fry, id.Ayr. 1786 Burns Halloween xxii.:
[She] first on Sawnie gies a ca', Syne bauldly in she enters.
m.Sc. a.1846 A. Rodger Poems (1892) 43:
She soon wad garr'd auld Saunders flee.
Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 90:
Sandie Fry Had got his sooty finger in the pie.
Rnf. 1898 J. M. Henderson Kartdale iii.:
What will auld Sanny think o' losing sic a rich morsel?

3. Combs. and phrs.: (1) Sandy Caddle = Eng. “Jack Robinson”. Caddle is a variant of the name Cadell or Calder; (2) Sandie Campbell, -Ca(w)(m)mel, Sawners-, a jocular name, freq. used as a taboo form, for a pig (ne.Sc. 1950). The allusion is to the boar's head crest on the coat-of-arms of the Campbells. Also in reduced form Sandie, Sanners, also used to mean pork or bacon (Kcb. 1929; Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Lnk. 1969); (3) Sandy Fry, see 2.; (4) Sannock Garner, appar. a sobriquet for the Devil. Cf. 2. above; (5) Sandy Monroe's verses, a Gaelic metrical version of parts of Scripture composed by the Rev. Alexander Munro (1605–53), minister of Durness (see quot. and Scott's Fasti (1928) VII. 101); (6) Sandy oat, a variety of oat formerly grown in ne.Scot. (see 1865 quot.); ¶(7) Sandie powp, the heron, Ardea cinerea (Kcd. 1969). Cf. lang Sandie, id., s.v. Lang, I. 6. (45); (8) Sannie siccar-soles, a very cautious, rather tight-fisted person (Abd. 1950). See Sicker; (9) Sandy-Tam, a soubriquet for whisky; (10) siller sawnie, see Siller, n., 1. Combs.(1) Kcd. 1889 Stonehaven Jnl. (14 Feb.) 3:
It was oot o' sicht afore ye could hae said Sandy Caddle.
(2) Lnk. 1818 A. Fordyce Country Wedding 205:
Ev'n Sawners Campbell squeaks dispair, Because he winna sell.
m.Lth. 1865 W. Hutchison Tales, etc. of Leith 332:
Should the idea of a cat or pig flit across their minds, and should necessity demand the utterance of their names, let the one be called “Theebet” and the other “Sandy”.
Ags. 1880 A. M. Soutar Hearth Rhymes 66:
Sae aff she gaed for Jeamy Fyffe, Tae come an' tak' puir “Sawney's” life.
Fif. 1886 A. Stewart Dunfermline 10:
Many of them had a “Sandy Campbell” for “kitchen” about Hairst Fair or Martinmas time.
Gall. 1897 R. Ringan's Plewman Cracks 9:
To keep Sanners o' the swine-ree in sonsie fettle.
wm.Sc. 1903 S. Macplowter Mrs McCraw 79:
A howp we'll a' be as weel prepared fur oor latter en' as the Sawnie Cammels he sticks.
Abd. 1957 (Boddam):
We had a bit o' Sandy tae oor denner.
(4) Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 91:
Altho' thou be but a callen, heth I'll rather ly wi' Sannock Garner.
(5) Cai. 1710 R. Wodrow Analecta (1842) I. 267:
He translated much of Scriptures into Irish verses, which are very common there yet to this day, under the name of “Sandy Monroe's Verses”, and the boyes get them by heart.
(6) Abd. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XII. 307:
Potato, early Angus, and what are called sandy oats: — these last, which are neither so late nor so tender as the potato, and produce, besides, a greater bulk, it is said, of straw for fodder, and a good mealing oat, seem now to be much in favour.
Sc. 1865 Jnl. Agric. 606:
The Sandy oat. Mr Lawson states that this variety was discovered in 1824–5 on the farm of Miltown [Rhynie] in Aberdeenshire, by a herd-boy named Sandy Tampson, who first saw it growing upon a recently formed bank of soil. The Sandy oat is better for late districts than the potato, and although it does not yield so much in meal, it is nevertheless esteemed by the millers. The grain is smaller than the potato oat, the straw is stiff, tall, and not easily lodged, and the grains are not so apt to be shed.
ne.Sc. 1956 W. M. Findlay Oats 33:
This new oat was known at first as Sandy's oat, but later on as just “Sandy”. Sandy is certainly somewhat similar to what the Red oat was.
(9) e.Lth. 1899 J. Lumsden Poems 132:
Pure “Sandy-Tam” was aye his drink, The same that's ca'd the “Auld-Kirk” noo.

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"Sandie prop. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2024 <>



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