Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SASSENACH, adj., n. Also Sassanoch, -enagh, Sasennach, -unnach; the form in the 1706 quot. represents the Sasunnaich. English, English-speaking, formerly also applied to the Lowlanders of Scotland; as a n., an Englishman or -woman. The word was orig. put in the mouths only of Highlanders but is now in somewhat jocular use throughout Scotland. [′sɑsənəx] Sc. 1706 Letters from E.C. to E.W. Concerning the Union 6:
We call them Sassanich, in Latin Saxi or Saxoni.
Sc. 1737 J. Drummond Memoirs Locheill (1842) 113:
The English (or “Sassanoch”, that is, Saxons, as they call them in their language).
Sc. 1771 Smollett Humphrey Clinker, Melford to Phillips (3 Sept.):
The Highlanders have no other name for the people of the Low country, but Sassenagh, or Saxons.
Sc. 1814 Scott Waverley xviii.:
He that lifts a drove from a Sassenach laird, is a gentleman-drover.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 52:
The Sass'nachs braw be our fock.
Sc. 1922 P. Macgillivray Bog Myrtle 13:
Up in the North where the Gael should be Lord, The heel of the Sasunnach turns.
Sc. 1964 Glasgow Herald (25 March) 8:
The rapacious, ambitious, selfish, or indifferent Scot, who, since the Clearances, has been much more potent than the wicked Sasennach in retarding the social and economic growth of Scotland.

[Gael. sasunnach, Saxon, English, an Englishman, an English-speaking Lowlander of Scotland, the Scots and English languages not being differentiated in Gael.]

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"Sassenach adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2021 <>



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