Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SCORN, n., v. Also scoarn. Sc. usages:

I. n. With def. art.: 1. alliterating with skaith, esp. in phr. to get the skaith and the scorn, to suffer both injury and insult. Sc. 1755  S. Johnson Dict. s.v. scath:
He bears the scath and the scorn.
Sc. 1819  Scott Leg. Montrose iv.:
I shall be ill enough off, getting both the scaith and the scorn.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie iii.:
I told you, the ill deedy pyet would bring you into baith scaith and scorn.
s.Sc. 1839  Witson's Tales of the Borders V. 163:
There will be sma' skaith though meikle scorn.
Sc. 1864  Carlyle Frederick xv. iv.:
Let us take the scathe and the scorn candidly home to us.
Uls. 1892  Ballymena Observer (E.D.D.):
A'll no' tak' baith the scaith an' the scorn.

2. A snub, a repulse, a brusque rejection, esp. of a wooer (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Sc. c.1746  Hogg Jacob. Relics (1821) II. 464:
I was a young farmer, in Scotland born, And frae a young lassie had gotten the scorn.
Sc. 1827  G. R. Kinloch Ballad Book 76:
She paid it doun, and brought him hame, And gien them a' the scorn.
m.Lth. 1897  P. H. Hunter J. Armiger xi.:
D'ye mean to say she's gien him the scorn?

3. Derivs.: (1) scornfu, (i) scornful. Gen.Sc.; (ii) icy, slippery, treacherous to the footing (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), skor(e)nfu). Cf. (2) (ii); (2) scornsum, (i) = (1) (i). Used adv. in quot.; (ii) = (1) (ii). In the meaning ‘slippery' the word may have been formally adapted to scorn from some different word unidentified. There may be some notion of ice mocking one's carefulness in walking. (2) (i) Wgt. 1912  A.O.W.B. Fables 33:
She glanced Scornsum an' prood upon the worm.
(ii) Sh. 1866  Edm. Gl.:
Scornsum-ganging. Slippery walking on the ice.

II. v. 1. With at: to jeer, scoff (Sh. 1969). Obs. in Eng. Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 20:
But a' that he cou'd say or do, She geck'd and scorned at him.
Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxxiii.:
She gecked and scorned at my northern speech and habit.
Rnf. 1861  J. Barr Poems 16:
She scorned at Jock.

2. Phr. to scorn the kirk, to withdraw from a proposed marriage after banns have been proclaimed. Also in n.Eng. dial. Sc. 1709  W. Steuart Collections ii. v. § 10:
The resiling of parties after proclamation, is commonly called among us, a scorning of the kirk, though the injury or affront redounds mostly against themselves, and not so much upon the congregation.
Ayr. 1896  J. Lamb Ann. Ayr. Par. 156:
The refusal to marry after proclamation was known as ‘Scorning the Kirk'.

3. To tease or rally, esp. a girl, wi (about) a lover (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Sc. 1769  D. Herd Sc. Songs 338:
At boughts i' the morning nae blyth lads are scorning, The lasses are lonely, dowie, and wae.
Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 10:
Ay after that they scorned me that I wad be married on a you.
Ags. 1853  W. Blair Aberbrothock xix.:
She was a bonny lookin' cummer an' was skorned wi' a twa three younkers i' the toon.

4. To ridicule by mimicry, to burlesque, mock (Sh., Ork. 1969). Sh. 1879  Shetland Times (16 Aug.):
Hit's no weel settin' o' you t' be scornin' dem 'at's awa' frae wis.
Sh. 1959  New Shetlander No. 51. 30:
Gibbie can fairly scoarn da Yanks efter bein oot in Canady sae lang.

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"Scorn n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2019 <>



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