Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SECOND, adj., n. Also secont (Sc. 1812 The Scotchman 56; Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 6; Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 52; Fif. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 263); secunt (Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life III. 221); saicant (Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 6), saicand (Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff v.), seecond (Lth. 1799 J. Adams Pronunc. Eng. Lang. 152). Sc. forms and usages. [′sekənt, Per., Fif. + ′sikənt]

I. adj. 1. In reference to the storeys of a house, applied to the storey immediately above the ground floor, called first in Eng. Gen.Sc., obsol. See First, 2. (1). Abd. 1760 Abd. Journal (15 Dec.):
Upon the Ground or first Flat, one Kitchen; Second Flat, two good Bedrooms.
Sc. 1799 Edb. Weekly Jnl. (13 March) 86:
On the ground and second floors.
Per. 1831 Perthshire Advert. (22 Dec.):
Drawing Room, principal Bed Room, and Dressing Closet, with a Water Closet, and Napiery Presses, in the second floor.
Fif. 1864 St. Andrews Gazette (19 March):
There are two large rooms on the ground flat, but the largest and most public room of the establishment, is that on the second flat.

2. Combs.: †(1) second-bell, see quot.; (2) second-handed, -han't, second-hand, derived from a previous owner (Sc. 1799 W. Mitchell Scotticisms 44). Gen. (exc. I.) Sc., now only dial. in Eng.; (3) second-hearing, an extra-sensory faculty whereby the sound of a person's voice, footsteps, etc. is heard in anticipation of the actuality. Cf. (6) below and Norw. vardøger, for sim. belief; (4) second pair, the pair of horses worked by the second or assistant horseman on a farm (n.Sc., Ayr., Kcb. 1969). See Pair, 2.; (5) second seer, one who has second-sight (see next); (6) second sight, a supposed faculty or power of seeing distant objects or future events as actually present, prophetic vision; the image seen in second sight. Gen.Sc. Hence second sighted, possessed of this faculty; (7) second-working, in mining: in stoup-and-roum working, the removal of the pillars of coal left to support the roof (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 58). Also in n.Eng. usage. (1) Sc. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (Dec.) 276:
The second bell has rung. His breakfast o'er, ‘Sam' takes his Sunday station at the door. [Footnote] In country parishes the church bell is rung thrice, at 8, 10, and 12, when the congregation meets.
Cai. 1969:
In local church records there are frequent references in the 18th c. to delinquents against church discipline having to stand in the porch between the first and second bells.
(2) Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 100:
The old matron, as she appeared to be, like a second-handed goodwife.
Rnf. 1840 J. Mitchell Wee Steeple's Ghaist 42:
Naething can be counted braw That's second han't.
Sc. 1842 J. Aiton Domest. Econ. (1857) 73:
He sets about purchasing a houseful of trash — second-handed chairs.
wm.Sc. a.1930 N. Munro Looker-on (1933) 225:
Second-handed, of coorse. I'll no say they're new.
Edb. 1936 F. Niven Old Soldier xviii.:
I could not abide to wear second-handed clothes.
(3) Sc. 1815 C. I. Johnstone Clan-Albin I. ii.:
Ghosts, wraiths, warnings, fairy dreams, second sight, second hearing, &c., &c.
Sc. 1951 L. Spence Second Sight 177:
A case of “Second Hearing” accompanied by vision.
(4) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xv.:
A snippet horsie 't was i' the secont pair.
(5) Sc. 1777 Caled. Mercury (10 Feb.):
Thus if a man be dying, his image shall appear distinctly to a Second Seer, though he never saw his face before.
(6) Sc. 1707 J. Frazer Deuteroskopia Title:
A Brief Discourse concerning Second-Sight, commonly so-called.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. iii. ii.:
These second-sighted fowks See things far aff.
w.Sc. 1738 J. Chamberlayne Present State Scot. 126:
The Instances of the Truth of this Second Sight, as 'tis call'd, are so many, and so frequent, that it can scarcely be disputed.
Sc. 1763 “Theophilus Insulanus” Second Sight 35:
I am induced to think, that the Second Sight is not seen by the organ of the eye.
Sc. 1773 Boswell Journal (10 Nov.):
It is but just, however, to add, that the belief in Second-Sight is not peculiar to the Highlands and Isles.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Brigs of Ayr 73:
That bards are second-sighted is nae joke.
Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 205:
Second-sighted Sandy looked fu' wae.
Sc. 1827 Scott Highl. Widow v.:
Highland visions as unsatisfactory and vain as those of the second sight.
Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales of Glens 208:
Every dumbie has the possession o' the second-sicht.
Lnk. 1876 J. Nicholson Kilwuddie 39:
Surely she was second sichtit!
Sc. 1894 A. Lang Cock Lane 227:
Second Sight is only a Scotch name which covers many cases called telepathy and clairvoyance by psychical students, and casual or morbid hallucinations by other people.
Sc. 1908 N. Macrae Highl. Second-Sight 8, 19:
Although the Second-Sight is known to be a “possession” in the unhappy experience of numbers of persons of the present day in the Highlands, the “gift” is not so prevalent as formerly. . . . Second-Sighted men not only see and hear things relating to the future, but they can see, at times, the very beings themselves who bring the intelligence to them.
Sc. 1951 L. Spence Second Sight 16:
In the Scottish Highlands there was a fairly widespread belief that a seventh child, or the seventh child of a seventh child, was born with the Second Sight.

[O.Sc. second sicht, 1595, -sighted, 1682.]

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"Second adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Jun 2021 <>



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