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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SIDE, n., v. Also syde and dim. forms sidie (Ayr. 1901 G. Douglas Green Shutters xxi.), -(e)y (see I. 3.). Sc. forms and usages. [səid, sɑed]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., in Sc. phrs.: (1) aw yea side, a call in the Jedburgh ball-game (see quot.); (2) by the side, on the sly, surreptitiously; (3) i' da nicht or saison, etc., side, in the course of the night, season, etc., during the . . . (Sh. 1970); (4) to keep an open side wi', to leave open a way of escape from; (5) to keep one's ain side, to hold one's own, to keep one's end up; (6) to tak a side, to take part, participate, join the company.(1) Rxb. 1907 Border Mag. (Oct.) 184:
Three or four or more of one side get into something resembling “a maul” at Rugby football, and try to smuggle “The Ba'” away. The warning cry is raised “Aw yea side,” and others of the opposite side rush in to spoil the conspiracy.
(2) Sc. 1715 A. Pennecuik Works 92:
I ken your Warping and your Winding, To haill a Hundred by the Side.
(3) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (6 April, 20 Aug., 10 Dec.):
Diel set i' my haands whin I tak edder spade or shivel ta da muir i' da saison side. . . . No a paek o' girse'll be apo' dem mair i' da saesin side. . . . Diel wird he'd sung i' da nicht side.
(4) Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xv.:
I'll keep an open side wi' him.
(5) Per. 1843 R. Nicoll Poems 100:
A tongue that could jeer, too, the little limmer had, Whilk keepit aye her ain side for bonnie Bessie Lee.
(6) Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 88:
Will ye tak' a side an' taste wi' us?

2. Combs.: (1) side-band, in a turf-wall: a sod laid longitudinally along the face so as to cover the ends of those laid transversely from the other side (see quot.) (Sh. 1970); (2) side-bar, a secondary bar formerly in the Outer House of the Court of Session, “at which the Lords Ordinary were in use to call their hand-rolls” (Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 916); (3) side-begotten, begotten out of wedlock, illegitimate (Bnff., Abd. 1930); (4) side-casting, the act of ploughing along the side of a slope, “a term applied when the fall of the ground runs across the gen. direction of the rig” (Per., Arg., Gall. 1970), also attrib. in comb. side-castin brae (Id.); (5) side-cut, a side-step, as a figure in a dance. Vbl.n. side-cuttin, side-stepping, deviation, in quot. of the irregular progress of a drunk man; (6) side-dyke, a wall running along the side of a piece of ground, gen. in tenements of land in a burgh, dividing neighbours' property. Hence to rin side-dykes wi, to march with (a neighbour), fig. to get on with amicably, to come to an agreement with. See also Rin; (7) side-ill, ¶sethill, a kind of paralysis in sheep “which makes them lean all to one side in walking” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., sethill); (8) side-langel, -le, v., to hobble or keep an animal from straying by tying the fore- and hind-leg together on one side (Slk. 1825 Jam.). Used fig. in quot. The corresp. n. is found in a n.Eng. dial.; (9) side-legs, adv., side-saddle, with both legs at one side of the horse (Sc. 1808 Jam., s.v. stridelegs; I., n.Sc., Per., Lth., Dmf., Rxb. 1970); (10) side-lichts, side-whiskers. Cf. slang Eng. side-wings, etc.; (11) side-plough, the old Orkney plough which had only one stilt and was driven by the ploughman from its left-hand side. Hist.; (12) side-school, a subsidiary school, gen. one in an outlying part of a parish, remote from the parochial school. Hist.; (13) sidesman, a third party, an arbitrator, umpire (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Ayr. 1970); (14) side-sowp, an extra drink (of liquor), “one too many”; (15) sidestap, a false step or trip, esp. one that sprains the foot or leg (Cld. 1880 Jam.; Abd. 1970); (16) side-tow, in pl.: the head- and ground-ropes of a herring-net (Abd. 1970); (17) side-wipe, an indirect censure or piece of sarcasm (Sc. 1887 Jam.). Also in Eng. dial.; (18) side-ye, the game of Shinty (see note s.v.) (Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 97).(1) Abd. 1777 J. Anderson Essays I. 11:
The through-band feal B, . . . this is put a-cross the ends of these length-ways, so as to form a side-band.
(2) Sc. 1708 Acts of Sederunt (1790) 226:
Each Lord shall continue at the side-bar for the space of ane hour only, except the Lord Ordinary upon the bills.
Sc. 1714 W. Forbes Decisions Pref. ii.:
In the Middle of the South-side of this Outer-House, at some Distance from the Wall, there is a Bar to which Advocates ascend by some Steps to plead, called the Fore-Bar, with respect to one less conspicuous on the East-side of the Hall, called the Side-Bar, where Causes formerly heard at the Fore-Bar are considered.
Sc. 1819 Blackwood's Mag. (Feb.) 564:
He should have stuck to side-bar quirks.
(5) Lnk. a.1832 W. Watt Poems (1860) 196:
After ane's gane a dozen or fourteen miles on a road (no to speak o' the side-cuttin' on't).
Dmf. 1923 G. Blake Mince Collop Close i.:
An artist in the double-shuffle and the side-cut.
(6) Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 16:
An' it's ill rinnin' side-dykes wi' you, I maun say't, Gin ye swap na wi' Benjie the Bookman.
(7) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 190:
I'se cut the craig o' the ewe That had amaist died of the side-ill.
(8) Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1874) 281:
I am settled, tied-up, tethered, side-langled — I am under a solemn engagement.
(9) Rxb. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xviii.:
Joan might ride into the castle sidelegs.
(10) Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 3:
Side-lichts on baid o his sheeks.
(11) Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XX. 249:
The Orkney side-plough, with one stilt, is universally used.
Ork. 1841 Trans. Highl. Soc. 131:
There is no such implement now to be seen as the old Orkney side-plough.
Ork. 1912 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 19:
The first ploughs, called side ploughs, were made wholly of wood, excepting a small bit of iron on the toe of the sock and coulter.
(12) Abd. 1840 I. J. Simpson Education Abd. (1947) 113:
The master of the side school of St Combs was paid £25 13s 6d.
Sc. 1863 Good Words 727:
In the more distant valleys where even the small side-schools could not penetrate.
Cai. 1869 M. McLennan Peasant Life xvii.:
The Testament, and next “the Bible”, are regular class-books — the Old Testament being usually read in the most advanced class in “side schools.”
Sh. 1957 Scotsman (26 Nov.) 6:
The side-schools in Shetland came to be looked on as centres of communal life and thought. People had a homely interest in their own particular side-school.
Lnk. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 512:
In Carluke there was quite a number of private and side schools in the middle of the last century.
(14) Kcb.4 1900:
He's had a side-sowp the nicht, i.e. too much drink.
(17) wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 212:
Ye like to hae a bit side wipe at us Paisley folks.

3. In dim. forms sideack, a loop on a horse's straw-pannier or half-lade (see Half, II. 1. (13)) for lifting it by (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Marw. suggests this to be a reduced form of side-hank (see Hank, n.1); sidie, -(e)y, in adv. phr. sid(i)e for sidie, side by side, step for step (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 427) and comb. sidieweys, side-e-ways, sidiewyse, sideways. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc.Dmf. 1808 R. Cromek Remains 285:
Thae twa bade a stricken hour thegither sidie for sidie.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Confessions (1874) 518:
They say the deil's often seen gaun sidie for sidie w'ye.
Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 32:
Glenbuckie, whare the minister an' the cottar gang side for sidey.
m.Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 248:
We gaed sidey-for-sidey through the park.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (19 June) 529:
We were constantly thegither for months, sidy for sidy, on oor high three-leggit stules.
Ags. 1958 Forfar Dispatch (30 Jan.):
Fin I tried the middle, I skitit back the wey or sidieweys — never forrit.
m.Sc. 1991 Robert Alan Jamieson A Day at the Office 72:
Her mother dips a rich tea in her cup.
'So you're alright are you, Helen?' peeking at her side-e-ways.
wm.Sc. 1991 Liz Lochhead Bagpipe Muzak 25:
Margo McDonald spruced up her spouse for thon Govan By-Election
The voters they selectit him in a sideyways left defection,
The Labour man was awfy hurt, he'd dependit on the X-fillers
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 1:
"Slawer, quine, slawer gyaun doon the brae," crawed auld Attie Coutts, cockin his wizzen craig sidiewyse, like a hoodie ower a tasty corp.
wm.Sc. 1998 Alan Warner The Sopranos (1999) 1:
Fionnula (the Cooler) spoke that way, last words pitched a little bit lower with a sexyish sideyways look at none of the others.

4. Direction, district, region, gen. following a place-name used attrib. (Sh., Cai., Kcd., em.Sc.(a), Ayr., sm.Sc. 1970). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 177:
I'm new come frae Dumbarton-side.
Sc. 1810 Scott Lady of Lake ii. xxviii.:
The King's vindictive pride Boasts to have tamed the Border-side.
Ayr. 1868 J. K. Hunter Artists' Life 24:
She came aff Tarbolton side.
Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid xxxii.:
A wherry that had approached from Cowal side.

II. v. To arrange, sort, tidy up, put in order. Also in n.Eng. dial.Dmf. 1847 J. W. Carlyle Letters (Bliss 1949) 182:
Siding drawers and locked places, which I left in the disgracefullest confusion.

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"Side n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Mar 2023 <>



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