Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SUNE, adv., adj. Also suin (Bwk. 1880 T. Watts Woodland Echoes 173; Uls. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxix.; Rxb. 1942 Zai), sön (Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Iktober 4)), seun (Dmf. 1873 A. C. Gibson Folk Speech Cmb. 118; Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 27); sin (Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 265; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein); ne.Sc. forms sein (Abd. 1759 F. Douglas Rural Love 24) seen (Abd. c.1700 J. Maidment Sc. Ballads (1859) 20; Bnff. 1871 Banffshire Jnl. (26 Dec.) 7; Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 8; Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories 95); and palatalised forms with [ʃ]; shune (Per., Fif. 1915–26 Wilson; Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 197), shüne (Sh. 1879 Shetland Times (2 Aug.)), shuin (Fif. 1949 Scots Mag. (June) 198), shön (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 209), syün (Sh. 1882 Gentleman's Mag. 370), sjün (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., 1931 Shetland Times (14 March) 7), shoon (Per. 1745 Hist. MSS. Comm. X. App. i. 128; Sc. 1776 Herd's MSS. (Hecht 1904) 224), shoune (Sc. 1745 Sc. N. & Q. (Dec. 1925) 213); shin (Gsw. 1904 J. J. Bell Jess & Co. viii.; Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Sc. 1931 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 420; em.Sc. and wm.Sc. 1971); sheen (Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings 98, Cai. 1971). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. soon (Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 53; Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xvii.; Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 32; Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums v.; Lth. 1920 A. Dodds Songs of Fields 6; Gall. 1934 Gallov. Annual 30). Compar. suner; sinner (Sc. 1865 Baron of Brackley in Child Ballads No. 203 add. 12); sunner (Dmb. 1894 D. MacLeod Past Worthies 183); seener (Abd. c.1803 D. Anderson Sawney and John Bull 8); shuner (Sc. 1709 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1925) II. 13; Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 20), shunner (Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket xi.; Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 108), shünner (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (6 Aug.)), shonner (Ork. 1710 H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 35); shooner (Arg. 1842 Children in Mines Report ii. i. 30). Superl. sunest, seenest, etc.; shoonest (Hdg. 1821 W. Smith Orig. Poems 71). [m.Sc. søn, syn, sɪn; ne.Sc. sin; I. and em.Sc., wm.Sc. ʃøn, ʃɪn; Cai. ʃin. See P.L.D. §§ 35, 128, 67.]

I. adv. 1. As in Eng. Sc. phrs.: (1) a lang road or far about tae win sune, seen hame, a round-about journey or way of doing things (Abd., Ags. 1971); †(2) how soon (as), as soon as (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 135). See Hoo, 1.(3); (3) not so soon, not yet (Ib. 137). (2) Sc. 1754 in H. Campbell Love Letters Mary Queen of Scots (1826) 192:
Cecil . . . had all in readiness to be published how soon the Duke should be beheaded.

2. Early, betimes, before it is late (Dmf. 1971). Obs. or dial. in Eng. Sh. 1971:
He rises sune and gengs tae bed sune.

Most commonly in phrs.: (1) late and sune, early and late, at all times; (2) sune as syne, sooner rather than later, soon for preference (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 227; m.Lth., Lnk. 1971). Conversely syne as sune, id.; (3) sune or late, sooner or later, inevitably (Sh. 1971); (4) sune or syne, id. See also Syne. (1) Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 37:
On you I've paddit late an' sune. Dmf. 1863 R. Quinn Heather Lintie 164: See yer dochter's sickly dwinin', Factory victims late and sune. (2) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvi.: Let it be when ye come back again, as gude syne as sune.
Dmf. 1847 J. W. Carlyle New Letters (1903) I. 235:
He is as well to tell you “soon as syne.” Uls. 1862 Uls. Jnl. Arch. VI. 43: An' as well soon as syne, a may tell ye. Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 18: As weel “sune as syne,” or we'll never see it half finished.
(3) Lnk. 1882 A. L. Orr Laigh Flichts 43:
He'll get the auld rogue sune or late.
(4) Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace xii. iii.:
Each Rogue . . . Shall be discov'red soon or syne.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xxxvii.:
It wadna ha'e signified the difference between fourpence and a groat whether ye proposed that plan o' yours sune or syne.
Gsw. 1865 J. Young Homely Pictures 61:
'Tis a gaet we a' maun gang, Or sune, or syne. Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 12: Be it sune or syne.

II. adj. 1. With of: early for, in advance of. Dmf. 1776 Dmf. Weekly Mag. (6 Aug.) 288:
She [ship] was too soon of the tide which was the cause of her foundering.

2. Quick, direct, near, freq. in superl. (Sh., Cai., Ags., Per. 1971). Obs. exc. dial. in Eng. Sc. 1825 Jam.:
The soonest gait — the nearest road. Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 49: Which is the soonest way to the railway station?
Dmf. 1967:
A sune road — a short cut.

[O.Sc. has schone, 1551, schune, a.1578.]

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"Sune adv., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2021 <>



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