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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SURCOAT, n. Also -koat, ¶surt-coat. Sc. forms and usage of Eng. surcoat, an upper or outer coat, orig. worn over armour with heraldic insignia embroidered on it: in Sc. a kind of short under-waistcoat, somewhat like the modern cardigan; a fisherman's jersey (Kcd. 1971). [′sʌrkət]Abd. 1763 Aberdeen Jnl. (4 April):
A Blue and White stripped Coat uppermost and a White Plaiden Surcoat under it.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 145:
In the days they ca'd yore, gin auld fouks had but won, To a surkoat hough-side for the winning o't.
Kcd. 1775 J. A. Henderson Banchory-Devenick (1890) 237:
To buy a surt-coat to Annie Buchan, 4/5½.
Ags. 1818 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 235:
Next to his shirt he wears an under vest, absurdly enough termed a surcoat.

[The Sc. meaning has appar. developed through the influence of sarket, an undershirt, s.v. Sark, with which Jam.5 confuses it.]

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"Surcoat n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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