Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TANE, pron. Also taen (Ayr. 1816 A. Boswell Works 149; Lnk. 1904 I. F. Darling Songs from Silence 103); tain (Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 26; Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 23); teen (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 7; Abd. R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert iii.; ne.Sc. 1972), tene (Abd. 1901 Banffshire Jnl. (12 Feb.) 8), tien. [m. and s.Sc. ten, ne.Sc., Ags. tin]

1. As a reciprocal pron., gen. in conjunction with the (t)ither: (the) one (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.; Per., Ayr. 1915–23 Wilson; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc. Cf. Tae, adj. Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 28:
The tane to had the grots The tither to had the meal.
Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 9:
The tane may sair the tither fu' well.
Ayr. 1789  Burns Elegy on 1788 13:
The tane is game, a bluidy devil.
Sc. 1803  Scott Minstrelsy III. 239:
The tane unto the t'other say.
Rxb. 1826  A. Scott Poems 51:
The ta'ne a bitch, a dog the tither.
Abd. 1884  D. Grant Lays 55:
The tane wad tell a funny tale, The tither sing a song.
Lth. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 131:
No that he ever did the tane or the tither.
Gall. 1900  R. J. Muir Mystery Muncraig 55:
The tane gave a short skirl and the 'tither gae a skrach.
Uls. 1953  Traynor Gl.:
Tane tould tother he leed, and the battle riz.
Ags. 1958  Forfar Dispatch (9 Jan.):
The tien hez my mither's hair in't.

2. Used elliptically for “either the one or the other.” Rxb. 1927  E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 21:
Hei's uncih lang i comin. Hei's no weel or hei canna wun — the tain.

[The form arises from wrong division of Early N. Mid.Eng. þat ane, that one > þe tane. O.Sc. the tane, a.1400, Mid.Eng. and Eng. dial. (the) tone.]

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"Tane pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jan 2020 <>



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