Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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THAE, pron., adj. Also thay (Sc. 1808 Jam.); thea (Rnf. a.1901 Poems and Ball. Kilbarchan (Lyle 1929) 52), theae (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 182), they (Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 29; Sc. 1867 N. Macleod Starling (1881) ii.; s.Sc. 1933 Border Mag. (April) 60; Sc. 1953 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 450). [ðe:]

I. pron. The pl. form of that, those (Sc. 1808 Jam.; s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Uls. 1953 Traynor; m. and s.Sc. 1972). Sc. 1713  Answer to Queries on Address of Episc. Clergy in Edb. 11:
They of them that had the Courage to creep out on the Lord's Day.
Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 28:
The saddle's nane o' my ain, An thae's but borrow'd boots.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 211:
Wi' thoughts like thae your heart may sairly dunt.
Ayr. 1790  Burns Tam o' Shanter 151–2:
Now Tam! O Tam! had thae been queans, A' plump and strappin in their teens!
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man I. v.:
Hech! an Charlie Scott had a' thae.
wm.Sc. 1834  College Album 131:
Exceedin'ly dark mornin's thae, Sir.
Per. 1857  J. Stewart Sketches 103:
Hills rise owre hills in countless nummer, Thae clad wi' heather, thir wi' tummer.
Edb. 1906  V. Spiganovicz Night Life 17:
“Away! d'ye ken they?” exclaimed another boy.
Ags. 1945  Scots Mag. (Feb.) 335:
Thae were the kind o' thochts bummin' through my heid.

II. adj. 1. Those (Sc. 1808 Jam.; m. and s.Sc. 1972). In the northern dialects the pl. is gen. not distinguished from the sing. (see That). Sc. 1724  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 81:
How be thay Faes we are undone, That staw the sacred Stane frae Scone.
Ayr. 1785  Burns Scotch Drink xix.:
Thae curst horse-leeches o' th' Excise.
Mry. 1806  J. Cock Simple Strains 87:
Like thae Gowks, wha ser' the De'il.
Sc. 1815  Scott Guy M. xxii.:
Clavering about thae auld-warld stories.
Slk. 1820  Hogg Winter Ev. Tales II. 242:
The tears ran down ower thae auld wizzened cheeks.
Sc. 1887  Stevenson Underwoods 109:
They ither folk, for richt or wrang, They suffer, bleed, or dee.
Ags. 1899  Barrie W. in Thrums v.:
Hoo could thae twa hae been fechtin'?
Bnff. 1934  J. M. Caie Kindly North 59:
Thae rosetty trees, foo they blaudit yer claes.
Sc. 1951  Scots Mag. (Sept.) 454:
The Board needna think this Council's gaun tae lie doon while they mak a' thae potholes.

2. Occas. used for Eng. these. These and those are often confused by Sc. speakers. Rxb. 1897  J. Dibdin Border Life 96:
He's been gane thae twa hoars an' mair.
m.Sc. 1922  J. Buchan Huntingtower viii.:
It's been my cheese-box thae thirty year.

[O.Sc. tha(i), those, 1375, the northern form corresponding to southern Eng. tho, later those, O.E. ðā, pl. of se, the, that.]

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"Thae pron., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



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