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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

USE, n., v. Also Sc. forms uise (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 23), üse (m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 26), yuise (Slk. 1899 C. M. Thomson Drummeldale 2; Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 9), ös (Sh. 1901 Shetland News (5 Jan.)); ¶yuhse (Rxb. 1912 Jedburgh Gazette (19 July)); the distinction between the voicing of the sibilant in the v. and the unvoicing in the n. and the consequent alteration in the vowel is freq. indicated by variations in spelling, as n., üs (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), (y)uice (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 23), yise (Edb. 1895 J. Tweeddale Moff 205), yiss (wm.Sc. 1932 A. H. Charteris When the Scot Smiles 271), yis-; as v., üz (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), uize (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 26), yaise (Rnf. 1920 J. Donald Greenock Charact. 68; Edb. 1928 A. Mackie In Two Tongues 23; Rxb. 1965 Hawick Express (7 July) 4; Ags. 1970 Dundee Courier (10 Dec.)), yaize, yase (Ags. 1964 D. Phillips Hud Yer Tongue 34), oese, oose (Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 34, 156). See P.L.D. § 35. For nm. and ne.Sc. forms see Eese, n., Eese, v., Yeese. [n. jøs, jus, jɪs; v. jø:z, jy:z, je:z, Sh. øz. Used to with the inf. is ′jɪste]

I. n. Sc. forms of Eng. use.Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 22:
"That wurno the wey I lukked at id. The wey I saa id, the horse couldno loss, an' I wid mak' fower thoosand five hunder pound, an' I wid gie Rupert his money back, wi' a peedie bit extra for the yeuse o'd."
Sc. 1989 Scotsman (13 May) 14:
His advice to his successors: "Stick to the old tradition. This bloody kind o' jazz, top of the pops, is nae uise avaa".
Ayr. 2000:
Ye're as much yiss as the fu o ma erse o beylet snaw.

Sc. usages: 1. A part of a sermon or homily devoted to the practical application of a doctrine, a specific precept drawn from a general theological principle. Obs. in Eng.Lnk. 1806 J. Black Falls of Clyde 224:
The old sermons consisted of a number of heads, after which follow the uses, or what we now call the application.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xviii.:
The discourse was divided into fifteen heads, each of which was garnished with seven uses of application.

2. Need, occasion, reason, followed by for, to (I.Sc., Cai., Ags. 1973). Obs. in Eng.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 32:
I had na use to gang Unto the glens to herd, this many a lang.
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 39:
The warld will still have use for you and me.
Sc. 1852 Tait's Mag. (July) 349:
Ye're before your time; ye had no use to come before harvest.
Sc. 1854 H. Miller Schools vii.:
There was no use, they said, for being in the Devil's Cave so late.
Fif. 1883 W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers iv.:
I was as near bein' rowed into a municipal contest as there was any use for.
Fif. 1998 Tom Hubbard Isolde's Luve-Daith 7:
An nou oor wark is dune, tho yit ti dae
Bi aa that hear oor tale:
Nae yuise remains fir Tristan an Isolde.

3. As in Eng.: custom, habit, practice. Sc. phrs.: †(1) as use is, as is customary; (2) to be in (the) use to (do something) or of (doing something), to be in the habit of (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 33). Rare and obs. in Eng.; (3) to gie one a bad uise, to show one a bad example (Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 23); (4) use and wont, the usual practice and procedure in certain circumstances. Orig. and still chiefly Sc. Also attrib.(1) Fif. 1705 St Andrews Baxter Bks. 153:
Who being presentt Accepted of the said office & made faith as use is.
(2) Sc. 1723 W. Macfarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 394:
These Friars being in use to carry the mass book in their bosomes.
Sc. 1733 A. Morgan Univ. Edb. (1937) 226:
Diplomas are in use to be signed.
Abd. 1747 Burgh Rec. Abd. (B.R.S.) 386:
The Croun has been in use of presenting . . . ministers.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) 84:
Lang had the thristles an' the dockans been In use to wag their taps upo' the green.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxi.:
The Sheriff is in the use whiles to cry me in to witness the declarations.
(4) Bnff. c.1702 Ann. Bnff. (S.C.) I. 171:
The Courts be keeped weeklie conform to use and wount.
Wgt. 1712 Session Rec. Kirkinner MS. (6 April):
William McHaffie, who is to have for his trouble all use and wont.
Rxb. 1825 R. Wilson Hist. Hawick 190:
This tax . . . by the Law of ‘use and wont' . . . has become part and parcel of the system.
Sc. 1845 Carlyle Cromwell II. 277:
Constitutional Presbyterian persons, Use-and-wont Neuters.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxv.:
They fixed it as the use and wont is, for a week day.

II. v. Sc. forms of Eng. use. Also vbl.n.m.Sc. 1979 Donald Campbell in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 68:
Ye werenae sweirt to yase your name
and aa your faimly's ill-wrocht share
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 43:
Ah'm very much feart it's bound to fa'
Inty wicked hauns that willny yase it well at a'!
But I, lik' the guid and faithfu' servant wi his talent, I will
yase it, if Ah can,
For the Glory o' God, the well-bein' o' ma fellow man.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 55:
ither senses, touch, smell,
listen til yer hairt-stound.
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 25:
Our mither tongue wis dung doun
in Scotland bi John Knox.
Juist tae mak shair
it bided yirdit
the weans got thir licks
frae the dominie
for yasin the auld leid
Slg. 1993 Janet Paisley in Joy Hendry Chapman 74-5 175:
Johnny Scramble,
nae preamble,
draws oan waws whin naebody's lookin,
yaises aerosol cans,
rins awa fae polis vans.
Fif. 1998 By Word of Mouth: Scottish Oral History Group newsletter 10:
Kirkcaldy's harbour was an extremely busy place when the industry was in full production:
"Nairn's yaised horses tae get their stuff up (from the harbour) tae their factories. ... Weel, they yaised whit they ca'd thet horses - they wis horses that led anither horse.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 103:
'I ken that,' said Mitchel. 'But we are pit here for God's purpose. Even in the workin o his miracles, does he not uise us? ... '

Sc. usages: 1. To make (someone) familiar with, to habituate, accustom, with †in, and, most commonly, wi. Freq. in ppl.adj. used, accustomed, familiar, practised. Gen.Sc. See also Eese, v.Sc. 1713 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 151:
They wer not much used with hearing of Psalmes sung.
Sc. 1758 Dunlop Papers (1953) III. 103:
I am so little used with bad health.
Ayr. 1784 Burns Ep. J. Rankine ix.:
Some auld, us'd hands had taen a note.
Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. iii.:
He was an auld used hand.
Sc. 1826 in Child Ballads (1956) IV. 98:
She took my gay lord frae my side, And used him in her company.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 23:
Bring to me the linsey clouts, I hae been best used in.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 115:
I had little been used wi' sic resolute foes.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods 112:
Less üsed wi' guidin' horse-shoe airn Than steerin' crowdie.
Lnk. 1954 Bulletin (12 Feb.) 7:
I heard no complaints about noise at all. “Ye get used wi' it,” they said.
Dmf. 1958 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (14 June):
Young Man (24) wishes situation for dairy, 40–50 cows, used with milking machine.
Sc. 1966 Scotland's Mag. (March) 50:
Ye're no' yaized wi' the bar-fit.

2. intr. To become inured to, accustomed to (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Also with wi.Sc. 1836 Carlyle Letters to Youngest Sister (Copeland 1899) 56:
“You will use,” and get hefted to the place.
Sc. 1839 J. W. Carlyle New Letters (Carlyle 1903) I. 73:
Parting is one of the few hardships in this world which one does not “use to”.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xxxiv.:
So soon does one use to the sight.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 23:
Ee can uize wui a nail up eer fit, mun!

3. Pa.p. used, as in Eng. in specif. Sc. phr. used and wont, that is customary or usual, according to use and custom. Cf. I. 3. (4).Sc. 1711 W. Macfarlane Geneal. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 338:
Paying yearly out of the Said Temples to St. John and his Minister the annual rent Usit and wont due to them ffurth whereof.
Sc. 1718 Nairne Peerage Evidence (1874) 34:
With the rights rents and services . . . used and wont.
Sc. 1814 Lockhart Scott xxviii.:
Paying the Scat, or Norwegian land-tax, and other duties to his lordship, used and wont.

[O.Sc. as use is, a.1400, use and wont, 1543, in use to, 1566, usit, accustomed, c.1480, usit and wount, 1510.]

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"Use n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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