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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

AINCE ERRAND, YINCE-, ANES-, ANCE-, EENCE-, ENDS-, -ERRANT, -ERRAN, -EERAN(D), -EERANT, -YIRRANT, -YIRRAND, adv. phr., sometimes used as n. (Also: ainz-airunt, Sir J. Wilson for Fife, yinz errunt, id. for Lth.; yince-yirn (s.Sc.); ains airrend, -errin, yin ends-, wan enseerin.) [ens, enz, jɪns, jɪnz, ins, ɛnz; ′ɛrən(d), ′erən(d), ′irən(d), ′jɪ̢rənd, ′ɛrənt, ′erənt, ′irənt, ′jɪ̢rənt; for localities see quots., and also Aince and Eerant.]

1. adv. phr., with verbs of motion expr. or implied: for the one purpose mentioned; on the single errand.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xlv.:
Ou, what the deevil am I come here for, man, but just ance errand to see about it?
Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Anes errand. Entirely on purpose, with a sole design in regard to the object mentioned; as to gae, to come, to send anes errand.
Sc. 1859 Mrs Oliphant Adam Graeme ii. xvi. 177:
Weel, Miss Lucy gaed herself, ance errant, to see your mother.
Sc. 1923 R. Macrailt Hoolachan 31:
Dod, if I ha'ena clean forgot what brocht me here aince errand.
Mry.1 c.1925:
I jist cam ains airrend wi't.
Bnff.4 1926:
Eence-eerin.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod I. xiii.:
There's a gravestane, a verra auld ane, — hoo auld I canna weel mak' out, though I gaed ends-errand to Aberdeen to see't.
Abd. 1909 G. Greig Mains's Wooin' 10:
Hoo can that be, and me cam' ance-eeran' for them?
Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton At the Back o' Benachie 22:
Little wad gar me gang up aince erran' an' gie th' ull-natered vratch a line o' my min'.
Slg.1 1931:
Aince Errand. In Stirling this word has been Anglicized into “Once Errand,” and is used by educated people in “polite” speech.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller of Deanhaugh i. 23–24:
We'll gang ance errand to Edinburgh thegither.
Hdg. 1902 J. Lumsden Toorle, etc. 269:
The Dominie's comed yont, anes-eerand, here, To learn the truth about yer haill career.
Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser The Yelpin' Stane 178:
The factor cam' yince-erran' an' said the Duke was very much annoyed wi' me.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 18:
I came to see ye anes-erran; means, I had no other errand than to come and see you.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 338:
Yince-errand, adv. Also -errant, -yirrant, -yirrand.
Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 25:
Hei gaed yins (yince) yirrint ti finnd oot.

2. As a n. (1) with def. or indef. art. before it, the phr. freq. stands in adv. relation to the pred. and thus = the simple adv. phr.; (2) it forms with a prep. before it an adv. phr. = the simple adv. phr.; (3) more rarely it is used freely in other grammatical relations.(1) Arg.1 1929:
He went wan enseerin tae see him.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals of the P. vi.:
It was far better to allow a little profit on the different haberdasheries . . . than to send to the neighbouring towns an end's errand for them.
n.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. (s.v. yin) 338:
Yin end's errand, erroneous for yince-errand.
(2) Sc. [1827] Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 379:
Edwin Landseer maun come down to Scotland for anes errand, just to pent his pictur.
(3) Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 42:
Syne I gaed wi the licht
ay its turnan,
doun frae yon smoory hill,
the day's aince-erran aa bi wi,
ae sang liggan
caul i the daurk.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie II. 158:
Did they say nothing of the end's errand they had come upon?

[From anes (see Aince) + Eerant, q.v. Annes earend occurs c.1600 in J. Melvill's Diary. Watson compares Norw. dial. i eins ærend, Sw. ens ärende, which have the same meaning. End's is due to pop. etym. E.D.D. gives yence-errand for Nhb.]

Aince Errand adv. phr.

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"Aince Errand adv. phr.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/aince_errand>

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