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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

AINSEL(L), AINSEL', n. Emphatic form of sel' = self. Used in Sc. much like self in St.Eng., after possessive genitives. The comb. with poss. adj. has the value of a pers. pron., more emphatic than myself, himself, etc. (See also Nainsel.) [′e:n′sɛl]Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxvi.:
And I'l be your wife my ain sell.
Sc. 1823 J. G. Lockhart Reg. Dalton I. 193:
They . . . are wonderfu' surprised, no doubt, to see no crowd gathering, binna a wheen o' the town bairns, that had come out to look at their ainsells.
Abd. 1863 G. Macdonald D. Elginbrod ix.:
A body's min' or soul, or whatever it may be called — but it's jist a body's ain sel', — can no more be ta'en to pieces [etc.].
m.Sc. 1986 Ian A. Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 165:
Your minnie, forejeskit, tousie, white as the blossom
o the new-sprung gean ablow:
your ainsel, newborn life kythin in my airms.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 23:
"Nae ee has seen, nae lug has heard
The guid things fordelt up for ye.
Awa, an let the tale be tellt
By yer ainsels for eternity."
Edb. 2003:
Ah get mair satisfaction oot o a meal when Ah've cooked it ma ainsel.
Arg.1 1928:
Ainsell: quite common fifty years ago; almost obs. now. “Is this yer ainsell?” now replaced by “Is this yersell?”
s.Sc. 1873 Murray D.S.C.S. 198:
Sel . . . is treated as a noun, hence . . . the emphatic form hys ayn sel, or hys vœrra ayn sel.

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"Ainsel n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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