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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ANEę, ęYIN, Eane, Aen, Ain, Wan, Yan, adj., pron., n. One; an, a. (But see A, An, indef. art., and Ae, adj.) [en Sc.; ein Abd. (coast), Bl.I., Cai.; e1n w.Ags.; in e.Ags., Mearns, Abd., L.Bnff., I.Sc. + + ɛ; jɪn + jn m.Sc., but Lth. + jən and em.Sc.(a) en, Uls.; jɛn Rxb.; wan I.Sc., Cai.; wɑn w.Sc.] Ane corresponds in its usage for the most part to St.Eng. one, but Ae (q.v.) is the usual Sc. form for the adj. before a noun. See, however, A. I. 2 below.

A. Numeral, with extended meanings.

I. As simple numeral = one, not two or more.

1. adj. used absolutely. a. The noun being expressed in the context, or understood from it; also when followed by a temporal or partitive genitive. Gen.Sc.Mry.2 1931:
He rents twa hooses and I rent ane.
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
We socht for safticks for bait, green backs
noo slippit oot their hard shalls that floatit
in the shallow pools whaur the flukes bided
on the sand, that like the sand that nae ee
kent ane frae tither.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 3:
Last ouk but ane I was frae hame a day.
Gsw. 1921 H. Chapin The Philos. of Butterbiggins (Rep. Plays 20) 9:
He's layin' up a sad disappointment for himself yin o' these days.
Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser The Yelpin Stane 24:
For yin ye'll get better, ye'll get a hunner waur.
Wgt. 1880 An old saying in G. Fraser Lowland Lore 156:
A scapegrace is at times described as “yin o' them that ran by when the deil cried — kep.”
s.Sc. 1873 Murray D.S.C.S. 173:
“Hey hæs eäe bairn leevan', only eäne.” . . . In counting we say “eane, tweae, threy,” etc., but “eae buik, tweae buiks, threy buiks,” etc.

b. With ellipsis (as in St.Eng.) of certain nouns, in fixed phrases, as yin o'clock; or colloquially = “a blow,” etc.Mry.2 1931:
Ay gya 'im ane on the chafts.
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 9:
It's neerday. It's ane o'clock
and the dinner set in the front dinin-room
used but aince a year.

c. Of two persons or things: the ane (yin) as opp. to the ither. See also Tane and Tither. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1929 J. H. Neil in Sc. Mag. (August) 353:
Whiles it's the yin o' ye that's richt an' whiles it's the ither.
Arg. 1920 “H. Foulis” The Vital Spark 116:
I havena but the wan o' my boots on.

2. adj. preceding noun. The N.E.D. says “at the present day in Sc. . . . ae, eae is the attrib. form before cons. and vowel alike.” This is still true for the greater part of Scotland but yin before a noun with the force of one may be heard in wm.Sc. and sm.Sc. (See also A. I. 3 (2) and (3).) This usage has been generally assigned to Irish influence. It may, however, be noted that a and ane were both used as numeral adjs. in O.Sc. (See A, num., and Ane, B. adj., in D.O.S.T.)Sc. 1988 Scotsman 6 Aug 8:
... the rhyme which an old countryman used to quote many years ago:
It's raining again, oh dear, Ah declare:
It's twa days wet, to yan day fair.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 27:
I hadna fund in treason sae apert
Ane servitour wha staw my traist away.
Cai. 1872 M. McLennan Peasant Life 201:
Ye're diddled an' dune by ane lass.
wm.Sc. 1928 J. Corrie The Last Day 35:
There's only yin thing we can dae, Jean — pawn the gramophone.
Rnf. 1895 R. Ford Thistledown 3:
The Renfrewshire man [is distinguished] by his . . . yin pound yin and yinpence.
Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy G. Chalmers 81:
It seems to be ane improvement!
sm.Sc. 1923 R. W. Mackenna Bracken, etc. viii.:
She saw me ane day in the street.
Uls.(D) 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings by Robin 26:
Ye neednae be yin bit afeared.
Uls. 1924 in North. Whig, Letter to Ed. (Jan. 11):
We sut doon and blethered aboot yin thing and anither.

3. Phrases: (1) A' ane, it's all one (it doesn't matter). (2) Ae and ane, a single; one (and no more). (3) Ae ane, sole, one and only. (4) Ane an' ane, one by one. (5) Ane anither. (6) Ane (yin) an' another (same as St.Eng.). (7) Ane and a', one and all. (8) Ane by ane, eane-be-eane (as in St.Eng.). (9) Anes and twas, and (adv.) by anes and twa's. (10) At ane mae wi't, at yin mae wui'd: see Mae. (11) By ane an ane, one by one. (12) Muckle aboot ane, much about the same, no great difference. (13) The deil a ane o me, the fient -, = Eng. I'm blessed if I . . . (Sh., Ags. 1975). See Deil, Fient.(1) Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf xii.:
Gentle or semple, laird or loon, it's a' ane to Simon.
(2) Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheephead, etc. 206:
The final catastroffy whilk teuk him aff this yird body an' sowl at ae an' ane whusk.
(3) Hdg. 1896 Id. Battle of Dunbar xv.:
O, whare is he, the ae ane man, That ever yet could cope wi' “Noll”?
(4) Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
They drappit aff hame ane an' ane.
(5) Ayr. 1790 Burns John Anderson My Jo ii.:
And monie a cantie day, John, We've had wi' ane anither.
Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 7:
Thay're leike yin an other.
(6) Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 23:
Than A pandert up and doon a bittie, hed a bit crack wui yin an another.
(7) Hdg. 1908 J. Lumsden Doun i' th' Loudons, etc. 3:
“Wise auld wives, tae.” “Ay! ane an' a' o' them.”
(8) s.Sc. 1873 Murray D.S.C.S. 174:
Thay cam oot eane-be-eane.
(9) Sc. a.1802 Jock o' the Side in Minstr. Sc. Border xxxi.:
By anes and twa's they a' swam thro'.
em.Sc. (a) 1920 J. Black Airtin' Hame 24:
Anes and twas were comin' in, And ithers on the road.
(11) Rnf. a.1814 A. Wilson Poems (1876) II. 11:
At seven, the hour that was set, By ane an ane inward they drapped.
(12) Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) v. 30:
Muckle aboot ane, Bawbie, as the deil said to the cobbler.
(13) Ags. 1872 J. Kennedy Jock Craufurt 50:
But though it were to save my skin, The fiend the ane o' me could win.
Per. 1857 D. Gorrie Passages in the Life of a Ploughboy 76:
The diel a ane o me kens what it means.

4. Comb.: Ane-e'ed, one-eyed.Hdg. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles, etc., Punch and Dawty x.:
But this rare stable Patriarch, Ane-e'e'd, thrawn-rumplet, gaunt and stark.
[Found in O.Sc. “To entire aan eet into the reaulme of God” (Nisbet Mark ix. 46). (D.O.S.T.)]

II. Indefinite pronoun: some one (whose identity is not indicated), a certain one, a person.

1. (Standing alone.) A person, some one. In St.Eng. arch. or obs.Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary vii.:
There's ane coming down the crag e'en now!
sm.Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
“Sae, ane telt me to gae up by,” — i.e. some one told me, etc.

2. (Standing before a personal name.) A man, etc., called —, = one in St.Eng. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
Ane Hammergaw, our precentor, brought him here.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Ane An'erson, a muckle blawn up red-fac't-like chiel.

3. Defined by a clause, or other adjunct following: one. Gen.Sc.Rnf. a.1810 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 14:
Wha woud wed wi ane they canna lyke?
Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter l.183:
Tam stood like ane bewitch'd.
Dmf. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun i. ii.:
Crouds, happy i' the gentle sway Of ane sae dear. Esp. Ane abune, God.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
There's Ane abune whase commands I maun obey before your leddyship's.

4. Any person, one (with possessive case ane's = people generally, Fr. on.). Gen.Sc.Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 79:
Ane wad maist trow some people chose To change their faces wi' their clo'es.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Ordination xii.:
See, how she peels the skin an' fell, As ane were peelin onions!
Rxb. 1826 A. Scott Poems 95:
Eneugh to mak ane's verra locks Start bristling up.

III. As a noun, with pl. anes, yins.

1. Used absolutely, to avoid repeating a noun: a person or thing of the kind already mentioned. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary vii.:
Nae mortal could speel them without a rope — and if I had ane, my ee-sight, and my foot-step, and my hand-grip, hae a' failed.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 13:
Fertility treatment! Here's me desperate tae get rid o the bairn and her desperate tae hae ain. Pity we couldna swop.

2. Used as in 1, but (1) after demonst. adjs., as the, this, that, yon, thon; (2) after other pronominal adjs., as Ony, Ilk, Ilka, Mony (a), Sic (a), Siccan (a), etc.: see these words; (3) after other adjs. preceded by any of these dem. or pronom. adjs., or (in pl.) alone; (4) with personal name used as adj.; (5) after a in certain neg. or quasi-neg. phrases — e.g. Deil a ane, Feint a ane; also (at least in Rxb.) after a alone. The meaning in all these cases is a person or thing, persons or things, of the kind mentioned or indicated. Gen.Sc.(1) Current Sc. 1932:
A'll sing anither sang, no that ane.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 32:
'Where did ye find this ane?' the minister asked.
'Twa mile yonder, abune the toun,' said one of the soldiers. 'He was asleep when we took him.'
(3) Ayr. 1796 Burns Lass o' Ecclefechan i.:
A heich house and a laich ane.
Kcb. 1885 A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 12:
She'll pick gey soun' anes [sc. nuts] for her an' Alick.
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chronicle (Jan. 18) 3/4:
Jockey held it up [sc. a walking-stick]. . . . “Ye never had onything like that, na?” “It's a bonnie yin,” said I.
(4) Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 4:
Yiddie's a bleith fallih, bit A dinna leike thon Jock yin! [yin = a member of the family in question.]
(5) Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 4:
“Gie's a yin, ir ee?” “Man, a henna a yin ti gae ee!”

3. Used in similar groups to those in 2, but with a customary sense attached to the phrase, and not determined by the context, so that in these phrases ane, yin = man, woman, child, person, being: (1) this ane, this man, etc., ony ane, any man, mony ane, many a one, ilk ane, everybody, see Ilk; the yin, the (very) person; (2) sometimes after pers. prons. 1st and 2nd pl., huz yins = us, you yins = you; (3) a bad ane, gude anes, etc., a bad man, etc.; little ane, wee ane, child, infant; The Auld Ane, see Auld; (4) with nouns used as adjs. — e.g. heid yins, persons in authority; (5) oor yin (see 1887 quot.); (6) used in sea-taboo language specif. of a woman (Cai. 1975).(1) Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter x.:
He has cheated mony ane, but he canna cheat Wandering Willie.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 4:
Do ye pretend to write like my ain bairn, Or onie ane that wins beyont the Kairn?
em.Sc. (a) 1931 J. Ressich The Seendykit, Glas. Her. (Aug. 8):
This yin jist exactly gaed roon an' feenished a' their drams.
Rxb. 1916 Kelso Chronicle (March 17) 4/6:
She's the yin tae gie ye aa the news.
(2) Edb. 1896 J. Tweeddale Moff 91:
Don't think ye'll come paddy over hus anes.
wm.Sc. 1928 J. Corrie in Sc. Mag. (July) 267:
There'll no' be mony o' you yins left either?
Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 5:
The expression yow-yins is often used to denote the second person plural. . . . Yow yins 'll finnd that gey ill ti baet.
(3) Ork.(D) 1908 M. Spence in Old-Lore Misc., Ork. Sh., etc. I. v. 183:
Then a lock o' peerie aens — aye an' big aens tae — wad gather frae the hooses roond aboot.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 140:
'I thocht she was a tourist.'
'No. She's a fine ain. I've been speaking to her at the post office twa or three times.'
Abd. 1778 (2nd ed.) A. Ross Helenore 113:
Our little-anes may tak ither trades than woo.
Knr. 1886 “H. Haliburton” Horace in Homespun 10:
Rab sits an' sulks, — a dour ane Rab!
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) IV. 206:
“He has been anither nor a gude ane that,” added he.
(4) Gall.(D) 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 243:
They wur aboot fowr fit high, an a' dress't in green, an there wus a gey wheen lassie yins amang them.
Rxb. 1921 Hawick Express (Aug. 19) 3/7:
There's some o' th' heid yins . . . wantin' tae keep up th' strife.
(5) wm.Sc. 1887 Jam.6:
Our ane, oor ane. Lit. our one; but applied to husband, wife, son, daughter, lad, lass, or sweetheart, instead of the name . . . as, “Oor ane boght me a gran' goun at the fair.”
Rxb. 1924 Hawick Express (Aug. 22) 3/7:
Oor Yin did his fifty-fower [hours a week] on th' frame a his days. [The wife is speaking.]

B. Indef. article. Obs. In the form ane, used before both vowels and consonants. Ane had become the conventional literary form for the indef. art. in Middle Scots, and this usage survived (alongside of a, an) in formal prose until the early 18th cent., rarely later. The example from Sir W. Scott is of course intended by him to represent the prose of nearly one hundred years before, and those from Denniston and I. Maclaren are archaistic. In quots. chron. order observed.Peb. 1701 Burgh Records (1910) 166:
They bring them to the youngest baillie, who is to keep ane note therof.
Abd. 1708 Records Burgh Abd. (1872) 336:
With ane unheard of dispatch.
Abd. 1710 Ib. 341:
Ane book intituled Ratio Sacra.
Wgt. 1729 in G. Fraser Lowland Lore (1880) 39:
The Magistrates and Councill haveing Considered ane Complaint [etc.].
Sth. 1786 in Bentinck Dornoch Cathed. and Par. (1926) 311:
A reference in a sasine of 1786 to “ane midden within the west aisle of the Broken Kirk of Dornoch.”
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxviii.:
[Letter of Jeanie Deans to R. Butler.] Ane miller asked me to gang in and see it work.
Gall. a.1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 25:
[“Auld Millha” is repr. as speaking.] He was ane clever chiel, and as sharp as a preen.
Gall. 1832 Capt. Denniston Battle of Craignilder 65:
He was ane stout an stalwart man.
e.Per. 1896 I. Maclaren Kate Carnegie 235:
With bread and wine in outward sign that is once, and maybe eneuch, for it makes ane high day for us all, but div ye not think, Miss Carnegie, that all our life should be ane sacrament?

[Sc. ane comes from O.E. ān, one. A, ae, ane are used in O.Sc. as num. adjs. and ane as a num. substantive as well. In Mod.Sc. the gen. usage is ae. adj. (for exceptions see A. I. 2 above), and ane, noun or pron. In O.Sc. the unstressed forms of O.E. ān were used as the indef. art. and in the earliest Sc. writers the usage approximates to that of Mod.Eng. — i.e. a before a cons. and an before a vowel. In the late 15th and in the 16th cent. ane, as indef. art., is commonly used before both vowel and cons. (cf. the survival of ane as a num. adj. in O.Sc. and perhaps even in Mod.Sc.). There is, however, no trace of this use of an as indef. art. in Mod.Sc. Yin in the inscription (c.1577) quoted in Kirkwood Hewat A Little Scottish World 84: “Heir lys yin vary honrible mon Davit Blair of Adamtoun,” is prob. the sculptor's local version of the scholarly ane. This y pronunciation of ane is found also in the Depositions of W. Powrie, Pitcairn's Crim. Trials I. i. 493 (1567): “Everie ane of thame tuck yane upon his back.”]

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"Ane adj., pron., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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