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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.

ATWEEN, prep. and adv. Also atwein, 'tween. Between. (The meanings and uses of atween do not differ from those of between, and are not detailed here.) [ə′twin, twin]

1. prep. Between. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf vii.:
What! wad ye raise war atween twa pacificated countries?
Sc. 1854 H. Miller My Schools xii.:
Not a public-house atween this and Kinlochewe.
Sc. 1990 David Purves in Joy Hendry Chapman 59 76:
"Ma mynd," he thocht, "bydes in sum stell
ahint a pynt atwein ma een."
Sh.(D) 1899 J. Spence Sh. Folk-Lore 239:
Dis is only a slud [= fair interval] atween wadders.
ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 3:
An old farmer from those parts, putting down an upstart from the north, said, "Just mind this - Strathmore has been well farmed for five hundred years; not, like Aberdeenshire, scraped up atween the stones in two-three generations."
Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 75:
Quaitly atween you an' me, an' the cat.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 152:
'Thon time,' she said. 'Mair than three year syne, James. There's been little else tae mind on atween us.'
Fif. 1896 “G. Setoun” R. Urquhart xxxii.:
Watty an' me'll manage this atween us.
wm.Sc. 1989 Anna Blair The Goose Girl of Eriska 106:
'Nae money atween friends, I think, masters. But y'ken, I've a fancy for a pair boots no unlike your own there, gauger.'
Lnk. 1998 Duncan Glen Selected New Poems 38:
There atween the trees,
atween the tears, atween fowre russet leaves
and a wally dug
three herrins on a plate near to a
bowl this gloamin time in autumn.
Ayr. c.1785 (publ. 1796) Burns Twa Herds ii.:
The twa best herds . . . Hae had a bitter, black out-cast Atween themsel.
Dmf. 1777 J. Mayne Siller Gun (1836) 97:
'Tween boozing, dancing, sangs, and laughing The afternoon drew on wi' daffin.
Uls.(D) 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings by Robin 11:
The first thing I felt wuz his shut fist richt atween my een.

2. adv. Between. Gen.Sc.Sh.(D) 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 9:
Yawnin hollows atween lek graves.
Abd. 1920 C. Murray In the Country Places 41:
An' wast owre Keig stands Callievar Wi' a' the warl' to me, atween.
Rxb. 1915 Kelso Chron. (10 Dec.) 4/6:
A wee bit gairdin' lay atween.

3. Phrases and combs.: (1) Atween and —, between this place or time and the place or time indicated. Cf. north.Mid.Eng. and O.Sc. betwix(t) and, between and, used in the same way.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems 203:
I hope to see you at St Mungo's Atween and Beltan.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality v.:
As muckle pouther as wad hae shot a' the wild-fowl that we'll want atween and Candlemas.
Lth., Gall. 1932 (per Lnk.3):
I have often heard such a phrase as “Atween and supper-time” both in the Lothians and in Galloway.
Lnk.1 1932:
I asked where the accident occurred. “Ye ken Derval?” she asked. “Weel, it wiz atween an' that.”
Ayr. 1868 J. K. Hunter Artist's Life 149:
You'll be back this way atween and three months.

(2) Atween-hands, in the intervals of regular occupation; at intervals; in the meantime. Cf. Between-hands and Amang hands. Gen.Sc.Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xxiii.:
But atween hands mak up the balance-sheet, and come doun on Saturday.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 43:
Atween-hands, between times, at intervals.

(3) Atween-lichts, “the distance between neighbours' houses” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl. 4); also twilight, dusk (Fif. 1953). See Licht, n.1, 3.Sh.4 1932:
He wis oot nae langer as he cud a geen atween lichts.

(4) Atween the een, before one's eyes, with one's own eyes, in the face.Sc. [1834] Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 27:
Sir! you've the advantage of me — for I really cannot say that I ever had the pleasure o' seein you atween the een afore.
Sh.4 1932:
A've nivver seen 'im atween the een. A' dinna ken 'im ava.
Abd. 1778 (2nd ed.) A. Ross Helenore 67:
And halins wisses she had never seen The bonny lad she lov'd, atween the eyn.
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop R. Tamson's Hamely Sketches 93:
I had never seen the woman atween the een afore.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Raiders (1909) ix. 89:
The sted o' the gallows that hanged Henry Greg is atween yer een.
Rxb. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 29:
I never yet hae seen Sae kind a man atween the een.

(5) Atween the twa, moderate(ly), “so so.”Sc. [1826] Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 172:
Were the hares numerous in the Forest last season, James? (Shep.) Just atween the twa.

(6) Atweenwhiles, in the interval between two points of time. Gen.Sc.Kcb. 1895 S. R. Crockett Bog-Myrtle 410:
I was drunk every Monday nicht, an' that often atweenwhiles that it fair bate me to tell when ae spree feenished and the next began.

[Also in Eng. dial. — From Mid.Eng. atwene, from A, pref.1 + twēonum, dat. pl. of twēone, double, connected with O.E. twā; cf. ahind, behind, aneath, beneath.]

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"Atween prep., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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