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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

AUCHT, AUGHT, A(A)CHT, n.2 [ɑxt, ɔxt, ǫxt Sc.; ɑuxt, ɔʊxt Rxb.]

1. In abstract senses.

(1) Possession, ownership, gen. in phrases with in (or other prep.) and a possessive.Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvi.:
I am as weel worth looking at as ony book in your aught.
Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 112:
I wiss ta Him 'at made me, Mansie, at dey'd niver been a hen shiken apo' wir aucht.
Abd. 1832 Anon. Jamie Fleeman (1861) 13:
I hae brought them [sc. the cows] to get the milk from your lordship that ye said they had when in your aught.
Abd. 1877 G. Macdonald Marq. of Lossie lix.:
“Ay, ay,” returned Lizzy, “but whase aucht (owning, property [Author's note]) is't?”
Ags.1 1927:
Ye haena a better ane in yer aucht.
Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 64:
He has nae a coat like yours in a' his aucht.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan II. 11:
How mony times ha'e ye been deein' and gaun to dee, sin' ye cam' into my aught?
w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 43:
Hei hasna a ferdin' in a' his aucht.

(2) What it belongs to one to do; one's duty. (Prob. influenced in meaning by aught = ought, v., if not simply that word used as a noun.)Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xcviii.:
It's far frae my aught to say, . . . but I hae a notion their [sic] no overly pleased about something.

2. Concrete. That which is possessed, property, one's lands, premises, etc.

(1) General usage.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Sc. Proverbs (1818) 40:
Better saught [= ease] with little aught, than care with many a cow.
Cai. 1934 John o' Groat Jnl. (2 Feb.):
Feint a bicycle lamp oor 'e auld man hed on his acht.

(2) Applied to persons (a) with epithets of praise (often ironical), or blame — e.g. a bonny aught, a bad aught; (b) in pregnant sense (Sh.): a aacht, a possession worth having, a treasure.(a) Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Bad aught, a bad property, applied to an obstinate ill-conditioned child.
n.Sc. Ib.:
Bonny aught, a phrase applied to a person contemptuously.
Abd. 1778 (2nd ed.) A. Ross Helenore 38:
Ay auntie, gin ye kent the bonny aught . . . For had my father sought the warld round . . . An odder hag cou'd not come in his way.
(b) Sh.(D) 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 121:
Da aald wife, my ain aald wife, Haes been a acht ta me.
Sh.(D) 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. 123:
“Aacht? Whats that?” asked Mr E. “Oh, its a thing wirt hevin, an wirt keepin; a jewel laek da Tittie here, ye ken.”

[O.Sc. aucht (e.g. Dunbar, in my aucht), Mid.Eng. aght, auht, etc., O.E. ǣht (shortened into aht), from āgan, to own, possess.]

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"Aucht n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jul 2024 <>



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