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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

BE, pref. [bɪ, bə]

1. Used to form deriv. v., usually with factitive or intensive meaning, rarely privative, from v., n. or adj., betake, begowk, beswick.

2. Used to form pa.p. with adj. or adv. force where other finite tenses are wanting or rare, as bedicht, begrutten, beschacht.

3. Used to form n. from n. or adj. with some or no intensive force, as bethank, begeck, begunk.

4. Used to form adv. or prep. from n. or other adv., as benorth, beeast, befram (sea-ward), belyve.

5. Used to form derivs. with Romance stems, as besaunt, bemuse.

[From O.E. be, unstressed form of O.E. , big. For illustrative quots. see under various heads — e.g. Begowk, etc.]

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"Be prefix". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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