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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FRAE, prep., conj. Also fri, ‡fra. Sc. forms of Eng. fro, corresponding in usage with Eng. from. The form frae (Sh., Bnff., Ags., Edb., Arg., Gsw. 2000s) is reg. found in literary use, but obsol. in speech (exc. Gall.), being replaced gen. by Fae, q.v., and in s.Sc., where it is still not infrequent, by Thrae.

I. prep. From, of place, motion or time. Also of the time of day: to, before an hour.Gsw. 1700 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (B.R.S.) 306:
The provest required him to produce a commissione . . . fra any to object.
Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scotticisms 42:
Five minutes from twelve. — Five minutes to twelve, or before twelve.
Ayr. 1789 Burns Capt. Grose's Peregrinations i.:
Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf i.:
I dinna believe a word o't frae beginning to end.
Knr. 1886 “H. Haliburton” Horace 27:
Noo Nature's wauken'd fra her trance, An' sunbeams owre Lochleven glance.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona vii.:
A braw journey to ye back to where ye cam frae.
wm.Sc. 1954 Robin Jenkins The Thistle and the Grail (1994) 11:
"... Worse than Flodden ever was. If right was right, we should find them all hanging frae the ceiling in yonder."
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 33:
See him rax oot
frae tasht bleck sleeve
an airm for support
Gsw. 1991 Maud Devine in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 124:
bloak bevelled
yin queemin tother
airless sunless nae sneck
fri apex ti beddin-stane
Abd. 1991 George Bruce in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 20:
... whaur the flukes bided
on the sand, that like the sand that nae ee
kent ane frae tither,
Dundee 1991 Ellie McDonald The Gangan Fuit 25:
Juist tae mak shair
it bided yirdit
the weans got thir licks
frae the dominie
for yasin the auld leid ...
wm.Sc. 1998 Alan Warner The Sopranos (1999) 147:
A ringing endorsement frae Tom there.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 52:
'Ither folk's past. Frae way back, fuckin yonks. I'm supposed tae be playin Weir's ghost but it feels mair solid than that. Real.'

Phrs. and combs.: 1. fraesyne, from this (that) time, ago, hence. See Syne; †2. franethe, from beneath. Arch.; 3. with verbs implying looking, staring, etc., to glower, look, etc., frae ane, to have a fixed or vacant look, to stare stupidly or abstractedly (s.Sc. 1953).1. Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 87:
Doo toughtna dat a moment fraesyne.
2. Slk. 1813 Hogg Queen's Wake 70:
Than up there rase ane wee wee man Franethe the moss-gray stane.
3. Ayr. 1826 Galt Lairds v.:
What should he be doing, but sitting on his ain louping-on stane, glowring frae him?
Slk. 1874 Border Treasury (5 Sept.) 77:
The “daft” individual, who might have been seen almost every day fifty years ago sitting “glowerin' frae him,” like Galt's model Scotch laird.
Ayr. 1901 “G. Douglas” Green Shutters xxi.:
There they were, sitting on their doups in the atoms o' the gig, and glowering frae them!

II. conj. 1. From the time that. See Fae.Sc. 1703 Acts Parl. Scot. XI. App. 26:
The objections being past frae he took the oath.
Lnk. 1718 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 225:
Mad folks to be punished by imprisonment, so long as they have of their own to live upon, and frae they have not, by nailing their lug and bannishment.
Ayr. 1882 J. Hyslop Dream 126:
Frae he waukens, the wee lammie, His hauns or feet ne'er stop ava.
Fif. 1893 “G. Setoun” Barncraig vii.:
She's been that frae she was a bairn.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Frae she cam in, her tongue never devauldit.
Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 86:
Man, Lowrie, I tink doo's dune naethin bit aet frae doo guid in.

2. With or without that: from the fact that, because, since.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxxviii.:
Frae that he keeps himsell up sae close, I am judging that he's purposing . . . [to] just slide awa easy.
Dmf. 1830 W. Bennet Traits Sc. Life III. 75:
I hae nae objections, frae our Juke has sent ye, to gie ye a nicht's quarters.

[O.Sc. fra, 1375, frae, 1450, from, fra((th)at), from the time that, 1375. North.Mid.Eng. fra, O.N. fra, from.]

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"Frae prep., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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