Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FULL, adj., n., v. Also †ful. Sc. form and usages. For other Sc. forms see Fou. [Gen.Sc. fʌl]

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. Sc. comb. full-breekit, pompous, self-important, swelling with pride.Sc. 1723 W. Meston Poet. Wks. (1802) Intro.:
Up to the moon when she was full, And when they had an empty skull.
Abd. 1880 Bon-Accord (3 Jan.) 6:
I canna fussle min, my mou's ful' a biscuits.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine 34:
Thae words were the words o' Geordie Simpson as he strode full breekit into the kitchen.

Adv. fully, rather, somewhat, freq. with compar. adjs. Gen.Sc. Also ‡fullins (Sh. 1953).Sc. 1811 Edb. Annual Reg. IV. ii. lxxii.:
Fully worse; fully more; fully farther. [In English] Fully is never used with the comparative degree.
Abd. a.1880 W. Robbie Yonderton xxvii.:
Aw think you, Maister Corbie, hiv been takin' fully muckle upon yersel' in connection wi' the bizness.
Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 100:
Coorser fully than the flour.
Fif.1 1936:
A tailor may tell you that the sleeves of a coat, which the customer is trying on, are “just fully long.”

Derivs.: (1) fullie, n., a full-sized football (Edb. 1959); (2) fulness, abundance, plenty. Obs. in Eng. in this sense. (1) Edb. 1956 Edb. Ev. News (22 Sept.) 4:
They kicked no "fullie," but, instead, They tossed around some foeman's head.
(2) Dmf. c.1885 A. Marchbank Covenanters Annandale 78:
He canna but see there is a fulness of meat and drink, and a vast improvement of the stock.

2. Proud, in a good or bad sense; pompous, conceited (Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; ne.Sc., Ags., Slg., Fif., Kcb. 1953).wm.Sc. 1888 Anon. Archie Macnab 18:
I wis the full chiel that day o' oor kirkin', as we walked up the High Street.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 61:
The mistress was awfu' full whan I gaed hame an' tell't her. She was like to dance her lane.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 83:
The dominie wis gey full o' 'im an' cudna dee eneuch for 'im.
Dmf. 1925 Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 26:
He has on a new suit the nicht, and he's gey full about it.

3. Of herrings: full of milt or roe, sexually mature (Sh., Ork., n. and em.Sc. 1953). Also in Eng. herring-fishing areas. Comb. la-full [large-full], see 1911 quot.Sc. 1864 J. M. Mitchell The Herring 114:
If the herrings are assorted, namely, the full herrings separated from matjes . . . and these separated from “ylen,” empty or shotten herrings, the fishery officer has authority to apply a brand with the word “Full” to the first.
Bnff. 1887 G. G. Green Gordonhaven iv.:
[They] pitched the individual herrings into different heaps, according as they were “full”, “spent,” “matties”, or “torn-bellies.”
Sc. 1911 “Viking” Fishcuring 17:
Herrings intended for the crown lafull brand must be “large full fish of not less than 11¼ in. in extreme length” when cured. . . . For the “full” brand the herrings should be “full fish of not less than 10¼ in. in extreme length when cured.”

II. n. 1. A full amount or load of anything, enough to fill any receptacle, e.g. of tobacco in a pipe, coal, etc.; enough to satisfy, one's fill (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Arg., wm.Sc., Slk., Uls. 1953). Phr. tae the full, fully, in full measure.Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 91:
The full o' his oxter o' a' thing that's laithfu'.
Gall. 1843 J. Nicholson Tales 10:
There was the full of a back-creel of peats set together in the midst of the house floor.
Gsw. 1862 J. Gardner Jottiana 75:
Whilk pins the pithead-man hings owre A cleek for ilka full, man.
Abd. 1891 Bon-Accord (18 July) 19:
Aince mair hae the holiday-makers gotten their full o' fresh air an' fusky.
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 93:
I gaed them . . . a full o tobacco a' roon.
Arg.1 1930:
“Is there a ton o' coal there?” “Ay, there's a ton tae the full.”

2. A firlot or quarter boll, a bushel (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.). See Fou, n., 2.Bwk. 1710 Stitchill Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 164:
The source of fourty fyve shillings Scots money as the pryce of four fulls horse corn.
s.Sc. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VIII. 23:
They commonly yield between 11 and 12 stone of meal to the boll of corn which in this country is 5 fulls or firlots for oats and barley.

3. A herring full of milt or roe. Gen. in e.Scot. Combs.: crown fulls, herrings of full standard approved by the Fishery Office and marked with the official crown brand (e.Sc. 1953); large fulls, a larger size of herring than crown fulls. See 1911 quot. in I. 3. Sometimes called sma fulls and big fulls respectively (Fif.17 1953).Bwk. 1892 Bwk. Advertiser (16 Sept.):
Owing to the general inferior quality, not a single barrel of crown fulls has been branded this summer.
Sh. 1907 T. P. Ollason Mareel 23:
May the silver-sided crownfulls Weigh your nets at every dip.
Sc. 1930 P. F. Anson Fishing Boats 20:
“Fulls” and “large fulls,” i.e. herring with ripe reproductive organs, i.e. full of roe.

III. v. 1. To fill (Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif. 1953). Pa.t. also fullt, fult. Hence fuller, a funnel (ne.Sc., Ags. 1953). Phrs.: a fullin heed, a head stuffed up with cold (Abd. c.1880 Gregor MSS.); to full one's step, to take long strides, hasten, hurry on (Abd. 1968).Inv. 1721 Steuart Letter Bk. (S.H.S.) 156:
I desire you should ship for my use 4000 barel hoops to full up room.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xl.:
Sax-an'-therty blue lippet plates . . . nately full't o' milk pottage.
Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie vi.:
Having first introduced the “fuller” into the bung-hole, he filled the cask.
Gsw. 1910 H. Maclaine My Frien' 42:
I'll steek twa-three buttons on my breeks. . . . Whan the thread begins to full up and the needle gets a bit contramashous it's nae joke.
Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories & Sk. 29:
He tried hotel efter hotel, bit they were a' fullt up.
Bnff. 1953 Banffshire Jnl. (17 Nov.):
By the time it [bus] wan tae Foggieloan it wis rale weel fulled.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 19:
"Ye giedna meat tae hungert men,
Nor tae the nakit bield frae cauld,
Tho year by year I fult yer kist
An brocht mair beasts intil yer fauld. ... "
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 64:
'Ye would only hae been nine or ten, John, so ye'll no mind this, but when Cromwell occupied us in the fifties, he fullt the port o Leith wi English and had a muckle fortress biggit there ... '

2. To load, fill (a cart or the like) with (Abd. 1953).Abd. 1903 W. Watson Auld Lang Syne 58:
Ye're a great feel to ryve an' full muck.

[O.Sc. has full, adj., from a.1400, n., full capacity, 1576, a bushel, 1657. The form is a doublet of Fou, from the O.E. oblique case stem full-. See P.L.D. § 60. The v. is from the adj., but in some districts may also represent the local pronunciation of fill. Cf. P.L.D. § 58.1.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Full adj., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: