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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HIGH SCHOOL, n.comb. Also †hie- (Sc. 1827 C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. i.). A name given to the principal school in many Sc. burghs, orig. so used in Edinburgh from 1519, later in Kelso and Stirling, and very frequently, from the early 19th c., of schools in other towns; a grammar school, a senior secondary school. In use also in U.S.A. from c.1820.Edb. 1704 Town Council Rec. (17 May):
Mr James Alexander wrytting master to teach such of the schollars in the high schooll of Edinburgh as have ane mynd to wrytt.
Slg. 1707 R. Sibbald Hist. Slg. (1892) 39:
A little from this towards the Castle [Stirling] is the High-school, in which there is a principal Master, and under him two Doctors or Ushers.
Sc. 1763 Boswell London Jnl. (1950) 209:
Many a tender bum has smarted by his barbarous birch when he was janitor of the High School at Edinburgh.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian iii.:
The old Town-Guard of Edinburgh, who . . . were, in my boyhood, the alternate terror and derision of the petulant brood of the High-school.
Ags. 1865 J. C. Jessop Education in Ags. (1931) 199:
Mr Andrew Robertson, now Rector of the High School of Brechin.
Gsw. 1921 Ward Locke's Guide to Gsw. 46:
The High School, an imposing building in the Florentine style, with statues by Mossman.

[For parallel usages of High in this sense, see Heich, adj., 8.]

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"High School n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2024 <>



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