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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INCOME, n., v. Also incume. Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. Entrance, advent, arrival, coming in (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bnff., Abd., Ags., Rxb. 1958), of weather or natural phenomena (Sh. 1958). Now rare in Eng.Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 39:
Frae the settle o' the night To the income o' the light.
Ags. 1826 J. Bissett Misc. Poems 90:
About the income o' the day.
Kcd. 1894 J. Kerr Reminisc. III. 5:
Frae the income o' May, till November held sway, Nae stockin's or boots could be worn.
Abd. 1920 A. Robb MS.:
It wis the fashion amo' the farmer fowk to buy a little heilan stirkie aboot the income fae the girse.

2. A new-comer, new arrival, esp. one who comes to settle in a place (Abd. 1825 Jam.). Also used fig.Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 14:
Lat's try this income [the New Year], how he stands.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail l.:
“This new income,” as she called the adopted orphan.
Abd. 1898 Wkly. Free Press (12 March):
When a young man in the real fishing village pays court to the daughter of a crofter or a tradesman, the women of the fishing community rise in revolt against the newcomer, or “income,” as they term her.

3. An illness or infirmity not due to any apparent external cause (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Fif. 1909 Colville 139; Dmf.3 1920; Cai., ne.Sc., Ags., Rnf. 1958), often applied to a swelling, abscess, boil or other festering sore (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Sh. 1947 New Shetlander (June-July) 2; I. and n.Sc., Fif., Slg., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1958), or to a disease of a bone or joint (ne.Sc. 1958), a sharp attack of pain, a stitch in the side (n.Sc., Ags., Ayr., Kcb., Rxb. 1958). Cf. Oncome.Abd. 1702 W. Cramond Ch. Aberdour (1869) 48:
Alexander Tarres, who has left his service through a swelling in his leg, an income.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xciii.:
She had got an income in the right arm, and couldna spin.
Abd. 1826 Aberdeen Censor 232:
On the vera last winter, when I was ill wi' an income.
s.Sc. 1836 Wilson's Tales of Borders II. 7:
Ye'll aiblins ken what an income is? . . . Weel ye maun ken that the bairn's fashed wi' a maist tremendous ane in the heuch o' his knee.
Lnk. 1859 J. Brown Rab 13:
She's got a trouble in her breest — some kind o' an income we're thinkin'.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lads' Love iii.:
He got a sair income in his side this mornin' on the hill.
Edb. 1916 J. Fergus The Sodger 19:
When ye've a hoast or income, or ha'e naething wrang ava'.
wm.Sc. 1935 J. Corrie The Income 7:
An income in the big tae, sir, and you're a stiff corpse in twenty-five minutes unless you get it cut off.
Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie Hills & Sea 46:
His eyn cam' seen: Some income took him. He had cla'd his caup.

4. Of things weighed and measured: a shrinkage from the stated quantity or amount expected. “Herrings of very poor quality shrink so much in the process of curing, that the result may be a less number of barrels of cured fish than of crans of green fish. Those of best quality usually give a considerable ootcome” (Cai. 1902 E.D.D., Cai. 1958).

II. v. To come in, enter. Gen. in ppl.adjs. income, newly come in; washed ashore; incomin(g), of a period of time: about to begin, ensuing (Sc. 1808 Jam.); of a person: newly arrived, succeeding (in a tenancy, a post, or the like). Gen.Sc. Cf. Outgoing.Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select. Trans. 116:
What I have hitherto observed is only of Ware thrown in by the Sea, which the Farmers call Income Ware.
Sc. 1753 Trial of James Stewart App. 52:
As to the agreement betwixt him and the incoming tenants, when he undertook to be their bouman.
Fif. 1894 A. S. Robertson Provost 168:
There's a chance o' the Queen comin' to the toon this incomin' simmer.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 248:
Ye're the laird, ye ken, an' the incomin tenant forby.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (10 July):
What wid ye say ta wis caain' some day da incomin' ook.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 73:
A great denner he wus gaun 'a' hae on the incomin Tuesday.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood i.:
“Do they call it the Black Wood?” Gibbie spat. “Incomin' bodies, nae doot,” he said in contempt. “But it's just the Wud wi' nae ‘black' aboot it.”
Sh. 1937 J. Nicolson Yarns 90:
Hummel bummel boddamless Hadds a' 'at incomes. A petticoat. Although it has no bottom, it holds all that is put into it.

Deriv. incomer, n., as in Eng., a newcomer, stranger, immigrant, specif. in Scot. of one who is not a native of the district into which he comes to settle and who does not, in the eyes of the natives, form a natural part of the community. It has a somewhat derogatory connotation and often implies an intruder. Also attrib. Gen.Sc.Rxb. 1736 J. J. Vernon Par. Hawick (1900) 207:
The great prejudice sustained by the Kirk Session in supporting of Strangers and Incomers to the toun.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlix.:
Dawvid keest up till 'im that he was only an incomer.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle iv.:
Some of them are cadets of his own family, always blunt opponents of mine and of our cause here and elsewhere; some are incomers, as we call them.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Langsyne in Braefoot i.:
I am an “incomer,” and worse — an Englishman.
Sc. 1952 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 346:
There are two kinds of incomers, those who remain critically and residentially aloof — who are in the village yet not of the village — and those who enter into the spirit of the township and . . . make a real social and cultural contribution to the community life.
Hebr 1983 Norman Malcolm Macdonald Calum Tod 123:
The novel he was burning revealed the flaw in him as did his use of the subtly incorrect incomer word for cairis na h-oidhche

[O.Sc. income, newly come in, c.1650, incummer, a newcomer, from 1576. In sense 3. the word may be a variation of earlier Oncome, ancome, id.]

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"Income n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Jun 2023 <>



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