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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

INGINE, n. Also, in senses 1., 2. and 3., injine, -gyne, -jain; en-; in sense 4., ingin, -jin. Sc. forms of Eng. engine. [Orig. in all senses pronounced ɪn′dʒəin, but now in sense 4., ′ɪndʒɪn, Abd. + ′ɪndʒəin]

1. Natural cleverness, ability, wit, genius, ingenuity (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai., Kcd. 1958).Sc. 1702 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 359:
His airt, ingyne and fittednes for keeping of the saids clocks and chimns.
Abd. 1710 Burgh Rec. Abd. (1872) II. 342:
That non enter to the said grammar schooll befor they be nyn years of age, unless they be of a large capacity and engyne.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 179:
Old Chaucer, Bard of vast Ingine.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To J. Lapraik v.:
He had ingine, That nane excell'd it, few cam near't, It was sae fine.
Sc. 1817 Carlyle Early Letters (Norton) I. 137:
He has ingine too — but as much laziness along with it as might suffice for a Presbytery.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xii.:
Their pawky policy, and earthly ingine.
Kcb. 1910 Crockett Dew of their Youth xiv.:
Not one in a thousand would have had the “engine” to do as I had done.
Abd. 1928 Abd. Book-Lover VI. 14:
Gi'e me social injine, herts couthie an' kin', Nae maitter hoo laich their degree, man.
Edb. 1979 Albert D. Mackie in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 44:
Gin damp could sae mislear the wits o Rousseau,
What micht this partan's tae that's yokit in
My moniplyes no dae to my ingyne?
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 27:
"Whit for was ingyne gien tae me,
Or sense or reason for ma guide?
Hou wis I no juist made a flee
Or a mauk in keech tae bide? ... "

2. An intellect, a clever mind, a person of ability.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 144:
For mony a deep, and mony a rare engyne Ha'e sprung frae Herriot's wark, and sprung frae mine.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 279:
We say of any with a dungeon of a head, that that person is a “great injine.”

3. An ingenious thing (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., enjain, injain).

4. An engine. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1824 Blackwood's Mag. (April) 382:
There's the alarm-bell — and the fire-drum! . . . Hear till the ingines.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 23:
The motor dreiver . . . beguid o kirneen an caain eis injin.
Gsw. a.1937 Oor Mither Tongue (MacWhannell) 150:
An' I hope that a spark frae yir ingin Will set the whole d—d thing on fire.

[O.Sc. ingine, ability, intellect, from c.1420, a mechanical contrivance, from early 15th c. Engine has been obs. in sense 1. in Eng. since mid. 17th c.]

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"Ingine n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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