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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LANE, adj. Also lain; leen (ne.Sc.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. lone, which is sometimes found, esp. in sense 2.

1. As in Eng., now mostly poet., of persons, places, things: lonely, solitary, isolated, unfrequented, orphan (Ork., Bnff., Ags., Fif., Lth., Ayr., sm.Sc. 1960).Ayr. 1836 J. Ramsay Woodnotes (1851) 213:
The trees sough ower his dwelling lane — Puir Help is dead.
w.Lth. 1842 Children in Mines Report (2) 476:
I live with the Williamson's family, who take in lone children [bastards], who work below.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 36:
The lang winter nicht she sits dowie an' lane.
Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems 51:
Like fire-flauchts ower the loch's lane breast.
s.Sc. 1871 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. II. 35:
While I'm left lane to tak' care o' the kye.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 12:
He hung aboot lane in a corner.
Abd. 1925 Banffshire Jnl. (24 Feb.):
Fae a glack o' heather braes The leen howff o' eerie fays.
Gall. 1928 Gallov. Annual 66:
In my dreams I see ye often, And I hear the whaup's lane cry.
Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 8:
whit wey it is sair
whit wey it is toom
whit wey it is in the lane caald nicht
he kens

Derivs.: (1) lanefu, full of loneliness, forlorn; (2) lanely, lain-, ¶laan-, lonely (Ags., Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1960). Hence laneliness, loneliness, lanelisome, lonesome; (3) laneness, loneliness, lonesomeness; (4) lanerly, l(a)ene(a)r-, lennerlie, adj., (a) lonely, alone, reserved in manner; (b) exceptional, unique; adv., singly, only (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh. ‡1960); (5) lanersome, used erron. = tardy; (6) lanesome, -sam, leen-, lonely, lonesome (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Hence lanesomeness, -sum-, “more gen. used than laneliness” (Cld. 1880 Jam.), and adv. phr. one's lanesome, by oneself, in solitary state. See 2.(1) Abd. 1846 W. Thom Rhymes 64:
The lanefu' lawyer held his breath, An' word micht utter nane.
(2) Per. 1774 T. L. K. Oliphant Lairds of Gask (1870) 383:
Live laanly here, have the charge and anxiety of six children.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Steamboat ii.:
Being a lanely widow-woman, I was blate amang strangers in the boat.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 358:
That I into my bosom hae wiled ye, Or stolen the notes o' thy lanelisome lay.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 88:
And laneliness maun be my lot On Cawdor burn.
Uls. 1897 A. M'Ilroy Lint in the Bell viii.:
It's yer hame — the only yin ye hae iver known — an' ye'd feel lainly gaun oot o't.
Abd. 1918 C. Murray Sough o' War 18:
November skies in the wintry Hielans Hang dull an' grey owre the lanely glens.
(3) Lnk. 1843 Sc. Song (Whitelaw) 127:
Thy laneness sae deep was aye dowie to me.
(4) (a) Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize II. xxi.:
She was a lanerly widow bent with age and poortith.
n.Sc. 1834 H. Miller Scenes 292:
He has had a narrow escape, puir little fellow; an' maybe there's some that would miss him, lanerly as he seems.
Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Jöne 12):
Ae hen on a baak is bit kind o laenerly.
Sh. 1948 New Shetlander (Oct.–Nov.) 21:
Shu's a lennerlie body, aa hersel yunder at Da Point.
(b) Sh. 1898 Shetland News (19 Feb.):
Dis winter is been sae laenerly for bought füde.
Sh. 1899 Ib. (8 April):
Alto' doo's no laenearly, der no a man apo da ert, I tink, 'at hates no hens laek da söt.
(6) Edb. 1796 H. MacNeill Waes o' War (1806) I. 64:
Sometimes serving, sometimes spinning, Light the lanesome hours gae round.
Dmf. c.1870 R. Reid Poems (1894) 3:
Hark! frae the far hill-taps, And laigh frae the lanesome glen.
Kcb. 1912 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 26:
Samhoo the place felt kind o' lanesam like.
Lth. 1915 J. Fergus The Sodger 14:
An auld an' lanesome widow-man, he look'd a wee bit grim.
Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs 66:
If you wander your lanesome, lassie, Ye'll no hae the leave o' me.
ne.Sc. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 8:
Tyler Roy . . . auchtin' a feu, an' ekin' oot a geyan bare, leensome liveliheed.
Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 343:
Ay, it's a thankless job tae look efter a brither, an' he'll leave me here all on my lanesome.
Bnff. 1954 Banffshire Jnl. (7 Sept.):
The lanesome wail o' the whaup or tyeuchit wid be the only soun' tae be heard.

2. After the possessive prons. my, his, it(s) (also the lane o't), etc.: = Eng. self in myself, etc. In the 3rd pers. the objective forms of the pron., him, them, freq. appear, esp. in Sh. and ne.Sc., and with the pl. prons. lane is often treated as a noun with pl. lanes, both developments on the analogy of himself, themselves, the pleonastic form lane sel being occas. found: (1) without a mate or companion, alone, by oneself, solitary. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 81:
She danc'd her lane, cry'd, Praise be blest, I have lodg'd a leal poor man.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 38:
An' I shall wad, she'll nae be lang her lane.
Per. 1773 in Fergusson Poems (Grosart 1879) 71:
There's nane That gies sic great insight to me, As your's itlane.
Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 113:
We'll nae get leave to die our lane.
Ayr. 1795 Burns Drumlanrig Woods iv.:
And scarce a stinted birk is left To shiver in the blast its lane.
Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 100:
Remember me to a' our friens, The lads like you that lie their lanes.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality x.:
If they meet a fraim body their lane in the muirs.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 147:
Let us put a' our strength till't, and try to hoise him up, our twa lanes, ontil the table.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 102:
The lasses, left them lane, began To won'er gin the lad Wad marry her he'd casten down.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xvi.:
He was like to loup his very lane wi' joy.
Ags. 1865 A. Smith Summer in Skye II. 200:
The dowie Dean, It rins it lean, An' every seven year it gets ean.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 232:
Wi' a silk goon on could stude the lane o't wi' flounces an' gowd!
Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 76:
Aald Yunsin, noo, whin left him laen, He cam an took wir midder.
Rxb. 1897 J. C. Dibdin Border Life 103:
Ye wadna hae us leave the puir man his lane sel', an him in siccan a trouble!
Uls. 1900 T. Given Poems 152:
Observe him wha wud steer His lane alang the tide o' life.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle xxii.:
You'll find the mistress and me our lones, and nearly tiring o' each other's company.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 172:
Then I gaed away ben the hoose to be ma lane.
Sh. 1919 T. Manson Peat Comm. II. 106:
“I left him ipu da pier.” “Ipu da pier him lon, lass?”
Abd. 1954 Banffshire Jnl. (2 March):
I'm richt gled tae see ye for it's langsome washin' a body's lane.
m.Sc. 1991 Donald Goodbrand Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 137:
A firtree stauns his lane
On a dreich norlan scar;
He dwynes in sleep, as winter
Haps him in a plaid o haar.
Abd. 1995 Flora Garry Collected Poems 18:
Fyles ye myurr-myurr to me ma leen,
Yer quaverin myowies thin an smaa
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 5:
John aff
in bricht frosty mornin afore it's licht
frae Camslang station
aw his lane.
Fif. 1998 Tom Hubbard Isolde's Luve-Daith 6:
I wis left my lane, ontil
Ae nicht, a tread on the stair,
An the door unsneckt:

(2) Without assistance or leading, unaided, unguided, esp. of a child learning to walk (s.Sc. 1876 D.S.C.S. 228). Gen.Sc. Hence child's phr. in dim. form, a lana, alanie, a'lany, a' yer lanies, as a term of encouragement to a child to use its own legs (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Slg., Ayr. 1931).Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. iii.:
When Bessy Freetock's chuffy-cheeked We'an To a Fairy turn'd, and cou'd na stand its lane.
Sc. 1746 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 219:
Lady Amelia dos not walk her lone as yett.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 15:
We'll say it was fan ye fell o' the stane, An' hurt sae sair as cud na rise your lane.
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 81:
But I was ne'er sae sair mista'en; For I cou'd aye staun up my lane.
Sc. 1814 C. I. Johnstone Saxon & Gael III. xv.:
It was a bit fine gabby thing, toddlin a' gate its lane.
Edb. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxviii.:
My head's sae dizzy wi' the mirligoes that I canna stand my lane.
Sc. 1833 Chambers's Jnl. (Aug.) 233:
Sic a bairn I never saw . . . Only eleven months and ten days, the maid said, and him nearly gaun his lane already.
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 91:
A' lanie! lanie! my wee pet, An' see thou dinna fa'.
Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 44:
Some o' them tootled tunes on pirns an' sma' teethed kaims afore they cud gang their lanes.
Wgt. 1907 J. Donnan Hameland 34:
Even since she ran her lane.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 118:
Man is jist a bigger wean, Learnin' yet to gang his lane.
Edb. c.1920 A. G. Leighton Tibbie's Yarns 100:
Ham that's able to walk its lane sel withoot crutches.
Bnff. 1956 Banffshire Jnl. (26 Feb.):
Wi' the leadin' horse gyaun him leen on lang reyns.

(3) Construed, quasi-subst. as Eng. -self, with preps. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 174:
Let it be with this Provision, I get the other to my lane.
e.Lth. a.1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 2:
Ah! thae befit the Minstrel's strain, Wha pensive muses by his lane.
Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Poems 21:
Some gae to quiet corners by their leens.
Abd. a.1880 W. Robbie Yonderton xi.:
A widow man an' a single lass maun be a heap b' them leens.
wm.Sc. 1889 J. C. Alston West Coast Ballads 5:
Playin' nae doot wi' a' the lave, but aftener by oor lains.
Kcb. 1911 Crockett Rose of the Wilderness vi.:
It would be a thousandfold disgrace to allow me to go “by my lone.”
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl. 82:
“Wis du di lane?” “Yea, I was gjaain bi mi laen.”
Slk. 1914 Southern Reporter (17 Dec.) 9:
It's an unco job tae gie up the post an' leave you an' granny by your lanes.
Sc. 1953 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 170:
On the hills, by his lane, a body could think for himsel'.
wm.Sc. 1991 James Russell Grant in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 58:
Wi mornin oan its wey y're oan yir lane
The milkmen are coupin thir cauns in the street
Dundee 1992 W. N. Herbert in Janice Galloway and Hamish Whyte New Writing Scotland 10: Pig Squealing 70:
'... But he didna take the wumman's shirt wi him, so when he came back he foond his baby lyin in the hut by its lane wi a knife laid across its throat.'

[O.Sc. his lane, 1557, thair lane, a.1578, thair lanes, a.1585; lanerly is based on Allenarly, q.v.]

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"Lane adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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