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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LAWLAND, adj., n. Also -lan, -lin, -lant; la(a)-. Sc. forms of Eng. lowland, now mostly liter. For other forms see Lallan. [′lǫ:lən(d), ′lɑ:lən]

I. adj. Belonging to the Lowlands of Scotland or its language (Ags., Ayr. 1960). Combs. Lowland bonnet, a Kilmarnock bonnet, q.v.; Lowtand check, see 1860 quot., the “shepherd tartan”; Lowland pipe, also Lowland bagpipe. Often in pl. Bagpipe in which the air is supplied by a set of bellows. See also cauld-wind pipes (s.v. cauld adj. and v. I. 3. (14)).Sc. 1725 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) II. 157:
The lawland maids gang trig and fine, But aft they'r sour and unco sawcy.
Sc. 1775 Morison Decisions 7922:
This Lowland church [at Campbeltown] was allenarly built and proportioned among such of the inhabitants of the town and country as did not understand the Gaelic language.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 159:
An' weel he pang'd the Mickle Purse Wi' geer frae lawlin' chiels an' erse.
Rxb. c.1800 Mem. S. Sibbald (Hett 1926) 166:
He had a Maud about him and on his head a Scotch bonnet (or lowland bonnet as they are called).
Rnf. 1806 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 183:
Lawlan lassie, wilt thou go Whar the hills are clad wi snow.
Lth. 1860 J. Locke Tweed and Don 37:
The maud may be said to be a long scarf, from 3 yards to 4 yards long, generally 1 yard wide, and sometimes 2 yards; the most common colour is the check of six threads of black and six of white, known technically as a six-and-six check, called the Lowland or Border check.
Clc. 1874 in J. Crawford Mem. Alloa 76:
Crackin' as frank an' free in lawlan' phrase.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 94:
Till ev'ry hill-tap heich an' lawland knowe Owre Scotland braid like flamin' altars lowe.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lochinvar xxviii.:
Ye can boil him Lawland brose as muckle as ever he can sup.
Sc. 1973 Anthony Baines Bagpipes 117:
A second Scottish bagpipe is the bellows-blown Lowland pipe introduced possibly about the beginning of the 18th century and played, though ever more rarely, up to the latter part of the nineteenth. Instruments were built by the pipe-makers of Glasgow, etc., and many leading performers on the Highland bagpipe possessed a set of lowland.
Sc. 1988 Roderick D. Cannon The Highland Bagpipe and its Music (1990) 20:
The Lowland bagpipe is comparable to the reel pipe but is blown with bellows and has the three drones fixed parallel in the same stock. The piper normally plays seated, with the drones pointing horizontally across his lap.
Sc. 1999 Hugh Cheape The Book of the Bagpipe 59:
This 'Lowland' bagpipe had three drones, two tenor and one bass, fixed in a single common stock and was preferred with bellows by which 'cauld-wind' (i.e. cold wind) kept the reeds dry and avoided much of the instability and shorter life of mouth-blown reeds.

II. n. Gen. in pl.: 1. The Lowlands of Scotland, implying any part or all of Scotland east and south of the Highland line (see Hieland, I. 1.) (Ags., Ayr. 1960).Sc. 1699 Acts Gen. Assembly 16:
There are several Parishes, even in the Low-lands, that wants Schools.
Sc. 1740 Bonny Earl of Murray in Child Ballads No. 181 A. 1:
Ye Highlands, and ye Lawlands, Oh, where have you been?
Abd. 1784 Caled. Mercury (11 Oct.):
There's nowther i' the Heigh nor Lawlan's Your maik, in faith.
Ayr. 1796 Burns Highland Balou iii.:
Thro' the Lawlands, o'er the Border, Weel, my babie, may thou forder.
ne.Sc. 1802 Edb. Mag. (July) 57:
Near wimplin' Quair, I ken a callan', Wi' heart as leal's in a' the la'lan'.
Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 116:
For in the lawlans at this present day, We see sic feats achiev'd now by the plough.
Sc. 1865 R. W. Buchanan Inverburn (1882) 104:
I met her down the lawlan all her lane.
Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid xxi.:
I have starved to the bone in Laaland.
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood viii.:
I've traivelled the feck o' the Lawlands, frae the Forth to the Solway.

2. The speech of Lowland Scotland, = Lallans, II. 2., q.v.Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 85:
My young cousin Peggy cam doun frae Dunkeld, Wi' nae word o' lawlants ava man.
Inv. 1865 J. Horne Poems 160:
I set me down, my Jamie, To write a rhyme in Lawlan plain.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (24 July) 595:
He shrewd and clever was, I trow; Spak Gaelic weel, and Lawlans, too.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 335:
Has gude braid lawlan's left the land?
Lth. 1921 A. Dodds Antrin Sangs 3:
But yet, I ken, ye'll no disdain Oor Lawlan' in an antrin sang.

[O.Sc. lawland, of Scotland, 1492.]

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"Lawland adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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