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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LIKE, v.2 Also loike (Abd. 1924 Trans. Bch. Field Club XIII. 25); lick; laek (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (29 Oct.)), lek (Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 10; Cai. 1902 J. Horne Canny Countryside 45); lake (Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Wgt. and Whithorn 268); leyk (Abd. 1867 A. Allardyce Goodwife 9). Neg. likena; pa.t., pa.p. liket, lik(e)it; vbl.n. likin, -en, sometimes in pl. (Sc. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayins vii. 18, viii. 36., xxi. 3).

1. As in Eng. Followed by an adv. with ellipse of v. of motion: to wish or prefer to go.Ags. 1897 G. A. Mackay Where the Heather Grows 63:
About five o' clock the three thought they would like home.

2. Used impers. it likes = it pleases, suits, is agreeable to. Rare and liter., exc. as in first two quots. where it is in Gen.Sc. usage. Arch. in Eng.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 118:
But come o' her what likes, I'm twice content, That Lindy's to his bargain geen consent.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xi.:
I would hae skreigh'd out at once, and raised the house, be the consequence what liket.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xviii.:
But he may wise it awa as it likes him to do.
Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man ix.:
I had another part of the piece still to play, and the doing of it liked me even better.

3. Used neg. and absol. to express hesitancy, modesty or bashfulness. Gen.Sc.Abd. 1878 J. C. Hutchieson Vitlage Voices 159:
He drew Maggie closer; “Tell me,” he said; “I dinna like,” was her reply.
Sc. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Evid. II. 1227, III. 2019:
None of them would consent to come, partly, perhaps, because they did not like. … Can you not give the value to him as well as to them? — No, I cannot; I would not like.
Arg.2 1929:
“Why wull ye no daet?” “Ah dinna lake.”

4. To love, have a strong affection for (esp. a person of the opposite sex). Gen.Sc., having a much stronger force than like in Eng., and replacing Luve, q.v., which is avoided in gen. usage as being too demonstrative and sentimental. Vbl.n. †licken, a dear or beloved one, a darling.Per. 1774 MS. per Edb.3:
My licken! Is there fifteen pund? Ye've made my sair heart unco fond!
Rnf. 1801 R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 14:
An wha woud wed wi ane they canna lyke?
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvi.:
I like another man better than you, and I canna marry ye.
Abd. 1847 W. Thom Poems 124:
I try to forget her, but canna forget — I've liket her lang, an' I aye like her yet.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 96:
We're aye content, an' ither likes, An' ha'e a guid wheen weans.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet xxvii.:
I could hae etten her, I likit her that weel.
Sc. 1896 Stevenson W. of Hermiston vi.:
Will ye no gie's a kiss, Dand? I aye likit ye fine.
Sc. 1910 D. G. Mitchell Sermons 191:
Does a love-lowe no kin'le for His likin for us?
Rxb. 1918 Kelso Chron. (5 Apr.) 4:
He said it seemed I liket the tailor better than him.
Bnff. 1952 New Sc. Poetry 40:
We'd 'a been forty 'ear merried at Martinmas comin' Still the loss I can thole — It's nae as if iver I'd liket the 'oman.

5. Phr.: asas ye like, as — as you can imagine, — to a superlative degree. Gen.Sc.Ags. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems 85:
Night and day — it is her nature — Working aye as hard's ye like.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 5:
We saw her passin' near Heugh-head As canty as ye like.
Fif. 1899 E. F. Heddle Marget at Manse 78:
Baith o' them, and as impident as you like.

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"Like v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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