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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.

MENDS,, v. Also mendis, mens(e); menze; mains. The unaphetic form amends is sometimes written as a mends, mense, etc., mends then being construed as a sing. [mɛnz]

I. n. 1. Amends, penance, atonement, reparation, restitution, compensation, satisfaction (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Lth. 1962).Sc. 1704 Papers about Sc. Plot 27:
This is all the mends I can make.
Sh. c.1733 P.S.A.S. XXVI. 200:
That all persons have sufficient cornyard dykes, and that no mends be made for corn eaten within cornyards, except where more than one is concerned in the yard.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 21:
That's better mense for a fault, than a' your mortifying o' your members.
Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf x.:
Westburnflat hasna the means, e'en if he had the will, to make up our loss; there's nae mends to be got out o' him.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Things hedna maybe gane far i' the wye o' men's.
Sc. 1887 Jam.:
Ye hae the mense in your ain han.
Cai. 1903 E.D.D.:
“To mak mens”, to make up for a loss or injury.

Comb. flesh-mens, physical retribution.Ork.1 1946:
A parent once hinted that he would take flesh-mens on me, i.e. inflict bodily chastisement.

2. Phrs.: (1) nae mens, no matter! never mind! it is of no consequence, no harm done! (Sh. 1962); (2) to be (guid) mends upo', to serve someone right (Ork. 1962); (3) to get, hae or tak (a) mends (up)on, — o', — (the) (best) mends o', to get satisfaction from, the better of, to take revenge upon, to get even with, to get a hold or advantage over (I.Sc., Abd. 1962); to drain the energies of, tax one's strength; (4) to or till the mends, into —, in addition, into the bargain, to boot, over and above (Sc. 1808 Jam.).(2) Ork. 1931 J. Leask Peculiar People 136:
Id waas guid mains api da rugfis moniment o' a offisher for no haean mainers aneuch till chap at da door.
(3) Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 23:
To get a Mends of whinging Fools, That's frighted for Repenting-Stools.
Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 25:
For an it had been a tyddie, cauller swack pennyworth, I might hae chanc'd to get a mens o' her.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 137:
Ye'd best let be; For feth wese hae a mends of ye.
Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 590, 591:
Alto I gatt na menze apun him at dat meentyme, I mett him in a mistie moarnin fur a dat . . . I wiz resoal'd ta he sum menze apun him.
Lth. 1857 Misty Morning 216:
I'll maybe get the mends o' ye a way ye're no thinkin'!
Fif. 1862 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xvii.:
He said hoo he wad like to get a mends o' Mr Bodkin for threatenin' to bring him afore the Shirra.
Ork. 1929 Old-Lore Misc. IX. ii. 77:
He wad a' haen guid mains api' da Ill Ane bae gaen da boy twa-r-tree mens wark tae deu.
Abd.1 1929:
Still and on, a day at the divots took the mense o'm.
(4) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs, II. 155:
Now gi'e me ane [kiss] into the mense.
Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 403:
Fine ripe cherries, twal and ane to the mens, are to be met with, tied on a stick in a very inviting manner for children, at the corner of every street during the short time that this fruit is in season.
Nai. 1828 W. Gordon Poems 217:
Then began a waefu habble, Some got blows twa till the mains.

II. v. To make amends, to compensate.w.Sc. 1887 Jam.:
Your giein' now canna mense for your takin' then.

[Aphetic form of amends. O.Sc. mendis, = I. 1., c.1400, to the mends, 1694.]

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"Mends n. pl., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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