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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.

MONIE, adj., n. Also monnie, mony; mauny (Cai. 1928 John o' Groat Jnl. (10 Feb.)); min(n)y, meny (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 3, 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 324, Ib. II. i. 29). Sc. forms of Eng. many (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis, 1808 Jam.). Hence monyfauld, in eclectic usage: manifold (Sc. 1877 P. H. Waddell Psalms civ. 24, 1924 W. W. Smith New Testament Ephes. iii. 10). Gen.Sc. [′mone, ′mʌne]

I. adj. Sc. forms:Dmf. 1979 Ron Butlin in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 36:
I seen thae glinterin things come clawin fer ma hairt,
sae mony bricht an brilliant birds they were.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 35:
They'll boast an' brag aboot yi, they'll kiss an' tell
Wi' who, an' hoo minny times, an' hoo well!
Dundee 1989 W. N. Herbert in Joy Hendry Chapman 55-6 94:
Whan thi sel's a taiglit threid that trails
across thi mony-layirt fisses o thi land
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 33:
A whylsin back that wasnae faur
as haednae seen the furst new caur,
whuin monie coals were gy nearhaun
the surface o the grallocht grun, ...
m.Sc. 1994 J. E. MacInnes in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 13:
I dinny mind my first love. I wis ower young and huv hud ower minny, but I dae mind the wan that gied me the maist actual physical pain.
Sth. 1996 Gordon Stewart in Timothy Neat The Summer Walkers: Travelling People and Pearl-Fishers in the Highlands of Scotland 103:
Noo whorday is drawin near
An I mun sune leave ye
I worked ye baith for mony a year
Tae pairt wi ye does grieve me.

Sc. usages:

1. Big, large, great, considerable, with words in pl. as construed in pl. (Sh., Ags. 1963).Sc. 1787 J. Beattie Scoticisms 18:
A great many company.
Sc. 1801 J. Leyden Complaynt 357:
Mony pricis is a popular phrase for a great price. The kye brought mony prices at the fair, i.e. they sold dear.

2. Followed by a n. in the sing. without indef. art. Obs. in Eng.Ags. 1796 Bards Ags. (Reid 1897) 150:
For mony back and mony wime Depend on me.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xviii.:
Mony time my mither wished the haill cleckin' o' them blawn into the German Ocean.
Cai. 1869 M. McLennan Peasant Life 240:
Wi' heads jamlin wi' book pride and toum stomacks, as yers maun be mony day.

3. In phr. many's the —, used as a separate clause or quasi-parenthetically = Eng. many a —. Gen.Sc. Obs. in Eng. since 14th c. except dial.Sc. 1870 E. Phelps Hedged In xviii.:
An' mony's the time I've warned him o' the consequences.
Bnff. 1882 W. Philip K. MacIntosh's Scholars ii.:
Havena I warned you . . . mony's the time and aft to keep your een better on your charge, and you see noo fat it's come till.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr. Duguid 67:
Mony's the basketful of blackbyds I have gathered there.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Mony's the time I heard him tell of this experience, and aye the swat ran upon the man.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 324:
Puir Sibbie after bidan minnys da day her leevan lane, de'ed i' da voar i' a madhoos.
Abd. 1911 Rymour Club Misc. IV. 26:
And sae nimbly as he led oor squad Owre mony's the thristle's croon.
ne.Sc. 1921 Swatches o' Hamespun 7:
Her bairnie dancin' roon her knee Playing mony's the prank.
Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (April) 79:
Murdoch asked him if he had ever been to Taranty Fair. “Aye, and sold horses there mony's the time,” replied the man in blue.

4. Combs. and phrs.: (1) by mony fauld, by a long way; (2) mony a lang (syne), see Lang, I. 7. (4); (3) mony-a-mony, very many (Ags. 1963); (4) mony and aft, many times and oft, often (Sh. 1963); (5) mony ane, (i) adj., many, following the n., in apposition. Obs. in Eng.; (ii) n., many a person (Sh.. ne.Sc. 1963). Phr. mony ane mair, many another; ¶(6) mony an' mae, a great many people; (7) mony-a-where, in many places. Cf. (11); (8) mony-go-round, a revolving mechanism, a jocular name for a clock or watch; (9) mony lang, see Lang, I. 7. (4); (10) mony-might, great forces, armies. A nonce formation used in translating the Lord of hosts. Cf. 1.; (11) monie where, in many places. Rare in Eng. Cf. (7).(1) Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 65:
It wad na been, by mony fauld, Sae sair a heart to nane o's a.
(3) Mry. 1804 R. Couper Poetry II. 67:
Which for mony a mony year Hang on the reeky wa!
Gall. 1934 Galloway News (29 Sept.):
For mony-a-mony-a frien' o' mine He's gruppit wi' his cunnin' line.
(4) Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 293:
But mony and aft's the time that I hae lain for hours ahint some auld turf-dyke.
(5) (i) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 183:
Baith cooks and scullions mony ane.
Ayr. 1792 Burns In Simmer ii.:
It's ye hae wooers monie ane.
Abd. 1844 W. Thom Rhymes 80:
There were Earls on that glitterin' strand, Wi' diamonded Dame mony ane.
(ii) Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 79:
If this be not true, mony anes Liers.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xlii.:
Montgomery, and Ferguson, and mony ane mair that were King James's greatest faes, are on his side now.
Slk. 1820 Hogg Tales (1874) 187:
If Tibby Johnston wasna a good woman and a Christian, mony ane may be feared.
Rxb. 1873 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 201:
Mooney yen's been hanged for less it-it-it have they.
Fif. 1894 D. S. Meldrum Margrédel xi.:
There's mony ane maks an errand to the ha' to bid my lady gude-day.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 96:
Gin there wis mair like you, mony een wid be weel aff.
(6) Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms iv. 6:
Wha will schaw us aught gude, quo' mony an' mae.
(7) Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 39:
Fine plantations mony a-where, Wi' bra' houses baith but and ben.
(8) Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel iii.:
And then I was carried, beyond my kenning, to a sma' booth whare they make the whirligigs and mony-go-rounds that measure out time as a man wad measure a tartan web.
(10) Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms xxiv. 10:
The Lord o' mony-might is he; him lane is that King right namelie!
(11) Bwk. 1801 “Bwk. Sandie” Poems 79:
Baith here and monie where.

5. Superl. forms moniest, monyest, maniest, most, the greatest in number, the majority. Obs. in Eng.Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 43:
After Dispute, the moniest Votes agree.
Sc. 1728 P. Walker Six Saints (Fleming 1901) I. 41:
I know that ministers, elders, and witty professors will have maniest exceptions and sharpest reflections.
Rxb. 1848 R. Davidson Leaves 47:
Sure whisky best deserves the prize, For he has monyest tumbled, Right owre this day.

II. n. Sc. forms:m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 40:
O mony hae pri'ed a kiss o ma mou
an ane that pri'ed me has cost me sair,
for he was the ane I was fain to lo'e;
but I sall see him nevermair.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 56:
Look at it on the map:
Gin meisurement by acres
were aa, it wadna be
warth a thocht (an's haurdly,
I ken, gien a thocht
by monie).

Sc. usages:

1. With def. art.: the great majority, the dead, the departed. Also moniest. See 5.Kcd. 1884 D. Grant Lays & Leg. 115:
Noo he's gaen ta join the mony, Gaen the road we a' are gyaun.
Kcb.1 1929:
Puir body, she's amang the moniest noo.

2. With indef. art.: a lot, a great number. For phr. deil a mony, see Deil, n., II. 1. (5).Edb. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar xlvi.:
You will meet amany yet before the last comes along.

[O.Sc. mony, many, 1375; mony ane, adj., a.1400; monyast, very many c.1500, Mid.Eng. moni, O.E. mǫniȝ.]

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"Monie adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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