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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.

NOR, conj.1 Also nair  (Slk. 1893 J. Dalgleish Walter Wathershank's Adventures 3-4), and unstressed forms  nar (Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 29, s.Sc. 1856 H. S. Riddell St Matthew xxvi. 29; Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 2), ner (Sh. 1869 J. T. Reid Art Rambles 40, Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 80), nir (Ags. 1887 Brechin Advert. (4 Oct.) 3, Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 12), nur (Abd. 1955 W.P. Milne Eppie Elrick i.). Cf. Na, conj. [nɔr, nər]

1. Used after compar. and words with sim. constructions: than (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. and in n.Eng. dial. Combs. nor'n [ < nor + than], nor nae, than any.Sc. 1707 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 30:
I shall wish rather to exerce it in my freends nor in my own concerns.
Sc. 1761 Magopico 15:
Ae pund of gospel gifts is better nir fourteen stane nine pund and a haff o' the legal measure o' clairgie.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 115:
Shapes war nor thae, I freely ween Cou'd never meet the Soldier's Ein.
Ayr. 1790 Burns My Tocher's the Jewel ii.:
Ye'll crack ye're credit wi' mair nor me!
Slk. 1827 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. xvii.:
He has been anither nor a gude ane that.
Abd. 1868 G. MacDonald R. Falconer ii. ii.:
An auld wife's better nor nae fiddle.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 4:
I can dü little mair nor read a shapter i' da Bible.
Fif. 1896 D. S. Meldrum Grey Mantle 176:
There's more nor a man there, Jooley.
Arg. 1901 N. Munro Doom Castle iii.:
It . . . micht agree wi' the Count better nor the cauld fowl.
Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 9:
An' mair nor 'at a'm 'ir geed-man!
Gsw. 1915 Ian Hay The First Hundred Thousand (1985) 61:
"Still, it's better nor a wash-oot! And ony-way, you're due us tippence the noo!"
Mry. 1927 E. B. Levack Lossiemouth 40:
I've a soar throt see, an' that's more nor'n you have.
Sc. 1944 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 88:
The rest is worse nor me.
m.Sc. 1979 Donald Campbell in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 66:
Your mither was aye faster
nor the skeeliest o hures
 m.Sc. 1985 William J. Rae in Joy Hendry Chapman 40 18:
"You canna be a bigger gowk nor me, shairly. Why, that's whit fowk caa us cuckoos - gowks..."
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 21:
Na, nearer nor that. No faur frae the door somewhaur.
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 38:
Einstein, Whitehead, Russell and mony anither
Kent but little mair nor his bushman brither
ne.Sc. 1991 Ken Morrice in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 60:
Mair nor a week gaed bye
afore we'd dook again frae yon
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 20:
We're a trap whaur for'ners
can spen mair nor they plan,
in chip shops, bettin shops,
even in wee sweetie shops. ... "

2. Esp. after words expressing doubt or wonder used neg.: (but) that, corresp. to Lat. quin (ne.Sc., Ags. 1964).Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 336:
And tho', nae doubt, nor it may be, That ane, like you, o' skilly ee, May mony glim and snapper see.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlix.:
Aw div not won'er nor ye canna be edifiet wi' sic a man.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 92:
Noo, Wull, ye auld divertin' loon, Nae wonder nor you're thin.
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 122:
There's little wonder nor Nannie ran awa wi' Bauldy.
Abd. 1962:
There's nae dout nor he will, gin he get the chance. It's smaa winner nor he brook, the wey he flang about the siller.

3. Although, if, in imprecatory phrs. Deil nor (Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 55; Lnk. 1816 G. Muir Cld. Minstrelsy 49), fean-, fient-, God-, shame-, sorrow-, it would matter little if, no one need care if, would to the devil that, it is a pity that . . . not. See also Fient, 1. Deil, fient, sorrow, etc., being quasi-negs., the ellipsis may be taken as = “May it not be that . . . not . . .”Ayr. 1703 Session Bk. Dundonald (1936) 541:
Now, Willie Kerr, Shame nor the head were off yow for the countrey side is fosht with yow.
Edb. 1724 A. Pennecuik Poems (1787) 13:
Fean nor they were a' sent to France.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Brigs of Ayr 125:
Down ye'll hurl (deil nor ye never rise!).
Peb. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 125:
Sorrow nor the drink wad chock ye.
Wgt. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 108:
Fill't [well] up atweel! deevil nor she was chokit in't.
Lnk. 1899 H. Muir Hamely Echoes 63:
Wae's me, nor I had but my days to begin!
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 57:
Deevil nor the Auld Ane had you the noo!

4. In illiterate use = as, in the collocation as . . . nor.Edb. 1906 V. Spiganovicz Night Life 18:
They're no a' hyperkits, bit sim is, an' ah hae ma opeenion as well nor ye.

[O.Sc. nor, than, from c.1400, as in 2., 1552, as in 3., c.1500. Appar. an emphatic variant of Na, conj., formally influenced by Nor, conj.2 ( < nother), neither.]

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"Nor conj.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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