Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

OFFICER, n. Also Sc. forms (see etym. note): offisher (Slk. 1835 Hogg Tales (1874) 574; wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 311, Fif. 1905 S. Tytler Daughter of the Manse iii. iii.; Abd. 1932 Abd. Univ. Review (March) 106), officiar (Bnff. 1715 Annals Bnff. (S.C.) I. 119), offichir (Edb. 1774 Gentleman and Lady's Weekly Mag. (11 May) 89), offiechir (n.Sc. 1736 W. Fraser Chiefs of Grant (1883) II. 126). Sc. usages: an official of any court, legal, municipal or ecclesiastical, or of a public body with similar jurisdiction, whose duty is to keep order at meetings, deliver messages, summonses, etc. Gen.Sc. See also under Grund, Kirk, Sheriff, Toun, etc. Hence officer corn, meal, grain or meal paid by tenants in a baronial jurisdiction towards the emoluments of the baron-court officer. [′ofɪʃər]Bnff. 1703 W. Cramond Ch. Grange 69:
The officer was appoynted not to brake up ground to bury any within the church that are not heritors.
Sc. 1714 D. Hume Punishment of Crimes (1797) I. 257:
Forsyth used a half firlot for receiving his officer's corn or Yule bannock, different from the measure commonly used in that country.
Ags. 1726 in A. J. Warden Burgh Laws Dundee (1872) 418:
All masters on entering shall pay £12 Scots in name of officer's fee (freemen's sons excepted).
Abd. 1735 Caled. Mercury (20 Feb.):
The Tenants are oblig'd by Tack to pay all public burdens to Kirk and King, also Services to the Heritor; and each Plough paying two Pecks of Officer Meal, he may apply the same to his Use, and cause his Servant to do the Officer's Duty.
Ayr. 1766 Ayr. Presb. Reg. MS. (8 May):
The Presbytery hereby grant Warrant to the Session Officers . . . to summon the Persons designed in the above list.
w.Sc. 1773 A. Buchan St. Kilda in Misc. Scot. (1818) II. 32:
He [the Steward (q.v.) of St. Kilda] has a deputy always on the place, called the officer, and is one of the natives.
Slk. 1791 J. Russell Yarrow (1894) 31:
They were overtaken by the Presbytery officer on horseback, who was a character in his way. He was wont to be called in, after the ordinary Presbytery dinners, to have a glass of beer, and drink the healths of members all round, addressing them by their Latin names, and the clerk as “Brother officer.”
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick xiii.:
It taks the [school] buird offisher to be aye huntin up his folk to get them to send their weans to the schule at a'.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 64:
They speak o' eddication noo for dother an' for sin, An' fin we see the offisher, it gars us pack an' rin.

[The forms in [ʃ] represent the O.Sc. officiar, 1578, O.Fr. officier; officer is from Anglo-Norman officer.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Officer n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: