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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAN, n.1, v. Also paun. Sc. form and usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Sc. combs. and phrs.: (1) a' made up frae the pan an' (the) spuin, of persons: physically and mentally flabby, soft, lacking in character; (2) pan bread, bread baked in a pan, tin bread. See (13); (3) pan-brunie, a Brunie made in a frying-pan, sometimes with currants or raisins added (Sh. 1965); (4) pancake, A small round cake made with a soft dough, cooked on a girdle, thicker than an Eng. pancake, usu. eaten with butter, jam etc. Cf. drop scone s.v. Drap, v., 4. (3).  (5) pan coal, see (18) below (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 49); (6) pan cra(t)ch, a precipitate of lime forming on the sides of salt-pans, which was formerly used for rendering or harling walls. Cf. Eng. pan-scratch; (7) pan davy, oatmeal, sometimes mixed with scraps of meat, etc., and fried in fat, Skirlie (Gall. 1965). Cf. (10) below; †(8) pandoor, -dore, -dour, n., the entrance to or environs of a salt-pan; hence used attrib. in comb. pandoor oyster, a large succulent type of oyster found in the river Forth, esp. in the neighbourhood of Prestonpans (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Also in shortened form pandoor; (9) pandrop, -drap, a round, slightly flattened sweet with a hard, white, peppermint-flavoured sugar coating, an imperial. Gen Sc. Also attrib.; (10) pan haggis, = (7) (Ayr., Kcb., Rxb. 1965); (11) pan-jotral(s), -jottrel(s), -jottery, (i) the offal from slaughtered animals (Rxb. 1825 Jam.), also a dish made from this, a hotch-potch (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Mry., Bnff. 1965, -jottery); a hotch-potch of food such as is eaten at a party, odds and ends of food, left-overs, specif. cooked mince, potato and onion warmed up in a pan (Slk. 1965); (ii) a type of cake made from scraps of other cakes or the scrapings of the baker's board with the addition of fruit, popular with children because of its cheapness (Abd. 1952); (12) pan kail, see Kail, n. 5. (41); (13) pan loaf, (i) a loaf baked in a pan or tin having a hard smooth crust, a tin loaf (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc.; (ii) fig. an affected, ultra-refined way of speech adopted to impress others with one's social importance, so called because of the relatively higher price of the pan than the Plain loaf. Also of dress, behaviour. Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. Also used attrib. Adj., adv. pan-loafy. Hence phrs. to speak pan loaf(y) (pan-loafie Bnff., Ags., Edb., Gsw., Dmf. 2000s), to pit on the high pan, to speak in an affected pseudo-English manner, to “put on the style”. See also Dichty Water, Kelvinside, Pink, and Prince; (14) pan-oil, the distillings of sea-water produced in the manufacture of salt (see quot.); (15) pan-scone, n., a drop scone, pancake (Dmf. 1953); (16) pan-shell, n, ? a kind of fish; (17) pan-soled, adj., of rolls, bread, etc.: flat and hard on the underside from firing; (18) pan-wood, n., small coal, slack, dross, “fuel used in or about salt pans, the dust of coal mixed with earth” (w.Lth. 1825 Jam.). Cf. (5) above. Also shortened form pannie, -y, kindling, firewood (Ags. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Kcd., em.Sc. 1965), “esp. that used in bothies by farm-servants” (Per. 1922).(1) Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1874) 282:
He's a comical chap; he's no a made-up frae the pan and spoon.
(2) Sc. 1938 St. Andrews Cit. (9 April):
Economise by using wrapped sliced pan bread.
Rnf. 1993 History on your Doorstep, The Reminiscences of the Ferguslie Elderly Forum 8:
You used to get a slice of pan bread covered with mince.
(4)Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 7:
new-baked scones and pancakes straucht frae the girdle.
And the scones and rowth o high-tea cakes that
gars your teeth watter.
(5) Ayr. 1763 Session Papers, Orr v. Earl of Eglinton (6 Dec.) 21:
Desiring the Deponent to furnish him with Pan-coal for the Use of the old Pan.
Ayr. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VII. 17:
Round coal, splent coal, small or pan coal.
(6) Sc. 1709 Ho. Bk. Lady G. Baillie (S.H.S.) 237:
For pan cratch a boll £1 14, Tam Youlls expence a night going to the Pans for it . . . £2 0 4. For pan cratch to the Tour head . . . £1 16.
Edb. 1754 Contract for building Exchange 27:
[To] lay a bed of till, at least six inches thick, over the whole vaults, composed of clay, lime and smiddy-culm, well and proportionally mixed and ramm'd, and the joints of the pavement, which is to be laid on this till, to be secured with pan-cratch or terras sufficiently beat and prepared.
Lth. 1786 Session Papers, Petition F. Swediaur (29 July) App.:
A floor of rough flags not jointed, and the interstices made up with pancratch.
(8) Sc. 1701 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 287:
Spent with Sr Ch. ker., Sr w. Set., durie, H.C. etc., when we got pandore oisters . . . £1 9 6.
Ayr. 1763 Session Papers, Orr v. Earl of Eglinton (12 Oct.) 13:
The former tacksman's price [for coal for a salt pan] of three pence farthing at the pan door.
Edb. 1764 Caled. Mercury (8 Feb.):
James Stirling at the New Fish-market, in the Cowgate of Edinburgh, sells large and good well cured Glasgow herring . . . good salmon-kipper, crail-capons, best Pandour-oysters at 10d. per hundred.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 68:
Whan lads gang out on Sunday's even And tak of fat pandours a prieven, Or mussel brose.
Sc. 1796 Scots Mag. (July) 440:
Pandore oysters are the best, i.e. those taken near the doors of the salt pans, as they always breed best in water that is brackish.
Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 207:
Mr. Currantbush, ye're no to gang past me for oysters — ye tell'd me to keep pandores for you.
Sc. 1894 H. Haliburton Furth in Field 58:
He cooled his stomach with a dish of mussel-brose at Newhaven, or with a prievin' o' fat pandores a little further east the coast.
(9) Sc. 1877 Encycl. Brit. VI. 257:
A core or centre of some kind is required, and this may consist either of a seed or fruit as a coriander or an almond; or it may be a small lozenge, as in the case of pan drops.
Edb. 1898 J. Baillie Walter Crighton 95:
There were “bakes”, “katieflips”, “jib”, and big pandrops.
Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie v.:
I thocht it was pan-drops ye cam' oot for, or conversation-losengers.
Rxb. 1917 Southern Reporter (24 May):
Many a “pandrop” and nut did I earn by running messages for those kind hearted ladies.
Fif. 1939 St. Andrews Cit. (4 March):
A poke o' pan-drops in his hand.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 106:
Wir haean a duff, an' treacle . . . an' twa pan drops.
Sc. 1964 Scotsman (14 Oct.) 5:
What was described in court as “a classical line of traditional Scottish sweet — pan drops.”
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 7:
But she unbent for the ceremony of the pan drop.
I was summoned to the hearth.
Taking a pan drop from a glass jar, the holy grail of her dresser, she would place it on the fender and pulverise it with the poker.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 78:
My granfaither wad hae deed for a pan drop.
He'd sook them day an' nicht
wi toothless tortoise gooms leathert
aifter monie years withooten dentures.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 48:
Mochy blae cloods hung aroon the pews as the pandrops passed alang the lines o fowk.
Aabody sookit pandrops tae thole the dreid o the sermon. Bit there wis an airt tae the sookin: nae crinchin wis allooed ...
Sc. 2000 Herald 19 Oct 2:
He is coming. He is going. No: he is coming back again. Perhaps he has forgotten the pandrops wise folk like yourself keep for such occasions.
(11) (i) Sc. 1873 D. M. Ogilvy W. Wabster's Wooing 17:
He got a dad o' dordermeat; Bannocks, pan-jotrals in a corrach.
(ii) Abd. 1910 W. R. Melvin Poems (1949) 37:
Tay, tattie-chips, an' fizzin' drinks, Panjotral, tripe an' toffee.
Abd. 1935 J. White Sea Road vii.:
I ate ower muckle panjottral at the weddin' the other nicht, and my inside's been waumlin' ever since.
(13) (i) Ags. 1887 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 10:
He lat drive at Simpson's head wi' a pan-loaf.
wm.Sc. 1906 H. Foulis Vital Spark i.:
Four men and a derrick, and a watter-butt and a pan loaf in the foc'sle.
Sc. 1907 J. Kirkland Modern Baker I. 112:
Tin or Pan Loaves . . . Scotch pan loaves . . . are generally baked four in a pan, and to ensure that they separate with a smooth face each loaf is greased on the ends before being placed in the tin.
Abd. 1917 E. S. Rae War Poems 67:
An' noo we ha'e the souter's son, that ca'ed the merchant's van, Fa eese tae speer in times o' peace, “a plain, or a pan?”
Gall. 1946 Scots Mag. (April) 9:
Dinna forget tae bring back a pan loaf, an' ask the baker hoo he didna ca' yesterday.
Gsw. 1957 Bulletin (25 Feb.):
Pan loaves are coming back into favour again.
(ii) Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tales 48:
I warned Sarah Amelia no' tae start speakin' pan-loafy fin I wiz wi' her. She thrapit doon my thrapple that if I spak braid Farfar fowk wud tak me for a Turk.
Gsw. 1947 H. W. Pryde First Bk. McFlannels vi.:
An' yer pan-loaf talk! “Good-marning, Mrs. McTweed,” says you, “fehn weather we're heving for this tehm of the year!”
Edb. 1949 F. Urquhart The Ferret iv. ii.:
There's Mrs. Moore tryin' to put on the High Pan!
Gsw. 1962 Bill McGhee Cut and Run 82:
These were mostly relatives of Jenny, who seemed to have attended for traditional reasons only, as they would a funeral, and probably looked at marriage to a McNulty as a similar fate. Proper 'pan-loaf' crowd, they were. You know, hoity-toity.
Sc. 1964 Weekly Scotsman (16 June) 8:
Ah dinna like her, she's oafy pan loaf.
wm.Sc. 1965 Alan Sharp A Green Tree in Gedde (1985) 23:

'Hello John.' He had never quite accustomed himself to Mrs Davidson's voice. It had the classical range of refinements common to the west of Scotland, well-to-do matron, those vowel discolourations and arbitrary emphases known as the 'pan loaf', but instead of the effete bleat that usually accompanied it, with Mrs Davidson there was a hard vigorous timbre ...
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 53:
pan-loaf ... A pan-loaf accent is a posh accent. There are two possible explanations for this usage known to me; the first being that a pan loaf was considered the kind of bread that posh people ate, the second being that pan loaf is rhyming slang for toff as pronounced locally.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Elder Stookie 20:
And a posh girl at that. He could tell she was posh by the way she spoke. Sort of pan loaf.
Gsw. 1991 John Burrowes Mother Glasgow 339:
' ... You get a wee bevvy before the game, tea in china cups, a City Bakeries fern cake at half-time and the waitresses are in black with wee lace aprons. All very sedate and pan-loaf. ... '
Ags. 1994 Mary McIntosh in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 148:
She had an awfy pan-loafie voice. Fair got up my humph wi her poash wurds.
Dundee 1994 Matthew Fitt in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 176:
The tebills wur a fuhl an fowk wur settin pickin at thair food, affa polite-lyke, chitterin awa in wee pan-loafey small talk.
(14) Ayr. 1909 P. C. Carragher Saltcoats 38:
The first boiling [of sea water] invariably produced a glutty, unattractive surface, which was carefully skimmed and thrown back into the sea. Gradually the liquid attained a purer consistency, a pipe from the Pans earrying to a barrel outside the dripping of the “pan oil”, then in universal local use for rheumatism.
(15) Sc. 1963 Scots Mag. (April) 65:
You see, what they [the English] call pancakes are the big thin ones, normally described in Glasgow as crumpets, and what we in Glasgow call pancakes and other Scots call pan scones (the wee, thickish ones), they would regard as muffins, or a variety of muffin.
(16) Ayr. 1886 J. Meikle Lintie 131:
I know all about millthoomies (hard heads), dug fish, pan shells, cod, haddock.
(17) wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 123:
My breakfast, consisting of tea, eggs and ham, two penny pan-soled baps, forbye a farl of cake-bread and a thimblefu' of brandy.
(18) Sc. 1727 D. Hume Punishment of Crimes (1797) I. 229:
Debtors to the said Company in the produce of the said estate, on account either of rents, coal, salt, or pan-wood.
m.Lth. 1761 Session Papers, Earl of Abercorn v. Wallace (10 Dec.) 7:
Now that Mr. Wallace is obliged to bring all the panwood from his other coal-works, down to the salt-pans.
Sc. 1764 Caled. Mercury (10 March):
Panwood, or small coal, for burning lime, at 9s. per chalder.
Sc. 1789 C. Beaumont Treatise Coal Trade 8:
The small [coal], or panwood, is chiefly used for salt pans, which gives to the latter its name in Scotland.
e.Lth. 1811 P. McNeill Tranent (1884) 174:
Each coalier having a full hook, is to put out as aforesaid, daily and every lawful day, at least 4 tubs of panwood, measuring 2 bolls for each tub.
Lnl. 1925 H. M. Cadell Rocks w.Lth. 320:
The small coal or dross used for firing the pans was originally known as panwood, and this seems to indicate that the salt industry was still older than coal-mining, the pans having apparently been heated with wood fuel before coal became plentiful.

2. The skull, the cranium (Sh., Bnff. 1965). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial. Comb. harn-pan, id. See Harn, n.1 Phr. to knock one's pan out, to work very hard, exert oneself to the point of exhaustion (m.Sc. 1965). Also knock one's pan in, caw one's pan oot.Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 108:
O tuneless brain, O brainless pan!
Edb. 1839 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxiv.:
I feared the fall had produced some crack in his pan, and that his seven senses had gone a wool-gathering.
Ayr. 1847 Ballads (Paterson) II. 115:
Ae stroke wi' sic prodigious strength The deil's harns frae the pan flew!
Gsw. 1985 James Kelman A Chancer 47:
Her and Donnie's auld man, they're really knocking their pan in about New Zealand. She's got lists of her furniture all made up; all ready. It's good - what she's done.
m.Sc. 1989 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay The Guid Sisters 7:
Ah dinnae waant tae understand. Ah dinnae waant tae even hear aboot it. Ye caw yir pan oot bringin thum up an whit dae ye git? Damn all!
Gsw. 1991 John Burrowes Mother Glasgow 152:
' ... I pick up about forty pounds a week and I don't break sweat. With Lorens it was twenty-five on a good week and that was knocking your pan in. ... '
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 14:
It's only right thit the heid o' the faimly gits the lion's share! It's him caws his pan oot tae earn a wage tae keep yese aw.

3. As in Eng., chiefly dial., a hard stratum lying below the soil which is impervious to moisture. Deriv. pany, adj., of ground: difficult to plough (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).Bnff. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 IV. 360:
Towards the hills, it is a light black soil, and under it an obstinate pan. Owing to this pan, . . . the fields retain the rains long.
Rs. 1795 Ib. VI. 184:
A black pan, hard as iron ore, runs in a stratum of 2 or 3 inches thick in the bosom of the clay.
Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 665:
At first the plough ran upon the pan, which it seemed impossible to penetrate.
Abd. 1877 W. Alexander Rural Life 29:
[They] seem to have had some vague kind of notion that each succeeding furrow should go a little deeper than the one given the previous year, till, as they say, “the pan” was reached.

4. The epidermis of a sheep which comes away with the old wool when the new fleece has started to grow.Ork. 1929 Marw.:
“The pan's risan noo; it's time the sheep were shorn.” This means that the old fleece is coming loose from the new growth below.

5. A dense shoal of small fish (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928) s.v. pansjara, Sh. 1965). Hence panner, a heavy catch of herring (Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C.), phs. from the notion of layer or stratum in 3. above.Jak.:
A pan o' herrings, a pan o' silleks.

6. A heavy pall of mist (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), pan o' mist).

7. A conveyor in a coal or shale-mine (w.Lth. 1965).

II. v. 1. tr. To tie a pan or kettle to (a dog's tail, etc.) (Sc. 1911 S. D. D. Add.; Ork., Ags. 1965), esp. to make it go home.Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.:
I've seen a weaver lass who openly frequented a loom shop for love of a weaver lad panned to send her home.

2. intr. Of the soil: to solid form into a pan or impenetrable layer, to become impervious to rain. Gen.Sc. Only dial. and agric. in Eng.Sc. 1889 H. Stephens Bk. of Farm I. 120:
Such a subsoil has a tendency to pan.

3. To dredge, scoop. A nonce jocular usage of Eng. pan, to use a pan in washing gravel or the like, to dredge.Sc. 1823 Blackwood's Mag. (Oct.) 493:
I'll wauger he'll be eating twa eggs to his breakfast the morn, . . . and paunin' in his cup for mair sugar.

[O.Sc. has panwod, small coal, 1531, pan tre, 1584, pane-crache, 1622.]

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"Pan n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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