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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SELL, v. A. Sc. forms: Pa.t. sa(u)ld (Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 83, sauld; Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. i., sald; Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 26; Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxvii.; Rnf. 1846 W. Finlay Poems 188; Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 205; e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 233, Sh. 1969, sald), sa(u)l (Abd. 1882 G. MacDonald Castle Warlock xiii., 1891 Trans. Bch. Field Club II. 13, sal, 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 21); selled (Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 189; Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 180; Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Let. xiii.; Ags. 1899 W. L. Watson Sir Sergeant v.; Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 13; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai); sel(l)t (Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 88; Ayr. 1786 Burns To his Auld Mare xv.; Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale 172; Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 372, Fif. 1912 County Folk-Lore VII. 143; Lnk. 1923 G. Rae 'Mang Lowland Hills 42; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1942 Zai; ne.Sc. 1969). [sǫl(d), sɑ:l; sɛld, sɛlt, the last now being the Gen.Sc. form.] Pa.p. sa(u)ld (m.Lth. 1811 H. MacNeill Bygane Times 38, sald; Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvii.; Rxb. 1833 A. Hall Sc. Borderer (1874) 32; Knr. 1878 J. L. Robertson Poems 77; Abd. 1894 Mrs Jackson Bundle of Stories 90; Ags. 1907 Rymour Club Misc. 48; Sh. 1969, sald), saal (Abd. 1882 W. Forsyth Writings 152), ¶sale (Abd. 1826 Fair Maid of Wellington in Child Ballads (1956) V. 228); sel(le)d (Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 212; Sc. 1784 Hobie Noble in Child Ballads No. 189. ii., 1815 Scott Guy M. xii.; Abd. 1832 W. Scott Poems 53; Kcb. 1893 Crockett Stickit Minister i.; Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden (1922) 17; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein), sel(l)t (Abd. 1764 Rec. Old Abd. (S.C.) I. 197; Sc. 1827 Scott Two Drovers ii.; m.Lth. 1844 J. Ballantine Miller 46; wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 36; Ags. 1886 A. Willock Rosetty Ends 2; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; ne.Sc. 1969). [†sl(d), sɑ:l sɛld, sɛlt]

m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 38:
The meenister's lang gane; his kirk is skailt
for the last time. The freestane manse is sellt
tae (sae I'm tellt) a southron millionaire.
Gsw. 1998 Scotsman (2 May) 13:
Perth is a lovely town and a wee bit stylish at that. It would have to be for Emilio Coia to have his drawings sell't on Friday in Love's Auction rooms in the wee town. . .

B. Sc. usages in deriv. and phrs.: ¶1. sellrif, of goods: saleable, easy to sell. See -Rife. Cf. Salerife; 2. sellin swine, the name of a children's game in which a child with a piece of straw rope guards a row of peat-fragments from the rest of the players who try to snatch one and make off with the guard in pursuit. If the latter touched him with the rope before he reached safety, they had to change places. The name derives from a rhyme chanted at the beginning “I come fae da Hielans tae da Lowlans, sellin' sheep, gaislins and swine, A'm lost my peerie aalie paatie and I warran he's no amo dine” (Sh. 1969); 3. to sell, the infin. used pred.: for sale, to be sold. Gen.Sc. Rare in Eng.1. Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 92:
Sae weel's they'll point the sellrif stuff, Their stock's a' solid ware.
3. Sc. 1773 Caled. Mercury (28 April):
Houses to Sell.
Sc. 1800 Edb. Advertiser (25 March):
House to Sell by Private Bargain.
Sc. 1826 in Lockhart Scott lxxi.:
From the side of one projected a board, with this inscription, “To Sell”.

[O.Sc. selrife, 1517.]

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



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