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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

SOME, adj., adv., pron. Also sum-, som-, sam-; sun-, son- (Sh.).

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. Sc. combs.: (1) somat, summat, something. Also in Eng. dial.; (2) someane (Edb. 1839 W. McDowall Poems 40), somean (Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 2), someen (Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 3), someyin (Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (March) 424). Phrs. somean idder, someone else (Sh. 1891 J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 76; I.Sc. 1971), some idder een, id. (Abd. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (30 Jan.) 6; I., ne.Sc. 1971); (3) somebit, somewhere (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; wm., sm., s.Sc. 1971). See Bit, n.1, 1. (1); (4) somedeal, (i) adv., somewhat, rather, a good deal. Also in Eng. dial.; (ii) n., a good deal. Now only liter.; (5) somedy, also sumdy, sumbdy. Sc. form of Eng. somebody; (6) somegate, -gait, -git, (i) somewhere (Per., Fif., Lth. 1915–26 Wilson; Kcd., em.Sc.(a), Lnk., Slk. 1971). See Gate, n., 3. Pl. somegates, in some places (Abd. 1971); (ii) somehow, in some way (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Mry., Bnff., em.Sc.(b), wm.Sc. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.; (7) somehoo (Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xlvii.), samhoo (Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 25, 26), somehow. As in Eng. See Hoo, adv. Gen.Sc.; (8) somepairt, (i) somewhat. Now only liter.; (ii) somewhere (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; m.Sc. 1971); (9) someplace, (i) adv. somewhere (Slk. 1892 W. M. Adamson Bethy Blether 62). Gen.Sc. See Place, n., 1. Phr. someplace else, somewhere else (Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., also in Eng. dial.; ¶(ii) euphemistically, as a n., the backside; (10) somethin(g), somtin, sontin, so'nting, sunte(e)n, suntin (I.Sc.), (i) n., as in Eng.; (ii) adv., somewhat, rather, a little, slightly (Ayr. 1923 Wilson D. Burns 188, Ayr. 1971). Now rare or dial. in Eng.; (11) someway, -wey, -wye, (i) somehow (Sc. 1880 Jam., s.v. somegate; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 269; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. (exc. Sh.). See Wey. Now only dial. in Eng.; (ii) somewhere (Wilson; Sh., Bnff., Abd. 1971); (12) somewhare (e.Lth. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheephead 164), -whaar (Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 320). Also in adv. genitive form -wheres (Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (July) 271), -wheers (Ib. (May) 142), id.; (13) somewhiles, adv., ¶for some time, for a considerable time, used adj. in quot.(1) Dmf. 1875 P. Ponder Kirkcumdoon 3:
Heart disease or summat o' that sort.
(3) Rxb. 1947 Hawick Express (27 Aug.):
The hawkers hev teh gaun somebit teh camp.
(4) (i) Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 69:
A laird he was, though somedeal auld, In spreit yet juvenil and bauld.
Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth xvii.:
He was somedeal hurt in that matter.
Sh. 1896 J. Burgess Lowra Biglan 45:
Sitting by themselves some deal of late.
Edb. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar iii.:
Wiping his brow, which was some-deal heated.
(ii) Kcb. 1896 Crockett Grey Man x.:
You have had some deal of that too.
(5) Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 67:
sumdy Local variation of somebody: 'Sumdy gauny answer that phone?'
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 5:
Talkin aboot movin, whit wis aw that stramash yesterday, eh? Somedy says they wur shiftin us aw again. Ah hate a flittin. Ye aye leave somethin behind.
m.Sc. 1994 Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay Forever Yours, Marie-Lou 5:
In ten years ah've cheynged intae somedy different...
Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 18:
werrin sumdy else's schune
hou could ye be werrin sumbdy else's schune
(6) (i) Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality v.:
Ye maun take shelter somegate for the night.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Tales (1866) 202:
The Spey rises somegate i' the Heelands.
Lth. 1854 M. Oliphant M. Hepburn ix.:
There's a bonnie lady somegate pining in her bower for a glance of your e'e.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 17:
That some ane some gate has her hert, (God save the mark!) I ken.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 54:
He wudna muddle his chapel, but gang an begin the dingin-doon somegate else.
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 87:
They've baith ran aff some-gate abrod.
Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 25:
I thocht I'd seen something like that somegit.
Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (26 Feb.):
The last three days of February used to be known “some gates” as the “futticks”.
(ii) Sc. 1816 Scott B. Dwarf x.:
Elshie's a real honest fallow, yet somegate I would rather take daylight wi me when I gang to visit him.
Per. 1897 C. Stuart Sandy Scott's Bible Class 10:
He maun try somegait.
Sc. 1928 Scots Mag. (July) 271:
Somegait he managed to wring gowd oot o't.
(8) (i) s.Sc. 1898 E. Hamilton Mawkin vii.:
'Twould make the road somepairt easier.
(9) (ii) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. v. iii.:
She's baith a slee and a revengefu' bitch And that my some-place finds.
(10) (ii) Ayr. 1785 Burns 2nd. Ep. J. Lapraik iii.:
She's saft at best an' something lazy.
Slk. 1819 Hogg Tales (1866) 148:
I feer aye he's something regardless.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xiii.:
A young friend of ours, that is going upon a something particular journey.
Dmb. 1931 A. J. Cronin Hatter's Castle iii. i.:
I began to think ye were something feared to talk to me.
(11) (i) Lnk. 1838 M'Ilwham Papers (Morrison) 7:
Someway I never could get alang side wi' ye.
Gall. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 35:
He couldna keep fae cursin him somewey.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xxvi.:
His eyebrows, someway, seemed to jut extraordinarily.
Sc. 1933 N. B. Morrison Gowk Storm II. ix.:
Ma butter wouldna taste the same somewey oot o' ony ither dish than ma grannie's.
Abd. 1969 Huntly Express (11 July):
I hid the mony an ill-luck efterhin, an' wis never the same somewye.
Abd. 1992 David Toulmin Collected Short Stories 45:
Elsie had tae hae her speen in somewye.
Dundee 2000 Matthew Fitt But n Ben A-Go-Go 15:
The coffee-hoose claiks, somewey inevitably, cried her a man nipper an the legal sweetiewifes had langsyne pit the word oot that she wis a peyed-up baw thrappler but Paolo had never let ony fashionable havers clart his judgement o her.
(ii) s.Sc. 1834 Wilson's Tales of the Border I. 24:
They went abroad someway.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 20:
He'd gotten intill a snorl wi' a quine this airt somewye.
Abd. 1928 P. Grey Making of a King 7:
I min' seein' a beuk somewey in the shop aboot that fancy dresses.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 16:
I knew it wis time tae be moving on somewye else, but I wis feart at this big gaffer and didnae want tae pit in mi notice tae him.
ne.Sc. 2000 Aberdeen Evening Express 4 Mar 17:
They dinna ca' them feet-washin's. An' they dinna jist last for one nicht. The laddish thing tae dae nooadays is tae ha'e a stag do spread ower a few days - and in Barcelona or somewye like 'at.
Sc. 2000 Aberdeen Evening Express 4 Nov 20:
Fan I telt Dolly Webster 'at she wis convinced you wer'na ga'n tae the baths at aa' an' ye hid a damie in Union Grove or somewye.
ne.Sc. 2003 Press and Journal 8 Dec 12:
I hae es pictur in ma myn o es wee wifie somewye far the River Shannon flows, holin her praties, scrubbin them in the sink, slicin them up, inta the bilin fat an then oot an inta the packet.
(12)wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 73:
"Charlie says there wis a stramash ower some kegs and baccy Hay wis bringin' fae a hidey-hole somewheres in Arran,"
m.Sc. 1986 Colin Mackay The Song of the Forest 69:
" ... four men came on them from the forest and killed the guards and took the load away with them to their own bothy somewheres deep in the trees. ... "
(13) Bte. 1718 Session Bk. Rothesay (1931) 325:
Taking this affair to ther serious consideration and after somewhiles conference theranent.

2. Construed as an ordinary adj. with the indef. art.: large, considerable. Common in Ags. The usage prob. derives from II. 1. with suppression of an adj. qualifying the n.Ags. 1947 Forfar Dispatch (3 April):
I've a some hack on my thoomb.

II. adv. 1. With adjs. or their equivalents: somewhat, a little, slightly, rather, very, a great deal (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 33, 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.; excessively, too (Abd. 1971).Inv. 1741 Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XIII. 174:
He is some Better than he was.
Bnff. 1754 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. I. 92:
Turning some uneasie with the fatigue of the market.
Sc. 1800 Edb. Advertiser (15 July) 34:
A Grey Work or Draught Horse, some foul at the point of the sheath.
Abd. 1877 G. MacDonald M. of Lossie lxviii.:
It's a some suddent shift o' the win'.
m.Sc. 1893 A. S. Swan Homespun xii.:
She was some glad to go to the milk-house for a jug of milk for her neighbour.
Per. 1897 C. M. Stuart Sandy Scott's Bible Class 51:
It's some like a shower.
Abd. 1922 Weekly Free Press (11 Feb.) 2:
Ye wunna be lang or ye're het aneuch; some het fyles.
Abd. 1968:
I'm some to blame for't masel.
Ayr. 2000:
A'm tired some wi a' this work.
Edb. 2004:
She's some bonnier but Jeanie's the nicer lassie.

Phr.: and some, ellipt. for “and that to some considerable extent,” “and more so” (Bnff., Ags. 1971). Cf. colloq. Eng. “and how!”Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 83, 126:
Nae o' the worst ye look as ye were come, But o' the best o' cuintray fouk, an' some . . . Jean says, “I thought ay good o' her wad come, For she was with the foremost up, an' some.”
Abd. 1825 Jam.:
She's as bonny as you, and some. . . . He'll sing wi' her, and some.

2. With verbs: to some extent, rather, a little (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971); with verbs of thinking, supposing, etc., = Eng. rather, sim. interposed between the subject and the verb.Bwk. 1756 G. Ridpath Diary (S.H.S.) 68:
Wrought some in the glebe.
Slk. 1822 Hogg Tales (1837) VI. 272:
He spoke some to himself likewise.
Abd. 1905 C. Horne Forgue 192:
I some thocht that ye was the young laird.
Abd. 1922 Weekly Free Press (7 Jan.) 3:
Aw some doot they wid seen stop.
Mry. 1927 E. B. Levack Lossiemouth 9:
A sat till A cam' tae masel' some.

III. pron. As in Eng., someone. Phr. some or ither, someone or other. Obs. in Eng. since 17th-c. For phr. ither some see Ither, I. 2. (3).Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales 27:
Ye maun get some or ither o' the members to do this for ye.

Some adj., adv., pron.

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"Some adj., adv., pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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