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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SUNE, adv., adj. Also suin (Bwk. 1880 T. Watts Woodland Echoes 173; Uls. 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxix.; Rxb. 1942 Zai), sön (Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Iktober 4)), seun (Dmf. 1873 A. C. Gibson Folk Speech Cmb. 118; Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 27); sin (Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 265; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein); ne.Sc. forms sein (Abd. 1759 F. Douglas Rural Love 24) seen (Abd. c.1700 J. Maidment Sc. Ballads (1859) 20; Bnff. 1871 Banffshire Jnl. (26 Dec.) 7; Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 8; Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories 95); and palatalised forms with [ʃ]; shune (Per., Fif. 1915–26 Wilson; Sh. 1928 Manson's Almanac 197), shüne (Sh. 1879 Shetland Times (2 Aug.)), shuin (Fif. 1949 Scots Mag. (June) 198), shön (Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 209), syün (Sh. 1882 Gentleman's Mag. 370), sjün (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., 1931 Shetland Times (14 March) 7), shoon (Per. 1745 Hist. MSS. Comm. X. App. i. 128; Sc. 1776 Herd's MSS. (Hecht 1904) 224), shoune (Sc. 1745 Sc. N. & Q. (Dec. 1925) 213); shin (Gsw. 1904 J. J. Bell Jess & Co. viii.; Lth., Ayr. 1923–6 Wilson; Sc. 1931 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 420; em.Sc. and wm.Sc. 1971); sheen (Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings 98, Cai. 1971). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. soon (Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 53; Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xvii.; Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 32; Ags. 1889 Barrie W. in Thrums v.; Lth. 1920 A. Dodds Songs of Fields 6; Gall. 1934 Gallov. Annual 30). Compar. suner; sinner (Sc. 1865 Baron of Brackley in Child Ballads No. 203 add. 12); sunner (Dmb. 1894 D. MacLeod Past Worthies 183); seener (Abd. c.1803 D. Anderson Sawney and John Bull 8); shuner (Sc. 1709 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1925) II. 13; Sh. 1918 T. Manson Peat Comm. 20), shunner (Ags. 1860 A. Whamond James Tacket xi.; Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 108), shünner (Sh. 1898 Shetland News (6 Aug.)), shonner (Ork. 1710 H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I. 35); shooner (Arg. 1842 Children in Mines Report ii. i. 30). Superl. sunest, seenest, etc.; shoonest (Hdg. 1821 W. Smith Orig. Poems 71). [m.Sc. søn, syn, sɪn; ne.Sc. sin; I. and em.Sc., wm.Sc. ʃøn, ʃɪn; Cai. ʃin. See P.L.D. §§ 35, 128, 67.]

I. adv.

Sc. forms of Eng. soon.m.Sc. 1979 William J. Rae in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 78:
And the swack wee craitur could suin gang ower a bit burn sweemin, nae bother ataa.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 25:
Ye'll shuin be lichtlied by thir hornie laudies;
ye'll greit yir lane doun a toom an clartie close,
Dundee 1988 Ellie McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 54 29:
But suin the bairns'll sing anither sang
gin the schule has ocht
tae dae wi't. Thir mither tongue
cuist attour the midden heid.
m.Sc. 1991 William Montgomerie in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 19:
deid as I sall sune be deid
sune be deid sune be deid
deid as I sall sune be deid
as the white mune
m.Sc. 1994 Billy Kay in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 144:
As Sannie thocht about McTurk, the big ane's worries shin become his ain, an he hauf weished he had gan tae his wark tae get some money for the faimily.
Sth. 1996 Gordon Stewart in Timothy Neat The Summer Walkers: Travelling People and Pearl-Fishers in the Highlands of Scotland 103:
Noo whorday is drawin near
An I mun sune leave ye
I worked ye baith for mony a year
Tae pairt wi ye does grieve me.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 242:
'James,' she said, 'are ye back sae sune? Ye've no been tae Holland and hame again awready?'
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 9:
Suin hame agin fae Downing Street,
determin't, each wan
ti fight on, - tho' they winna beat
the 'Corporate Plan'.

Sc. usages:

1. As in Eng. Sc. phrs.: (1) a lang road or far about tae win sune, seen hame, a round-about journey or way of doing things (Abd., Ags. 1971); †(2) how soon (as), as soon as (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 135). See Hoo, 2. (3); (3) not so soon, not yet (Ib. 137).(2) Sc. 1754 in H. Campbell Love Letters Mary Queen of Scots (1826) 192:
Cecil . . . had all in readiness to be published how soon the Duke should be beheaded.

2. Early, betimes, before it is late (Dmf. 1971). Obs. or dial. in Eng.Sh. 1971:
He rises sune and gengs tae bed sune.

Most commonly in phrs.: (1) late and sune, early and late, at all times; (2) sune as syne, sooner rather than later, soon for preference (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 227; m.Lth., Lnk. 1971). Conversely syne as sune, id.; (3) sune or late, sooner or later, inevitably (Sh. 1971); (4) sune or syne, id. See also Syne.(1) Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 37:
On you I've paddit late an' sune. Dmf. 1863 R. Quinn Heather Lintie 164: See yer dochter's sickly dwinin', Factory victims late and sune. (2) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvi.: Let it be when ye come back again, as gude syne as sune.
Dmf. 1847 J. W. Carlyle New Letters (1903) I. 235:
He is as well to tell you “soon as syne.” Uls. 1862 Uls. Jnl. Arch. VI. 43: An' as well soon as syne, a may tell ye. Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 18: As weel “sune as syne,” or we'll never see it half finished.
(3) Lnk. 1882 A. L. Orr Laigh Flichts 43:
He'll get the auld rogue sune or late.
(4) Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace xii. iii.:
Each Rogue . . . Shall be discov'red soon or syne.
Dmb. 1844 W. Cross Disruption xxxvii.:
It wadna ha'e signified the difference between fourpence and a groat whether ye proposed that plan o' yours sune or syne.
Gsw. 1865 J. Young Homely Pictures 61:
'Tis a gaet we a' maun gang, Or sune, or syne. Edb. 1915 T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 12: Be it sune or syne.

II. adj. 1. With of: early for, in advance of.Dmf. 1776 Dmf. Weekly Mag. (6 Aug.) 288:
She [ship] was too soon of the tide which was the cause of her foundering.

2. Quick, direct, near, freq. in superl. (Sh., Cai., Ags., Per. 1971). Obs. exc. dial. in Eng.Sc. 1825 Jam.:
The soonest gait — the nearest road. Sc. 1881 A. Mackie Scotticisms 49: Which is the soonest way to the railway station?
Dmf. 1967:
A sune road — a short cut.

[O.Sc. has schone, 1551, schune, a.1578.]

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"Sune adv., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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