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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.

UP, adv., prep., n. Also op (Sh. 1904 E.D.D.), †oupe (Mry. 1716 A. & H. Tayler 1715 (1936) 286), †owp (Fif. 1724 Rothes MSS. (14 March)), ip (Edb. 1906 V. Spiganovicz Night Life 23). Hypocoristic form uppie. See also Oop. Sc. forms and usages:

I. adv. 1. Of water, a river: in flood (n.Sc., Ags., Per., wm.Sc. 1973).Peb. 1721 C. B. Gunn Ch. Dawyck (1931) 36:
Dawyck kirk had not been supplied on the previous Sunday, the waters being up.
Rs. 1723 W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1909) I. 284:
When the water was up and on Thursday when it was down.
s.Sc. 1939 Border Mag. (June) 83:
Auld Watt had run over to Tweed to see if she was “up”.

2. Of persons: in a state of excitement or irritation (ne.Sc., Ags. 1973). In Eng. only of the feelings, exc. dial.Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 12:
Crail town was up wi' gashin' gabs.
Rnf. 1835 D. Webster Rhymes 71:
Now faith! she's up — she's at it fairly.

3. (1) Advanced in life, on in years, applied to a child grown to man- or womanhood, adult, or to an adult becoming elderly, esp. in phrs. up in life, — in years. Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial.Ayr. a.1822 A. Boswell Poet. Wks. (1871) 205:
Though up in life, I'll get a wife.
ne.Sc. 1888 D. Grant Keckleton 111:
The bairns are only half up yet.
s.Sc. 1892 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 165:
Such as were, like Ellen's father, “up in years”.
Ags. 1897 Bards Ags. (Reid) 298:
My bairnies a' are up, Ay, an' married aff my han'.
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 33:
Dey hed nane bit himsel, an' dey wir baith gettin' up in years.
Slk. 1901 C. M. Thomson Drummeldale 11:
Ma ain [bairns] are up and away.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 4:
"No Faither," protested Bryce, " ... You're maybe too auld to big it, but when I'm up, I'll dae it mysel'."
Gsw. 1993 Margaret Sinclair Soor Plooms and Candy Balls 2:
Ah wish the weans were up a bit, a weary wumman sighs.

(2) Of teeth: fully developed. Used fig. in phr. to have aa one's teeth up, see Tuith, 1. (4).Abd. 1972:
The clip hasna got aa his teeth up yet.

4. Of a chimney: on fire (Ork., Cai., Ags., Per. 1973).Ags. 1961:
To set the lum up. The lum's up.

5. After various verbs, as bang, drive, push, set, and tautologically with open (Sc. 1811 Edb. Annual Reg. lxxv.): open, so as to give access or leave ajar (a door, window, enclosure, etc.).Rnf. 1733 W. Hector Judicial Rec. (1876) 140:
She Drove up the Complainers doors.
Ags. 1772 Session Papers, Mudie v. Ross State of Process 98:
Mrs Smith pushed up the half-door or the big leaves.
Sc. 1825 Jam.:
To set up the door.
Ags. 1873 T. Watson Poems 254:
He banged up the room door.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 89:
The door burst up, an' John flew oot.

6. Phrs.: (1) neither up nor doun, (i) nowhere (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.; I.Sc., Abd. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial. Cf. (13); (ii) in the same state, unchanged, esp of the feelings, neither elated nor dejected, as placid or unaffected as before (Sc. 1825 Jam.; I. and n.Sc., Per. 1973); (2) up about, somewhere in or near (I.Sc., Abd., Ags., Per. 1973); (3) up again, all over again; (4) up-a-like wi, abreast of, on a level with (Ags. 1973); (5) up-and-doun, (i) from every angle, in every aspect, thoroughly (Ork., n.Sc. 1973). Now only dial. in Eng.; (ii) phr. up-and-down for gas, a children's game, so called as imitating the movements of a street gas-inspector; (6) up by cairts, see Cairt, n.1, 1.; (7) up hans!, in curling: the command to stop sweeping the ice (Sc. 1833 J. Cairnie Curling 135); (8) up-i(n)-the back, annoyed, irritated, ruffled (Abd. 1973); (9) up in the buckle, elated, ‘cock-a-hoop '. See also Buckle, n., 2. (1). For the metaphor cf. Bore, n.1, (6). It's up in the buckle wi —, (he) is very pleased with himself; (10) up-o-land, see Uponland; (11) up on, pleased about, delighted with. Also in n.Eng. dial.; (12) up-on-hicht, upwards, on and up, used arch. in quot, as a borrowing from Henryson's Fable of the Fox, the Wolf and the Husbandman 8, in a call to oxen; (13) up or doun, one way or the other, here or there, of something which is indifferent (Abd. 1973). Cf. (1); (14) up wi, (i) on an equality with, as good as (Cai., Ags. 1973; Bnff., Ags., Fif., Edb., Ayr., Dmf. 2000s); equal to, fit for, capable of; (ii) even or quits with (Sh., Ags. 1973). Cf. Upsides; †(15) up wi't, an exclam. of exultation or encouragement; hurrah!, bravo! Also in form uppie (Per. c.1925).(1) (ii) Edb. 1881 J. Smith Jenny Blair 27:
Doctor Dabster, that could put a bottle or twa under his belt, an' was neither up nor doun.
Abd. 1973:
He's neither up nor doun. He taks aathing as it comes.
Edb. 2004:
She was neither up nor doon efter she won the lottery.
(2) Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 95:
He's up about England somewey.
Abd. 1973:
He had a placie up about Turra.
(3) Sh. 1900 Shetland News (2 June):
Dat's juist fader up agen.
(4) Ags. 1962 Forfar Dispatch (March):
Ma mither wis glu[e]d tee spot tull the cairtie cam' up-a-like wi wa [us].
(5) (i) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliv.:
I've been thinkin' 't owre, a' up an' doon.
Abd. 1973:
We threapit ower the maitter for hours up and doun.
(ii) Edb. 1952 Edb. Ev. News (9 July):
A game played in the open street, based on three holes at regular intervals dug out between the causeway stones. The game consisted of visits to all the holes in both directions. For some reason or another this was known as “up and down for gas.”
(8) Abd.15 1930:
He got terrle up-i-the-back fan I contert him.
(9) Ayr. 1821 Galt Legatees vi.:
The doctor has been, and was asked to pray, and did it with great effec, which has made him so up in the buckle.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 186:
It's up-i'-the buckle wi' my canny man: Sma' drink winna sair him, he's growin' sae proud.
(11) Ags. 1893 Arbroath Guide (25 Feb.) 3:
Marg'et would be up on't gin ye gaed in to the hoose wi' a hare or twa.
(12) Edb. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar vii.:
Shouted myself as hoarse as a crow, crying, ‘How, haik up-on-hicht' to my father's steirs.
(13) Dmf. 1831 R. Shennan Tales 159:
Her body chesnut, nearly brown, (But colour's little up or down).
Abd. 1920:
I canna say I'm carin muckle, up or doun. It's juist about six and sax, up or doun.
(14) (i) Ayr. 1785 Burns To W. Simpson ix.:
We'll gar our streams an' burnies shine Up wi' the best.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 14:
So, Willie, lad, ye're up wi't now, That soon ca's twa-three thrave o't through Yer braw new Mill.
m.Lth. 1990:
See that wee laddie, he's that fly ye just cannie be up wi him.
(ii) Sc. 1825 Jam.:
I'se be up wi' him for that.
Sc. 1876 Bk. of Sc. Story 39:
He has warred me this time, but sorrow take me if I'm no up wi' him the morn.
(15) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 144:
Up wi't now, my ploughman lad.
Sc. 1829 R. Chambers Sc. Songs II. 533:
A Scottish phrase of high exultation which seems to be only used in songs: Up wi't, Ailie, Ailie Up wi't, Ailie, now!

II. prep. 1. In phrs.: (1) up hill and doun dale, unremittingly, relentlessly, without restraint, here, there and everywhere, esp. of someone pursuing another with abuse and vituperation (I., n.Sc., Per. 1973); (2) up street(s), up the street, going to or associated with the upper end of a town or village; = (5) below (Ork. 1973); (3) up the country, in the upland or interior part of a district (ne.Sc., Ags. 1973); also attrib. = rural, rustic, country-bred; (4) up the doors, up the street, along a row of houses (Ags. 1921 D. H. Edwards Fisher Folks 53; Sh. 1973); (5) up the gates, = (2), specif. in Kirkwall as a n., one born in the inland part of the town south of the Bishop's and Earl's Palaces, which determines the side on which he plays in the annual ball-game (Ork. 1973). Cf. Uppies; (6) up-the-house, into the interior of a house, from the door inwards (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.; I.Sc., Ags. 1973); (7) up the toun, the upper or higher end of a town or village (Sh., Cai., Per. 1973); to the town centre (Bnff., Ags., Edb., Gsw., Ayr., Dmf., Rxb. 2000s). Hence up-the-tooner, a dweller in this part. Cf. (5).(1) Ags. 1886 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 187:
He misca'd them a' up hill an' doon dale for cooards, an' landlubbers.
Abd. 1973:
She blackgairdit him up hill and doun dale.
(2) Sc. 1855 Scotticisms Corrected 41:
Are you going up streets this morning?
Ork. 1883 Orkney Herald (3 Jan.):
The crowd moved steadily Up-street with scarcely a halt. . . . Up-street representatives from both town and country districts were there in force.
(3) Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. l.:
We're just plain up-the-country folk.
Abd. 1930:
He bade up the country somewey.
Ayr. 1994:
Up the country folk. They stey up the country [said by Dalmellington folk of people living up in the Galloway Hills].
(5) Ork. 1886 J. Robertson Uppies & Doonies (1967) 5:
In May 1886 the St Magnus Cricket Club divided itself into Up-the-Gates and Down-the-Gates.
Ork. 1900 B. H. Hossack Kirkwall 95, 465:
Every man residing between the Castle and the Shore was the Earl's man, and all above were vassals of the Church. Thus the division of the townspeople into ‘Up-the-Gates' and ‘Down-the-Gates' dates from the twelfth century. . . . The annual struggle between the ‘Up-the-Gates' and ‘Down-the-Gates' over the ‘New Year's Ba'' still continues.
Ork. 1951 H. Marwick Orkney 123:
The opposing sides are known as Doon the Gates and Up the Gates (gate here meaning, of course, the Street).
(6) Gall. 1742 Session Bk. Penninghame (1933) II. 396:
He went down the house as the deponent thinks to close the door and came up the house again.
Inv. 1743 Trans. Gael. Soc. Inv. XXVI. 165:
He is extenuate to a skeleton, and he is not able to walk up and down the house.
(7) Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 14:
Dwellers in the up-the-toon end of the village. . . . Juvenile up-the-tooners used to play cricket matches against the juvenile doon-the-tooners on the market green.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 70:
toon A Glaswegian does not go into the city centre, he goes up the toon.
Edb. 1992:
I like gaun up the toon oan a Setturday - even though it's busy.
Edb. 1999 Edinburgh Evening News 11 Jan 14:
"I thought it was someone complaining that I was holding them up but I turn round and here's this car with half a dozen of my mates in it, bawling 'Stottie! You coming to the pub? We're away up the toon!' ... "
Gsw. 2001 Herald 9 May 17:
Yep, that's Govan, folks, home to several thousand people, but they don't want us up the toon on a Sunday spending our money.
Ayr. 2003:
Right, Am aff up the toon.
m.Sc. 2003 Daily Record 3 Nov 6:
Another website has the song: "We are the Bowery tarts, ... we go up the toon every nite, run a mock start a fite ... "

2. = Eng. in.Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 21:
Div ee leike ti beide up Ingland?

III. adj. As in Eng. Phr. to send the up-road, to utter by word of mouth.Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie liv.:
A' 'at I hae to say I sen' the up-road; it's sure to win hame ear' or late.

IV. n. 1. In phr. the up an' the lang o't, = “the long and the short of it”.Sc. 1891 A. Gordon Carglen 109:
The up an' the lang o't is this.

2. Dim. form Uppie, n.

V. v. As in colloq. and dial. Eng.: 1. with omission of a verb of motion, etc., up remaining uninflected, and gen. followed by and and an inflected verb: to get up, stand up, snatch up, set about, etc. Gen.Sc.Bnff. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 143:
We up an' to the dancin.
Lnk. 1816 G. Muir Minstrelsy 27:
Up they till't like twa game cocks.
Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken 210:
I up an' telled her.
Ayr. 1901 G. Douglas Green Shutters v.:
He up wi' a dirty washing-clout.
Kcd. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 275:
Some billy would up and ask.
Abd. 1970:
Wi that he up and awa in a huff. He up wi his neive and strack him atween the een.

2. Less commonly construed as an inflected verb in the same sense as 1.Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 204:
We'll up an gie them a blaw, a blaw, Wi' a hundred pipers an' a', an' a'.
Dmf. 1877 R. W. Thom Jock o' Knowe 14:
I'll up an' say.
m.Lth. 1895 J. Hunter J. Inwick 223:
I ups an' says to them.
Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 175:
He ups on his shooder, whuppin' oot Hurray.
Ags. 1956 Forfar Dispatch (4 Oct.):
I ups and affs at skraich o day.

[Oup is common in O.Sc. in the 16th c. from the long vowel form O.E. ūp.]

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"Up adv., prep., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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