Scots Dictionary online/Wörterbuch des schottischen Englisch

There’s a Dictionary of the Scots Language online. You can browse headwords on the left.

I looked up but and ben (= without and within), with difficulty: it’s under but, but not as a noun phrase referring to a small house. Nor is deoch and doris. Still, I suppose Harry Lauder is not the absolute source.

bq. The Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) comprises electronic editions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND). DOST contains information about Scots words in use from the twelfth to the end of the seventeenth centuries (Older Scots); and SND contains information about Scots words in use from the eighteenth century to the present day (modern Scots). These are the most comprehensive dictionaries available for, respectively, Older Scots and modern Scots, and are therefore essential research tools for anyone interested in the history of either Scots or English language, and for historical or literary scholars whose sources are written in Scots or may contain Scots usages.

I’d like to recommend a book. The Scots Thesaurus. This is not just a thesaurus: it contains definitions of the words too. (The one at amazon appears to be a later edition than mine). Here are some words on law (some are marked as archaic):

|habit and repute|held or regarded to be (a thief, a married person etc.) …|
|hail, whole|the whole of, the full number of: ‘the whole Heritors or their agents’.|
|hereanent|concerning this matter; in regard to what has just been said|
|heritable jurisdictions|collective term for various ancient rights formerly enjoyed by feudal proprietors of land or by holders of certain offices, entitling them to administer justice in local courts; abolished by the Heritable Jursidictions (Scotland) Act 1747|
|hing, hang|to attach, append (one’s seal to a document)|
|holograph|of a deed or letter: wholly in the handwriting of one person and, in the case of a will, signed by him …|
|homologate|ratify, confirm, approve, render valid|
|ingiver|one who hands in or lodges a document formally for registration etc. …|

(Thanks to Rainer Langenhan for the web link)

7 thoughts on “Scots Dictionary online/Wörterbuch des schottischen Englisch

  1. That’s a great site, thanks. The dictionary actually has ‘but and ben’ meaning a house. But it just has a window you put stuff in. The historical dictionary has lots of examples and it has a headword browse function. Both dictionaries require precise spelling, which is a bind. And your site has plenty of language examples outside the dictionary. (Unless I didn’t understand the dictionary properly).

  2. It would have been interesting if the Thesaurus gave the etymology of the words and not just labelled them as archaic. The sample seems to range from English, Gaelic?, Roman/French (homologate) to Old Norse – ingiver (Swed. ingivare). Maybe the latter is influenced from the Shetland & Orkneys side of the country to tie up with your previous worthy Odal/Udal land law entry.

  3. Thanks, Margaret. The link was very useful in proving to my colleagues that schnittiges Hemd was an apt translation for Cutty Sark (as in tube station).

  4. @AnnSB: I wouldn’t have got that, but see elsewhere:
    >>Cutty Sark’s name is Scottish for “short shirt” and comes from the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter,” in which Tam secretly spies on the witch, Nannie, who is clad in a cutty sark; the reasons for Willis’s choice of name are obscure.
    The term Schwarze Brüder struck me as having a different connotation from Blackfriars.

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