The lexicography of Scots

  • Susan Rennie
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history


The chapter begins with a summary account of the Scots language and its vocabulary, before continuing with a history of lexicographical activity in Scots. Lexicons of Scots have been published since the end of the sixteenth century. In the eighteenth century, Scots lexicography developed its essentially descriptive nature, to gloss editions of medieval texts and new works by vernacular poets, as well as to record and preserve a language that was increasingly being eroded. The nineteenth century saw the publication of John Jamieson’s Etymological Dictionary, now recognized as a key work in the development of lexicography on historical principles. This legacy was continued by the compilation, throughout the twentieth century, of the two major historical dictionaries of Scots, the Scottish National Dictionary (SND) and the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST). The present century has seen a number of digital initiatives in Scots lexicography: the digitization of SND and DOST to form the composite Dictionary of the Scots Language/Dictionar o the Scots Leid (DSL) and the creation of electronic corpora of both Older and Modern Scots. New projects, such as a proposed Historical Thesaurus of Scots, continue to build on and contribute to the tradition. Smaller dictionaries of Scots, including school dictionaries, are in demand to support new initiatives in teaching Scots in schools, and Scots lexicography is an important part of the debate about any future standardization of the Scots language.


Language Planning Corpus Linguistic Small Dictionary Spelling Form Etymological Dictionary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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