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The Dictionary of the Scots Language

The Dictionary of the Scots Language (www.dsl.ac.uk) is a freely-available online dictionary that combines the full text of A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary into one searchable electronic resource documenting the history of the Scots Language. DSL was produced by a team working at the University of Dundee from 2001 to 2004 and was funded largely by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board.

The twelve-volume Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue covers the period of Scots from its earliest records in the twelfth century to about 1700, and the ten-volume Scottish National Dictionary covers the period from 1700 to the latter half of the twentieth century, the final Supplement volume of modern Scots material being published in 1976. DSL combines these two major historical dictionaries to create a unique historical record of Scottish language, history and culture. An additional, new Supplement on modern Scots was added in 2005 to bring the dictionary up-to-date. Each entry traces the chronological and semantic development of a Scots word and gives details of orthographic variants, grammatical inflections, derivative words and phrases, and etymological history. The definitions are illustrated by quotations from over six thousand sources, covering a wide range of subject areas. Many of the modern Scots words are also supported by evidence from oral sources, and include information on phonological and dialectal variation.

We welcome feedback on the DSL so please contact us if you have any comments or questions.