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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Mind

mind   v.  remember, recollect; remind

Mind has a shared Scots and English heritage, deriving from the Old English noun mynd 'memory, remembrance', though several senses of the word are now more frequent in Scotland than England.

The sense 'remind', now mainly used in Scotland, appears in Shakespeare's Henry V:

'Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly to-day: And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it'.

A modern Scottish example of the same sense appears in Iain Banks' novel The Crow Road (1992):

'And mind them there's plenty of bread, and some chicken in the fridge, and cheese, and plenty of soup forbye, if you get hungry again'.

In Alistair Findlay's account of the lives and experiences of shale miners in the Lothians, Shale Voices (1999), we read:

'There's a wheen of stories I could tell you about them. But I just can't mind them all'.

The sense 'remember' is found in Scots and in various dialects of English across the globe. The Dictionary of Newfoundland English (1982) includes an example from 1964:

'I mind the time the seventh of April batch, that was some batch of snow'.

Mind can also be used as a warning or instruction to remember to do something, as in Shetland writer John Graham's novel, Shadowed Valley (1987):

'Mind an do aa du can ta help dee midder'.

Our records show that people were still being 'minded in prayer' in Shetland, Aberdeen and Angus in the 1960s. But is this expression still used? Being minded in someone's will is another typically Scots usage, though modern written evidence is rather scant. An example occurs in A. D. Willock's Rosetty Ends (1887), where

'Aboot twenty o' the leadin' inhabitants had been mindit by Ebenezer to the extent o' sums ranging frae seventeen pounds to fifty-five pounds'.

Similarly, in A. J. Cronin's Hatter's Castle (1931), the absence of a gift brings disappointment:

'She thought he might have minded her with a keepsake'.

This week's Scots word was written by Dr Maggie Scott.

First Published 5th March 2007