Dictionary of the Scots Language

The Dictionary of the Scots Language comprises electronic versions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the 12-volume Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the 10-volume Scottish National Dictionary with its two supplements (1976 and 2005).


The Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL)  makes available two older publications compiled during the 20th century and originally published in print.  The Scottish National Dictionary (SND, 1931-1976) covers Scots from 1700 to the present day (Modern Scots). A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST, 1931-2002) covers the language in use in Scotland from the twelfth century to 1700 (Older Scots). Each of them was a monumental work of scholarship, and they are the most comprehensive Scots dictionaries available. Together they comprise 22 volumes, more than 12,000 pages and 75,000 entries drawing on more than 6,000 source texts.

From these sources, DSL was created in 2004. It is the national repository of the Scots language, freely available online for all who wish to consult it. It continues to be revised and developed with the generous support of the Scottish Government, and is the essential research tool for anyone interested in the history of Scots, and for historical or literary scholars whose sources are written in Scots or may contain Scots usages.

Project website: https://dsl.ac.uk/


Main contact: Rhona Alcorn

Developer: Brian Aitken

Start year: 2001

Funded by: Scottish Government

Subject area: English Language & Linguistics

Keywords: ScotsXML

Record last updated 2020-01-28