Things in Scots #14: Outwith

Welcome to day fourteen of Things in Scots!—a fun collaboration with my husband, Jez (Mind an gie Jez’s post a keek.)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I sometimes have trouble remembering/even knowing that a word isn’t actually English. That was the case with today’s word, and I’m going to share it with you because it’s one of the most useful words in the Scots Leid.

Today’s Things in Scots is: Outwith.


According to the Dictionar o the Scots Leid, outwith (also ootwith, ootwi) has been in use since at least c1230. As a preposition, outwith means outside, out of, beyond. As an adverb, it means outside, outdoors, outwards. The adjective form means outward, outermost, outlying. As a noun, it means the external world, the area beyond someone’s own. And finally, as a verb, outwith means to go beyond, to exceed, to overreach.

Here’s an example of outwith in use:

Ye hae tae gie thaim a ring outwith office hoors.

In Inglis: You have to call them outside of office hours.

If you want to ken the Scots for anything, just ask in the comments section.

Thenks fur stoapin by, and hae a wunnerfu day.

Things in Scots — Post History

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Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

6 thoughts on “Things in Scots #14: Outwith

  1. Chris Hall says:

    I am enjoying these, Susan!
    This is one of the words I adopted when I was working ‘up the road’. Just seeing it there reminds me so much of some wonderful people. Happy days! – which I think is probably more an expression from Northern Ireland – correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series. It’s fun sharing the words that shaped so many of my experiences—and reminding folk, like yourself, of events and people from your past. 🤔 Happy days could be NI… I think I’ve heard it in the north of England—I’ll have to ask Jez when he gets back later (NofE is where he’s originally from.)

  2. gordonmclean: @SusanB had no idea this word was Scots, I use it all the time. via

  3. SusanB: @gordonmclean I found out when I was in the navy and living in England. I got some confused looks. But, when I explained what it meant, a few stated they didn’t know how they got through life without it. 😁 via

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