from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An English person.
  • n. A Lowland Scot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Saxon; an Englishman; a Lowlander.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Saxon; an Englishman: a general name applied by the Scottish Highlanders of the British Isles to persons of Saxon race.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the Scots' term for an English person


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Scottish Gaelic sasunnach ("Saxon").



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  • Any time I've heard this word uttered, it was as a playful insult suggesting that a person of English (i.e., non-Celtic) extraction was somehow 'lesser than'. I've always found it weird how sometimes a word for what a person is, can be transformed into an epithet by mere tone or context without needing to be qualified by an adjective. For example, "Jew," "goy," and, ever increasingly, "American." LOL.

    March 2, 2009

  • I've seen it in novels and stuff spelled Sassenach. Not that that makes it correct.

    February 28, 2009

  • Oh Foxy, dear Foxy, slaverin' wid glee,

    You can't trap a bilby by etta-molla-gee-


    February 27, 2009

  • For bilby if you press that button

    you get a ton

    o nutton.

    February 27, 2009

  • Hot Tip! The third link from the left (brown icon) under the word does a search at the Online Etymological Dictionary. Which in this case sez:

    Gaelic for "English person," 1771, Sassenaugh, lit. "Saxon," from L. Saxones, from a Gmc. source (cf. O.E. Seaxe "the Saxons"). The modern form of the word was established c.1814 by Sir Walter Scott, from Scot. Sasunnoch, Ir. Sasanach, Welsh Seisnig.

    February 27, 2009

  • Well, I can confirm that the Irish word for someone from England is "Sasanach", so it's entirely plausible that the Scots Gaelic word is "Sassenach". "Sassenach" would not be an admissible spelling in Irish Gaelic because there is a rule that requires vowels on either side of a consonant to be of the same type, broad (a, o, u) or slender (i, e).

    February 27, 2009

  • This is more of a Scottish Gaelic or Irish word. I think it comes from their word for "Saxon". Can someone confirm this? My Googling finger has gang agley. Ta.

    February 27, 2009

  • it was also formerly applied by Highlanders to (non-Gaelic-speaking) Lowlanders. (Wikipedia)

    December 28, 2008