Sassenach is a word used chiefly by the Scots and to designate an Englishman or a Lowlands Scot. It derives from the Gaelic Sasunnach meaning, originally, "Saxon". The modern Scottish spelling is 'Sasannach'. As employed by Scots or Scottish English-speakers today it is usually used in jest, as a (friendly) term of abuse. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives 1771 as the date of the earliest written use of the word in English.