A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Ȝar(e, Ȝair(e, Yar(e, Yair(e, n. Also: iar, ihar, jhar, yhar, yarr, ȝayr, ȝe(i)r, ȝeare, year. [North. ME yhare (c1200), ȝar (1408), OE ᵹear, ᵹer.] A structure erected on the bank of a river or inlet of the sea and extending out into the water, where fish can be trapped and caught in nets; a fish-trap. Also fisch ȝare, sche (= sea) yair, and with other qualifiers. Also ȝare of (a specific location). Also attrib. Cf. Cruve n. For further information see Thomas D. Bathgate ‘Ancient Fish-Traps or Yairs in Scotland’, in Soc. Ant. LXXXIII (1948-9) 98-102. [Totam insulam que vocatur Redinche, preter vnam piscariam meam scilicet vnam jharam; 1195 Lindores Chart. 3.
Iharam; ?c1200 Lindores Chart. 11.
Cum piscariis infra aquas de Northesk et Suthesk in crois yaris et rethibus; 1370 Reg. Great S. 110/1.
Et yharam de Kynmyly; 1398 Reg. Episc. Morav. 211.]
(1) Iar; a1224 Reg. Paisley 216.
De uno yar super amnem de Leven; 1224 Reg. Paisley 214.
Carta de Yhar; c1227 Liber Melros 236.
Al ȝaris [Acts (1597) i 2b, ȝaires] … set in fresch watteris quhar the sey hebbys and fyllis; Acts Jas. I 84b.
With the … mylnis, multuris, fischeingis and ȝaris in the watter of Clyde; 1541 Reg. Privy S. II 618/1.
Ratefeis and apprevis all actis maid … anent the distructioun of cruuis and ȝaris slauchter of reid fische [etc.]; 1581 Acts III 217/2.
All they quha hes cruves or ȝares, stanks or mylnis in waters … quhere salmon, troutes, smolts or the frye of anie fisch of the sea or of fresch waters ascends and descends, that ilk hecke of the cruves sall be at the least twa inche wide; Skene Reg. Maj. ii 21b.
(b) Voll of Wod hes tane in ane portioun of our common and dikit about it abone the yair; 1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 151.
That all cruuis and fische dammis that ar within salt watters that ebbis and flowis be allutterlie destroyit and put downe … that is to say that all cruuis and ȝairis that ar set of lait vpone sand and schauldis far within the watter … be incontinent tane downe; 1563 Acts II 537/2.
The expensis and hyre of the wrychtis and warkmen sent be the guid toun to the demolescheing and down casting of the cruvis and yairis on the watter of Forth; 1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 553.
Tua nettis to the yair iiij lib.; 1590 Thanes of Cawdor 193.
Cum potestate lie crovis et yairis infra dict. lie bay super australi parte de lie Nes de Abirdeine; 1592 Reg. Great S. 724/2.
He suld cause the measure and quantitie of the cruves & ȝaires to be keiped in waters quhair the sea flowis and ebbis; Skene Verb. S. s.v. Schireff.
Custuta, ȝair … [also] ȝayr [Adv. ȝer … ȝeir]; Herbarius Latinus Annot. xlii (Bot.).
Some of them [sc. herring] coming to the freshes near Dumbarton and are taken in the yairs; c1647 Lanark & R. 143.
With halfe of the yair callit Carremone and fishings of salmonds [etc.]; 1656 Retours I Inq. Spec. Inverness (81).
There is a special way of fishing by cruives or ȝairs both in fresh water and salt, all which cruives are absolutely prohibited to be set within rivers; Stair Inst. ii iii § 70.
possess. Ordaines that fishers on the Lords day in ȝairs ebbe or anie other way be severelie censured; 1649 Dingwall Presb. 144.
(c) Yearis; 1611 Kilravock Charters in Orig. Par. II ii 534.
Ȝeares [in the Forth]; 1649 Retours II Inq. Spec. Stirling (384).
(2) Dedi etiam … totum le yare de Lenbren cum terris, piscariis [etc.]; 1330 Reg. Paisley 205.
The proffit of the fisching of the somerdais tyde of the ȝare of Finlastone with men bait and net sic lik as has bene vsit at the said ȝare; 1484 Acta Aud. *147/2.
Piscationis de lie Yair de Ardoch; 1560 Exch. R. XIX 455.
Twenty punds … compleit payment of the salmon fischings of the yair of Kincardin of this yeir; 1568 Old Ross-shire I 17.
A sturgion fish was taken in the Yarr of Drumchardeny … a monstruous creatur; Fraser Polichron. 443.
(3) To haf a fisch ȝare to the space of [100] fute fra the gurgin of the said water of Spey efter the flowing of the sey fra the sammyn; 1499–1500 Reg. Privy S. I 68/1.
Et piscatione de Poltandewne cum fish-ȝareis et cruifis earundem; 1628 Retours II Inq. Spec. Wigtown (70).
Dimidia mercata terræ de Balcarie, cum lie fish yair; 1681 Retours II Inq. Spec. Kirkcudbright (428).
(4) De dimedia marcata terrarum de Balcary cum lie sche yair et piscaria earundem; 1565 Reg. Privy S. V i 600/2.
(5) Cum 3 lie ȝairis vocatis Mekill Ȝair, Middill Ȝair et Cult Ȝair; 1623 Retours I Inq. Spec. Elgin et Forres (39).
attrib. Ane pair of yairnets worth x s.; 1686 Brechin Test. VII 162b.

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"Ȝar(e n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jan 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/3are_n>

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