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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ȝisterday, Ȝesterday, adv., n. and adj. Also: ȝistir-, ȝhister-, yister-, yistir-, ȝ(h)ystir-, ȝ(h)istyr-, ȝystyr(e)-, yhystyr-, yester-, ȝeister-, yeisterday, yeisterd. [ME and e.m.E. ȝister-dai (c1250), yhistre-dai (a1300), ȝester day (c1380), yistirday (Piers Plowman), yester day (1509), OE ᵹeostran (ᵹystran) dæᵹ.]

A. adv. Yesterday.(a) 1375 Barb. i 124.
For wnfayr thingis may fall perfay Als weill to-morn as ȝhisterday
a1400 Leg. S. xvi 892.
As thu ȝystirday has sene
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 278.
Ȝystyre-day was nan hardy That anys he durst nemmyn that man
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 240.
Mare plentuisly … Thane he did ȝistirday
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 366.
Thu … sais that thai Thé it gaf ȝistyrday
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 402.
Ȝystyrday To this towne come he rydand lat
c1420 Wynt. viii 212.
Yhystyr-day [C. ȝhistyrday]
a1500 Seven S. 106.
Oder is the erd hiear rasit Or hevyn declynit … Fer mare than it was ȝisterday
c1515 Asl. MS I 322/25.
Lo, Alexander ȝisterday nocht content of all the warld; this day vii futis of it is lord of him
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 209/37.
Sum givis to strangeris with faces new, That ȝisterday fra Flanderis flew
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John iv 52.
And thai said to him, for yistirday in the vij houre the feuer left him
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6580.
Ȝisterday last thair come vnto our place … ane honest nobill knicht
1600 R. Bruce Misc. Bann. C. I 171.
1631 Justiciary Cases I 191.
Ȝister day
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 58.
Walter Moresone, wha wes yisterday nominat and electit to be ane of the four capitanes of this burghe
(b) ?1438 Alex. ii 7227.
Thow hes suith … For by thare wordis ȝesterday Is weill sene thay war [etc.]
1533 Boece 47b.
Yesterday … thow lete ws feill thi mynde
(c) 1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 101.
a1578 Pitsc. II 76/11.
Mr. George ansuerit and said … wald they send to him the honest and godlie man that maid the sermone ȝeisterday, he wald oppin his mynd into him
(d) 1650 Milne-Home MSS 101.

b. Wrongly translating L. cras (= tomorrow). 16.. Rudiments 28a.
To the question made by quando, when, answere, cras, ȝisterday, heri, ȝisternicht hodie to day

B. noun. Yesterday. Also proverb. 1375 Barb. ii 56.
Thai said that he sen ȝhysterday [C. ȝhystirday] Duelt in his chambyr ythanly
1571 Reg. Privy C. II 97.
He awaitit all yisterday and wes not callit
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 397.
We haue contenit our selfis sen ȝisterday and eerȝisterday quhen we come out
proverb. a1568 Bann. MS 258a/70.
No man may ganecall ȝistirday

C. adj., transf. Of very recent origin, hence, pejoratively, new-fangled. 1647 Baillie Anabaptism 163, marg.
The pressing of dipping and exploding of sprinkling is but an yesterday conceit of the English Anabaptists … The question about the necessity of dipping seems to be taken up onely the other year by the Anabaptists in England

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"Ȝisterday adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Sep 2023 <>



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