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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Memory, n. Also: -ye, -ey, -i(e, (momorye).[ME. (1303) and e.m.E. memory, -ie, OF. memorie, L. memoria: cf. Memor(e n.Many of the rhymes suggest that the stress may have fallen on the second syllable.]

1. The faculty of memory. = Memor(e n. 1.(1) 1549 Compl. 224.
He that should tell a lye, had nede to haue good memory
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6267.
Mark weil in thy memory Of this fals warld the trublus transitory
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 169/27.
Quhilk wilbe ane grit eis for my memorie
1562-3 Winȝet II. 16/12. Ib. 17/32.
Quhairby the imbecillitie of my memorie be continuall reiding may be supportit
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 99. 1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 69/8.
With memorie to keip quhat he dois reid
(2) 1571–2 Wemyss Chart. 202.
Beand in extremite off seiknes in body, bot haile and perfitt in memorie

2. Remembrance, recollection. = Memor(e n. 2.To have or hald in memorie, to remember, keep in mind. To put (another) in memorie, to remind (him). To bring in, call or reduce to, (one's) memory, to bring to mind, recall (to oneself or to another).(1) 1456 Hay I. 280/13; etc.
Thare was na memorye in the contrarye
a1500 Colk. Sow ii. 136.
Notable gestis … Fresch in hir mynd & recent of memorye [: storye]
1535 Stewart 38178.
Sen it is in memorie And of Ingland comixit to my storie
1562-3 Winȝet I. 92/6. Ib. II. 34/23.
We will adduce but a certane to ȝour memorie
Ib. 45/14. 1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.).
It cummis to my memorie ane prettie trik
1567 G. Ball. 115. a1578 Pitsc. I. 4/14.
Thair cunning and perfytt memorie [: necessarie, studdie] Of thingis [etc.]
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 153. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 111/4.
Ye sall kythe youre thankefull memorie of youre father
1615 Edinb. Test. XLVIII. 288.
Gif ony thing be eschaipit my memorie
1674 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 210.
Quherof I refer to his aith whither or no it consistit with his memorie
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxii. 5.
Having His passioun in memorye
1513 Doug. iv. vi. 108.
It sal nevir me irk … The worthy Dido to hald in fresch memory
1533 Bell. Livy I. 7/10. c1568 Lauder Minor P. v. 6.
This in thy hart thow hint And haue it euer in thy momorye [: butterflie]
1623 Fraserburgh Kirk S. I. 146 (8 Jan.).
Jhon Fraser … and Beatrix Wysman to be hauldin in memorie
1630 Ib. II. 20 Jan.
That Edward Steivin & Giibert Watt be holdin in memorie wntill thay satisfie
(3) 1617 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 152.
Shall nather I nor the rest of hir maiesties counsall be inlacking to putt hir maiestie in memorie
(4) 1532 Douglas Corr. 349.
Reduce to ȝour memory the … luffying wordis of ȝour humanite … schewin unto ws
1562-3 Winȝet II. 17/34.
This memorial, quhilk pece and pece reduceing to memorie, I intend daylie … the thingis quhilkis I hef lerit to … complete
Ib. 47/11.
A gret mater … proffetable to be lerit and necessare to be brocht in memorie
Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 182 n. 1570 Sat. P. xxiii. 9.
I can nocht call to memory quhow the samyn may be scriptur be provin
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 26.
I will call to ȝour memory sum of thair practiȝis quhilk mony of ȝow may remembir als weill as I
(5) 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 252.
Officiaris … Quho bene iniuste degradit ar of glorie And cancillat out of thy memorie

3. The state of being remembered among men; posthumous reputation. = Memor(e n. 3.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 14.
To put in wryt a suthfast story That it lest ay furth in memory
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 50.
Bot thy wark sall endur, … condyng etern memory
1531 Bell. Boece I. iii.
The memory of me sall sone evanis
Ib. II. 492.
Bot ony werkis worthy to haue memory
Id. Livy II. 75/7.
His hous to be so evertit that of it sall remane na memorie
1562-3 Winȝet II. 78/35.
That he owtrageouslie reproche the memorie of sainct Celestinus
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.).
Swa that the memorie of him is bot as ȝit recent
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 32.
Of quhilk the memory is logit in bayth Scottis and Inglismenis hartis
1570 Leslie 253. c1590 Fowler II. 76/19.
To … extinguish inteirlye the … memorie off there precedent lord
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 88. 1638-54 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 62.
Seing all memorey of bygane superstitione is past
(2) 1535 Stewart 22.
Mony nobill storie, Lang tyme befoir tynt out of all memorie
1562-3 Winȝet I. 8/13.
That sum off ȝour houssis hes bene laitlie aluterlie destroyit and put out of memorie
16.. Hist. Kennedy 22.
How to ruitt out this hous of Bargany out off memory
(3) 1565 Reg. Privy C. I. 334.
To be … insert in the bukis of hir secreit counsall to lestand memorie
1584 Knox III. 434.
I could not … bee … so ingrate … as not to commit the same … to a longer and more lastie memorie
1688 Dunkeld Presb. I. 494.
To be recorded … for future memory
(4) 1611-57 Mure Hist. Rowallane 239.
In honorable memorie of the match and junctor of both families in one
1670 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 264.b. 1563 Boyd Fam. P. No. 48 (15 Feb.).
Umquhile our dearist moder of gude memorie
1565 Reg. Privy C. I. 332.
Hir majesteis fadir the Kingis grace of maist wortie memorie
1572 Ib. II. 160. 1589 Exch. R. XXII. 39.
King James the ferd of noble memorie
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. Pref. A 4. 1622-6 Bisset I. 252/32. 1627 Rep. Parishes 1.
Be our gracious soverane off worthie memori King James the Sext

c. To put in memory, to perpetuate the memory of in writing, to put on record, to record. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1196 (Bann.).
Isope a taill putis in memory
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 74.
Quhilk day bene digne to put in memorie
c1550 Id. Meldrum 8.
Sic men bene put in memorie That deith suld not confound thair glorie
Ib. 42. c1552 Id. Mon. 1624. Ib. 4220. 1567 Sat. P. vii. 6.
I vnderstuid thair sentence quhat thay wald, And thocht it guid to put in memorie

4. a. Remembrance of a festival. Passing into: Keeping up, observance. b. ? A body of traditional knowledge or skill.a. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 126/24.
Quhy exhort ȝe thame to brek that small memorie of abstinence fra flesche the tymes forsaid
c1650 Spalding II. 125.
To tak away the memorie of Pash-day, quhilk this yeir fell [etc.]
b. 1599 Murray Lyon Hist. Lodge Edinb. 12.
To tak tryall of the qualificatioun of the haill maisonis, … of thair art, craft, scyance and antient memorie

5. = Memor(e n. 4.(1) 1588 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 119.
The great quyetnes … of this commoun weill past memory of man
1599 Reg. Great S. 303/2. 1608 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 47. 1624 Spalding I. 3. 1679 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII. 153. 1687 Rothesay B. Rec. 450.(2) 1572–3 Canongate Ct. Bk. 434.
In mony yeris bipast memorie of man
(3) 1578 Reg. Privy C. II. 697.
The said … Erll … and … his foirbearis … broukit the office thairof past all memory
(4) 1487 Liber Melros 618.
In paceabill possessione … at our the memori of men
1627 Dunkeld Presb. II. 369.
Beyond memorie of man
(5) 1558 Black Bk. Taymouth 124.
The grettast … storm that was sein in memorie of man lewand

6. a. A note, memorandum. b. A memoir, historical account; also plur. in sing. sense. 1571 A. Hay in Knox VI. 608.
I was desyred … to send you the copeis of some thingis according to a memorie left with Richard
1606 Anal. Scot. II. 341.
In setting furth the memories of your Majesties maist noble progenitoris
1679 J. Somerville Mem. Title.
Memorie of the Somervilles [etc.]
Id. Ib. I. 57.
The progress of these memories I have in hand

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"Memory n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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