Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).

Ois(e, Oys(e, v. Also: oysse, os. [ME. (appar. chiefly north.) oise, oyse (Rolle), var. of Use v. Cf. also Ows.]This form is very common in certain 15th c. texts, esp. the Royal (and also the Cotton) MSS. of Wyntoun, but obsolescent before c 1520.

1. tr. To practise habitually or over a period of time, to be accustomed to perform or exercise (actions or activities of various kinds); also, to observe (a usage).Also impers. passive, it is oysit (= it is the custom) that [etc.].(1) 1375 Barb. x. 565.
I oysit lang that travalling
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 56.
That Paule … this oysit ay With his handis to be wirkand
Ib. vii. 369.
For the custom wes oysit thare That [etc.]
Ib. xxiii. 106.
The wodnes … That Decius in Cristine mene Ful fellely ȝet oysyt thene
Ib. xii. 108, xxv. 710. 1393 Chart. T. Dunbar.
The qwhylke oysyt it wald ryn vs to preiodyce
c1420 Wynt. vii. 718.
In sic fredwme As thai yhit oysys [C. oysse] and cwstwme
Ib. i. 938, ii. 1235, iv. 570, v. 708, vii. 2707; etc. 1429–30 Acts Jas. I in Ayr B. Ct. 6 Mar.
Thai contreys the quylk oyssis & kepis that samyn law
1432 Highland P. II. 173.
To oyse in that mater al that I might do my self
14.. Acts I. 26/2 [see Hant v. 1 (a)]. Thewis Gud Women 79. Ib. 86. c1460 Dietary ii.
Tak gud hede till oys thyngis thre, Temperat dyet [etc.]
1460 Ayr Chart. 34.
Ye mak you till excerse and oysse the kepyng of the said new fayr with wrangwys customis
1466 Aberd. B. Rec. (MS.) V. i. 603 (27 Mar.).
The quhilk law we oys and kepis
c1475 Wall. vi. 896.
Sic salusyng I oys till Inglismen
Ib. ix. 328. a1500 Lanc. 1699.
I say not … To mych to oys familiaritee
1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 98. Ib. x. ii. 28.(b) a1400 Leg. S. xliv. 118.
That scho had tane the Cristine fay Agane thare lawis osyt ilke day
(2) impers. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 110 (A).
It is oysit [B. the custome is] in all the burrows … that [etc.]

b. To practise (a trade or profession, also, a skill); to perform the duties of (an office); to occupy (a position or a jurisdiction); to enjoy (a privilege). 1375 Barb. xii. 414.
To men that oysis thai mysteris
c1420 Wynt. i. 256.
Wewyng that nevyr than before Wes oysyd
Ib. vii. 1851.
Till oys hys jurysdictyown
Ib. viii. 70.
Mast frely ware oysyd thare frawnchis
14.. Acts I. 12/2.
Al the ministeris … sal doo leilly and oise rychtuisly thar lauch
14.. Burgh Laws c. 98 (B).
Of lytstaris [etc.] … oysand gylde. Lytstarys [etc.] … sal nocht be in na marchand gyld bot gyf thai oyse [A. doo] nocht thair offycys wyth thair awyn handis
1513 Doug. xi. vii. 154. 1514 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 24.
All thingis concerning the privelege of the croune, the quhilk the Quene presomyt to ois as tutrix testamentar to the Kingis grace
1515 Acta Conc. MS. XXVII. 41.
To speik and ois his office in procuratorie in the actioun proponit

2. refl. a. To accustom or habituate oneself (to do something). b. To be accustomed to dwell, to reside habitually or constantly. c1420 Ratis R. 220 (cf. Ois(e n.1 7).
Bot gif thow oys thé sa to do
c1475 Wall. xi. 1031.
Ȝhe haiff so lang her oysyt ȝow allane Quhill witt tharoff is in-till Ingland gane

c. passive. To be accustomed, habituated or trained, in (an activity or condition). 1375 Barb. xi. 222.
Men … That weill war oysit in fichting
c1420 Wynt. v. 1350.
Forthi suld men … the effect oys off thare lare Quharin before thai oysyd ware
c1475 Wall. x. 308.
Off westland men was oysyt in ieperte

d. tr. To accustom, inure to (a condition of life). c1420 Wynt. i. 220.
The yhownge he partyde fra the awlde And oysyde thaim to bowcht and fawlde

3. To be accustomed, a. to do something. b. absol.a. 1375 Barb. xi. 227.
Men that oysis nocht to ficht
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 76.
The dedis of mercy He oysit to do ithandly
Ib. xv. 161; etc. c1420 Wynt. i. 144.
The erde … Quhar throucht all hyd it oysis to ryn
Ib. 311.
Sethys swnnys, sum oysyde to say, Luwyde Kayinys dowchtrys … And gat on thaim bodily Thir geawndys
Ib. v. 1089.
Men oysyd for his wyrschype ay In till comowne prowerbe say [etc.]
Ib. vi. 1935.
Efftyr that oft oysyd he Till cum till hyr in prewate
Ib. i. 761, ii. 15, viii. 6353; etc. c1460 Dietary 8.
Oys neuir late for to sowp
c1475 Wall. v. 760; etc.b. 1467 Reg. Dunferm. 359.
Hafand nettis in the ald stell alslang as the Inglismen oys fornent thaim
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 182.
And tha sal tak to thar awyn feuale iijxx of fuderis of petis quhar thai oysit befor

c. In passive with passive inf.: To be accustomed (to be said, etc.). c1420 Wynt. v. 1253.
Qui pridie, That is oysyd to be sayd Quhen [etc.]

4. To employ or make use of (various material and non-material things) habitually or over a period of time. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 59.
Lenyne clath he oysit ay
Ib. x. 530.
Quhy Paulis epistulis ar Maste oysyt in the Kirk ay-quhare
Ib. xlviii. 146.
& speryt quhat craft scho oysyt That hyme & his sagat dyspisit
c 1420 Liber Calchou 449.
Oys lytyll … froyt & et lytyll … garlek
c1420 Wynt. iii. 25.
Batht the left hand and the rycht He ewynike oysyde
Ib. v. 4388. 14.. Acts I. 329/2.
Al thar mesuris … and all other instrumentis … thai haf oysit in office
1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 127.
Jhone of Cullace … lattis the inhabitantis of the citte of Brechine til ois and laubur thar commone
1490 Irland Mir. II. 104/2.
Gif the saule of man … oysis nocht the body [etc.]
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 117.
So me behufyt … Sum bastard Latyn, French or Inglys oys
Ib. xii. ii. 98.
Hys swerd addressis he, Quhat way he wald it oys in the melle
1581–2 Waus Corr. 237.
I haff oisit letteris of inhibition, nocht onle agans the possessoris bot [etc.]
1598 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. 270.
His maiesties conyehous foirsaid hail profeittis and casualteis thairof … quhilk salbe … joysit osett vsit [sic] occupyit and possest be the said Thomas Foulis

b. To have or maintain in use. a1400 Leg. S. ix. 58.
His clathis … sex & twenty ȝere are now That he has oysite thame
14.. Acts I. 44/2.
Gif … sasing of the merchis [be] haldyn and oysyt be a day and a yer

c. To spend (one's life) in a certain way. c1475 Wall. v. 698.
In ȝour seruice I wald oys all my lyff

5. a. To employ in action (strength or power); to take advantage of, turn to account (an opportunity). c1420 Wynt. vi. 262.
He leryd his sonnys … armyd offt till oys [C. assaye, W. prufe] thare fors
1513 Doug. ix. Prol. 15.
Oys not thy mycht abufe thyne awin degre
Ib. xii. xiv. 110.
Oys furth thy chance [L. Utere sorte tua]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xx. 25.

b. To give (an account or answer). 14.. Burgh Laws c. 46 (A).
& gif … he oyse [B. gyfys] full ansuer

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: