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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).

Pose, Pois, n. Also: pos; poise, poyse. [Late ME (once) pos (rendered by L. depositum) (Prompt. Parv.), appar. f. F. poser v. to lay down. Thereafter appar. only Sc.]

1. In, into pose. Of funds in money or of treasure: Set by in safe-keeping, in one's own or another's hands; in hand or on deposit. Also fig.(a) 1492 Highland P. II 192.
The saide soume, … being put in pose and keping in the handis of the kepare of the commone purse of the toune of Striveling
1512 Wemyss Chart 141.
The said sowm being put in pos and keping of subprior of the abbay to my vtilitie and profit
1619 Garden Elphinstoun 2516.
Ten thousand punds He had, in purse and pose
1621 Brechin Test. IV 19 b.
The said vnquhill Katheringe … haid in hir kist of redde money in pos xlj lib.
(b) 1533 Bell. Livy I 94/24.
Of sic persouns as had lxxvm pennyis in pois
1535 Stewart 38287.
All gold and siluer that tha had in pois [: chois n.]
Ib. 59961.
Askand … quhat that tha had in pois [: pecwnios]
1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I 22 b.
In to pois and nowmerit money ten lis.
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxi 28. 1574 Lamont P. 93.
In reddie money and pois fyftene poundis
1574 Edinb. Test. III 87.
In pois in the handis of Beatrix … [£24]
1575 Ib. 332.
In pois ten ȝolpundales fourtie Scottis testanes
1586 Grant Chart. 288.
Of reddie siluer in pois the sowme of [10,000 marks]
15.. Crawford Mun. Invent. II 58 (1 April).
The money that I mycht perfurneise and haid in poise to haif bocht me sum claise with
1591 Fam. Rose 280. 1596 Montgomery Mem. 233.
In redie gold in pois, ane hundreth crownis of the sone
1598 Ferg. Tracts xxv.
In pois of reddie gold the sowme of [£118]
1663 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 27 April.
Of money lying in poise by the said George [£127/7/4]
1679 Ib. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) n.d.
Giwen doun be the executors … twa hundreth merks lying in pois besyde the defunct
fig. a1568 Balnavis Bann. MS. 139 a/67.
Keip stuff in pois, tyne nocht thy hois

2. A person's private fund or stock of money or treasure kept safely in his own or another's hands.Also pose of silver (= money) and movabil pose (see Movabill adj. 1 b).In one's pose, as part of one's privately kept fund or personal treasure.(1) 1549 Compl. 89/10.
Thir said princis gat in the spulȝe … the Kyng of Francis pose, quhilk vas al in engel noblis
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 260.
Than can ȝe be no maner want Gold, thocht ȝour pose wer neuer sa skant
1558-66 Knox II 310.
Men wold rather have thought that Pharao's pose, treasure, and garnallis should have bene diminished
c1575 Balfour Pract. 238.
All the movabill gudis, money and pose quhilk pertenit to him the time of his deceis
a1578 Pitsc. I 217/12.
He certieffieit sum of the lordis quhair the kingis pose was
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 168.
But they are compelled to leaue their heart behind them, where their pose is
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 158/1.
But think the riches of youre people youre best pose
1696 Fountainhall Decis. I 748.
But here the species of the coin and money were recent, and has been the poor woman's pose, who died last there
(b) 1531 Treas. Acc. V 433.
Deliverit … furth of the kingis pois with the quhilkis the thesaurare has nacht to be dischargit
Ib. 438.
Deliverit to Henry Kempt to the kingis purs [£52/12/8]. Item, deliverit to the said Henrie to the kingis pois vij ros nobillis [etc.]
1543 Reg. Privy S. III 56/2.
The tresour pois and boxis of umquhill oure derrest fader … being in the keping of the … persoun of Disart
1565 Ib. V i 578/2.
1558-66 Knox II 165.
Ane box quhairin wes his secreit poise
1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii 107.
To eik my pois I leit thame [dispensations] pas gude chaip
Ib. 118.
Greit was the riches fund within that hauld, Plaitter nor pois we neuer left ane plak
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 154.
The Laird of Ormestoun … spoulȝeit the … Erle of Northumberlandis hous and his wyff of all hir jewellis, his cleithing and poise
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 81.
To tell how he bestowit his poise, The faice is weill sene on his noise
1592 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 260.
The haill mony is maid fyne and as it war in ane pois to his maiestie to mak thairof quhat pleissis him
(2) 1561 M. Napier Mem. J. Napier 73.
That his lordschip wes myndit to haif left his lordschip's heretag, pois of sylver … bot to your ladyschip's housbond yourself and your airis
a1578 Pitsc. I 201/24.
The king … pat his wholl pose of gold and sillwer in the … castell
c1615 Chron. Kings 160.
Heaffing ane gritt pois of gold
(3) 1570 Leslie 170.
The governour … intromettit with the kingis pallices … , with all his movabil pose and jowellis, and [etc.]
(4) 1562-3 Winȝet II 56/30.
Quhat wes committit to thee, lat that remane in thy pois

b. Passing into: A hidden treasure, a hoard. 1594 M. Napier Mem. J. Napier 221.
That thair suld be within the said Robertis dwellinge plase of Fastcastell a soume of monie and pois, heid and hurdit up secritlie
1594 Facs. Nat. MSS. III lxxv.
Incaise the said Jhone sal find na poise to be thair eftir … vtter diligens tane [etc.]
1600 Acts IV 203/2.
I am going to gett ane pois in Perth, … ane man … hes ane pitcher full of cunȝeit gold
1600 Haddington Corr. 205.
Ane … man wha had fund ane pose of infinit riches
1684 Fountainhall Decis. I 271.
But Mr. Ezekiel took it from him, on this pretext, that it was a hid treasure and pose

c. A fund or stock of money, more generally. 1558-66 Knox I 230.
For the French boy left thame and took with him the small poise that thei had
1573 Sempill Sat. P. xxxix 38.
At the sege of Leith scho sparit ane pois, And dang the Frenchmen
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 91/10.
Make youre cunȝee fyne golde & siluer … sa sall ye … keipe a great pose to the fore gif ye fall … in any straite

d. Without article or possess.: Fund or store of money; also const. of money. 1554 Acts II 601/1.
[They acquit him] of all pois sowmes of money plait [etc.]
1570 Leslie 191.
With … coistlie abilyeamentis, kaipes and kirk jowellis … and gret pose of gold and money
1622 Inverness Rec. II 161.
That sche vas tacking some guidis geir and poise furth of the said buith privilie

e. fig. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 407.
If you seek, there is a pose, a hidden treasure, and a gold mine in Christ
1664 W. Guthrey Sermon 37.
God … hath a pose, and a little purse keeping in his covenant, [etc.]

f. Attrib. in pose-silver. 1582 Edinb. Test. XI 33.
Of pois siluer fra the tennentis twa hundreth merkis

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



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