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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

S(c)ho, S(c)he, pron. Also: s(c)hoe, choe, schoo, schou, s(c)how(e, schu, schw; so; (shoee); schew, sheu; s(c)hee, schei, che; s(c)hie, chie; shea. [ME and e.m.E. sȝe, s(c)he (both c1250), sso, sse (both 1297), sco (Cursor M.), shae (Rolle), scheo (14th c.), se (Lydgate), shoo (1436), shoy (1472), of uncertain etymology.It seems likely that both sche and scho derive from OE heo (obs. ME he) she in the stress-shifted forms /hje/ and /hjo/ through an intermediate stage of /çe, ço/ (represented by ME dial. ȝhe(o, ghe, ȝho) to /ʃe, ʃo/; but there is still support for OED's view that sche and scho were ‘prob. an altered form of the OE fem. dem. pron. sío, séo, síe.’]

1. She, the third person singular personal pronoun, referring to a woman specified elsewhere, usu. previously.Also, in apposition to a noun or another pronoun.Also applied to the queen in chess.(1) 1375 Barb. vii 556.
Scho hyr way gan hald in hy
a1400 Leg. S. vi 70.
Vith hir fistule than can scho synge
c1400 Troy-bk. i 467.
Scho [sc. Medea] couth rase thundre-blastis hye
1402 MacRae Early Sc. Texts No. 9.
The forsaide Katerine sal haf al the mal … as scho nw has
c1420 Wynt. ii 61.
Fowrty yhere scho lyvyt and twa
1456 Hay I 22/32.
Efter Leoun, was chosin a woman pape, nocht wittand that scho was a woman
a1487 Gud Wyf & D. 141.
Gif scho be … trew till hir husband
1466 Acta Aud. 4/1.
The malis that scho has takin vp of the saide hale thride
a1500 Henr. Orph. 103.
Sche fled quhen scho him saw
1492 Myll Spect. 295/19.
Scho was deliuerit of hyr byrth
1511 Reg. Privy S. I 349/1.
The secund terce of the landis … quhilk scho brukit
1525 Stirling B. Rec. I 25.
That na houkstar by aittis … to tap bot gife scho hais ane stabil [etc.]
1540 Lynd. Sat. 162 (B).
Off twelf ȝeir awld scho leird to swyve
c1550 Id. Meldrum 59.
Husband nor lemman had scho none
1567 Sat. P. iii 177.
War I ane hund, o gif sho war ane hair
a1568 Scott xxv 8.
For feind a crum of thé scho fawis
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 35.
Scho kepis peace and justice amangis hir subjectis in Ingland
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 91.
Go tell … your maistres [sc. Queen Elizabeth] sho sall nocht come heir
1575 Inverness Rec. I 243.
[She] callit hir glangoir myssaell lypper carles geit scho was
1591 Edinb. Test. XXIII 268b.
Scho leuis … to the said Mr. George hir litican bed of aik
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 133/9.
Ye are the heade, sho [sc. your wife] is of youre boddie
c1610 Lanark B. Rec. 122.
And sa scho, he, and sword and all goes to the grund togider
16.. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 397.
(b) a1400 Leg. S. iii 886.
He transformyt hym in hy In forme of a fare lady, And come to the bischope in, Sayand, schou wald schryf hir of syne
Ib. 1093.
And say this bischope als, that schow … Is the fende in wemanis schape
1492 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 36.
That schow suld … dewod hir self … owt of the hous
1531 Reg. Soltre 105.
To helpe hir sustentacioun as schou mistaris
1536 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 140.
Of hir and all schow may lat vnder payne of law
1537 Ib. 147.
At schow sall hald … stable quhat be don be the said assis
1542 Grant Chart. 89.
Schow salbe haldyne to … wphald the biggyne
a1568 Scott xxvii 37.
Quhen schow growis meik and tame
1574–5 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 20.
Mariore … ansairit that schow wald nocht cum to the communion
1650 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. LI (1975) 55.
The vther … askit giff shoe thocht hir a witch to the which scho anssrit show callit hir none
(a1676) Taitt Music Bk. in H. M. Shire Song, Dance and Poetry of the court of Scotland under King James VI (1969) 42.
To cause that schow grant greace to me Or I be gone
(c) 1388 Douglas Chart. 33.
So sal nocht be removyt ovt toff na innys na ezis that so had before
1568 Chron. Fortirgall 135.
Jonet Campbell com til me so beand bot fyf quarteris ald
c1590 J. Stewart 34/139.
At part apoynt so lands hir haiknay thair
(d) 15.. Clar. iv 2673.
Schoe kissit hir [full] oft
1571 Bann. Memor. 139.
Shoe is better treated … in England … nor shoe was in Scotland
1596 Dalr. II 306/8.
Quhill shoe war of perfyte age
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 18.
To renunce all richt and tytill schoe had
1631 Edinb. Test. LV 42.
Efter hir deceis schoe to leif the samyn to hir soone
1640 Dundonald Par. Rec. 470.
Shoe was baiking thrie bonnocks
1650 Strathbogie Presb. 152.
Shoe said shoe thought hir not at hirself
1650 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. LI (1975) 53.
Shoe had some skill of words charming
1659 Edinb. B. Rec. IX 168.
That shoe as lyfrentrix … of the saidis landis might be defended in their just right
1661 Soc. Ant. XXII 246.
Confesses … that when shoe gave her malisone to any persone … it usually lighted
Ib. 252 (see S(c)ho v. 2 (2)). 1668 Corshill Baron Ct. 78.
Bruiseing of her with his knees quhen shoee wes turneing his cattell off her owne grass
1697 Rental of Babster in Old-lore Misc. VIII i 11.
Mair, shoe rests of seid bear
(e) 1521 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I 82.
Schw brwkand quhil scho leiffis
1533 Gau 39/8.
And that schw hayd na payne … in hir birth
1568 Q. Mary in Ellis Orig. Lett. 1 Ser. II (1824) 253.
Ȝe mey asur her schu wald a bin weilcom to a pur strenger
c1580 Maxwell Mem. II 145.
That schu may mak delygens
(f) 1460 Hay Alex. 30.
So gret with child was sche [: be]
1490 Irland Mir. I 148/36.
Sche [sc. the Virgin] was lufit oure all thing
a1500 Seven S. 1401.
Sche has it wtterly distroyit
14.. Edinb. Univ. MS La. ii 318.
Gif sche knew first how that sche faris And quhat state sche is of body
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1332.
My nymphe … said, ‘let be. Thow sall nocht aill, and lo, the caus,’ quod sche
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 57.
Amang … the redis Arrivit sche
a1538 Abell 43b. 1546 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 145.
Without qhat sche may do off supplicatioun to freyndis … that schow may gudly do quhen sche is requiryt
1561 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 502.
Quhat armes sche aucht and suld beir sche is vncertane
1568 Buch. Indict. 35.
Sche returnit … to Edinburcht
1577 Perth Kirk S. MS 20 Sept.
That sche is with bairn to Andro Jaksone
1596 Dalr. I 258/20.
Sche … grantis her selfe to haue slane the king
(g) 1514 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 35b.
For ane peis of land that schew hach him
1544 Prot. Bk. Sir J. Cristisone 88.
And shev [sc. Bessie] to remane with hir moider
1550 Elgin Rec. I 103. 1563 Crail Kirk S. MS 6 Nov.
And schew to be varnit therto
a1568 Scott xxiii 17.
For nowdir wald schew rew, Nor beir me at disdane
(h) 1563 St. A. Kirk S. 162.
Quhen schei saw Wyliam Huntar com to hyr
(i) a1568 Bann. MS 159a/15.
Quhy, quod schee
1625 Haddington Corr. 144.
Schee sall obey your lordship's directione
1604-31 Craig v 31.
1641 Moray Synod 54.
In respect schee was bred in poperie
1650 Brechin Presb. 50.
1671 Forbes Baron Ct. 284.
1677 Corshill Baron Ct. 143.
(j) 1616 Haddington Corr. 133.
I remember the onpleasand lyffe shea hes had
(k) 1633 Orkney Witch Trial in Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. V 553.
That schie should loss als meikle schortly
c1672 Wemyss Corr. 118.
Shie tuck my refyousall uerie uncayndlie
(l) 1610 Hist. Carnegies 343.
Madam Marques wes removit out of the phoburs of Sanct Jarmins, quhair che wes kepit. … The king wald haiff pardonit hir giff choe wald haiff crawit pardown; bot chie wald not. … Che is so malitius that [etc.]
(2) c1475 Wall. ii 259.
His fyrst norys … Till him scho come
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2349.
My motheris mayd scho come and fetchit me
(b) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 13.
Our quene, of Scotland heretour, Sche dwellith in France
c1590 Fowler I 78/45.
I she am she that importune and cruell cald by yow
(3) a1500 Bk. Chess 2082.
A quheyne movand scho suld kepe colouris ay

b. Referring to a female animal, bird or insect.(a) 1460 Hay Alex. 17.
Euir … Scho [sc. the dragon] schot sic flauchtis of fyre
a1500 Henr. Fab. 176, 177.
Quhen scho [sc. the town mouse] wes full … Scho tuke in mynd hir sister vpon land
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 604.
The hungry flie … Scho souks the mans wound sa wonder sair
1523 Stirling B. Rec. I 18.
That scho [sc. a sow] was with gryissis
1530–1 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 110.
That Valter Curror vas borroues for the kow that scho sulde be with cauff
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1740.
Scho [sc. a hawk] brukit ay hir pray
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 45/36.
In Arabie callid felix uas sho bredd This foule
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 127.
All thingis helpis (quod) the wraune quhen sho [Carmichael Prov. No. 217 sche] pissed in the sea
Ib. No. 662.
He is lyk the hen, sho runs to the heap
Ib. No. 889.
It is ill bairne [= bearing, conduct] borrowing a cats kitling, sho is ay mewting for it
Ib. No. 1254.
Tramp on a worme & sho wil steir hir taill
1660 S. Ronaldshay 30.
And directed her to … pull some of the seid … and give to the kowe, and schoe wold be weel
a1699 Skene Agric. MS (ed.) 69.
The mor milk a kow gives shoe is ever the leaner in the flesh
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 2954.
Of the see com sic ane huddun … And mony of the kingis men sche slew
1549 Compl. 12/27.
Ane hen … may scraipe sa lang amang the fyltht, quhil sche scraip furtht sum ald knyfe

c. Represented as being applied by a native Gaelic speaker to himself. = I pron. See also Hir pron. 1 d.(a) c1450-2 Howlat 806 (A).
The ben schene the ballach The crekery the corach Scho kennis thaim ilkane
Ib. 797.(b) c1700 Fugitive Poetry II xli 3.
When her nain shell to Edinburgh went, … She many pony lasses saw
Ib. 95.

d. Combined with a following contracted verb form. a1568 Jok & Jynny 43.
I latt ȝow wit schos nocht miskareit
a1689 Cleland 13.
For a misobliging word She'll durk her neighbour ov'r the boord

2. Applied to a thing, as a mill, ship, etc.(a) 1375 Barb. iii 626.
Thar schip thai lychtyt sone … And scho … Rakyt slidand throw the se
Ib. xvii 672.
Bendyt in gret hy than ves scho [sc. an engine of war]
1478 Binns P. (SRS) 6.
Henry to … mak hir [sc. the mill] als gud … as scho [pr. sche] was
1484 Acta Aud. *145/2.
He stoppit the said milne quhen scho suld haue gane
1496 Treas. Acc. I 299.
Quhen scho [supra the clos cart] stude in the watir all nycht
1547 Ex. Processes No. 1.
The schip … brak lang … or scho come to the partis libellit
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II 249.
[He] offerit to big ane myln … and that scho salbe gangand gryndand corn or than
1571 J. Maitland Sat. P. xxvii 19.
Scho is a bruikle barge
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 123.
The cannone was caried vp. … Shoe was stelled … in the said yaird. … Scho shot this day about 24 shot
1579 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 79.
For mending of the knok quhen scho was brokin
1588 King Cat. Sig. i. vi b.
It salbe easie to knaw how longe scho [sc. the moon] do schyne
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 131.
Thow come to his pleuche, scho being gangand and teilling the land
1600–2 Montrose Treas. Acc.
The day sho vas bocht [sc. a windmill]
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 23.
Ane boit … to be maid up als guid as scho wes
1641-8 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 9.
Depurst for the shep efter shoe cam frome Cades
Ib. 25b.
(b) ?14.. Ship Laws c. 5 (H1).
Sche [supra a litill bothomyt schip] sall gif for hir sett ii d.
Ib. c. 21 (H2).
A … ladismane … bringis hir to the place quhar sche suld be deliuirit and ly
1589–90 Ayr Common Good Acc.
For vptaking the gabar … and awaiting quhill sche first fleit of the stanes
1596 Dalr. I 7/32.
Nathir schawes furth Britannie all that it hes … for mony hidd thesauris sche hes in her bowelis
1602 Conv. Burghs II 140.
Giff the schip cumis thither quhair sche sould lois hir guidis
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 30.
The bark callit the Pantoun Soill of lyme schee carying 27 chalder at [etc.]
1680 Lauder Observes 6.
They having no canon in all England so big as shee [sc. Mons Meg]
1723 Sc. Ant. LIX 52.
[The clock was] so worn that she could not be made to go right

b. Of an abstraction, or a non-material thing, personified as a woman.(a) 1375 Barb. xvii 934.
Dede … Had at his worschip sic inwi That … So [C. Scho] endyt all his douchti deid
c1420 Ratis R. 610.
Scho [sc. Charity] is maist tendire for to feill
a1500 K. Hart 175.
Fayr Calling … to hir castell raid as scho war woude
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 159/7.
Off Fortoun I complenit … That scho to me stude so contrariously
Id. G. Targe 86.
Thare saw I May, of myrthfull monethis quene, … Scho was full tendir
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 589.
Also scho [sc. Love] is precious
c1590 Fowler II 38/14.
It is impossible scho [sc. the Kirk of Christ] can erre in [etc.]
1617 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 297.
To schaw to what end schoe [sc. Nature] created them
(b) 1375 Barb. xiii 635 (C).
Lo! quhat falding in Fortoune is … In na tyme stabilly can sche stande
1490 Irland Mir. I 117/8.
The gret … persuasioune of Dame Mercy and hou sche turnit [etc.]

3. As a demonstrative pronoun: This woman, that woman.Coupled with he: Anyone, everyone (male and/or female).(a) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 212/18.
Than will thay say, baith scho and he, That I am jaipit lait and air
1513 Doug. i Prol. 317.
He or scho Quha takis me nocht go quhar thai haue ado
a1568 Scott i 50.
Att croce gar cry … Vndir grit panis that nothir he nor scho Off halye writ haif ony disputatioun Bot letterit men
1631 Justiciary Cases I 158.
That persone quha can nocht of the law be ane witnes he or schoo can nocht be ane fals witnes
(b) 1562 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 7.
Quhasumeuer within this toun, he or sche, iniuris [etc.]
c1590 Fowler I 78/45 (see 1 (2) (b) above). 1684 Peebles B. Rec. II 114.
Thair wes none thair bot she and she

4. attrib. Female. Also ellipt.Freq. of animals, cf. He pers. pron. c.(1) c1420 Wynt. iii 1025.
A scho wolffe
a1500 Henr. Practysis 58.
With ane bustfull of blude of the scho bak
a1500 Seven S. 2657, etc.
The scho ravyn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 160/27.
Ane scho dragoun
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 259.
Generit betuix ane scho beir and a deill
1531 Bell. Boece I xliii.
The hie fische [sc. salmon] spawnis his meltis, and the scho fische hir rounis
1579 Edinb. Test. VII 109.
vij ȝeirling scho gait
1582 Grant Chart. 155.
Ȝeir auld scho beastis
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 272 (T).
Sum saidlit ane scho aip all grathit into grene
(b) 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Lupa, a hure, a shee wolfe
1596 Dalr. I 50/24.
The hie salmonte … the sche salmonte
ellipt. 1590 Burel Pilgr. i 79.
The he fox left the scho [: to (prep.)]
(2) 1531 Vaus (1531) 2.
The epicine gener it comprehendis baith the hie kynde and the scho kynde
1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 253.
It is … sum scho gaist or gyrgarling
1581 Burne Disput. 96.
The scho Paip Joanna
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 201/37.
The hie & shoe saintis
1657 Balfour Ann. III 414.
The shoe sants of Edinbrughes prayers
(b) 1658 R. Moray Lett. MS 21 March.
The late laird of Edzell hee had a litle shee-granchild
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1681) ii 60.
Those shee-zealots … fell to frenzy

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



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