Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

S(c)hort, adj., (n.) and adv. Also: s(c)horte, s(c)hortt, schorth, scheort, schoirt(e; scort, skort; (schrot, scorte). [ME scorte (c1200), sceort (c1205), ME and e.m.E. shorte (c1200), schorthe (Cath. Angl.), late ME also schert (c1430), OE sceort (compar. scyrtra, superl. scyrtest, scortost).]

A. adj. I. Of extent in space.

1. Measuring little from one end, or side, to the other; short as opposed to long; shorter than is desirable or expected. a1400 Leg. S. xxii 539.
A tre Quhare-of a balk mad suld be … was schortare gret thing Thane suld serue be his etlyng
1460 Hay Alex. 961.
Ane schort staf in his hand
1481 Acts II 132/2.
That thar be na speris made … nor sald that is schortar than five elne & a half or v elne at the leist
1494 Loutfut MS 123a.
On his left sleif a schort lasse of quhit silk
c1515 Asl. MS I 157/6.
That see is swetar schortar and mar mychti
1533 Boece 73.
Quhen … ane ox [was] slane … assignit was … to the wricht the neris with twa schort ribbis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 150 (B).
Howbeid my coit be schort and nippit, Thankit be God I am weill hippit
1573 Sempill Sat. P. xxxix 125.
Thocht Crafurdis ledder wes to schort ane ell [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I 4/25.
In sum places it [supra Britannie] is langre, in sum places schorter
Ib. 19/5.
Thay beir verie schorte tailis, als schorte as the tail of ane hyne
1612 Crim. Trials III 237.
Be streking of him with ane durk vnder the schorte ribbis
1650 Nicoll Diary 13.
[Montrose] his body cassin in to ane lytill schoirt kist
c1679 Reg. Panmure I lxvi.
Then followed a coach and its pertinents in murning; lastly his short coach, with the leamd horse and wounded postilion

b. Of a piece, or strip, of land; also, of a type of ploughing (see SND Gaither v. 6). 1441 (1680) Mar & Kellie Mun. (Reg. H.) Temp. no. ET 791.
Ane akyr of land … betuixt the said John Arkyllis schort landis and the Smydiefurde
1562 Dumfries B. Ct. fol. 160b.
Sett to William Batie the litill schort butts
1696 Cullen B. Rec. 76 (19 Sept.).
Ane uther croft off land … having the shortgatherings at the north the headrig at the south

c. Of the body, or part of the body, of a person, also an animal.Also, fig., after the Biblical expression ‘Is the Lord's hand waxed short?’ (Numbers xi 23), = less powerful.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 106/8.
And quhou hir schort catt nois up skippis … My ladye with the mekle lippis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 823.
He was never lukie old man that was sa schort betuene the neis and the mouth
1631 Justiciary Cases I 166.
The samyn [leg] being … mekill schorter nor the uther
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 225.
My short legs could not step over this lair, or sinking mire
(2) a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 34.
A fair bryde is soon buskt, and a short [1706 skort] horse soone wispt
fig. 1549 Compl. 75/10.
Behold, the hand of the Lorde is na scheortar nor it vas

d. Of a journey, distance or route: Extending over a short distance; not long. Also in fig. context.(1) 1427 Indenture Crown Office Writs (Reg. H.) No. 40.
Gyf it hapynys me … to disces in trawal scort or lang
a1500 Bk. Chess 2091.
Richt sad in moving suld thir women be And of schort space & to no fer cuntre
1568 Inv. Q. Mary lxxxix n. 2.
Quhilk [marriage] the Frenche ambassadour sa greitlie disdaynit that being ludgit within a very schort space to the Palace of Halyrudehous, he wald not at the quenis desyr pas to banket
1596 Dalr. I 43/25.
This [sc. Duncansby] is the last … hil in Scotland and thairfor [? for thairfra; L. unde] the schortest, bot the maist dangerous sailing ouer to the iles of Orknay be Pintland firthe
(2) c1515 Asl. MS I 307/9.
To mak direct schort way to Rome
1531 Bell. Boece I xlvi.
Schort gait fra thir ilis is Iona
1535 Stewart 28936.
Inchchennane, schort gait bewest Glasgw
fig. context 1653 Binning Wks. 626.
Coming to Jesus Christ is the comprehensive short gate

e. Of a blow: Directed at somebody who is close to the striker. 1456 Hay II 47/19.
His lytill schort suerd … is … gude at schort strakis

f. As a place-name element, also as a surname or surname element, in senses 1, b and c above. a1200 Crown Office Writs (Reg. H.) No. 5 in G. W. S. Barrow The Kingdom of the Scots (1973) 260.
[Race fitz Malger (late twelfth century) grants to Jedburgh Abbey half the land of] Scortebuttes
?12.. Reg. St. A. 322.
Aliam bouatam ad scortrig
a1300 Ib. 345.
Ad occidentalem partem de Kingistret de terra Roberti Scort xx d.
1434 Ib. 411, 412.
Roberto Short … Robertus Schort
1460 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 284.
Dauid Schort
c1475 Wall. iv 529.
Thai went all furth … To Schortwode schaw
1526 Reg. Dunferm. 381.
Ly stan aikir schort aikir et le buyt aikir
1578 Reg. Privy C. III 40.
Johnne Schortrig

2. Designating things as belonging to a shorter variety of their class. Cf. Lang adj.1 2, q.v. also for further examples. a. Schort band, boben, breid (= a breadth of cloth), button, hesp, ledder, lether, rok. 1614 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 252.
3 quarter steane of schoirtband hemp
1538–9 Treas. Acc. VII 144.
Lang bobennis, … schort bobennis ladit
1578 Inv. Wardrobe 211.
Of claith of silver … contening threttie lang breiddis sevin schort breidis four lang and small breidis and tua small and schort breidis
1579 Treas. Acc. MS 2.
Schort buttons price of the dysone xxx d.
1621 Stirling Merch. Guild 41.
Vnder the paine of confiscatioune of the ȝairne that beis funden schortter hespis
1375 Barb. x 551.
A schort ledder … I trow off tuelf fute it may be
1582 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 148.
The standaird laidder … with ane schort laidder
1679 Glasgow Merchants House 37.
To caus mak some short leddirs
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 366.
In the court stable … a short lether
1658 Sc. Ant. IX 51.
The diwell, Margret Tailȝeor with ane long rok and Kathren Renny with the short rok

b. Of weapons, including firearms.(1) ?a1450 Florimond 475.
Ane schort spair and ane scharp he haid: All armit on his steid he straid
1456 Hay II 47/14.
Thare is gevin to the knycht his lytill schort suerd, that sum callis misericorde
Ib. 47/19 (see 1 e above). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 706.
Schort suerdis of scheith smertly thay dreuch
a1500 Rauf C. 864.
Ilk ane schort knyfe braidit out sone
c1475 Wall. ix 717.
Thir cartaris had schort suerdis, off gud steill, Wndyr thar weidis
1494 Loutfut MS 4a.
The iiii keparis that ar ordanit to be heraris in the listes … suld nothir haff suerd ax no dagger no othir wappin bot alanerly schort speris but burris or heidis to depart the fechtaris … gif myster be
1531 Bell. Boece I 170.
Thay left thair swerdis, and faucht with schort dageris
(2) c1650 Fugitive Poetry II xxvii 5/113.
All the clans … armed every man, Mut him's bowe, him's dorloche and him's durke … Him's sworde, him's targe and him's shortegowne … and him's powder-horne
c1650 Spalding II 348.
The Tutour of Strvan, with sum hieland men, did brave seruice with thair schort gvnis
1671 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 700/1.
He shot att hime with ane littill short peice

c. Of articles of dress.For further instances of schort hose (= knee breeches), see Hose n. 3. 1473 Treas. Acc. I 13.
j½ elne of blac to lyne a schort gowne to the king
1489 Ib. 137.
For … veluus for a lang gowne and a schorte
1506–7 Treas. Acc. III 316.
Ane schort Kentdale cote … j pair schort hos
1512 Treas. Acc. IV 206.
To Johne Davidsone, cordinare, for brodikinnis, schone, butis, platit and schort, and all uthir stuff
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 144.
Ane schort coit of vailvos
15.. Christis Kirk 37 (M).
So schamfullie ane schort goun sat him His lymmis was lyk twa rokkis
1596 Dalr. I 93/19.
A schorte cote of woll, with wyde and apne sleiues
1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 327.
Silk stockingis … of England or Naples short the pair xv li. … long the pair xx li.
c1650 Fugitive Poetry II xxvii 5/112.
Mut him's bowe, him's dorloche, and him's durke, Him's short-hose, and him's two cleane shirte

d. Of building material in wood or stone. 1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 49.
Price of the peis schort werk iiii d. and the lang werk iii d.
1535–6 Ib. 182.
lxxx pece schort aikin tymmer for lath and sarking
1621 Murray Lyon Hist. Lodge Edinb. 34.
Schort stanes, that is to say, rabits and stanes of chimlays
1622 Aberd. B. Rec. II 379.
Aisler stanes … thairof [67] peice long wark for lintellis and nowellis and the remanent schort wark for rebbittis

e. Schort carrage, see Lang adj.1 2 f.

f. comb. In schort-boddiet and -schankit. 1613 Edinb. Test. XLVII 203b.
Ane lang boddiet cairt and ane schort bodiet cairt
1575 Edinb. Test. III 292.
Tua siluer spvnis schort schankit Duche wark

II. With reference to duration of time.

3. Of a period of time: Not long in duration, quick in passing.attrib. a1400 Leg. S. x 393.
Gud men, wit that Yrtacus Of lordschepe sal schorte tyme hafe
Ib. xxxiii 155.
Quhene that schort tym wes gan … Thai [etc.]
Ib. xliii 363.
For a schort tyme
c1420 Wynt. viii 1655.
And on he passyd rycht hastyly Wndyr cwndyt off schort space
c1450-2 Howlat 112 (A).
To schape me a schand bird in a schort space
a1500 Seven S. 920.
Tharefter be schort tyme was gane This knycht … Come [etc.]
1498 Acta Conc. II 185.
[He] had bot schort space til avise
1596 Dalr. I 148/32.
In a schorte tyme with al his cumpanie he landet
1631 Kelso Glovers 10.
That it shall nott be laufull … to fie ane servant … for shorter spaice nor ane whol year
(b) 1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 153.
My tarie thair wes bot for ane schoirt quhyle
predic. 1385 Rot. Sc. II 73/1.
And als for the tyme is to schort to mak full redres
a1500 Henr. Fab. 21.
To blyth the spreit and gar the tyme be schort
1535–6 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 165.
The tyme is schort to schaw our defenssis
1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 165.
The tyme is schoirt that I have now onspent
1562-3 Winȝet I 4/31.
And albeit the time be schort, sumthing of ȝour prais man we speak
a1568 Bann. MS 229b/38.
Schort is ȝour havy nycht
a1578 Pitsc. II 111/33.
Knawand thair tyme to be schort to ring in autorietie [etc.]
1680 Cargill in Cloud of Witnesses 10.
And let not this … lay you by, that the work is great and the time short

b. Of daylight: Short between sunrise and sunset (because of bad weather or winter). 1529 Stirling B. Rec. I 35.
Quhen the day is schort till entyr to his werk at day lycht in the morwyng
1538–9 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 246.
Fra the xi day of October to the xx day of December … to … quareouris at past fra wolkle wagis to task becaus of the schort day
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 44.
Evin in the short tyme of wynter [1804 even in short tyme of the winter], thair came [etc.]
1674 Cullen Kirk S. II 13 Dec.
No afternoon sermon the day being short & foull

c. To mak (a period of time) schort, to make (it) (seem to) pass more quickly. 1513 Doug. xiii ix 51.
With commonyng and carpyng … The lang … nyght … to mak schort

d. In (in to, in till, within) schort time (space, quhill), after, or in the course of, a short time; soon, presently; quickly. Also (once), not long ago, recently.(1) 1375 Barb. v 368.
In schort tyme men mycht se ly The [twa] part dede
Ib. xi 557.
He hastyt him sa fast That cummyn in schort tyme wes he
Ib. xiv 549.
And in-to wele schort tym war thai … contraryit sua
a1400 Leg. S. ii 253.
And thu sall haf it in schort space
Ib. xxvii 847. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1569.
The quhilk [sc. city] in-to schort tyme was made
c1420 Wynt. viii 4666.
In till schort tyme so have thai dwne, That … thai assemblyd ware
c1450-2 Howlat 310 (A).
And ȝe sall heire in schort space Quhat worthy lordis thar was
1456 Hay I 73/13.
And within schort tyme efter the verray thef … was tane
Id. Alex. 2303.
And [= if] God will keip me haill and in gude point Within schort tyme I think him for to se
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1263.
Thay will in schort tyme end
a1500 Colk. Sow iii 95.
In schort space Twentyfour chikkynis of thame [sc. eggs] scho hes
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 120/61.
It micht have cuming in schortar quhyll
1533 Boece 86.
Cadale with his power in schort space salit to Ireland
1590 Lett. Jas. VI to Bruce 283.
I houip to see him give w[ith]in short tyme effectuell demonstrationis
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 209.
Of necessitie our monneyis most be transportit quhairby in schort tyme the haill moneyis in the cuntrie wilbe exhaustit
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xl 1085.
This sa schort tyme gane ves That ȝet it is in memor fresch

e. Be schortair space, with less notice, with shorter warning. c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 16.
The party defendand may mak thre delays in sic mute sua that ilk delay may contene the space of fourty dais … and gif the party be callit in court be schortair space he aw thar to appeir and say that him fallis of law to haue the space of thrys fourty days befoir his apperance

f. Apon schort tyme, on schorte delay, ? with little notice or warning. c1420 Wynt. ix Prol. 44.
Bot weil I wate on schorte delay At a court I mon appeire
1503 Acts II 253/2.
It sal be lefule … to the schiref … to summond the said inqueste apon quhat dais he ples or apon schort tyme

g. Within schort dayis (a schort day), not long afterwards; in the near future. Cf. 6 below. 1549 Compl. 81/24.
I hope … that vitht in schort days the protectour of Ingland … sal be put in the croniklis in as abhominabil stile as [etc.]
c1575 Balfour Pract. 278.
He may be … chargit … to compeir within ane schort day in the kingis court
a1578 Pitsc. II 87/12.
They war beguild withtin schort dayis

h. In adv. phr., without introductory prep., with and, chiefly, without article.See also S(c)hort quhil(e.With plural noun, virtually = a few, not many.(1) 1375 Barb. x 492.
Thar full schort tyme levyt he
a1400 Leg. S. ii 186.
Wit thu That schorte tyme I sall tholl now?
c1475 Wall. i 141.
That office than he brukyt bot schort tyme
Ib. ii 12.
Till Auchincruff with outyn mar he raid And bot schort tyme in pes at he thar baid
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 101.
I wyll leif schort tyme
1551 Hamilton Cat. 269.
The troubil … lestis bot schort tyme
(2) 1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. xiii 8.
A painfull pastour … Too schort a space his natioune hath decoired
(3) 1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 150.
Schort tyme eftir, the Thayne of Cawder wes disheresit of his landis
1622-6 Bisset II 178/12.
His … ressaving of the … sacrament … ane schorte tyme befoir his deceis
(4) 1531 Bell. Boece I 2.
Schort yeris eftir Pharo deceissit
Id. Livy I 37/27.
Schort dayis following King Tacius past to Lavyne

4. Near at hand; soon to come.Chiefly (a, the) schort day.Common in legal contexts, freq. in the phr. to (till) a schort day, at … schort day.(1) 1375 Barb. xv 258.
And thai Tretyt and till a schort day The castell till him ȝauld fre
1467 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i p. 613 (20 Aug.).
It sall be lesome to the saidis alderman & bailȝeis to continew the said caus til ane vther schort day
1471 Acta Aud. 14/1.
It salbe lefull to thaim to tak new summondis til a schortar day
1491 Acta Conc. I 169/2.
Vtheris acciouns … delayit be thaim in speciale to schortare dais
1495 Ib. 397/2.
That baith the partiis be summond to a schort day to ansuer to the kingis hienes
1518–19 Ib. MS XXXII fol. 124b in Fife Sheriff Ct. 297.
To produce the saidis lettres befor the saidis lordis to ane schort day
1530 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 338.
Thai salbe callit to ane schort day and accusit tharupoune
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 117.
[To] transport the same [wines] without present payment or obligatioun to schort dayis for greter prices then [etc.]
(2) 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 6.
Than it salbe in the will of the bailȝe & the court to gif him schort day or lang efter as thai see is maist speidfull to the kyng
1564 Perth B. Ct. 144 (4 Sept.).
Gif the jugis … assins him ane vther schortar day for reduxioun of proces
1607 Conv. Burghs II 241.
Ane schorte day appointit for payment thairof
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 112.
To desyre a shorte day from the king for downe sitting of the parliament
(3) 1559–60 Soc. Ant. XI 520.
That … we may haue command to ane maser to warne hir to comper … at ane certan schort day
1565 Edinb. Univ. MS La. iii 388a fol. 26b.
And the iuge to resyt … at the schort day with all possibill diligence
1622-6 Bisset II 60/25.
The iudge to decyde the samin, than incontinent, or at ane schorte day with all possabill diligence
(4) 1549 Compl. 36/28.
Ther for ve haue mistir to be … reddy, sen the terme of Cristis cumming is schort ande the day oncertane

b. ? Prompt; sudden. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 102.
Schir Kay wes haisty and hate, and … Spedely to hym spak: ‘Schort amendis will I mak’
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9056.
The empreour … was sorie of his schort departing

5. Of a non-material thing, freq. a person's life, a process or other state, etc., viewed as having duration: Not lasting, or continuing, for long; brief.(1) 1375 Barb. ix 284.
Bot thai had bath bot schort lesting For thai deyt sone eftre syne
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 116.
Within schort proces of tyme
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1510 (Asl.).
Of schort lyf changeable thai haf mare inly cure
?c1500 Rathen Manual 28/2.
Cursit be thai … thair deyis be schort
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 18/99.
Off this schort tyme [M. schort lyf] remembring nocht the space
Ib. 177/21.
Sen thow knawis thy tyme is schort [etc.]
1549 Compl. 134/22.
Quharfor I prayt to the goddis of the tempil to send hym schort lyif dais
c1550 Lynd. Test. Meldrum 4.
Mennis lyfe in eirth bene wounder short
1567 G. Ball. 233.
Remember alwayis, that schort be ȝour dayis, The day of the Lord drawis neir
1596 Dalr. II 22/14.
Quhen Machabie … vndirstude … how schort sulde be thair tyme quha descendet of him
(2) 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 546.
Ȝit come one cheange within ane schorte proces
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 108.
The said Erle of Lennox desyrit schort and summare proces to be deducit in the said mater
1637 Justiciary Cases I 284.
For a schort indurance of tyme
(b) 1589 Reg. Privy C. IV 424.
Quhairthrow, thinking to mak the proces schoirtair [etc.]
(3) a1400 Leg. S. iii 636.
I am mar discesit now Of thi lestand dampnacione Thane of myn awne schort passione
c1420 Wynt. ii 1161.
Thus maid thai schort delyverance
1461 Liber Plusc. 386.
The lust is schort; joy has na day till ende
a1500 Henr. Fab. 720.
‘Vill thow tak pane for thy transgressioun?’ … ‘I wald, swa it wer licht, Schort and nocht greuand’
c1475 Wall. vi 894.
With schort awys he maid ansuer him till
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 173/6, 7.
A schoirt torment for infineit glaidnes, Als schort ane joy for lestand hevynes
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 148.
My schorte solace … Was dreuin in dolour in one lytill space
a1538 Abell 75b.
It is ane grit blindnes at men laubouris for schort dignite soyn gane and nocht for perpetuall with God
c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 338.
He deyt of a schort seiknes att his castell
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 31, 32.
Thir kyngs … schorte is heir thare joye … And euer schorter daye be daye
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9458.
Schort kindnes thair hes bene Or ellis auld lufe that hes bene thame betwene
1567 G. Ball. 32.
Quhen this schort pyne to ȝow greif, Than think on hell
c1600 Montg. Suppl. v 35.
Thay [= thy] schortt delytt in constantt loyis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 382.
Better is schort sit nor lang stand
1678 Lauder Observes 271.
Some ware for reading the haill report over, and then by on vote have approven it, which would have made short work, and hudled up all

b. Of a contract or tack. 1565 Chart. Coupar A. II 214.
To set fewis rentallis lang or schort takis for the weile of the place

c. Rapid. a1578 Pitsc. I 62/28.
This sudand accis to heigh feliecietie sould hauye ane schort decay

d. fig. Of a person's memory: Retentive of past happenings for no more than a brief period. 1638 Baillie I 118.
Receave now the proceedings of our Assemblie, as my memorie, necessarlie now short, after ane half year's tyme, with the help of some little notes, can furnish

6. Of an utterance: Taking little time, brief. Also said of writings, perhaps in some instances overlapping with 1 above. a1400 Leg. S. ii 8.
Hillarius, In schorth spech sayand thus [etc.]
Ib. xxvii 1089.
A schort sermone
c1450-2 Howlat 246 (A).
Of thar come the haile caus Was said in to schort sawis
1456 Hay I 69/7.
Of the quhilk I sall gyf ȝow a schort ensample in few termes
Id. Alex. 8361.
A schorte refuse is mare expedient
Ib. 3547. a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 610.
This ballet schort
Ib. 614 (Ch.).
Beir in ȝour mynd this schort conclusioun
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 683 (Asl.).
Of this dome the principale proces … In sentens schort [Harl. schrot] I preis to mak expres
1490 Irland Mir. I 20/19.
A schort and litile orisoune
c1515 Asl. MS I 215/1.
Heir followis ane schort memoriale of the Scottis corniklis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 2.
He wald schaw it be schort telling, rathir than [etc.]
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 213.
Quhilk sall, at schorte narratioun, Bryng ȝow to dissolatioun
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 169/25.
That ȝe will mak ane schorte rehers of the effect … of ȝour ressoning
1572 Sat. P. xxxvi title.
Ane schort inveccyde maid aganis the delyuerance of the erle of Northumberland
1580 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxx.
Ane shorte and generall confessione of the true Christiane … religion
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 5a.
Thir rowndales schoirte, that I heir plainte Is for my spoirte
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Bastardvs.
Thir schort rules are to be obserued
c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. fol. 58.
The Short Confession of Faith, called the Covenant

b. [The] shorter catechisme, ‘in the Presbyterian churches, the shorter or more condensed of the two catechisms prepared by the Westminster Assembly of 1643 and approved by the General Assembly in 1648 for use in instructing church members on the basic articles of the Christian faith according to Calvinist teaching’ (SND, s.v. Short adj. 1). 1646 Moray Synod 103.
[The] larger and shorter catechisme

c. In (into) termis schort, in schort wordis, briefly, in few words. Also, in schort thing. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 27/50.
Than Lawlines … said till hir in termis schort [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Ephesians iii 3.
As I abone wrate in schort thing [L. in brevi]
1528 Lynd. Dreme 802.
I sall declare the suith … in to termes schort
1533 Boece 252.
I sall in schort wordis twich the effect of my legacioun

d. To cut (words) short, to use abbreviated or contracted forms. 1581-1623 James VI Poems I 75/23, 24.
As in flyting and inuectiues ȝour wordis to be cuttit short, and hurland ouer heuch. For thais quhilkis are cuttit short, I meane be sic wordis as thir, ‘Iis neir cair’ for ‘I sall neuer cair’

e. To fall in schort wordis, to be curt with one another, to begin to quarrel. 1570-3 Bann. Trans. 134.
There was some young men of the toun gangand vpon the gait, and the watches of the stiple asking what they were, fell in schort wordis

7. a. (To be) schort, to express oneself with brevity, to be brief. 15.. Clar. iv 2429.
Heir to be schorte, and leive all circumstance, Thay go to tabill with joy
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i 452.
This to be schort [etc.]
1569 Misc. Bann. C. I 47*.
To be schort, quhat suld ye do, bot vse counsall
1571 Ferg. Serm. iii Malachi in 1563-72 Tracts 73.
And, to be schort, we ar now maid ȝour tabill talk
1596 Dalr. I 107/28.
For to be schorte with the rest, this [etc.]
1602 Dundee Shipping P. 74.
Now to be schort we … cam to owr port in fowr dayis
c1610 Lanark B. Rec. 122.
And, to be schort, I thocht never sa lang for the bailyies til have sein the sam
1614 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 240.
Seiknes at the present makis me moirt schort, bot I sal evir rest. Ȝour … freynd [etc.]

b. To mak schort, to conclude quickly (what one has to say); to be brief. 1456 Hay I 229/32.
And tharfore I will mak schort my part tharof
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 143.
For to mak schort, this beirer will tell ȝow the rest
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 91.
Yit to make short, I denie your assumption

8. transf. Of a person: a. That uses few words to say something; able to express himself concisely. b. Abrupt, curt.a. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 180/75.
Merseir … That did in luf so lifly write, So schort, so quyk, of sentence hie
c1650 Spalding I 87.
He wes not longsum bot schort at sermon
1672 Mackenzie Pleadings 7.
A short pleader may … wrong his client; whereas a full pleader can … wrong only himself
b. 15.. Crawford Mun. Invent. II 58.
I haif pleynȝet that ye ar our schort

c. Hasty; impetuous. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 285.
If Christ had in this matter been as wilful and short as I was, my faith had gone over the brae

9. Of breathing: Coming in short quick gasps; impeded. See also schort-endit, s.v. 13 (2) below. c1580 Q. Mary in 12th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. viii 9.
Bot let me knou if he hes any schort end or host

10. In prosody or phonetics: Short in syllabic quantity. 1531 Vaus (1531) 2.
It sal haif e schort before re in the infinitiue mode
a1578 Pitsc. I 5/20.
Ȝow gentill readdaris quhair that I haue feilȝeit In letteris sillabbis pointtis lang or schortt [etc.]
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 68/60, 64.
To knaw the quantitie of ȝour lang or short fete in they lynes … abone the heid of the short fute I haue put this mark v
Ib. 71/23.
All syllabis are deuydit in thrie kindes: … some schort, some lang, and some indifferent
c1616 Hume Orthog. 9.
If this argument reached as wel to i short as i lang [etc.]

III. 11. a. Of a person: Short of (oneself), failing to live up to one's (good) reputation. b. Of an amount of money: Deficient, less than demanded. c. In quot. 1688 appar. = (goods) that are not paid for.a. 1670 Boyd Fam. P. No. 304a (8 Nov.).
Quherin yea show me yea thinke me verie far short of my selfe in that I did deny to give my consent to the dispositiowne
b. 1584 Laing MSS I 50.
Assuring me weill that your mony sowld becum schort befoir this secund provisioun sowld be at your lordship
1680 Irvine Mun. II 280.
Thir three pages is fund to be shortt three pond sixttine shillings Scotts
c. 1688 Weaver's Acc. Bk.
To be payed at or abowt Mirtimis and what is short of it is to be giwen bak again

d. Of measurements of distance, time or amount: Indicating that the actual extent was less than that stated by the noun.A short hunder, see Hundir num. 2 b. c1630 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 150.
And these two locheids they are but one short myll betwixt them
1649 Elgin Rec. II 434.
He is … to heare … the expositione off ther author for the space of ane shortt half houre
1690 Newport Glasgow Customs 12b.
Tuo thousand four houndreth ells shortt hunders

IV. 12. That crumbles easily; friable. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1570.
Tak her up and give her draf, she loves schort meat weill

V. 13. comb. With a ppl. adj. formed from a noun.Schort-endit, short-winded.(1) 1576 Douglas Corr. 207.
Short wynged hawkis
c1650 Spalding I 62.
Ane monster like beist, … schort leggit, and schort futtit
1658 R. Moray Lett. 15/25 April.
Short-nebbed sparrowes
1666 Irvine Mun. II 204.
Ane mous broune colloured horse, short rumped
(2) 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. v 432.
Quatit aeger anhelitus artus, he is schort endit
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Anhelus, pursie, or short-ended

B. quasi-noun. 1. Chiefly in the adv. phr. at schort. a. In a few words; briefly; concisely. Also, in schort. b. In a short time; quickly; as soon as possible; in the near future.Some of the quots. given under b may properly belong to a.a. (1) a1500 Lanc. 1201.
At schort, his armour in sich wys vas vrocht … that no thing was left haill
a1500 Quare Jel. 420.
Quhich is to say that jelousy at schort Commyth of the deuill and thedir schall resort
15.. Clar. i 391.
Or in this land at schort I sall abyde … betyde quhat may betyde
Ib. 1393.
Thay at schort hes tauld him [all] the cace
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 265.
Att schorte, ȝe daylie do aduert To serue ȝour God. … Finis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1256.
Heirfoir thair companie I refuse, I say at schort
(2) a1500 Colk. Sow ii 166.
And to conclud in schort, Scho said, ‘My sone [etc.]’
Ib. iii 47.
And in schort my long legend … The euwangell the trewtht thairof attestis
a1500 Seven S. 2132.
He … said, ‘In schort, it is my will [etc.]’
a1568 Bann. MS I p. 34/53.
Thairfoir in schort my counsale it is this
b. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 286.
The toun destroyit was at schort
Id. Æn. ii xii 82.
Thus quhen na hope of reskew at schort is My purpos I left
Ib. iii ix 36.
Gyf that I perych, it is ȝit sum comfort That I of mennys handis deing at schort
Ib. x 40.
A huge pepill … cum hurland to the port, And fillyt all the cost sydis at schort
Ib. viii Prol. 20.
Thar is na sege for na schame that schrynkis at schort, May he cum to hys cast be clokyng
Ib. xiii iii 26.
The remanent … at schort Withdrawys
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 585.
His kin … Was put at schort till exterminioun
15.. Clar. ii 568.
The queine unto hir chalmer went at schort
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 64.
And sa at schort my pen I tuke in hand, Began to wryte [etc.]
Ib. 102.
Madame … Ȝe will recouer ȝour helth I traist at schort
Ib. 1162.
Thairfoir at schort lat all sic folie be
c1590 J. Stewart 68/119.
The valȝant ȝerbin from the deed, Doune dompting all that multitude at schort
1644 Rec. Old Aberd. I 74.
It is statut that stentmaisteris sall be set at schort

c. Within schort, = b above. 1595 Cal. Sc. P. XI 590.
[There were some hot speeches betwixt his majesty and Mr. Andrew Melvill, moderator] bot within schortt calmit

2. In absol. uses of A 1 b and 2 above. 1562 Charter Suppl. (Reg. H.) 11 April.
The west half of the eistir shortt of the westir haugh
1620 Edinb. Test. L 280b.
I haue presentlie standing in my tymber ȝaird … vtheris sindrie schortis of timber
1682 New Mills Manuf. 21.
One bagg of fine wool, one bagg of 2d sort, one bagg of shorts

C. adv. 1. For a short time.Schort … ouer, for little longer than (the time specified).Also comb. in schort-abiding, -living.(1) c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 415.
For the langar he leif, the mar synis and mar payne deseruice, and the schortar the les
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 181/8.
Schort my lyfe may heir indure
1596 Dalr. II 408/28.
Quhen bot schort he had lyne the x of July he departed this lyfe
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. i 54.
Lyk to a blooming meadou Quhose pryd doth schort remaine
(2) 1570 Sat. P. xix 47.
Thai murdreist him … Schort ouer twa yeiris quhen he had rung in deid
(3) comb. 1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. i 109.
[Love is] A schort abiding glaidnes
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1664) 372.
This world is but a shadow, a short-living creature

2. In a short time; soon.Chiefly, schort … efter, not long after(wards), common in Knox, and short syne (since), not long before, recently.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 10/117.
Him … That schort within thir dayis thre Sall law undir thy lyntell bow … Thy blissit Saluatour
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 30.
Thir kyngs thai ar bot kyngs of bane: And schort wyl heir thare tyme be gane
(2) 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 90.
Schort efter the knowledge of this rowstie ryme [etc.]
1558-66 Knox I 45.
God schort after raised up against thame strongar campionis
Ib. II 71.
Schort thairefter sche fynischeit hir unhappy lyfe
Ib. 130.
Schort after the said parliament, war send … ambassadouris to England
1633 Orkney Witch Trial in Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. V 547.
And immediatelie ane off the ky dieit and schort after the rest dieit also
1643 Ib. in Misc. Abbotsf. C. I 178.
And shortefter the said Annabell Murray contractit ane lingring disease
(3) 1596 Cal. Sc. P. XII 292.
[His depute] short syne [is] dung [from his horse]
1596–7 Ib. 500. 1623 Lett. Eccl. Affairs II 732.
My Lord of Glasgow hes bin heir shortsyne
1639 Dundonald Par. Rec. 442.
John Tannahill … confessit that he tuik one bairne of his short since to Rickartoune

3. In a few words; briefly. a1568 Scott xxx 49.
Schort to conclude: I wald [etc.]
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 171/541.
Short, Adam lyke a hairt is quho doth in a uooddis neuke stay

4. a. To come short, to fail to reach (a standard); to fall short of (a target); to be inadequate. 1611-57 Mure True Crucifixe 254, 257.
And what a one Hee was, to show came short; Againe, of what the eye a-lyfe espyde, A lifelesse picture can no be denyed Yet short to come
1662 Crim. Trials III 612.
The divell gaw Margret Brodie an arrow to shoot at him quhilk she did; bot it cam short

b. To cut short, to take a short cut. 1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 162.
Lovat, being well acquaint in the rode, cuts short, and is a dayes journay before him at Edinburgh

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

"Short adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Oct 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: