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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Servabill,) Servable, Serviabill, adj. Also: servabile, serveabill, serv-, serwyabill, serviable, servyable. [ME and e.m.E. seruyable (Chaucer), serviable (c1400), OF servable (Godefroy), serviable (c1130 in Larousse), f. servir to serve.]

1. Ready or willing to serve. Also transf.(a) c1450-2 Howlat 379 (A).
The souerane signe … That seruit his serenite euer seruabile
1626 Haigs of Bemersyde 178.
I rest your loving and servable brother
(b) 1513 Doug. xii ii 88.
The byssy knapys … Abowt thame stud, full ȝaip and seruyabill
a1578 Pitsc. I 50/10.
He promist to [be] allis serueabill as ony man wnto this realme
a1578 Pitsc. I 321/22.
They war ever trew and kind and serueabill to the king in all his affairis
a1586 Lindsay MS at end.
I salbe leill and trew servand serviabill To our soveran lord
1607 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 107.
Quha sall ewer carie maist serwyabill hartis
1638 Haigs of Bemersyde 219.
Your loving and servyable friend
transf. 1603 Moysie xxi.
Eftir maist serviable salutations

2. Belonging to the servant class of people. 1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 20.
Thair is monie serviable persones that mareyis and takis up houssis, not haveing quhairupone to live, quhairby the inhabitantis … ar … hurt for laick of servandis; thairfoir it is … ordanit … that it sall not be lesum to servile persones not worth thrie skoir gulyeonis [etc.]

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"Servabill adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



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