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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

South, Sowth, adv., n. and adj. Also: southe, sowthe, southt, sowtht, soucht, sout, sowt, souythe, suth(e, souit, sut, swyt. [ME and e.m.E. suð (Layamon), suþ (Orm), south (c1290), sowth(e (Chaucer), southe (Piers Plowman), OE súð.]

A. adv. To or towards the south; in a southerly direction; southwards. Also ellipt.The 1699 quot. may belong in b. 1375 Barb. xvi 265.
Syne thai … sowth till Lwnyk held thair way
c1420 Wynt. vii 302.
Sowth he fled on full gud spede
1466 (1471) Reg. Great S. 215/1.
Quhare that north burn sekis in south upon him
1488 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 1.
A bakland vytht a part of the forlande fra the yet sutht
c1515 Asl. MS I 163/13.
Thir ylis standis south fra Paradys
1507 Treas. Acc. III 411.
To Johne Beg passand with siclike lettrez fra Forth south
1569 Reg. Episc. Morav. App. 414.
Reservand to me … the haill hill … as the merche stanis salbe sett in at the end of the lang riggis discendand nort and sowt
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 34.
To stop the regent to gang first north and syne sowth
1596 (1597) Reg. Great S. 194/1.
Be the grund of ane auld dyk lyand south and north
1601 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 177.
He was than at Strathbogy witht my lord quhen he red southt
1620 Grant Chart. 329.
The young laird came to Blair vpoun his journey southe
1640 Grant Chart. 232.
To stent the landis of Wrquhart for sending sowthe men
1672 Moray Synod 155.
If anie brother … should goe south or be absent from his charge … for the space of six weeks without licence [etc.]
ellipt. c1580 in Bann. Memor. 335.
When he had tane out sic money as to make his owin expenssis southe
1699 Greyfriars Interments 29.
Agnes Areat … warrant, hers, south Chislie tomb, a truf

b. To the south of. 1598 (1600) Reg. Great S. 387/1.
Passand south the said balk to the laitch or strype callit the Bauchlandlaitch, and assending up and west the said laitche

c. South and north, in all directions, everywhere. = North adv. 1 b. c1420 Wynt. ii 1364.
Wersozes … Bath sowth and north maid gret steryng

d. To be south, to be in the southern part of Scotland or ? in England. 1650 Brechin Presb. 41.
I was south bringing home som lint
c1650 Spalding I 27.
The erll, hir husband, wes at this tym south

e. comb.For further examples of south-rinnand, see Rin(n)and ppl. adj. 1 (1).(1) 1597 Elgin Rec. II 62.
The elders absent sen the ministeris south passing to be summonit
1625 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 7 Sept.
The minister … accusit hir wpon Androw Fraseris being obscuir in hir hous twa or thrie nichtis at his southe going
(2) 1513 Doug. v xiii 6.
And sowtht pipand wyndis fair on hie Challancis to pas on burd
(3) 1584 Sempill in Sat. P. xlv 298.
Reasing the devill with invocationes, With herbis, stanes [etc.] … and south rinning wellis
1588 St. A. Kirk S. 622.
Being inquirit quhat vertew is betuix sowth rynnand watter and uther watter [she] knawis nocht bot heris say south rynand watter suld be usit
1588 St. A. Kirk S. 623.
Mr. Jhone schew to hir that sowth ryninand watter is best … and that the samyn is gude to wesche folkis fra the kneyis and elbokis down and gude to help thair hurt stommok
1617 Dalyell Darker Superst. 85, etc. 1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 14 May.
The cure scho wseit wes onlye be wasching him with south running watter, smeiring him ower with swynis seame
1644 Culross 209.
If he wer to buy a horse, the first south-running water he came to, light of with the horses hinder feete in the water, and tak up a handfull of sand out of the water and three severall tymes straik the horse back from his forret to his shoulders [etc.]
1650 Brechin Presb. 29. 1650 Culross 239. 1685 Sinclair Satan's Inv. World 215.
I heard of a woman who dipt her smock in south-running-water on that night and hanged it up before the fire to dry

B. noun. 1. The southern part of a place (or of the earth); the southerly point of the compass or direction.(1) c1420 Wynt. i 939.
Agayne the sowtht to thir ar knyt All Egyp hale
1456 Hay I 36/21.
And the thrid realme … was Macedone, the quhilk began in the south
1549 Compl. 48/35.
The tothir sterne standis at the southt, and it is callit the pole antartic austral or meridional
1549–50 Elgin Rec. I 100.
Fra the stank at the sovtht to the borrov briggis at the northt
1557 Inverness Rec. I 13.
a1603 Anc. Prophecies 6.
Then shal a hunter in hy come forth of the south … And shal goe one his foote ouer the water of Forth [etc.]
(2) c1515 Asl. MS I 163/15.
Fra the south of Hercules pilleris … ar mony ylis
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xxv 362.
Fra suth to north, fra est to weste
c1420 Wynt. i 553.
Fra north on sowth the streme it strekys
c1475 Wall. xi 777.
Fra south and north mony off Scotland fled
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV ii 167.
In the litill gaylery that went dervict to sowth oute of the kingis schalmir

2. With specific reference to Scotland, chiefly, Scotland south of the Aberdeen/Moray Firth area. Also, at (from) south.(1) c1420 Wynt. iv 1797.
And in the sowth [C. souythe] [sc. of Scotland] yhit as we rede Wes Bretownys
a1578 Pitsc. I 268/32. 1592 Elgin Rec. II 25.
The minister crawit licence … for … fyiftein days to do his lesum bussines in the sowth
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 298.
The lords of the south, and great men of the north that have opposed themselves to the kirk
1640 Moray Synod 46.
According to instructiones sent from the southe, a publick fast is appointed in every parochine within the province
1660 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 191.
That Mr. Andro Cant … haid … removit himselff … to the south, for macking … his residence ther
(2) 1625 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 24 Aug.
He … desyrit continewatioun wntill … [they] cum heim from southe
1640 Aberd. Council Lett. II 183.
I have already advertised our frends at south of your willingnes to contribut … and shall now at my being with them at south [etc.]
1675 Ellon Presb. 214.
[The minister of Foveran is among those absent, being] att south

3. (The people or society of) (the south of) England. c1616 Hume Orthog. 10.
Heer I wald commend to our men quhae confoundes these [sounds] the imitation of the south
c1616 Hume Orthog. 20.
Nurice, from nutrix, quhilk the south calles nurse

4. The south wind. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xii 55.
Quhen ye se the southe [P. south] blawand, ye say that hete salbe

C. adj. 1. Situated in, or belonging to, the south; southern, southerly. a. In place names. 1157 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 5.
In suth aqua
c1170 Liber Dryburgh 15.
Moniales de Suthberwik
1236 Reg. Paisley 427.
c1248 Coldstream Chart. 7.
In villa de Laynal, silicet le Suthtun de Laynal
12… Liber Dryburgh 141.
Iuxta partem occidentalem de Suthebuttes
a1300 Lindores Chart. 185.
c1320 Reg. Episc. Glasg. I 229.
Domino Waltero de Southuyk
1449–50 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 374.
In vico nuncupato Southgate
1450 Reg. Dunferm. 321.
1466 Reg. Dunferm. 368.
Ad portum burgi de Perth que dicitur le Southbryg
1468 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 418.
Dominis [Thoma] de Kylpatrik rectore de Suthek
1499–1500 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 77.
Nor ȝitt at the Sowth Loch, nor ȝitt the North Loch
c1508 Ch. & M. Prints p. 5 colophon.
Imprentit in the southt gait of Edinburgh
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 26.
To Peter Logy of the southt ferry
1550 Rankin St. A. Ch. 110. 1553–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I 108.
The dyk mad for inhalding of the South Loch

b. With common nouns in general use. Also ellipt. c1420 Wynt. ix 566 (C).
Of the Corskirk … the south ile
1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 245.
Extendand to the hicht of the hill at the south ende
c1450-2 Howlat 303 (A).
Our the salt se fro the south fellis
1487 Acts II 179/1.
Commissaris of all borowis baith south & north
c1515 Asl. MS I 167/17.
The mast north of thir four fludis is Eufrates, … and Nylus is the mast south
1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I 60.
This tone … as it is fondit in breid and lintht fra the southt hevin to the northt hevin
1501 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 340.
The southt chek of the nethir yet of the sade … yarde
1503 Acts II 241/2.
Ane other justice & schiref deput to syt in Tarbart … for the southt ylis
1509 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 522.
Ane tenement … on the southt part
1522 Selkirk B. Ct. MS 94a.
1524 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 73.
Quhilkis persones raid baitht the northt common and the southt
1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 27.
The Kingis grace awine chalmer in the southt tour
1533 Wigtown B. Ct. 274 A.
1542 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 30 A.
I was direct … to cum fortherwartis to his sowtht bordouris towart Ingland
1574–5 Haddington Treas. Acc. 13.
The gryt west wyndok of the kyrk and the thre swyt wyndokis
1641-8 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 13b.
For the lightes of the suth and north forlan 3 li.
1684 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. 3 Ser. XXXVI 161.
Test to be subscribed by the surveyors and waiters in the Borders and south ports
1440 Cop. St. A. 201.
Gangand west be the southfald dikis unto the marchis of Fedinche

c. Of a person: Southern, ? English. c1475 Wall. xi 779.
The South byschop … Till London past, and tald Eduuard him sell [etc.]

2. Of the wind: Blowing from the south.Cf. OE súðan wind, Southen adj. and B 4 above. 1513 Doug. i iii 27.
The sowth wynd Nothus thre schippis draif away
1513 Doug. iii vi 3.
The sowth wyndis blast Our piggeis and our pynsalis wavit fast

3. comb. South-falling, (of a mountainside) sloping southwards. 1632 Lithgow Trav. vi 281.
We crossed the valley Gehinnon and came to Acaldema … which is … oppositiue to the deualling side of the south-falling Syon

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



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