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 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Aw, Awe, n.1 Also: haw, au; a. [Northern (and eastern) ME. aw(e, agh(e, aȝe (c 1250), ON. age (Icel. agi, Dan. ave), = OE. eᵹe.]

1. Awe, fear, dread: a. In the prepositional phrases be, for, but, foroutin aw.1375 Barb. xi. 555 (forouten dreid or aw); xvi. 614 (but dreid or aw). a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii. 20 (for gret aw); xl. 910 (hastely but ony haw). c1420 Wynt. v. 552 (for luwe off woman or for awe); viii. 6796 (for dreid or aw). 1456 Hay I. 262/13 (for favour or fede, or aw or mede). a1500 Bk. Chess 1427 (for vther luf or aw). 1513 Doug. iii. iv. 26 (but dreid or aw). 1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii. 24 (Argyle and Huntlie hid thame baith for aw).

b. To stand aw (of), to be greatly afraid (of).1375 Barb. iii. 62 (quhen the lord of Lorne saw his men stand off him ane sik aw). a1400 Leg. S. xlii. 156 (scho stud of hyme nan aw). 1456 Hay II. 16/2 (thai suld stand awe to do wrang); 39/7 (thay suld stand grete aw to tak that ordre). c1475 Wall. v. 924 (on thaim he raid, and stud bot litill aw); ix. 851 (Sotheroun stud aw to enter thaim amang). a1500 Seven S. 936 (for dreid na schame thai stud nane aw). 1513 Doug. iii. ix. 19 (he styntit and stude aw). 1535 Stewart 4593 (the puir pepill of thame standis sic aw). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3887 (off God nor man quhilkis stude none aw). 1556 Lauder Office K. 418 (of hym he stands no aw). 1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii. 159 (I trow ȝe stand sum aw). a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxii. 44 (quhill I stand au my self to schau).

c. In other constructions or phrases.1389 Wemyss Chart. 23 (nocht trocht dwt na awe led, bot frely and wyd gude wyl). c1420 Wynt. i. 633 (we sulde have dowt and awe to leve his byddyng); vii. 1804 (na had bene othir luve or awe). a1500 Henr. Fab. 508 (he held vs ay in aw). 1493 Dunferm. B. Rec. 317 (compellit nothir throwcht aw no dredour). 1538–9 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 35 (Schir Hendrie held his barnis at sic subj ection, aw and bandone). a1570-86 Maitland M. Fol. clxxix. 61 (sic punusching hauldis ws in awe).

2. Fear or dread of some person or thing. (Cf. 1 b.)14.. Acts I. 335/2 (the pepill dar nocht plenȝei for aw of thar office). 1458 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 325 (owthir for aw or lufe of the saide Lord). a1500 Henr. Fab. 2731 (for Goddis aw). 1493 Dunferm. B. Rec. 48 (throu aw of hir husband). 1560 Rolland Seven S. 51/29 (to tell his tale but aw of ony man). a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxxi. 16 (thairby to keip ws in thy aw).

3. Exercise of authority inspiring fear or respect.a1400 Leg. S. xii. 112 (scho na mycht chasty hyme for aw na slycht). 1406 Rep. Hist. MSS., Var. Coll. V. 78 (nouther led thrw awe na strenith). c1420 Wynt. v. 175 (as thai had chastyid bene wyth awe); 3746 (but ony worde off awe or threte); etc. 1456 Hay II. 11/17 (to ger the reugle cum agayn with force and drede of awe). c1460 Thewis Gud W. 219 (falt of aw and of teichinge). a1500 Bk. Chess 1509 (off Goddis aw he stude in sic a dreid). a1598 Ferg. Prov. 108 (weill worth aw, that gars the plough draw).

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

"Aw n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: