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

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

Beme, n.1 Also: beim(e, beym(e, beame; bayme. [ME. beme, beem (north. beym), bem, OE. béam tree, beam (of wood or of light).]

1. A beam or ray of light. (See also Son-beme.)Common in poetry, but rarely used in prose.(a) 1375 Barb. iv. 704 (eftir as thair bemys strekit air). a1400 Leg. S. xvii. 1319 (the sone can fare bemys strek). Ib. xxviii. 313 (of hewine the sonnis beme). c1450-2 Howlat 3 (bemes blythest of ble). c1475 Wall. v. 8 (Phebus had lost his fyry bemys). c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 5 (clere depurit bemes cristallyne). 1513 Doug. xii. Prol. 61 (the reflex of the diurnal bemys). 1531 Bell. Boece II. 63 (ane firy comeit with mony terrible bemes). 1567 G. Ball. 145 (his bemis send he hes out far). a1585 Maitl. Q. xl. 54 (Phoebus with his glistering bemis cleir).(b) Brus xi. 190 (armys blenknyt with the sonnys beyme). 1531 Bell. Boece I. 237 (reflixioun of contrar beimis in thair sicht). 1549 Compl. 38/14 (his lustrant beymis). 1596 Dalr. I. 5/24 (the beimes of the sone). 1611-57 Mure I. 3/5 (to coole his burning beimis).(c) c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 386 (the cleir sone withouttin beames bricht). a1585 Maitl. Q. lxix. 14 (blisful blenkis of Phoebus beamis).

2. A wooden beam. e.g. of a plough, loom, gallows, etc. Also attrib. 1512 Rentale Dunkeld. MS. 140 b.
Pro festo aratri pro operis inceptione et labore eorundem in fabricandis ferris … et pro lie bayme
1513 Doug. xiii. viii. 24.
Lang with hys crukyt beym the plewch lyis still
1515 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 159.
To be scurgeit to the gallows, and thair his lug takkit to the beame
1622-6 Bisset II. 292/3.
Ane come with ane fullare or walkeris beme and straik him on the heid
1621 Glasgow Weavers 68.
To deliver to John Clark, weifer, ane beim … borrowit fra the said John
1622 Ib. 68.
He … had woundit him wpon the heid with ane beime stalfe heid

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"Beme n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



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