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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bos, Boys, a. Also: bose, bois. [Of obscure origin; perhaps f. Bos n.1 or n.2]

1. Hollow; concave. 1513 Doug. i. ii. 50.
He persit the bos [L. cavum] hill at the braid sy de
Ib. vii. x. 74.
Bos bukleris coverit with cuyrbulȝe
Ib. x. xi. 81; etc.
Furth of ane boys clowd
1533 Boece xiv. xiv. 568 b.
His jevellouris … at his nether conditt schot in ane tre bois and holkit
1581 Sat. P. xliv. 141.
His boss bellie, ramforsit with creisch and lie, Vill serue to be a gabion in neid
c1590 J. Stewart 202 § 8.
As … cymbal bois that dois tinkling mak
1587-99 Hume 77/312.
They. are bot stocks and stains, bos, deid, and dum
1609 Gardyne Garden 49.
A band of bosse and bloodles bains
1629 Elgin Rec. II. 211.
Ther faces seimed whyt and as lane, but ther backis wer bos lyk fidles
1652 Montgomery Mem. 317.
A braclet or chaine of prettie bose gold work
1670 Red Bk. Grandtully II. 194.
I know they [sc. buttons] ar all bosse
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII. 357.
7 bows. A boss reid. 3 iron clubs

2. Bos window, a bow or bay window. 1502 Treas. Acc. II. 33.
The bos windo of the chamer in the abbay
1502–3 Ib. 362.
The loft quhair the bos windo wes
1531 M. Works Acc. II. 5.
vij grete lychtis … attour the four grete bund bos irne wyndois
1532 Ib. 29 b.
The imputting of the grete bois windois
1557–8 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 268.
For ane schot to the ovir bos window; … twa bands to the bos window
a1578 Pitsc. I. 223/10.
Witht all the laif of the lordis … quhilk was enterit in to the bose wondow
1600-1610 Melvill 82.
Turning him selff to the bos windo, whar … the erl of Morton was standing
1600 Reg. Privy C. VI. 140.
In the bois windo [of the tolbooth] … the ordinair place for criminall persons callit to thair tryall
1653 Hope Diary 160.
Standing in the bosse window and leaneing upon the backe of a cheire

3. Bos lok, some special type of lock. 1538 M. Works Acc. V. 38.
Ane grete stok lok to the vikat of the bak ȝet, & ane bois lok with stapillis thairto
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 296.
For ane bois lok and bak band to keip the dure and stapillis to it
1558–9 Ib. 301.
Twa bos lokis to the Kirk of Feild Port
1591 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 338.
Mussis Well … Item, tua bois lokis to it
1626 M. Works Acc. XIX. 28.
Ane great hinging bos lock for the foirsaid ȝett

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"Bos adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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