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

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

Bot, prep., conj., adv. Also: bote, bott, boitt. [Northern ME. bot, early ME. bote, boten, var. of bute, buten: see But prep, etc.]

A. prep. 1. Without, devoid of.Rare in comparison with the usual form But. 1375 Barb. v. 91.
Preuely, bot noys making
14.. Acts I. 304/2.
Of ilk hors … bot a sadil
Ib. 306/2.
Of a kyst … bot lok
a1487 Gud Wife & D. 120.
Quha best can thrif bot dishonour
c1500-c1512 Dunb. vii. 38.
Bot dreyd of danger
1518 Sutherland Chart. 69.
Boitt fraud or gyle
a1578 Pitsc. I. 18/18.
Bot doubt
Ib. 27/10.
Ane licht suspitioun … bot ony decreit
1613 Elgin Rec. II. 132.
That nan cum in bot takins
1657 Balfour Ann. II. 75.
Warre … continewes … bot aney appirance of peace
1642 Ann. Banff I. 86.
To caus scurge them … bot any peitie

b. Excluding, without reckoning. 1375 Barb. xviii. 18.
Of trappit hors tuenty thousand, Bot thai that war on fut gangand

c. Except; other than.Used after negatives or interrogatives; also followed by a nominative. 1375 Barb. i. 36.
That I say nocht bot suthfast thing
Ib. ii. 1547.
Quhar wes na man leiffand bot he
a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 900.
Quhare-in nocht is bot dule & va
Ib. xxxvi. 362.
That there wes nane to cum bot he
1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 380.
The land … neuer was distrublit bot nw
?1438 Alex. ii. 38.
That he desyred na mair honour Bot Babilon
a1500 Rauf C. 31.
He saw thair was na better bot God
1490 Irland Mir. I. 36/20.
Na thing plesis us bot it that is acceptabile to him
a1500 Seven S. 5.
He had no barne bot ane
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxi. 67.
Quhen na hous is bot hell and hevin
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 107.
He is nocht awan bott vj pundis
c1540 Lynd. Kitteis Conf. 113.
Nane can thé absolue bot he
c1552 Id. Mon. 718.
No thyng … Bot matere of humylite
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 8.
The bairnis … sal heir na other lessons bot thair regentis
1585 James VI Ess. 74.
What hath man bot tyme … ?
1611-57 Mure I. 6/120.
Quhich nothing can dissolue bot death alone

B. adv. Only; no more than.Also bot anerly: see Anerly adv. 1375 Barb. i. 171.
He was king bot a litill quhile
Ib. 272.
Dede anoyis him bot anys
a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii. 36.
Thai … demyt it bot ful hething
Ib. xliii. 210.
Quha trewis nocht this … is bot a beste
c1420 Wynt. i. Prol. 19.
Sum vsit bot in plane manere … To wryte
1468 Edinb. Chart. 127.
That ther salbe bot ij sessounis
c1475 Wall. i. 192.
He of age was bot xviij ȝer auld
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 373.
Thogh I likit him bot litill
1554 Prestwick B. Rec. 62.
Thai … vsand bayth bot ane fyir
1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 125.
Thai gatt bot v li. ij s.
a1578 Pitsc. I. 261/10.
The king … gaif them bott lytill credence
1594 Maxwell Mem. II. 26.
Sik occasions fall owt bott sindell
1631 Black Bk. Taymouth 432.
Latt itt be good, altho itt should be bott on[e]
1651 Red Bk. Grandtully I. p. xcvii.
They were bot to stay some few days

C. conj. 1. Unless; except that. 1375 Barb. vii. 417.
Bot he now be vis and vicht He sall be set in mekill pres
Ib. xvii. 665. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 713.
Thai suld it bryne Bot he Andro … lousit
Ib. xxviii. 110.
Men … to sla … Bot thay renyit cristine fay
?1438 Alex. ii. 2719.
Bot I gab, I hope that we [etc.]
1461 Liber Plusc. 392.
Sal we the menstral wyt? Yha, bot he bent [etc.]
c1475 Wall. iv. 718; etc.
Bot thou tell, in bayle fyre sall thou de
1513 Doug. iii. x. 59.
For, bot we hald that cours, … Bakwartis … mon we saill
1535 Stewart 12989.
Bot he be wyis, … far sarar is the fall

b. Bot gif, bot and, in the same sense.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 159.
The kynryk ȝharn I nocht to have, Bot gyff it fall of rycht to me
Ib. xi. 286; xvi. 304; etc. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 507.
And bot gyf thu will hertly trow Thu vittis nocht
14.. Acts I. 56/2.
Na Galowa man aw to haf visnet bot gif he … ask visnet
1456 Hay I. 184/28.
He is nocht behaldyn to cum … bot gif he war asseurit of his lyf
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 288.
It will nocht be, bot gif grace mare habound
1533 Boece i. vi. 46 b.
We remember ȝit … , bot gif we are thochtles
1551 Hamilton Cat. 172.
That na[n] … sall be saif, bot gif he be reconsalit to the same kirk
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xiv. 26.
Be na dysar … Bot gif it be for pastyme
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Schireff.
He sall na waies be restored … , bot gif [etc.]
(2) 1622-6 Bisset II. 252/21.
The merchandis ar nocht haldin … , bot and it happin for saiftie of the guidis

2. But (in adversative sense).For bot als or alswa see Als adv. 1 c, Alswa adv. c. 1375 Barb. i. 125.
Bot ȝe traistyt in lawte
Ib. 290; etc.
Bot syne he wes off gret waslage
a1400 Leg. S. viii. 68.
Bote [thai] forsit thame to preche … that [etc.]
Ib. xxxviii. 103.
Scho wes cristine, bot [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. i. Prol. 87.
A chanowne Regulare, bot … the lest worthy
1456 Hay I. 9/7.
Bot quhat was of that … ?
Ib. 15/9.
Bot first … ȝe mon understand [etc.]
1490 Irland Mir. I. 71/27.
Bot as to the tothir part, I argw [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 20.
It is nowthir wynning nor rewaird, Bot tinsale [etc.]
1533 Gau 10/24.
Thay sal notht hurt thayme … bot keip thayme
1549 Compl. 24/25.
Ȝe sal sau the cornis … bot ȝour enemeis sal eit it
1567 G. Ball. 5.
Nocht for the warkis … bot efter his greit mercy
1596 Dalr. I. 2/4.
Bot becaus mony things … wil appeir obscuir [etc.]
1611-57 Mure I. 6/95.
Bot ressoune … did thus begin to threat
1649 Lamont Diary 2.
Bot this he hath not done
1670 Ib. 218.
Nether wold he seike Gods mercy; bot when he was forced to doe it, he said, "And now what better am I?"

b. Bot and, and also, as well as. 1375 Barb. v. 595.
I haf a bow, bot and a vyre
a1500 Henr. Bludy S. 12.
Meik bot and debonair
1567 G. Ball. 53.
Quhair that the angellis sing … Bot and the bellis ring
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxxiv. 46.
Scho sall … be callit madame, Bot and the laird maid knycht
1623 Elgin Rec. II. 182.
The sea fewer and the land fewer, bot and the head fewer and the hart fewer

3. But that. (Also bot at.) c1475 Wall. x. 169.
The tothir Scottis … to leiff the feild was boun; Bot at thai men [etc.]
1549 Compl. 75/11.
His eyris ar nocht stoppit, bot he maye heir ȝou
1562-3 Winȝet I. 79/23.
As we dout nocht bot ȝe wil do
1585 James VI Ess. 42.
Men ar not so rair, Bot ye may get the lyke
1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I. 5.
I shall not know … bot I shall lett and withstand the same

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"Bot prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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