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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.

Burdoun, Burdon(e, n. Also: burdun, -down(e, bowrdoune; bourdon. [ME. burdoun, burdon (a 1300), OF. bourdon.]

1. A stout staff, a cudgel.(a) c1420 Wynt. viii. 5700.
Thai all twelff folowand, Ilkane a gud burdowne [C. burdone] in hand
1506 Treas. Acc. III. 365.
For vj ax schaftis and ane burdoun
1508 Ib. IV. 121.
For tua rede burdounis maid of tua mastis
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 431.
Thow has thy clamschellis and thy burdoun [M. burdun] kelde
1513 Doug. vii. ix. 11 (Sm).
Wyth ane bowrdoune of ane lang styf tre
1535 Stewart 48638.
Thair scheildis raif and mony burdoun brak
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 445; Ib. 531.
Weill accowterit in thair geir, And in thair handis strang burdounis
a1540 Freiris Berw. 554.
With his burdoun he hit him on the nek
15.. Sym & Br. 13.
Thay maid thame burdownis nocht to bow, Twa bewis of the birk
(b) ?1438 Alex. ii. 254.
Ȝon ald man … that leanes him on ȝon burdone
1513 Doug. iii. x. 7.
With hys burdon, that wes a gret fyr tre, Fermand his steppis
Ib. v. vii. 69; etc.
He hes … Twa kempys burdonys brocht
1535 Stewart 31841.
Thair burdonis big, that stalwart war and strang
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxvi. 43.
Syn but deuotioun furth fall And feinȝe me ane pardonar With bag and burdone full bayr
1618 Lithgow 26.
My haire-cloath gowne, my burdon, and my bagge

b. Be staff and burdoun: cf. Baston n. b. 1531 Bell. Boece II. 367.
Iohne Balliol … resignit all richt and titill … to the croun of Scotland, be staf and burdoun in king Edwardis handis
1543 Inverness Sheriff Ct. MS. 15.
Jhone Vaus … owirgiffis be staff & burdoun … all persute [etc.]
1576 Prot. Bk. A. Gibson 27 b.
He hes resignit … the said land … in the handis of Patrik Inglis … be. staff and burdone

2. Attrib. with spere, staf. 1503 Treas. Acc. II. 389.
For ane blak burdoun spere
1603 Elgin Rec. II. 109.
The strainger sturdie beggaris quho … haid mekill poll bourdon stavis with fork headis of irone

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"Burdoun n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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