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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.

Butto(u)n, n. Also: bwttowne, buttoune, butoun, bottoun; buttone, buttane, buton, boutton(ne. [ME. button, botoun, botone (14th c.), OF. boton (F. bouton).]

1. A button; fig. a thing of small value. c1420 Wynt. vi. 2144.
All Scotland Owre lytill is to my persowne: I set nowcht thareby a bwttowne
?1438 Alex. i. 1046.
Sa that nouther scheld nor blassone Auaillit him of ane buttoune
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 81.
In a litill paper … ane vche with a diamant, … foure butonis
1506 Orkn. & Shet. Rec. I. 248.
My blak goune of dammesse wyth silver bouttonneis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 241.
Mauch muttoun, vyle buttoun, peilit gluttoun
1539 Treas. Acc. VII. 58.
Gevin for thre dowsoun of goldin buttonis amyllit to the Kingis grace
1581 Ib. MS. 902.
Lang buttonis and round buttonis to the clock
1587-99 Hume Epistle 145.
My breast was brusd, … My buttons brist
1596 Dalr. II. 140/16.
With the kings buttonn on his breist, to Teroan to the Inglis camp he [the Lyon Herald] cumis
1597 Edinb. Test. XXX. 162.
Ten dossane of blak geit buttounes; … sax dossane meikill glas buttounes [etc.]
1614 Rep. Hist. MSS. I. 135.
6 doissoune of Pareis bottounes
1615 Dundee Shipping L. 255.
20 gros buttounis
1649 Wemyss Chart. 232.
My peirll chaingei and … boutons

b. Attrib. with hole (e.m.E. 1561), lock. 1534 Treas. Acc. VI. 193.
For rubanis to the buttoun holis of it [a doublet], vj d.
1538 Ib. 437.
The silver about the buttoune holis
1542 Ib. VIII. 81.
For xij buttonis to it [a doublet], and silk to the buttoun holis
1626 M. Works Acc. XIX. 7 b.
For ane new buttane lock with scheill and ring to the Constabillis cabinet doore
1633 Ib. XXV. 20 b.
For ane dowble plait lock … ; ane button lock

2. A bud. 1513 Doug. xii. Prol. 101.
The lowkyt buttonys on the gemmyt treis Ourspredand leyvis of naturis tapestreis

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"Button n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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