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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.

Call, Caw, v. Also: cal (cale), calle (chall), caul; kaw; p.t. and p.p. callyd(e, -id, cald(e, cauld(e; callyt, -it, cawit. [ME. cal, calle(n, ON. kalla (OE. ceallian, once only).]

1. intr. To utter a call or cry; to call on or to a person, etc.To clepe and call, see Clepe v.(a) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. iii.
The hartis at one Crist will cale
c1420 Wynt. i. 629.
We mon … on his mekyll mercy call
Ib. v. 2576.
Quhat ar yhe … callys on me
a1447 Bower II. 474.
Til Christ we call
a1500 Rauf C. 890.
Becum Cristin, … and on Christ call
a1500 Seven S. 1991.
Balan at his awne ȝet couth call
1513 Doug. i. iv. 104.
Thai answer nocht set thai oft pleyn and call
Ib. iii. iv. 86.
Ȝe cal eftir gude wyndis and prospir sky
1533 Gau 21/28.
Thow sal … blis the nayme of God and cal apone it
1551 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 154.
Quhair … ony merchand … callis vpoun any man [etc.]
a1568 Bann. MS. 138 a/1.
O gallandis all, I cry and call, Keip strenth [etc.]
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxiv. 25.
Quhen deid callis, than seiknes will the assaill
a1605 Montg. Devot. P. v. 2.
To call for grace betyms at God begin
(b) 1535 Stewart 48392.
Loud vpoun hicht vpone him he did caw
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9992.
God is remeid for all that vpon him cawis
(b) a1400 Leg. S. i. 90.
He … one Crist callyt with petowis stewyne
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1584.
In till his helpe … He cald till the audyens Off Edward
c1475 Wall. i. 215.
He callyt on hym, and said [etc.]

b. Of hunting dogs: To give tongue. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1512.
With hornis blast and kennettis fast calland
a1568 Balnavis Bann. MS. 139 a/76.
Quhen on that beist At thy requeist Thy kennettis will nocht kaw

c. To speak in address or greeting. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 327.
Thai ar … fair calland with gret plesans, And sone wyll compt of cusingage

2. tr. To summon by a call, or by an order or invitation. 1375 Barb. i. 604.
The lord the Bruce thar callyt he
a1400 Leg. S. xx. 286.
For God has callit ws hym til
c1420 Wynt. iii. 72.
Off Israell … the pepyll alle He gert in hy befor hym calle
Ib. v. 4616.
He wald the byschopys all Agayne to thare kyrkys call
Ib. viii. 1267.
He cald the chyld, as hym to kys
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 65.
Scho callit to hir cheir … A berward, a brawlar
1492 Myll Spect. 295.
Than this man thocht gret schame and callit to him ane preist
1513 Doug. i. iii. 63.
He callis till hym Eurus and Zephirus
Ib. ii. viii. 2.
Onto the palyce … The schowtis and the cryis callys ws
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3075.
Ȝour sone againe gar caw, That he thoili not the vtter charge of law
1558-66 Knox II. 189.
None aucht presume … to preache, … till that ordourlie thai be callit to the same
1596 Dalr. II. 328/26.
The Gouernour and sum of the special nobilitie vpon a counsell ar called
absol. 1513 Doug. iii. ii. 2.
The softe piping wynd callyng to see, Thar schippis than furth settis our menȝe
fig. 1558 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 158.
He callis to remembrance the ancient fatharis of the Kirk

b. To summon before (or to attend) a court or similar meeting.Sutis to call: see Sute n.(a) 1442 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 9.
Give thai happyn to doo any scath, thair herbryoures sal be callit and haldyn arte and parte
1448 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 114.
Ȝe cal hyme and fawtis hym
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 114.
The said Wil [being] callit thrys and perit nocht
c1460 Consail Wys Man. 379.
Bere na wytnes bot thow be cald
1482 Acta Aud. 97/2.
The lordis … ordanis thaim to haue lettrez to cal thare warand to the saide day
1497 Dunferm. B. Rec. 80.
Rob Gebson … garit chall Rob Boswyll [to] answar to the bowrch
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 234/1.
Gevand him power … soytis to mak be callit, absentis to amerciate
1533 Boece v. ix. 181 b.
Granting that euery man mycht before him call quhatsumeuer persouns for iniuris
1555 Glenartney Doc.
Thai salbe callit and accusit for the samin
1556–7 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 262.
That the samyn extent be nocht ekit without the counsale and dekins be all callit and hard to voit … thairanent
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 18.
Mr Normond Govrlay was first abiurit, syne callit, and thairefter degradit
1596 Highland P. I. 158.
To call the dittay … and caus justice to be ministrat upon him
1622-6 Bisset I. 234/7.
Sindrie messingeris of armes beand called for improbatioun of there executionis
1641 Peebles B. Rec. 105.
To call, persew, arreist and incarcerat all persounes violateris of thair saidis priviledgis
(b) 1438 Ayr B. Ct. MS. 32 b.
Jhon Dauison gert kaw Wyl Broun in fermyt curt for the wrangously takkyn of his corne
1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. 51.
Johne Wrecht ... gert caw Gennot Butlar to ansuer to the borgh
1523 Carnwath Baron Ct. 16.
He hes desyrit ane day to caw his varand
Ib. 17 b.
Gyf scho aw him owcht, to caw hire to the law
1535 Stewart 34061; Ib. 41850.
That no secular suld haif power to caw Ane preist or clerk befoir him to thole law

c. To call again or bak, to recall, revoke, or retract. (Cf. Again-call v.) a 1350 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. 14.
Cal agayne [glossing revocare]
1562-3 Winȝet II. 23/29.
Be thame he … wald cal agane almaist the hail warld … to the auld faith
1600-1610 Melvill 253.
He … could by na meanes be moved to call bak or deny his doctrine

3. To urge on by calling, to drive (a horse or other animal); hence, to drive (a vehicle, plough, load, etc.). 1375 Barb. x. 223.
Than Bwnnok … callit his wayn towart the peill
Ib. 227.
Bwnnok … Gert call the wayn deliuerly
c1475 Wall. vi. 457.
The qwhipe he tuk, syne furth the mar can call
Ib. ix. 718.
Thir cartaris … callyt furth the cartis weill
a1500 Rauf C. 638.
Tak keip to my capill, that na man him call
a1500 Bk. Chess 1358.
This teileman has … A wand or quhipe … To call his cattell to thair pastur richt
1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 42.
The cadgyar callis furth his capill with crakkis wail cant
1532 Treas. Acc. VI. 157.
To the gadman that callit the oxin
1540 Ib. VII. 410.
Gevin to Tempilton that callis the sowme hors
?1549 Monro W. Isles 18.
All the deire … will be callit be tainchess to that narrow entry, and the next day callit west againe
1558 Inverness B. Rec. I. 20.
On Furisday last wes I callit ane browne hors … to the vattir
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 73.
Many ȝeald ȝow hast thou cald ouer a know
1597 Misc. Spalding C. II. 137.
An ox, quhilk thow stal fra the guidman of Auchmadeis seruandis … quha var calland guidis to Ross
1615 Shetl. Sheriff Ct. 13.
To call thair sheip and led the thack from the said comontie
1628 Elgin Rec. II. 203.
Comperit Robert Chalmber for callin leadis to the mill on the Sabbath day
c1650 Spalding I. 64.
Sic bestis as wold not call thay cruellie killit
Ib. 141.
Scars men wes left to hold and to call the pleughe
Ib. II. 457.
The major … callit all thir rascallis … out of the toune befoir him
1657 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 365.
The haill mylinars … with thair servandis that callis the malt
c1680 W. Row Blair 458.
They called them all one gate as cattle of one gang
1686 Erskine Diary 206.
Several times I did see one man both holding the plough and cawing, and one ox drawing
1698 Peebles B. Rec. II. 160.
No morning drinks … to any that calls in any lyme, sand, or stones

b. To drive on (one's way). Also absol., to let drive at one. c1475 Wall. iv. 51.
The hors thai tuk, … Laid on thar sowme, syne furth the way couth call
a1500 Sir Eger p. 45.
His spear before him could he fang, … And called right fast at Sir Gray Steel, … And Gray Steel called at Sir Grahame

c. To drive with blows or by force; to fix by hammering. 1513 Doug. viii. vii. 174.
In euery place sevin ply thai welt and call
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 279.
Small irne wedges to call in the bred wechtis
1583–4 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 212.
For sex wadges to call betuix twa stanis that was lous in the heid of the stepill
1601 Crim. Trials II. 350.
He stuid up … besyde the said gibbet, and cald ane naill thairin
1633 M. Works Acc. XXVIII. 8.
Aught scheipe skines for demipeices … ; jc taketis to call them on the spounge heidis
1665 Stirling Comm. Good 35.
400 nailles to call on the sarking of the knock hous
1665 Lauder Journal 70.
Betuixt the leg and the timber they caw in wedges
c1680 W. Row Blair 504.
They were most cruelly tortured, being cawed in the boots by the hangman

4. To name; to designate by a name or term.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 189.
Thu ma wele cal thé man
Ib. xxxiii. 443.
Appolline, that ȝe god cal
c1420 Wynt. ii. 762.
He … Scotland gert call that ile
Ib. v. 3190.
Armaryk … That Lytill Brettayne now cal we
1456 Hay I. 15/23.
In haly wrytt God callis the prestis angelis
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 410.
Vthir folk fulys thai call
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1908.
Thir hungrie birdis wretchis we may call
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xviii. 8.
Sum callis me guid, sum sayis I lie
1513 Doug. i. xi. 101.
Arcturus, quhilk we cal the laid stern
1535 Stewart 12880.
Calland ws sa bestiall bodeis blait
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8601.
Alexander (quod he) … thay me caw
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxii. 41.
Thai think it weill and thai the paip do call The Antechryst
1596 Dalr. I. 46/23.
The banes of a certane persone quhome thay cal litle Johne
c1616 Hume Orthog. 7.
The symbol, then, I cal the written letter
(b) 1375 Barb. xiii. 466.
The erll of Glowcister … That men callit schir Gilbert of Clar
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 129.
God … Of thir warld callit thame the licht
c1420 Wynt. i. 738.
That sé That Yndys Occeane callid we
Ib. iii. 544.
He … callyd that land eftyr his name
Ib. viii. 6536.
The Scottis men, That he cald ill and wykyd then
c1475 Wall. viii. 526.
Off sic koffre he callit bot wretchitnes
a1500 Seven S. 23.
The first master thai callit Bantillas
c1500-c1512 Dunb. vi. 57.
I callit my lord my heid
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxii. 30.
He kyndlie cousing callit me
(c) c1420 Wynt. ii. 223.
This Iacob was callyd Israelle
Ib. 226.
In-to that buk callyde Genesis
Ib. v. 25.
The barne wes Ihesu cauld
Ib. vii. 969.
Mald Be name that tyme scho wes cald
c1420 Ratis R. 1801.
Now is endyt this matere, The quhilk is Ratis Raving cald
1535 Stewart 18465.
Ethodeus the tother child wes cald
a1570-86 Steel Maitl. F. xli. 29.
Duik of that ilk thow suld be cald
1603 Moysie 124.
He wald be cald bot a burrior to bave brocht thame to the skaffold
(b) 1375 Barb. xvii. 585.
Tharfor that bargane callit was The Chaptour of Mytoune
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi. 13.
Angele als callit wes he
c1420 Wynt. v. 4871.
Mars wes god callyt off bataille
1439 Edinb. Chart. 64.
The comon venale callit Sanct Leonardis wynde
1456 Hay I. 284/9.
Ane othir colour is in armoury that callit is blak
c1450 Cr. Deyng 174.
Sic folkes suld erar be callyt bestes vnracionable, than man rasonable
c1475 Wall. ix. 232.
Wallace … The best is callyt this day beltyt with brand
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 97.
To ane callit Thom Turnour
1511 Lennox Mun. 191.
The fest of Beltene, callit Philip and Iacob
1535 Stewart 6669.
Lat ws nocht be cawit fader war
Ib. 60693.
Ane man of Bewme, that callit wes Paule Craw
1539 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 165.
The contagius infeckand pest, callit the boiche
1558-66 Knox II. 275.
The Lordis, callit of the Congregatioun, repared unto the Town
1577 Edinb. Test. VI. 61.
Ane twynter stott callit tua ȝeir auld
a1578 Pitsc. I. 13/12.
This James the first left bot ane sone … callit James the secund
1614 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 109.
The said uthir tenement callit John Symis barne
1644 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 424.
The lowest classe, callit the bajane classe

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"Call v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Feb 2023 <>



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