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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.

Calsay, Calsy, n. Also: calse, calsa, -saye (calcay), calsey, calsie, calcie. [ME. (rare) caulcé, calcey, calsey, etymological respelling of caucé, causé Causay. See also Casay.]

1. A stretch of paving; the paved part of a street.The form calsay is very common from 1500 to 1650.(a) 1434 Liber Coll. Glasg. 249.
Thome of Welk beand oblist … to mac the half of the calse befor the forfront of the said akyr
(b) 1448 Ayr B. Ct. 1 April.
Thai hafe ordanit the calsay at the Freris ȝet to be mendit
1456 Stirling Chart. 37.
Pro … sustentatione placei uulgariter dicti Calsay prope pontem de Striueling
1462 Peebles B. Rec. 146.
That na mydyngis ly on the calsay langar than viij days
1504 Reg. Great S. 239/2.
Ascendand upwith the said swaill quhill it cum to the littill stane calsay
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 216.
We sall … stane thé vp the calsay quhair thow gais
1518 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 177.
That all maner of persouns … purge and clenge thair calsayes to myd channell fornent thair dwelling places
1535 Acta Conc. MS. VII. 42.
Bigging of the calsa of the Cannongait
1540 Reg. Privy S. II. 515.
To big, set furth, and haif foirstairis … towart the hie streit and calsay of the said burgh
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 274.
Gevin to four men that dicht the calsay betwix my Lord Governours lugeing and the Quenes lugeing
1558-66 Knox I. 260.
One took him by the heillis, and dadding his head to the calsay, left Dagon without head or handis
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 109.
A sort of the strongest throatcutteris of the Hammiltounes, going plainelie vpoun Edinburgh calsay
1582 Conv. Burghs I. 138.
They to be comptable … for vpbigging of thair calsay
1599 Elgin Rec. II. 74.
Iohne Stewart, … accusit for playing at the bowallis on the calsaye the tyme of the evenyng prayeris
1608–9 Misc. Spalding C. V. 84.
For setting up the uther jebett at the meill marcatt, rasing and laying of the calsay agane
1630 Elgin Rec. II. 215.
Georg Purse [etc.] … for ther playing at the futeball on the Sabboth nicht at evin throw the calsa ar ordeant … to pay vj s. viij d.
1648 Hope Diary 145.
The cart ratleing upon the calcay behind him
1670 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 131.
That ane casay should be laid on … to the end of the calsay at the bowing trie
1695 Foulis Acc. Bk. 185.
Receaved … 75lib 10s for the calsayes at Whythous laying
(c) 1558-66 Knox II. 320.
Andro Stewart, … a man rather borne to maik peace, then to brag upoun the calsey
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 237.
Some of the bulletis rebowndis of the calsey and hurtis him
1598 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 170.
That … Mollisoun hes done wrang in causing rais the calsey … be reasoun quhairof the water … standis on the middest of the calsey
1608 Aberd. Kirk S. 61.
Being accusit for putting on a fyir afoir his yett on the calsey on Midsymmer Even last
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 203.
William Parke … havin … built upon the rivers Cader and Coven eache of thame a bridge with calseyes
1634 Aberd. Chart. 257.
To be applyed to the beiting, mending, repairing, and wpholding of the saidis calseys
(d) 1593 St. A. Kirk S. 780.
Being accusit for speiking publicle upon the hie calsy
1612–13 Misc. Spald. C. V. 89.
Gaue to ane calcimaker … to mend the calcies, 6 s. 8 d.
Ib. 92.
For ane schoil to serue the toun in clenging the calsy
1647 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 115.
To caus repaire … the calsie at Robert Campbellis yeatt
1669 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 254.
For keeping and preserving the fishes from the filth of the calsie, wheron formerlie they did ly
1677 Ib. 297.
The expenssis of the calsies built and made wp in the Grein

2. Attrib. and comb. with bigger, burges, custome, end, hammer, heid, layer, mail (dues), making, marcat, paiker, penny, port, side, stane. 1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 240.
That thair be appointment maid with calsay bigeris for biging thairof
1624 Peebles Gleanings 22.
Alexander Murray ... is creat ane calsay burges
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. 13.
The counsell declaires Iames Stevensone, … is onlie ane calsay burges untill he find cawtioun to scatt, loit, watche and waird
1691 Foulis Acc. Bk. 133.
To Ja. Blackader to pay the calsay custome for the cart
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 180.
They met at the calsey-end and skirmised
1606 Acts IV. 345/2.
The hospitall … at the calsyend of the brig
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 312.
Gewin to Dauid Leischeman smytht at the calsay end of Stirlwing
1577–8 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 465.
For Danskyn irne to be ane calsaye hemmer
1620 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 200.
The saidis horses that sall happin to cum first over the said scoir at the said calsay heid
1665 Stirling Comm. Good MS. 36 b.
For leading a blind man to the calsay head
1626 M. Works Acc. XIX. 31 b.
To Mark the calsey layer for laying ane peice of calsey alongis the haill syd of the brewhous
1697 Foulis Acc. Bk. 216.
I secured in Rot Thomsones house the monie was owing him be the calsay layer
1709 Stirling B. Rec. II. 349.
To a calsay layer who came from Glasgow
1680-6 Lauder Observes 91.
The city had … levied and raised money upon the citizens, for caulsay maills
1687 Acts Sederunt 16.
Immunitie from … payment of customs, calsey-mails, shore-dues and other impositions
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 226.
The thesaurer to send for the calsay makers and to enter thame to the calsay making at the Gray Freir port
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 611.
The calsay marcat [at Brechin] … beginning the first Tuesday of Lent
The calsay and craft marcat being some better than the ordinarie weekly marcats
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2202 (B).
Becaus ȝe ar ane Rome rakar A commoun publick calsay paikar [Ch. cawsay paker]
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 378.
Mak ȝour abbotis of rycht religious men, … Bot not … Off calsay-paikaris, nor of publycanis
1660 Lanark B. Rec. 180.
To exact fra ilk persone strainger the sume of four pennies money as ane calsay pennie
1640–1 Misc. Spalding C. V. 156.
For ane flott and tuo stepilles to the calsey port
1595 Paisley B. Rec. 166.
The baillies and counsall haifing consideration of the dekey of the Calsaysyde calsy
1577–8 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 465.
To ane boye to gang to Edinburgh … to get leif to get calsaye stanes
1599 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 245.
That the toun suld haif thair calsay staynes furth of the samyn [park]
1652–3 Peebles B. Rec. II. 195.
Iohn Gilleis for leading of calsay staines to the bridge

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"Calsay n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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