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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.

Commoun, Common, n. Also: commown(e, -oune, comoun(e, -ound; commone, comon(e; cowmone, -ane. [f. Commoun,a., partly after L. commūne, med. L. commūna, -ia.]

1. In(to) or for commoun, in common, generally, before or among all. 1375 Barb. xi. 484.
The king … bad thame in-to commoune say, That [etc.]
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 74.
To them [he] spok thus in commowne
c1420 Wynt. v. 4388.
Gelasius … mad … the preface off the mes, That syne for comoune oysyd wes

2. The common people. (Cf. Commounis n. pl. 1.) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 572.
A lytil barne … to the common cuth it tel
Ib. xl. 1033.
He … sone assemblit his commone [: towne]
1442 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 307.
Gret slawchter, … wasting of owr liegis and commone & vther mony evyll
1456 Hay I. 247/26.
Lettres that ar agayn the publyk prouffit of the commoun
1461 Liber Plusc. 396.
Iustice makis riche … Bath king and knaif, knycht, clergy and common
c1475 Wall. x. 1280.
Now thai him kep to martyr … before king and commoun

b. One of the common people. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 552.
Thocht euery commoun may nocht be one clerk

3. In common, in joint use or possession. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 932.
Of all the ryches of that toune That gotten ware, shold in commowne And all to-gydder in-to one
1466 Reg. Great S. 214/1.
To renew … the auld merchis … of Auchinlek bath in propirte and in comovn
a 1470 Liber Aberbr. 105.
Our possessionis and propyr landis … pertenyng to ws bath in propirte and in commoun
1517 Dunferm. B. Rec. 177.
John Vilson, ballie, gaif … to Elezabet Malcum possessione of the smedy hovs stanand in comone

4. Common pasture, etc.; a common. 1456 Liber Aberbr. 89.
Betwen the propir landis of Arbroth and the commoune off Balnamonys myre
1460 Peebles B. Rec. 138.
The commoun of Homyldoun wyth the pertenans
1475 Lennox Mun. 104.
To be haldyn … with fre yscha and intre in the commown
1488 Reg. Morton II. 243.
A compositioun … for his purprisione made upone oure mure and commoun
1493 Acta Conc. 319/2.
The lard of Amisfelde sall cause his officiare … to pynd apoun the commoune that is debatabile
1505 Lennox Mun. 172.
Thiftye [= 50] foure akeris of the commone of Inchinnan
1556 Peebles B. Rec. 228.
The counsale … ordanis tua tirf castaris or four to be put to cast tirvis on all the partis of the saidis commonis
1590 Reg. Great S. 810/2.
To wyn fewall … in the commoun of Dyffyn and Hedrigbank
1624 Peebles B. Rec. 413.
To tuentie men that keipit the yeild nowlt in the Eschill cowmone
  1634 Peebles Gleanings 172.
[To the piper] for the thrys about the cowmaneis playing
1653 Ib. II. .
The … counsell … appoyntes Fryday nixt to visite Glentres commoune

5. One of the three Estates of the realm. c1420 Wynt. ix. 971.
Wyth the assent off the thre comownys, Byschapis, burgesses, and barownys, The Erle off Fyffe wes made Wardayne

6. Communion, fellowship. c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 76/31.
That I may nocht … be all out of cherite in concord and commoun of sanctis

7. Custom or habit. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 195/25.
Quhilk ware nocht thair commoun and [= if] thai ware trewe
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 288.
The haill futemen … wer all tane … betuix tua hillis, and as the commoune wes, thai wer dissauit be thair horsmen

8. A debt or obligation. 15.. Clar. ii. 1841.
Forsuith my commoun wer [to feast her], For scho hes oft me feistit weill for[e] this

b. In (one's) commoun, in debt, or under an obligation, to one. To quite or repay a commoun, to repay a debt or injury. (Cf. Commounis n. pl. 3.) 1558-66 Knox II. 10.
It mycht be that he sould quyte him a commoun ather in Scotland, or ellis in France
1575 Waus Corr. I. 102.
Geif I get it nocht, I man think my self the les in your common
1577 Ib. 149.
Ye suld stand in my common for the doing of it
a1578 Pitsc. I. 62/5.
Nocht willing to be in ane Inglitchemans commone for ane ewill turne
Ib. 189/12.
Thinkand that he wald quyt them ane commone gif he leiffit
1600-1610 Melvill 7.
God … wald repey twyse als guid, and nocht ly lang in na man's comoun
Ib. 274.
That Yuill comoun they thought to repey weill now at Pasch
1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 258.
I have med choise to put him in my comoune
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1671) 143.
It is little your Lo: hath to give him, he will not sleep long in your common

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"Commoun n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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