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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.

Cuntré, n. Also: cunctré, cunthré, cwntré, -trie, cuntree, -trie, -terie, -trey, -try; cuintrie, quentre. [ME. cuntré (c 1300), -tree, -trey, etc., OF. cuntrée, var. of contrée Contré n. Cf. also Countré.]

1. A land or region.(a) 1375 Barb. iv. 75.
That wes the starkest man of ane, That men fynd mycht in ony cuntre
a1400 Leg. S. v. 615.
In to a cunctre far away As he rad apon a day
Ib. xxix. 346.
Of Egipe in the cunctre
c1420 Wynt. ii. 686.
Oure fra hym beyhonde a se He kend lyand a gret cuntre
Ib. vi. 2342.
Quhylum he A god wes cald in that cuntre
1490 Irland Mir. II. 164/13.
I haue maid this werk … in the commoune langage of this cuntre
1504 Dunferm. B. Rec. 145.
The nychtbouris … set him the saide land … for all the dayis he has to lef in this cuntre
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxviii. 39.
In Hevin ȝe salbe sanctis full cleir, Thocht ȝe be knavis in this cuntre
1513 Doug. i. v. 128.
He … to the cuntre of Liby come in hy
Ib. vi. 113.
Quhat be yhe … Or of quhat cuntre cummyn?
a1540 Freiris Berwik 370.
Ȝe sall haif playntie Of breid and wyne, the best in this cuntre
1562-3 Winȝet I. 5/9.
Ȝour liberalitie … all cuntreis and collegis dois deplore
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcvii. 11.
Quhone I think on the grit mischeif That regnis now in this cwntre
(b) 1543 Douglas Corr. 152.
Corrumpand be money … grete menn of the realme, to the … undermynding of this cuntrey
1585 Reg. Privy C. III. 752.
[The pestilence having] enterit this yeir bigane within the bouellis of this cuntrey
1612 Bk. Rates 326.
Saip of the low cuntreyis the barrell
(c) 1567 G. Ball. 35.
[He] furth is gone In till a strange & far cuntrie
a1578 Pitsc. I. 385/14.
Quhilk is weill knawin to all wther cuntrieis about
1582 Conv. Burghs I. 132.
The playing of bankeroutt of sundry factouris within the cuntrie of Flanderis
1598 Misc. Spald. C. I. 122.
Thow affermis the crawis will bring a stane from one cuntrie to ane vther, to gar thair birdis clek

b. A part of a country; a district.(a) 1375 Barb. v. 493.
A man Of Carrik, … of mekill mycht, As of the men of that cuntre
Ib. vii. 402. c1420 Wynt. i. 831.
By wattyrys twa Lys a land calde Parthia. In it ar cuntreis thryis tene
c1475 Wall. ix. 779.
To Fyfe he past, to wesy that cuntre
1550 Breadalbane Coll. (Reg. H.) No. 73.
Gif the laird bringis ony malt of his awin furtht of vtheris cunthreis, it salbe grundin multur fre be the said Iohne
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 43.
In Scotland in the cuntre of Lowthiane not far frome Hadingtoun
a1578 Pitsc. I. 14/17.
Alexander, Erle of Douglas, … spoilȝeit the haill cuntreis narrest about him
1606 Highland P. III. 87.
The barbarite of thir cuntreis of the Wast and North Iyles
(b) ?1549 Monro W. Isles 12.
Within this ile thair is seven sundrie cuntreys; to wit Slait [etc.]
1570 Leslie 231.
That haill cuntrey wes clenged of the Inglismen immediatlie
1596 Dalr. I. 10/4.
This cuntrey [sc. the Merse] is plentifull of corne, as that cuntrey quhilke is thair nychtbouris, Tifedale
1607 Highland P. III. 97.
The gentilmen of Athoill & other cuntreyis bordoring thairto
(c) a1578 Pitsc. II. 320/34.
The townis of Flanderis commandit that na Scoitismen sould bring in salt to thair countryis
1596 Dalr. I. 19/9.
The knowis of thir cuntries abundes in a certane schort and bare grase
1615 Highland P. III. 277.
All the cuntries ar aloft

2. With personal pronouns: The country to which one belongs. 1375 Barb. ii. 531; etc.
The wemen off his cuntre Come for to fech him hame agayn
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 16.
Na profet … is accept in his cunctre
c1420 Wynt. vii. 2094.
Sic mone [= money] As oysyd wes than in oure cuntre
Ib. viii. 6062.
But tynsell, his men and he Repayryde hame till thare cuntre
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 146.
My natyve cuntre sal I neuer se
Ib. x. i. 134.
Amang the assys cauld … of thar kynd cuntre
1549 Compl. 90/33.
Sen ȝe knau the apering dangeir of ȝour natif cuntre
1551 Hamilton Cat. 35.
The suerd sall nocht pas throw your cuntrie
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 53.
Traitour … to hir sone, to hir brother, and to hir cuntre
a1605 Montg. Son. xvii. 1.
Adeu, my king, court, cuntrey, and my kin

3. The cuntre: a. The country or district under consideration; the inhabitants of this.(a) 1375 Barb. ix. 539.
Sum of the men of the cuntre Com till his pes
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 54.
Thane tyd the king a tyme to ryd In the cunctre nere be-syd Quhare dweland wes this Telman
1388 Bamff Chart. 21.
Tyl [an] assys of the best and worthyast of the cuntre
1409 Exch. R. IV. ccxi.
Gif ony … makis ony riot, debate, or distroubillance within the cuntre
c1420 Wynt. viii. 6342.
In till his tyme wyth the cuntre Na ryot, no na stryfe made he
1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 244.
Ane worthy asysse of the eldast … of the said landis and of the quentre by
1502 Treas. Acc. II. 344.
To warne the Lordis of the cuntree to pas to freith the Lard of Weym
1531 Reg. Privy S. II. 88/2.
Our soverane lordis raid … apoun the thevis and brekaris of the cuntre to the West Bordouris
1541–2 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 27.
Ane writing fra the said … wardane … that he culd nocht meit because the cuntree wes afloucht
1550 Breadalbane Coll. (Reg. H.) No. 73.
He and his seruandis sall answere me quhen I haue ado to keip the cunthre
1584 Misc. Bann. C. I. 85.
Proclamations wer publisit throuchout the hoill cuntre
1615 Highland P. III. 278.
To preveine this, that the cuntree sould get no skaith
(b) a 1470 Liber Aberbr. 108.
Mony of the eldayst mene in the cuntrey
1558-66 Knox II. 57.
Thay began to distroy quhat thay could in the tounis and cuntrey about
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcv.
Thai planelie throw the cuntrey rydis
(c) 1572 Sat. P. xxxvii. 36.
Bakbyttarris … will blaspheme ȝow, Althocht the contrair all the cwntrie knaus
1592 Acts III. 531/2.
The lordis of parliament being the greit assyis of the cuntrie
1601 Ellon Presb. 12.
In respect the Lady Bonitoun being in the cuintrie and within the bounds of the Presbyterie
1615 Crim. Trials III. 274.
Ane grit number of the best affectionat gentilmen and cowmonis of the cuntrie
1640 Grant Chart. 232.
To stent the cunterie and wptak the stent thairof

b. The country as opposed to the town. a1540 Freiris Berwik 62.
He went fra hame … on Weddinsday, In the cuntre for to seik corne and hay

4. Attrib. with bottom, debt, maner, met, nedill. ? 1618 Melrose P. *625.
The commissioners … controuersie for exportation … of merchandice in cuntrie bottomes
1623 Orkney & Zetl. Test. I. 92.
Awand … in cuntrie debtis to James Smyth … xij lib.
1596 Dalr. I. 96/2.
Thay cleith thame selfes of thair cuntrey maner
1577 Melrose R. Rec. III. 139.
iiij b[ollis] quheit, cuntre met, extending in the haill in girnall met to four chalder
1659 Ib. I. 247.
A peck of ‘cuntrie mett beir’
1586 Edinb. Test. XVII. 95 b.
Fywe doubill clouttis of cuntrie neidillis
1590 Ib. XXII. 257 b.
Ane clout with cuntrie neidillis

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



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