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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.

Cunȝe, Cunȝie, n. Also: cwnȝe, -ȝie, cunȝhe, -ȝee, -ȝey; cungȝe, -ȝie; cuinnȝe, cuinȝee, -ȝei, -ȝie, cwinȝie. [OF. cuigne (AF. coigne), wedge, die. See also Conȝe n., Counȝe n., and Coinȝie n., Coynȝhe n.]

1. A corner of a wall or building. 1375 Barb. xviii. 304.
He … bad him hald him all preve Quhill that he saw thame cumand all Richt till the cunȝhe of the wall
Ib. 316.
Quhen the formast passit weir The cunȝhe
1529 Dundee B. Laws 545.
Fra the said Sir Finlas cunȝe of the wester gavill
1578 Aberd. Chart. 344.
Decernis the ȝard biggit be William Ronaldson fra the northt cunȝie of his hous to be dimolischit
1597 Dundee B. Laws 145.
Ane steiple and pricket of aistler wark wpon the east newk and cunȝie of the new tolbuith
1645 Edgar Old Ch. Life 16 n.
That no furmes be placed about the cuinȝies
1648 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 87.
To cause build ane stane dyk … beginning at the wast cunȝie of vmquhill Alexander Donaldsone his yaird dyk
1675 Peebles B. Rec. II. 91.
Letting them tak doun the cunye of his gavell to build ane cheek of their fleshmercat yet with free stones

b. ? A corner piece of ground. Chiefly attrib. 1460 Peebles B. Rec. 136.
The said Thom … recwnnyssyt a land on the Cwnȝe pertenand to Rob of Percle
1575 Mun. Univ. Glasg. I. 92.
The tenement … at the Cuinyei Nuik fornent the Mercat Croce
1605 Ib. 158.
The tenement … at the Cunyie Kirk beneith the cros
1653–4 Peebles B. Rec. II. 196.
To the gard at the Cunȝie-nuk … , ane stouk ait straw

2. A corner-stone. (Cf. Cunȝie-stane.) 1496 Acta Conc. II. 34.
As to the jc hewin stanis sic as rabellis and cunȝeis, the said Wilȝeam grantit xvj hewin stanis
1553–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 118.
For vj draucht of sloppis and cunȝeis fra the mure to the schoir
Ressavit furth of the querrell of the Borromure, xl pece hewin wark to be sloppis and cunȝeis
1577 Inverness B. Rec. I. 257.
Quhar … his boit was arreistit … for non deliuering … fyff dussan cuinyie, rebell, and lyntallis
1616 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 339.
The cungyeis, and foir pairt of the said transe, to be all of eastlar wark
1617–8 M. Works Acc. XIV. 7 b.
To John Maxwell quarriour … for half a hundereth lang cunȝeis at elne lenth
1636 Kirkcaldy Presb. 102.
For winnin of half ane hundreth stanes to be cunyies, rebuts, lintells, and peatstanes to the high chalmer on the east end of the hall
1641 Ib. 203.
For the stone work … being builded … round about the tour four cunȝie height
1657 Lanark B. Rec. 158.
To build ane outshote at the eist syd of his doore, … of hewen wark the cuinnyes and pitts
1684 Thanes of Cawdor 368.
The cuinȝies and pends of the windowes and the jambs of the chimneys to be smooth hewen

3. Coin; coinage.(a) 1475 Acts II. 112/1.
Nother siluer nor gold that beris prent & forme of cunȝe
1480 Acta Conc. 76/1.
William … sall content and pay … xx pece of gold of the mone and cunȝe of the duc of Burgunȝe
1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 107.
Sum trachour crynys the cunȝe, and kepys corn stakkis
1526 Acta Conc. MS. XXXVI. 58.
Deliverit to him on the chakker burd thre keis of the box of assais of cunȝee, gold and silver
1533 Boece v. x. 183.
Scottis before that tyme vsit … the cunȝe of Romanis or Britouns in all thare change
1540 Reg. Privy S. II. 492/2.
Throw being of the said Johne fugityve fra the law or convictit or at the horne, for making of fals cunȝe
1558-66 Knox I. 403.
Maist lyik that sche and thay had conspyreit to destroy all the haill gud cunȝey of this realm
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 510.
The greit skayth and detriment of this commoun weill, throw the hamebringing of fals corrupt and countirfuttit cunye
1578 Ib. III. 17.
That the lauchful and trew cunyie may be markit with a crownit thrussill
a1578 Pitsc. I. 308 marg.
Ane Kok that struik cwnȝie hangit
c1590 Fowler I. 320/21.
If this day yeil … come to sun your moulyie cunȝe
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 44.
All the gude cunȝie or money of the King of England
1635 Ann. Banff I. 72.
That sort of cunȝie of copper callit fardingis or Irische moneye, or fals or adulterat cunȝie
(b) 1493 Acts II. 233/2.
The saidis officeris sall clip and brek the said fals … cuinȝie of euill stuffe
1554 Treas. Acc. X. 263.
To … ane unce of silver to mak certane peces of money to be an assay of his cuinȝie
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 120.
Ane proclamatioun twching the new cuinȝee to be maid
1598 Acts IV. 164/1.
Anent the cwinȝie
(c) 1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 286.
The overtures anent the brekking down of the cvngyie of the plakis, balbeis [etc.]
1584 Ib. 328.
[The] assignatioun of the cvnghie [sic]

b. In the titles of officers of the mint. 1456 Acts II. 46/1.
Golde and siluer the quhilk is present to thame … in a buist be the wardane of the cunȝe
1489 Acts II. 221/2.
It is thocht expedient … that thare be a trew substancius man maid maister of the money & cunȝe, quhilk sall forge and prent money
1512 Treas. Acc. IV. 459.
Summa of the wolkis expens … payt be Maister David Scot of the cunȝe
1538 Reg. Privy S. II. 401/1.
Makand him maister of the cunȝehous and maister changeour of the cunȝe, gold & silver
1543 Ib. III. 12/2.
Philp Quhitheid … comptar wardane of the quenis grace cunye
1559 Ib. MS. XXX. 10.
Ane of the wardanis of oure Soueranis cunȝie
Ib. 23.
Dauid Firhous being generale of thair cunȝe
1561 Ib. 62 b.
Makand him maister assayour of hir hienes cunȝe

c. A single coin or separate coinage. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxix. 4.
For left is nether corce nor cunȝie Off all that I tuik in the ȝeir
1533 Boece v. x. 183 b.
Euery cunȝe had on the ta side the figure of the Emprioure
1570 Leslie 48.
Cochrain … , quha causit strik ane cunye of copper unmeit to have course or passage in ony realme
a1578 Pitsc. I. 169/20.
Quhen the wyffis wald refuse the said cunȝie quhilk was callit ane Couchrinis plak
1595 Duncan Appendix.
Numisma, numus, cunȝie, a pennie

4. Coining or coinage (of money). 1533 Boece v. x. 182.
How Donald began the first cunȝe of money in this realme
1586 Edinb. Test. XVI. 214 b.
The thrie merk peice of King James the fyftis cunȝe
1604 Conv. Burghs II. 190.
That the preuelege of the cwnȝe and cwnȝehous of Scotland be reseruitt

5. A mint for coining money. 1489 Acts II. 221/2.
As for the siluer wark of this realme, that beis brocht to the cunȝe [1597 cuinȝie]
1558-66 Knox I. 453.
It was thocht expedient that a cunȝe should be erected

6. Attrib. with irnis, place, silver. 1503–4 Treas. Acc. II. 222.
For the cunȝe irnis and the punschionis for the samyn
1527 Reg. Privy S. I. 567/1.
Ane lettre to Adam Boyd; — makand him wardane principale and kepar of the kingis cunȝe irnis
1581 Reg. Privy C. III. 376.
To caus and se all the cunye irnes baith of gold and silver be brokin doun
1451 Acts II. 40/2.
The new yrnis that salbe maid salbe gravin within the cunȝe place
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 312.
Resauit fra Schir Thomas Tod of the cunȝee siluir of the penyis, xx lib.

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



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