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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ellis, adv. Also: ellys, elles, elleis, elis, els(e. [ME. elles, ells (e.m.E. else), OE. elles.]

1. Other, different, besides, in addition: a. With negatives, esp. nocht or nathing. a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 294.
Scho has brocht A boyst of oyle, & ellis nocht
Ib. xxxii. 139.
Is thare nocht ellis Bot this that thu to me tellis?
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1929.
Hawe I noucht ellys to do nowe, Bot wyn a kynryk to gyve yhowe?
a1500 Henr. Orph. 601.
This vgly way Is nocht ellis bot blinding of the spreit
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 309.
I gert the buthman obey. ther wes no bute ellis
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 873.
During that nicht thair was nocht ellis Bot for to heir of his nouellis
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 567.
Myndand na thing ellis bot to … bereve him of his croun
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxvi. 4.
No thing els [but shape and colour] is subject to the ene

b. In other contexts. a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 178.
I wend thing ellis aylyt thé That ware harde thing to wyne
1535 Stewart 59161.
Ane thousand ȝeir and four hundretht also, And ane elles
1549 Douglas Corr. 175.
I hawe skaithe anewche ellis
1572 Sat. P. xxxi. 123.
Blind Jamie tauld me ells, That quyetly thai news did fyk thame
1600 Misc. Bann. C. I. 147.
Hes thou not done evill anuch ells?

2. Otherwise; in the other event; in other respects. a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 223.
Ellis thu thole sal … With me here a schameful dede
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 528.
So sall we trow it; It is nocht elles to be alowit
1456 Hay I. 214/12.
Than mycht thai do as othir lordis dois … For ellis war it litill of valure
c1475 Wall. ii. 188.
For off my lyff ellys no thing I roucht
a1500 Seven S. 612.
Salf the child, ellis do ȝour will
c1550 Rolland C. Venus i. 211.
Gif thy lust be ellis so saciat
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) 18 b.
She that takes gifts, her self she sels, and shee that gives, does not ells
1613 Elgin Rec. II. 136.
The Bischop said to hir again, ‘Elspet gang your way hame again, ye are in our buiks els’

b. Or ellis, expressing an alternative. 1375 Barb. vi. 381.
In Douglasdaill … Or ellis weill neirhand thar-by
Ib. xvii. 319.
The mast party … War of his blude … Or ellis thai war his allye
a1400 Leg. S. xi. 401.
To ger thame sacryfy but mare, Or ellis lewand … To tak thame ore to sla alowte
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1369.
To ger thame bowe tyll his pouste, Or ellys he suld thame fast assayle
1456 Hay I. 225/24.
A man is haldin to fede his barnis, … or ellis he is to be cursit be the law canoun
c1475 Wall. ii. 342.
I trow thow be sum spy; Or ellis a theyff
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xx. 27.
Fle … fra all schrewis, or ellis thow art eschamit
1548 Reg. Cupar A. II. 55.
Payand … fyftie sex bollis of victuall, … or ellis nyne schillingis … for ilk boll
1558-66 Knox II. 3.
To assault the said castell either by force, or ellis by treassone
1567 Sat. P. v. 34.
Sen ȝe it haue, thairof be suire, Or els ȝe ar rycht far to blame
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 85.
The captane of the castle was nurished in grit esperance, or elis vaine boasting
a1578 Pitsc. I. 294/11.
He will ether haue it or ellis fight witht ȝow
1614 Urie Baron Ct. 14.
To restoir the dour bocht be him … , or elleis the sowme of tuentie shillingis
a1651 Calderwood II. 172.
So faine would the comptroller have … satisfeid the queene, or elles have made up his owne profite

3. Already, previously. 1513 Doug. xi. vi. 136.
Contrar hys keyn dartis ellis stand haue we
Ib. xiii. v. 96.
Quhat ettill ȝe mor to do Onto me … ? sen ellys, lo, My son ȝhe haue byreft
1546 Crim. Trials I. ii. 333.
Vndir the panis contenit in the Act ellis maid thairupoune
1551 Hamilton Cat. 88.
He hais committit adultery with hir ellis in his hart
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5594.
Anis I said ellis, and ȝit I say agane, This King is not his father
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 372.
A wodset … quhairin the said Paule is ellis infeft
1582 Lanark B. Rec. 87.
That all burgesis … sall bring and present thair armour … confurm to the teketis ellis gevin to thaim
1600-1610 Melvill 553.
Haiffing ane generall lawfull commissioune for that effect, according as it hes bein elis fund
1621 Fam. Seton MS.
I haue bein twayis or thrise this spring ellis at archerie

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"Ellis adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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