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

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

Face, n. Also: faice, feace, fece, fas, fais(e. [ME. face (c 1290), OF. face.]

1. The face of a person (or animal) …(a) a1400 Leg. S. v. 421.
He rafe his clathis & befte his face
Ib. xviii. 427.
Befor the face Of ane edir
c1420 Wynt. iv. 2495.
Fayre off fassowne and off fas … he wes
Ib. v. 1452.
He hade a dochtyr … Off face fayre, and of fassown fyne
c1475 Wall. viii. 830.
Ane other awkwart apon the face tuk he
Ib. ix. 16.
Jupiter was in the Crabbis face
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 70.
I suld at fairis be found new faceis to se
1513 Doug. v. x. 46.
A hors … With bawsand face
1560 Rolland Seven S. 35.
He wryit his face away and his visage
c1590 J. Stewart 44/31.
Quhyls vith teirs bebathe he vold his face
(b) 1535 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 430.
I pray to God, Schir Wicair, that ye neuer se the faice of God
1548 Treas. Acc. IX. 222.
Ane elne of taffate to cover hir fais fra the sone
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxiv. 10.
Behauld ȝone faice that thow dois sie
1644 11th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. vi. 56.
Ane blinck of the fece of ane reconceilit God
1662 Lamont Diary 188.
He tooke a stone in his bannet, and brake all his feace

b. Expression of face; look; also, spirit, courage. 1375 Barb. xv. 538.
With rycht ane angry face
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lvii. 23.
With ane humill cheir and face
1535 Stewart 31302.
With drawin swordis and with austrun face
1570 Sat. P. xiii. 209.
Fall to thame fraklie, to fecht thay haif na faces
c1590 J. Stewart 47/162.
Quhair euir he verts his force And awfull face

c. A person. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 157.
Quhen euer thai dome, thai knaw na face, Bot doys justice efter the cas

d. transf. Of things. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 433.
As the new mone … Kythis quhilis her cleir face
1513 Doug. iii. x. 72.
Forgane the face Of the flude Plemyrion … Thar lyis ane iland
1545 Reg. Privy C. I. 10.
The new Inglis grote of Ingland callit the grote with the braid face
1572 J. Maitland Maitl. F. lxxxviii. 22.
Ay moir … burning is the beymis Off Phebus face
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 156 b.
Gif thou sall demand … quha in the face of the earth befor Caluin … teachit sik doctrine

2. In phrases. a. In the face, before his face. a1400 Leg. S. xix. 28.
Few durste luk hyme in the face
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3500.
Thare fays in the face thai met
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1913.
Befoir the face of wind
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvi. 49.
Flattereris into menis facis
15.. Clar. i. 753.
They went abake richt fast befor his face
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 88.
At his cuming, the said Johne Johnestoun verifijt the samin in his faice

b. Face to, or for, face. c1420 Wynt. viii. 6261.
Thai ware face to face fychtand
1513 Doug. xii. viii. 49.
Thame [to] invaid that met hym face for face
1535 Stewart 27764.
The proud Pechtis … face for face stude in thair fais sicht
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cii. 72.
[To] se God face to face In his eternale gloir

c. In (the) face of, before (church, court, parliament). Also before face of. 1482 Bamff Chart. 31.
The quhilk mariagh salbe … endit in the faise of haly kyrk
1527 Carnwath Barony Ct. 43.
The said Thomas … preifit sufficiently in face of court … that [etc.]
1542 Acts II. 415/2.
Thair was ane act … red in faice of parliament that the haly write may be vsit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7279.
I intend … To mary hir in face of halie kirk
c1650 Spalding I. 229.
This complaynt wes … disput vigorrouslie be aduocatis, … quhilk is not vsit befor face of parliament

3. Appearance, semblance, form. Be or at the first face, at first sight. 1456 Hay I. 173/1.
As be the first face, it semys [etc.]
Ib. 177/15.
As to the first face, it semys that he wrangis him nocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxvi. 10.
The figurit speiche with faceis tua
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I. 131.
Thai began to interprete thir signis to ane vther face
Id. Livy I. 228/17.
Howbeit this law apperit of litill force … in the first face
1564 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 47.
That all idolatrie … be abolished … , so that no uther face of religioun be permitted
1596 Dalr. I. 7/31.
Naithir schawes furth Britannie all that it has at the first face
1612 Conv. Burghs II. 371.
Beand desyrous to estableis the faice of ane kirk & ministrie in Campheir
1686 Ann. Banff II. 57.
If he had not the face of a congregation he would give them up again

4. A surface or side of an object. 1501 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 89.
He sall furnys ilk fute of the astler weill hewin on all faces for ij. d. the fute
1653 Edinb. Test. LXVII. 44 b.
Ane stoupit bed and twa faces of langsadles

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



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