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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.

Fontane, Fontayn(e, n. Also: fontan, fontaine, -teine, fontean. [Late ME. fontayne, fontaine, OF. fontaine, late L. fontāna.]

1. A natural spring of water.(a) 1456 Hay I. 20/7.
The sterne that fell apon the third part of the fontaynes
1461 Liber Plusc. I. 382.
Burnis, wellis, reueris and fontayns
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlviii. 3.
Ȝe bankis of Helicon … & fontaine Caballein
(b) 1513 Doug. viii. ii. 19.
Quhar evir thy lowch or fontane may be fund
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xxvi.
Tweid first springis fra ane small fontane
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1283.
The fontannis [were so] fresche and redolent
1596 Dalr. II. 118/10.
As … the water strype rinis to the fontane
attrib. 1567 G. Ball. 109.
God turnit … The barrane bra in fontane watter cleir
fig. 1533 Boece v. x. 283.
The nobillis … war sic like purgit be the fontane of bapteme
1602 Colville Parænese 159.
Cossing the clear fontans of this holy church for trubled pittes

b. An artificial fountain. 1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 109.
Fontanis flowing watter cleir and wyne
1552 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 171.
Than may ye haue four fontanis our all pairtis of your tovne
1632 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 51.
Anent the erecting of fontanes within this burgh, for serveing the toune with pure and cleane watter

2. fig. A source of something.(a) 1456 Hay II. 86/7.
The nurisare of vertues and fontayn and rute of all gude
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 339.
I … dulcely drank of eloquence the fontayne
1558-66 Knox II. 266.
From this fontaine … hath all our miserie proceeded
1581 Burne Disput. 2.
The same justice … becummis the fontayne of meritorious varkis
1600 Crim. Trials II. 253.
If ye rype not wp the fontaine thairof, it is a manifest tempting of God
(b) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 147/20.
The werray well and fontane of grace duelt in hir
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 347.
Mylky fontane, cleir strand … Of fresch endyte
1549 Compl. 21/7.
Athenes, the vmquhile fontane of sapiens
1558-66 Knox II. 415.
Yit wes not the Courte purged of hures and huredome, quhilk wes the fontane of sik enormiteis
(c) 1540 Lynd. Sat. (1602) 274.
This lustie ladie … , The fresche fonteine of knichtis amorous
1600-1610 Melvill 426.
Of all this wa, the fontean and the sourse

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



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