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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.

For, prep. Also: fore, foir. [ME. and OE. for.]

1. On account of, by reason of. 1375 Barb. ii. 550.
For thar cummyng Reiosyt rycht gretumly the King
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii. 161.
Sa that thai suld … for hungyre de
1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 138*.
The debate … that wes betwene thaim for the landys of Logy
c1450-2 Howlat 728.
Blissit mot thow be For thi barneteme
c1475 Wall. vi. 756.
His hart for ire bolnyt for byttir baill
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 294.
Ane swerd … rowsty for the rayne
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. iii. 67/10.
Thay na grippis thair micht hald for slidder
1549 Compl. 66/30.
The bel veddir for blythtnes bleyttit rycht fast
1567 Sat. P. iv. 97.
Quhat hairt so hard for petie will not bleid?
a1578 Pitsc. I. 110/9.
That they … be nocht spullȝeit … foir my offence and fault
1608 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 61.
Being accusit for bigging a fyir on the calsey

2. With a view to, for the sake of. 1375 Barb. xx. 168.
For heill of his saull gaf he siluir
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 376.
As for syk thingis accordit best
c1420 Wynt. iii. 524.
He … anyd for his rawnsoning
c1475 Wall. ix. 1208.
It is for gud at he is fra us went
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 438.
I haif a water spunge for wa
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 565.
Ȝe may weill wytt God wrocht all for the best
1599 Conv. Burghs II. 49.
For the samyn purpois
1661 Ib. III. 540.
Conceaving it necessar foir that end

3. On behalf of; to serve, assist, or defend. 1375 Barb. xiv. 115.
For Schir Edward that [place] kepit thai
Ib. xx. 165.
He ordanit for his saull richt weill
a1400 Leg. S. vi. 42.
[He] that best cuth do sic thinge Othir fore emprioure or kynge
c1460 Thewis Gud Wemen 315.
That … thai pray … fore al cristynne man
c1475 Wall. iii. 272.
Quhill eft for him prowisioune we may mak
c1500-c1512 Dunb. vi. 107.
I will na preistis for me sing
1562-3 Winȝet I. 42/12.
To auante … that ȝe haue Godis Worde for ȝow and not we

4. So far as concerns (a person or thing). 1375 Barb. ii. 184.
Off thar nobleis gret affer … Ȝe sall her na thing now for me
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 32.
In quhilk place of thire thre He wes, ȝe sal nocht wit fore me
c1475 Wall. i. 433.
This day for me … he beis nocht socht
1473 Acta Aud. 29/1.
For ocht that thai haue ȝit sene or is producit before thaim
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xliv. 1.
Now of wemen this I say for me
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5969.
For ȝow I mycht haif lying [in presoun] full lang

5. As being; in place of. a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 454.
He fore Cypriane wes kyde
?1438 Alex. i. 606.
The gude king … that we Hald for our lord and avowie
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 293.
He … for ane jak a raggit cloke has tane
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1056.
Alledgence past for law

6. In spite of, notwithstanding, without regard to. a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 338.
A gret tempest, That draf tham to Adryak, Fore ony defence thai cuth mak
Ib. xlii. 31.
To God … ay serwe I, & euir sal do, for ocht may be
c1475 Wall. i. 224.
For all his men … he stekyt him to dede
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 171.
For all their aufull ordynance
Ib. xxiii. 6.
Be blyth in hairt for ony aventure
1535 Stewart 19590.
For all thair brag and bost
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii. 53.
Thai war … sworne also for to gif sentence clene, For fauour or feid
1567 Sat. P. iv. 141.
Deianira hir husband … Brocht to mischeif for all his wassalage

7. In return for, in payment of. c1420 Wynt. viii. 6010.
Ogill … syne delyweryd thame for rawnsoune
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1139.
I can nocht get a freind … That dar now tak in hand for onie thing With me for to compeir
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 6.
He sald hir … For penneis thre
1491 Treas. Acc. I. 181.
For the pendin of three voutis
1513 Ib. IV. 464.
For vj. stane of small towis
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 340.
For his service awatand on the schippis
1569 Treas. Acc. MS. 260.
For making the fulis twa gownis

8. (To continue) during (a certain time). 1405 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 200.
For al the terme of his lyfe
1478 Acta Conc. 13/1.
Robert nor nane vtheris … has the vse fruyt … for thair life tyme
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 741.
For ay mirth clenlie I quit clame
a1578 Pitsc. I. 79/5.
The king … grantit the samin [peace] foir thrie ȝeiris
c 1614 Melrose P. 599.
Foir the space of too or thrie dayis

9. In miscellaneous uses. 1375 Barb. viii. 348.
Bot he mycht nocht amonist sway That ony for him vald turne agane
c1475 Wall. ii. 104.
Four scor was sett … for [= against] Scottis to kepe the toune
Ib. vi. 174.
To mowff you more it afferis nocht for me
1474 Treas. Acc. I. 39.
iij quarteris of brovne fore [= to make] a cot
1535 Stewart 11430.
Quhen ane king thair met [uther] face for face
15.. Clar. i. 1094.
Sir Guy full glaidlie for the knichtis ȝeid
1572 Sat. P. xxxiv. 58.
The penitent for helpe may sterue

10. For that, because, since. 1375 Barb. i. 84.
For that at the king off Ingland Held swylk freyndschip [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. i. 331.
He … mad hym byschope; for that he ves worth to haf sic degre
1431 Buccleuch Mun. II. 28.
For that yt ys … merytabelle to ber wytnes to the suthfastnes
1445 Misc. Spald. C. V. 282.
That thar sal be nane alienation maid of the … lands, for that thai [etc.]

11. For till, for to, with the infinitive.(1) 1375 Barb. xi. 617.
Sic myrknes … wes, That it wes voundir for till se
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 292.
Mony armyt men … Fore till assege townys
1413 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 364.
Be it made knawyn … me … for til haff saulde [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. vii. 1759.
Few thai ware thare to consent For till mak awnswere till the Kyng
1456 Hay I. 294/32.
Syne he send the prophet … for till avert him
1496 Acta Conc. II. 2.
The accione … aganis James … for til heir him selff decernit to entir [etc.]
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 439; etc.
Ene maid nevir aith, … with hir fortill abyde
1521 Fife Sheriff Ct. 215.
To fynd souerte for till wnderly the law
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 369.
All men begynnis for tyll de The day of thare natiuite
1574 Sat. P. xlii. 741.
To help the rest, Nor for till spill all ten atanis
(2) 1375 Barb. vii. 153.
Thai … slew fyre for to rost thar met
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii. 37.
Al Cristine man fore to sla
1385 Rotuli Sc. II. 73/1.
For to cumme … for to do and tak full redresse
1402 Reg. Panmure II. 183.
That is for to saye that [etc.]
1440 Reg. Great S. 60/1.
Til al men … this present writ to here or for to se
a1500 Bk. Chess 19.
Sum gois to dyse thair lewdness for to schaw
1536 Carnwath Barony C. 25.
He can preif he hecht him for to bring furth the meir for to hald hir lyf
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 211.
Sa termes bricht I list not for to borrow
a1578 Pitsc. I. 128/26.
Nor ȝeit wald he make the messingeris foir to dispair of thair cheiffis remissieoun

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"For prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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