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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.

Gang, v. Also: gange, gaing, gayng. [Northern ME. gang(e, OE. gangan (gongan), ON. ganga. Only the infinitive and present forms remain in use.]

1. intr. To go on foot; to walk. Freq. in contrast to ride (cf. Ride v.). 1375 Barb. iv. 193.
A seiknes … put him in sa hard assay, That he mycht nouthir gang no ryde
a1400 Leg. S. xii. 381.
Crippolis he gert gange vperycht
Ib. xxix. 30.
Quhethir he sit, or gang, or ly
c1420 Ratis R. 1338.
Than may thow baith gang & ryd
Ib. 1675.
Wnes gange ore ster he may
1499 Misc. Spald. C. II. 261.
At I sal ryd and gang with my said lord … als redy … as ony man seruing his lord
1528 Lynd. Dreme 9.
I bure thé in myne arme … tyll thow begouth to gang
1533 Gau 63/2.
The crippil gangis, … the deiff heris
1535 Stewart 17032.
Eildit he wes and of his curage blunt To ryde or gang befoir as he wes wont
1549 Compl. 34/20.
Quhen ve ar tirit to gang on oure feit, ve ar solist to seik horse to ryde
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxviii. 126.
A maist plesand place … Thairin to sit or gang
1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII. 256.
David Thomsoun … gangand vpon his feit maid his testament
a1598 Ferg. Prov. 3 b.
A bairne mon creep or he gang
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 134.
Na man rydand vpon ane horse sould keepe them, quha standes or ganges behinde his horse heeles
fig. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 116.
Vnto thame … quhilk gangis nocht efter the flesch, bot efter the spirit
a1598 Ferg. Prov. 14.
Kindnesse will creep where it may not gang

2. To walk or go about, or from one place to another. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 862.
[Him] tyd one a tym to gang Apone the feild his corne ymange
c1420 Wynt. viii. 2028.
With a swerd bath scharpe and lang It wes hys oys than oft to gang
c1450-2 Howlat 285.
So that the spirituale staite, And the secular consait, Mycht all gang in a gait
1456 Hay I. 64/27.
Thare was a labourare … at his pleuch gangand
a1500 Henr. Robin & M. 43.
Perauenture my scheip may gang besyd
1475 Prestwick B. Rec. 26.
In the ettin and distroyin of his rye … with hir swyne gangand lows
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 146.
Thow and thy quene as gredy gleddis ȝe gang
15.. Clar. v. 943.
Twentie virginis … begouth to gang in carralling
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2424.
Had I … Ten thousand ky gangand vpon the ground
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 67.
Saxtene … honest men … berand and gangand about the paill wnder the quhilk her hienes raid
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. 124 b.
To bring in the hors quhilk … gangis in Veisdaile … to my Lordis vse

b. Followed by an infinitive, usually with and or to. 1375 Barb. ii. 276.
That thai may this nycht … Gang herbery thaim
Ib. xv. 91.
Schir Edward gart man gang and se All the vittalis of that cite
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1216.
Hys goddys … bad hym gang and arme hym fast
a1500 Seven S. 169.
He wald gang the sternis to se Gif thar ony remeid mycht be
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3529.
Cum doun, dastart, and gang sell draiff
1551 Hamilton Cat. 197.
All men of weir quhilk gangis to fecht in battell
c 1563 Reg. Panmure I. p. xxxii.
He … cawsit ane of his serwandis to gange and pay for al

c. To go away; to depart. c1450-2 Howlat 983.
We cum pure, we gang pure
1456 Hay I. 177/12.
Sen … he was assurit to cum, and nocht to gang
Ib. 178/7.
Bot gif thai mycht bathe cum and gang suerly
1461 Liber Plusc. 398.
Se quhilk of thaim has … wrang, And punis weil the fautor or he gang
1546 Stirling Antiq. IV. 199.
The provest … and counsell decern the said Robert to have passage to cum and gang … at his pleasur
1570 Sat. P. xii. 125.
The barronis biddis ȝow schortly byde or gang
1592 Black Bk. Taymouth 310.
With the Clane Gregor cumand and gaingand all the oulk

3. With preps. or adverbs indicating direction, destination, or relative position: a. To go to, into, from, out of, etc. 1375 Barb. xvi. 651.
He … with hym till the bat can gang
a1400 Leg. S. iv. 327.
Scho … bad thame gange to syk a hill
Ib. xxxv. 96.
I sal reddy be To gange quhare-sa thu bydis me
1386 Rotuli Sc. II. 85/2.
To gang and to come intil Ingland
1443 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 269.
We … gert tham gang out of the court
1456 Hay II. 143/35.
Sa sulde he gang in the water
c1475 Wall. ii. 116.
For dynt of suerd thai durst nocht till hym gang
c1500-c1512 Dunb. v. 29.
Out of hevin … cought the wif gang
1542 Acts II. 417/1.
Gif he was stopit … to gang to ony part within this realm
1554 Peebles B. Rec. 411.
For gangin abowt Sownop Commown that Paishe
1598 Paisley B. Rec. 213.
Quhairby thay [sc. cows] gang in uthir menis cornes
1607 Urie Baron Ct. 11.
In kais ony … refwis … to gayng with him to the sie
1633 Misc. Spald. C. V. 220.
Quhatsumewir tenant … happinnis … to gang to uther milns with thair cornis

b. With advbs. as abak, about, away, by, or preps. as beside, betwixt, by, etc. 1375 Barb. vii. 581.
A man … That neir besyde him wes gangand
Ib. x. 465.
His men war gangand to and fra
a1400 Leg. S. xix. 136.
Or thu gange away Alhale the suth I sal thé say
Ib. xxxiv. 63.
As he com gangand by
c1420 Wynt. vi. 1862.
He sawe thre wemen by gangand
1456 Hay II. 131/6.
The quhilk tyme is comperit till ane alde wyf gangand bakwart
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Twa Mar. W. 277.
Weil couth I … with a bek gang about, & bler his ald E
a1500 Peblis to Play 71.
Ar ȝe our gude … To lat thame gang besyd ȝow
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlv. 66.
Quha preissis farrest to leip is able gang abak
1569 Bann. Memor. 9.
Wer I in your grace steid, I sould gang betwixt the kow and the corne
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 33.
To stop the regent to gang first north aud syne sowth
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 93.
Thow … gangand baklenis keist ane pairt [of the stanes] behind thé
1622-6 Bisset II. 249/2.
Thay aucht weill to gang out but the maisteris leif

c. Quasi-trans. with gate, way (q.v.).

d. In various figurative senses. 1375 Barb. xv. 268.
Till king Robert will we gang, That we haf left vnspokyn of lang
c1475 Wall. i. 144.
Off coruikle quhat suld I tary lang? To Wallace agayne now breiffly will I gange
1510 Misc. Spald. C. V. 395.
I … the said lawman … gewis for dwym … that the said Jhone … sal gang pecabile to the lands
1551 Hamilton Cat. 31.
Cursit ar thai quhilk gangis by the commandis of God
1560 Acts II. 534/1.
Quhasaeuer gangis about … to confound the haill state of ciuile policeis
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcix. 69.
Sum tyme ȝe fra land and geir sall gang
1581 Cath. Tr. 101/4.
Thair sall cum … begylaris in deceat, gaugand efter thair auin … lustis

4. To be carried, used, or taken. ?1438 Alex. i. 2464.
Mony ane to eard can gang
c1475 Wall. i. 395.
We serff a lord; this fysche sall till him gang
a1500 Seven S. 673.
Scho said, ‘Say ȝe that in effek, Thy hed sall gang than of the nek’
1521 Old Dundee II. 23.
The bred sall gang to procure offerings to Sanct Thomas
1609 Gardyne Garden 32.
These ornaments … That through the voults of cristall skyes Full gleglie glansing gang

b. Of the sun: To gang to (rest), to set. To gang doun, to end. 1386 Rotuli Sc. II. 85/2.
The son gangand to rest
a1500 Rauf C. 923.
During quhill day dawis, that neuer will gang doun
1497 Acta Conc. II. 56.
That the sadis arbitouris, … sal gif thare … sentence … or the soun gang to
1567 Prestwick B. Rec. 70.
Efter the sone gang to, quhyl the morne at the sone rys agane
a1585 Maitland Maitl. Q. li. 41.
Gif this sait of senatouris gang doun
1596 Dalr. I. 25/31.
Agane and agane … ay quhill the sone gang to

c. Of a way, wall, etc.: To stretch or extend; to lead.(1) 1487 Dunferm. B. Rec. .
Betwix the causay gangand doune to the Nethirtown … and the common wennel gangand ewyn est to the Newrawe
1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 395.
Abuf the Kyngis fuird as the commond gait gangis
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xxx.
The montanis … quhilkis … gangis fra Lochlowmond to the mouth of Dee
1547 Prot. Bk. W. Corbet 8.
As the ald dyik gangis on to the fwt of the lone
1568 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 6.
Ane kie to the dur that gang[is] furth to the kirk ȝaird
1585 Echt-Forbes Chart. 123.
Fra the gait wp to the Hill of Donecht as the cirkill of the hill gangis aboutt
1603 Reg. Great S. 506/1.
Passand eist … as the deip of the cleir water gangs
(2) 1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 294.
Ane greit lang chenȝe of irne … vith foure armes gangand fra it
1574 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 40.
Tua crokis of irne to gang vp the ledderis
1606 Tailor's Acc. Bk. 51.
Twa coirdenes to gang about the same twa hattis

5. a. To pass by change or transfer; to become. a1400 Leg. S. x. 473.
A fende in hyme sone enteryt That gert hym gange owt of his vyt
c1450 Cr. Deyng 113.
Sua mony of thir men gangis rammys
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 107.
He thinkis that the said annuale sale outred his maile or it gang out of the tenandis handis
1513 Doug. xii. xiii. 108 (R).
The fassouns and the ritis, that nocht gang [v.r. ga] wrang, … statute I sall
1572 Sat. P. xxxi. 53.
And thair wer not a God abone, I wald be fleit … That all suld gang to wrak

b. To be current; to have currency. 1456 Hay II. 7/35.
Thare is a grete renoune gangand in ferr contreis of a grete assemblee
1488 Acts II. 208/2.
The said penny of gold to haue course & gang for xxx of the saidis grotis
1549 Compl. 116/9.
He gart the bruit gang that thair presoneris hed eschaipit … contrar his vil
1567 Sat. P. vii. 228.
Thair name sall gang quhair euer the sone do ryse
c1615 Chron. Kings 109.
Theais quha had done the fact gart the word gang that [etc.]

c. To be working or employed. 1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 249.
The said myln being biggit and perfyttit sufficientlie gangand agane the said terme
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2425.
Had I … Als mony plewis gangand vpon the land
1586 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 56.
Gif ony of the mylneis … happineis … that thay may nocht gang nowther to scheill nor grind
1592 Perth Kirk S. 203.
John Tendall and George Jack … promised that their bake-houses hereafter shall not gang on the Sabbath
1601 Elgin Rec. II. 95.
Johnne Cockburn is becum … actit that his miln sall nocht gang … on Sabboth days
1602 Ib. 106.
William Davidsone for hawing his owin gangand, baikand meat, sall pay v s.
1625 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 564.
To haif ane ingle of collis thairin … that the mylne may gang in tyme of frost

6. Of things: To have or take a certain course; to come about or happen. 1375 Barb. x. 421.
He … said, ‘all gangis as we will’
1456 Hay I. 59/12.
Quhen the senatouris saw the fortune gang agaynis thame sa aukwartly
c1475 Wall. iv. 221.
Rycht laith he was the thing to tak on hand, The quhilk beforce that suld gang hym agayne
a1500 Seven S. 2254.
Dome on thaim I sall gar gang
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 521.
Thy work will not gang weill
a1598 Fergusson Prov. (1641) 8 b.
Hanging ganges be hap

b. To gang before; to precede in order or time. 1385 Rotuli Sc. II. 73/2.
Haveand the force and effecte in all poyntz as the next trewe gangand before
14.. Acts I. 301/3.
Blude drawyn vnder the aand is thrid part les of al thir gangand befor
1457 Wemyss Chart. 81.
The day immediate gangand befoir the making of this indenture
1500 Montgomery Mem. 59.
The said premunicioun lauchfullye … gangand befoir
1515–6 Treas. Acc. V. 69.
To discharge thame of thair fredome, … becaus of thair dissobeing of the uther lettres gangand of befoir
1535 Stewart I. 564 heading.
Heir followis the maner and the ordoure gangand befoir the greit battell

7. In miscellaneous senses. 1456 Hay I. 51/28.
All the golde ryngis … the quhilkis mycht nocht all gang in twa grete tonnys
1466 Misc. Spald. C. II. 251.
Ather of the saide lordis has giffne other the faithis of thair body, … the gret aith gangand betwen
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xix. 34.
Than will thay murmour … That I salang but guerdoun gang
1500 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 77.
Ane annuall rent … gangande furth ȝherly of the landis of Balmady
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 335.
The men lat their gripis gang thair, that he micht gang in him alone
a1578 Pitsc. I. 251/17.
Scho was … sa stark and thik that na canon could gang throw hir
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII. 6.
Foure quoyis & thrie stottis tolmont auld outgane, gangand in tua ȝeir auld

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



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