Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hand, n. Also: hande, haund. [ME. haunde, honde, ME. and OE. hand.]

See also Bludy a. 1 b, Hate a., Rede-hand n. and a., Left a., Richt a.; Ovir-hand n., Upper-hand n., Forehand a., Beforehand adv., Nere-hand adv.

A. 1.The hand, as a member of the body. Fute and hand, see Fut(e n. 3 a.1375 Barb. iii. 119 (his hand wes wndyr the sterap). a1400 Leg. S. ii. 261 (he his handis vphelde). Ib. xlvii. 95 (the irne of his haund can fal). c1420 Wynt. v. 4196 (he gert stryk off that hand). Ib. vii. 1998 (hawand gluwys on his handys twa). ?1438 Alex. ii. 4519 (of handis and heidis he maid ane lardnare). 1456 Hay I. 51/27 (the golde ringis apon dede mennis handis). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 770 (Golograse his handis can wryng). a1500 Rauf C. 118 (the coilȝear tuke him be the hand). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvi. 33 (his hand wes ay vpoun his knyfe). 1513 Doug. iii. ii. 28 (handis we schuke). 1549 Compl. 145/12 (in the palmis of ther handis).

b. As used for holding something, esp. in hand.a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 1068 (he tuk the coupe in hand). ?1438 Alex. ii. 1884 (ane mekil axe in hand he hade). 1483 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 48 (werk schauin in handis for to sell). 1513 Doug. ii. vii. 47 (in his hand harling his litle nevo). Ib. ix. x. 48 (with speris in our handis). c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 529 (to fill ȝour gredie handis). 1662 Crim. Trials III. 606 (the Devill takis the maiden in his hand).

c. As employed for doing something.1375 Barb. xvii. 332 (with all handis thai schupe thaime … ). a1400 Leg. S. xxv. 246 (thi modir of thi hande sal de). Ib. xl. 510 (so far as man mycht caste with hand). 1456 Hay I. 155/8 (gif he wald strike me with his hand). c1460 Wisd. Sol. (my warldly werkis that my handis had wrocht). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lx. 56 (bausy handis to beir a barrow). 1513 Doug. i. ix. 21 (as euour bane by craft of hand wele dicht). 1522-3 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 67.
Besse Craw ... deponit that ... hir sone suld have bannit the handis that strak ane kow in Thome of Mulros ȝard
1549 Compl. 44/5 (with his auen hand at the pleuch). a1578 Pitsc. I. 111/32 (they laid bak thair hand frome the pleuch). 1590 Crim. Trials I. ii. 202.
The said wich desyrit, that ye sould gif him your left hand, and sould tak him be the rycht hand
c 1680 Scots Lore i. 151.
I had burnt this hand that day I gave you the right hand of fellowship

To shake hands with (anything), to have dealings with, to have to do with. 1635 Dickson Hebrews 293.
As long as they are yet in the way and haue not shaken hands with an evill course

d. The hand as used in writing; hence, handwriting, signature.1473 Treas. Acc. I. 65 (a precept subscriuit with the Kingis hand). 1476 Acta Aud. 42/1 (the hand that wrate the said write). Ib. (James denyit his awne hand). 1550 Coll. Aberd. & B. 182 (Den James Chyld … vith my hand). 1558 Reg. Cupar A. II. 268 (subscriuit … with his hand at the pen). 1581 Burne Disput. 4 (as the hand is callit the vrit that is vrittin be the hand). 1653 Baillie III. 252 (my evill hand). 1671 Salmon Borrowstounness 95.
Recorded … under the clerk of the said brugh his hand

e. As used in taking oaths and in signifying assent, or given as a pledge. For a number of further examples and a commentary on these modes of oath-taking, see Acta Conc. II. lxvi-lxix. See also Handband n. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 22 (A).
The burges sal acquyt him with him self the sext hande of burges
14.. Acts I. 26/2.
The burges sal clenge him with sex handis of burges
Ib. 84*/2.
He sal purge him with his awin proper hand
1471 Acta Aud. 19/l.
Dauid Rantoun … drew his hand, his landis and gudis lawborghe to our souerain lord, that [etc.]
1472–3 Prestwick B. Rec. 21.
Borcht of the vnlaw his hand and his gud
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2243.
I hecht thé by my hand Ȝone carlis word … sall stand
1488 Prestwick B. Rec. 32.
Apon the quhilk to fulfil, thai ga & held vp batht thair handis to the ballie in court
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 977.
Thair to ȝow I geue my hand I sall ȝow take to my husband
1564 St. A. Kirk S. 230.
The said Jhon be laying his hand in the hand of Mirabell promyst to marie hyr
1569 Ib. 316.
Simon … depouis that he … held up handis for performing of the premissis
Ib. 330. 1677 Cunningham Diary 13.
The communing and agreement was made, and hands straught therupon, befor my father

2. In reference or with allusion to actions performed with the hands; hence, action, generally.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii. 8988.
All hes thare handis full of fecht
14.. Burghs Laws c. 98 (B).
Gyf thai oyse nocht thair offycys wyth thair awyn handis
1574-5 Haddington Treas. Acc. 13.
Lawborand at the regentis grace hand
a1500 Henr. Fab. 534.
It is the verray hand of God That causit him be werryit with the tod
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxi. 44.
Fra the handis gois few gud deidis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 340/11.
The kingis mother ... tuik ane interpryse of aircharie wpoun the Inglischemenis handis
1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 23.
Gif we ... interpone not oure awin power and hand to ... puneis the samyn summarlie
1629 R. Bruce in Wodrow's Life 138.
And sorry am I that I cannot mend my hand
1634 Black Sc. Witches 14.
For, work what you can, your teeth shall overgang your hands
1650 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 196.
That the magistrats could not have a hand in the quartering of the Inglische enemy
1650 Short Reply Unto Declaration of the Army of England 15.
They have with a hie hand broken the Covenant
1661 Wodrow Hist. I. 171.
Throughout the whole course of my life, I have studied to be serious, and not to deal with a slack hand in what I did look upon as my duty
1664 Pitcairn Spirit. Sacrifce 453.
If we do but a little slack our hand in watching ... atheistical thoughts may on a sudden break
1676 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 8 Nov.
Fyftein pundis Scots money as the pryce of twa kine bought be the said John from the said James and quhilk he promist to warrand at all handis
1680 Cunningham Diary 20.
The bargain was made for a month, once to try a hand, and the men were to begin and furnish upon the Monday following
(2) To hald one's hand, to stop, pause: see Hald v. 4 c. 1654 Fam. Innes 175.
If your lordship keip up your handis ther may be eneugh of this, for I have extracted the clause irretant of most of ther few charteris
(3) 1630 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 318.
The Laird of Drum your sone, who hes a cheiff hand in the busienes as air and executor to his father
a1658 Durham Subtile Self 80.
It hath a hand (to say so) in every ill turn
1676 Cunningham Diary 86.
That she & I had both alike hand in as follows
(4) 1685-8 Renwick Serm. 62.
For God will be about with enemies, he will be even hands with them in that day

b. At one's awin hand: On one's own authority or initiative. 1456 Hay I. 166/29.
For thou hes … tane at thyne awin hand alsmekle or mare na I held of thyne
1495 Acta Conc. 394/2.
Vptaking of ther merchis … at his avne hand, and appropreand the sammyn
1501 Ib. MS. XI. 9.
Andro vmquhile bishop of Moray … at his avne hand intrusit ane cousing … in the sade hospietale
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiv. 47.
Thane ilk ane vikit man at his awen hand Sall him revenge as he sall think it best
1620 Breadalbane Coll. MS. No. 437.
That na persone haid … privilege at his awin hand to transport or tak away aney buriall stane
1692 Newton Community Bk. 10.
[Accused of] going away at his oun hand furth of the tolbuith ... without liberty or notice given

c. At the hands of, from the hands of, from.Also, off one's hand or hands, from one, on one's authority or say-so. 1456 Hay I. 60/9.
He strake bataillis agayn xij crownit kingis … and lete thame litill win at his hand
1483 Acta Conc. p. civ.
John … sai … kep skaithles the said persons at the handis of the said Margret
1484 Acta Aud. *135/1.
Sufficiand souuerte … to kepe him scaithles at the hands of the laif of executoris
1601 Conv. Burghs II. 123.
The wark of the making of the claithe … being expectet … at ȝour handis
a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 33.
Know ... except they haue Christs warrand, mans will not commissionate them to go to churches and preach at their own hand. It is also for the peoples cause, to learn them to take the Word off Johns hand
Ib. 578.
To take this word off ministers hands as from angels
1662 Sel. Biog. I. 218.
I know not if it would be well taken off my hand to add one word
1675 Edinb. Surgeons II. 130.
In that case the deacon [etc.] ... are to accept of his diligence off his hand allow the samyn in his accompt [etc.]
1680 Wodrow Hist. III. 197.
I haue declared upon the word of a gentleman, which I hope may be taken off my hand as sufficient

d. Denoting duplicity or double-dealing, in To play with, or tak of, baith the handis. 1549 Compl. 89/14.
Of this sort the kyng of Ingland playit vitht baytht the handis, to gar the empriour and the kyng of France … distroye vthirs
a1578 Pitsc. I. 194/19.
The nature of thame is evir reddie to tak siluir of baith the handis
Ib. II. 275/6.
Thir ambassadouris war evill judgeit … becaus thay … played with bayth the handis

e. Put for the person performing some action. 1600-1610 Melvill 167.
Vowes [were] maid be Captean James, the Chancellar, and cheiff hand of that cours, that [etc.]
1668 Inchmahone Pr. 173.
They onlie drank a chapon of aill the hand

3. a. The hand as used in fighting.Also, be strang handis, be the strang hand, with the strong hand, by force. 1375 Barb. ix. 481.
This Schir Eduard … Wes of his handis a nobill knycht
Ib. xvii. 261.
How … with stalwart hand Berwik wes tane
?1438 Alex. i. 3094.
Gaderains had the wakar hand
Ib. ii. 657.
The best and hardyest of hand
1513 Doug. ix. iii. 130.
Mony thousand douchty men of handis
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1280.
The Squyer, with his birneist brand Amang his fa men maid sic hand That [etc.]
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlvii. 96.
Sua that na man find cowardrye Nother in thy hart nor in thy hand
a1578 Pitsc. I. 144/4.
Aie an quhill the castell sould be … win be strang handis
1596 Dalr. I. 149/28.
Quhat he culde nocht obteine be fairnes, to win it be the strang hand

b. In, into handis, to grips, to close quarters.Also, at grips, struggling, fighting. ?1438 Alex. ii. 4474.
In handis durst nane cum neir
a1500 Bk. Chess 2104.
Bot in to handis cum thai nocht in weire, Off archeirye the rewll allhaile thai beire
1673 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 187.
He sawe the supplicant and James Watsone elder in handis togither and that the supplicant had blood

4. With reference to the use of the hands for grasping and holding (1 b): Possession, keeping, custody, charge.Also, to put handis to, to seize; see sense 11 a. Also, that which one has in hand, one's holding (of a commodity).(1) sing. 1375 Barb. xv. 264.
The castell tuk he in his hand
1410 Reg. Brechin I. 30.
[He] fand ane borch in our hand as schref
c1420 Wynt. viii. 4279.
All the land That Jhon the Cwmyn had qwhill in hand
c1475 Wall. i. 168.
The byschoprykis … Thai tuk inhand of thar archybyschops haile
1511 Reg. Privy S. I. 337/2.
Als lang as he haldis the comptrollary in his hand
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 449 (T).
Resave this harlot of our hand [H. aff our hands] In name of Mahoun
1590 R. Bruce Serm. 111.
We man flee sin, and rid our hand of it
1599 Rollock Wks. I. 427.
Thou sall not doe ane turne bot thou sall haue thy hyre in thy hand
1606 Rollock's Thess. 212 in Jamieson Supplement to the Etymological Dictionary of the Scottsh Language I. 491, s.v. Glifring.
Jesus hes vs in his hand
1607 Edinb. Test. XLIII. 259.
Ane … purs … to be kepit in Thomas Fyscharis hand ay & quhill [etc.]
1627 Dumbarton B. Rec. 12.
Gif thay be pleased to tak the half of the bargane aff their hand
1653 Cramond Ch. Grange 15.
That every master ... lay downe tuo dolors in the collector's hand befor mariage
a1658 Durham Commandments 199.
Envy, ... a grief and sadness for the honour of another, that such a good turn should fall in his hand
1658 R. Moray Lett. 29 Mar.
I do but seldom let Jock up a land dy in my hand as long as there is anything to be said thus upon what occurres
 pl. 1385 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. 410/2.
The lande … aucht to dwell ynto Sir Patrick Grayis handis
14.. Acts I. 351/2.
A presoner … salbe … deliverit … in evin handis or in the wardanis handis at the will of the pertiis
1450 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 12.
It sall be lefull to thame to red their handis of it that is in to bark betwix this and Candilmes
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1319.
Sen vourschipfull Wawane hes wonnyn to your handis The senyory
1496 Acta Conc. II. 16.
The Lords ... consalis the Kingis hienes to lowsis [sic] this recognicione made be [the] Kingis hienes and takis his handis thairfra
1519 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 190.
Thairfor the saidis landis ar in the townis handis
c1530-40 Stewart Maitl. F. lxxxi. 46.
Sen that the help is in thy handis
1570 Misc. Bann. C. I. 43.
This shall also serue … to keip us fourth of the handis of Lennox and Hammiltoun
a1578 Pitsc. I. 196/31.
The croun … quhilk he wald faine haue beine in handis withall
Ib. II. 63/25.
Thairfor the bischope … deliuerit thé in the devillis handis
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 207.
[The nobles profit chiefly from wool] quhilk give it sall not be tane aff thair hands [etc.]
1656 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 346.
For selling of that quhilk schoe had then amongst hir handis
1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 304.
[To deliver up the said band] soe soune as the samen sall com to my hands
(2) 1627 Kelly Pallas Armata (1627) Ep.
The works of Cæsar are amongst our hands: the writtings of the other two are perished by the iniurie of time
a1658 Durham Clavis Cantici 138.
Dedic. And this sayes the chock and season of grace is amongst our hands, now when Christ's call comes to our door
1687 Shields Hind Let Loose 223.
Besides the old oaths of allegiance and supremacy that were still going among hands, he [sc. the King] caused coin new ones to keep the peace
(3) 1493 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 46.
All ale that is masckit in the luimes till haue fredowme quhill Sonday to declair thar handis tharof and it at is nocht wortht xijd to be cunnit witht the officiaris

b. Captivity, detention. 1375 Barb. xvii. 127.
Sum war in-to handis tane
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3729.
The lave, that ware noucht tane in hand, Fled
?1438 Alex. ii. 4034.
May I him hint in hand
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 333.
King Hairt he hes in handis tane
1535 Stewart 10524.
Vodicia in handis als wes tone
1570 Sat. P. xvi. 55.
Als he gat Setoun out of hands
1581 Reg. Privy C. III. 416.
The saidis Hob Rowtlege … and utheris thre thevis, … , presentlie in handes within the plege chalmer of Drumfreis

c. In hand, as a ready-money payment, in cash. 1491 Acta Conc. 196/2.
Gif … William contentis and payis the soume of vc frankis now in hand
1537 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 84.
Nane comperand that offerit samekill [rent] as the saidis … offerit in hand
1560 Ib. III. 97.
Nychtbouris … nocht of puissance to pay thair haill … gyldschippis in hand

d. Apon (later, in) hand, in hand, as a matter to be dealt with, or on which one is engaged.Also in hands, being dealt with or worked on. To be in hands with (a matter), to be engaged upon, to be dealing with.Also to tak apon hand, see sense 14.(1)  1416 Liber Melros 539.
Because of hee and grete besines that we hade appoun hand to do
c1475 Wall. xi. 261.
Far grettar deidis thair men has apon hand
1596-7 R. Bruce in Wodrow's Life 166.
Notwithstanding, brethren, that it stood us greatly in hand to have obviated the ... odious calumnies given out against us by some public answer long ere now, yet we still forebore
1568 Maxwell Mem. II. 135.
As to the mater that is in hand betuiche ws
1609 Acts IV. 421/2.
This purpose we haue in hand
(2) 1616 Rollock Wks. II. 9.
Sundry hearing that they [sc. Bruce's sermons] were in hands, longed to see them come to light
1631 Sel. Biog. I. 357.
I heare the new covenant wes in hands
(3) a1659 W. Guthrie Christian's Great Interest 210.
Men have once, some way at least, been in hands with it, or had the offer of it
Ib. 218.
If by all thou hast ... ever heard of that matter, thy heart ... desireth to be in hands with it, thou hast it already performed within thee

e. To hald in hand, to keep (a person) under one's influence without positive action. a1568 Scott iii. 33.
Hald thame in hand, … And hecht thame giftis, howbeid ȝe gif thame nocht
c1650 Spalding I. 224.
The Marques … held craftelie both him and the covenanteris in hand

f. Out of hand, ? in an unrestricted or uncontrolled manner; immoderately, excessively; spontaneously. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 378.
Quhen he wes heryit out of hand to hie vp my honoris
1591 R. Bruce Serm. 242.
And, first, he bursteth out of hand as it were into the praise of God

g. To get one put out of hands, to get rid of him. 1704 In Sinclair Satan's Inv. World Suppl. lix.
We might have got him put out of hands yesternight were it not for the ill favoured prayers

h. To take one throw hand, 'to take him in hand', deal with, dispose of. 1695 National Reg. Archives (Scotl.) Rep. (Ewart Lib., Dumfries) 38.
That false villan ... was to have given in a bill against you in Parliament. But I took him throw hand and I judge he has delayed

5. With reference to the position of the hands: Side; direction, quarter. ?1438 Alex. ii. 329.
On thair ane hand was ane ryuer
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 19.
Behaldand Troiane rowtis on athir hand
1535 Stewart 22902.
All the dalis on the efter hand
1596 Dalr. I. 76/21.
On baith the handes new capitanes they cheised
Ib. II. 384/11.
Weiris on ilk syd, daingares on al handes
? 1623 Melrose P. 512.
The Hollanders … turned to the east hand
1672 Sinclair Hydrostaticks (1672) 199.
A high south-west wind causeth ill air in this place and that by reason of much wast ground that lies upon the south and south-west hand of this sink

b. Expressing a tendency, in the phrases in the mending hand, upon the groweing hand, etc.  Also, to grow upon one's hand, to increase.(1) 1630 Haddington Corr. 169.
My dohter Caett, (I thank God), ... is in the mending hand
a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 213.
To be increased with goods, doth imply, both their esteeming of themselves to have much, and also to be upon the growing hand
Ib. 553.
His kingdom is on the encreasing hand till these moneths be past
1653 Binning Wks. 623. 1677 Inverness Presb. 77.
[The elders] being asked if the popery was upon the groweing hand in the over parioch, answered [etc.]
1677 McCrie Mem. Veitch etc. 371. 1679 Inverness Rec. II. 281.
Coinsiddering that the bridge is on the decaying hand & lyk to ruine
(2) 1721 Life and Trials of William Sutherland 3.
When the bussiness of being executioner to some southland men in Air fell to me, the scruple of my conscience grew upon my hand

B. In phrases with prepositions and verbs.

6. a. At hand, at (one's) hand, near, close by, closely approaching. = Nere-hand adv.See also Next-hand prep. 1375 Barb. v. 354.
Vith that Douglas com rycht at hand
Ib. vii. 72.
Quhill that the hund com at his hand
?1438 Alex. i. 602.
Ȝe se weill that ȝour dede is neir, That at our hand is cumand heir
c1475 Wall. v. 949.
We sall cum at your hand
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. .
I hard … Ane hie speiche at my hand
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 54.
Italy, Quhilk thou trastis be at hand and fast by
1535 Stewart 2518.
Dowalus … Come at the hand with mekle schoir

b. Weill at hand, responsive to the rider's hand. 1375 Barb. ii. 120.
Na hors is in this land Sa [wycht], na ȝeit sa weill at hand
?1438 Alex. i. 251.
Ȝe haue hors richt weill at hand, Stalwart, stith, and weill sterand

7. a. Before, afoir the hand, in advance. = Beforehand adv. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1225.
Ane soume I payit haif befoir the hand For certane breid
1584 Edinb. Test. XIV. 135.
To the said Williames awne sister Bessie, in cais he be befoir the hand with hir tuentie pundis
1589–90 Waus Corr. II. 443.
Also … James Gilbson giffis the lard than afoir the hand thre yeris foirmaill of the saidis landis
1599 Rollock Wks. I. 327.
Bot he seis befoir the hand ane hevinlie joy and pleasure
1624 Conv. Burghs III. 165.
The said factouris … does buye victuall … before the hand and vtters the samin agayne at ane hier rate
1641 Acts V. 352/2.
Our soverayne lord … dischairges all payment of bulȝeoun before the hand and all pactiounes maid anent bulȝeoun

b. Behind the hand, in arrears, in debt; behind time, late, after the event.(1) 1470 Prestwick B. Rec. 16.
Gef it salhapin that the balȝeis … be behynd the hand of thar comptis
1559 Inchcolm Chart. 97.
[They said] thai … wer ever be hynd the hand and swa wald be beggerit thair wytht
1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 308.
The commoun guid is far behind the hand
16.. Hist. Kennedy 66.
He was newer behind the hand be na manne
1639 Breadalbane Lett. (Reg. H.) No. 758.
Vnthriftie barganes that might … put me any thing worth behint the hand
(2) 1549 Compl. 115/15.
This vryting is cum ouir lait and behynd the hand
1570 Misc. Bann. C. I. 48*.
I sall lat him play him ane quhyle, and syne sall gif him, behind the hand, ane cowp de jarret
1592 Crim. Trials I. 324.
The last bearer that ye send, cam heir behind the hand, and hath gottin na satisfaction as ȝit
1591-2 Rob Stene 9.
Leist ȝe … preif bot wyis behind the hand
1645 Lithgow Siege of Newcastle 19.
The ancient proverb holdeth good here that Scottishmen are aye wise behinde the hande
1660 Wodrow Hist. I. 12.
That ... they will like wise Scotsmen behind the hand be careful not to suffer themselves to be befooled again
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 300.
But they found themselves Scots men, wise behind hand

c. Before the or one's hand, beforehand; ahead (in time). Behind one's hand, behind one. 1581 Edinb. Test. IX. 66.
I ordine hir euery ȝeir … to put befoir the hand tua hundreth merkis for releving and redeming of the thousand merk [etc.]
c1610 Melville Mem. 262.
Bot Mester George was a stoik philosopher, and loked not far before the hand
1615 Sutherland Corr. 120.
That ye may haue the haill simmer before your hand to do your turnes
a1686 Turner Mem. 57.
To marche to his reliefe were to leave the halfe of our forces in Scotland and ane enemie behind our hand

d. By (also till) hand, to hand, within reach; By (one's) hand, by hand, by, aside, past, out of reach.(1) a1570-86 Maitl. F. clvii. 48.
In to thi bag beir thou his name, Thy mater bettir cumis by [B. till] hand
(2) 1623 Kinghorn Kirk S. 23.
[The] minister hawing resauit in the pulpit ane tickit, … quhilk he caist by his hand and wald not intimat the same
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1830) 199.
Many ells and inches of the short thread of your life are by-hand since I saw you
1652 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 281.
I am not so cleir in this not as I vold becaus the rol is fallen by my hand
1685-8 Renwick Serm. 371.
But if ye be not left to give up with duty altogether, ye will regard how ye put your duty by hand

e. Betwix handis, at intervals, now and again. c 1568 Campbell Love-Lett. Mary App. 24.
Haif ye not desyr to lauche to sie me lie sa weill, … and to tell hym the treuth betwix handis

8. Fra hand to or till hand, from hand to hand, from one person or place to another. c1420 Wynt. viii. 3402.
The word ran fra hand till hand
1513 Doug. iii. v. 141.
Goldyn cowpis went fra hand to hand
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 854.
Quhen he trauellit throw the land Thay bankettit him fra hand to hand
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 382.
They cheis men of thair factioun and swa haldis the publict offices … amongis a certane of particular men fra hand to hand

b. Fra hand: Out of hand, at once, immediately, forthwith. Also in early use, on hand. ? Also vpon hand. a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 417.
The tane of thaim lewit he On that half on the bank sittand Thinkand to cum agane on hand
1535 Stewart 38803.
The Danis … Wand saill to top, and saillit syne fra hand
1540 Lynd. Sat. 368.
Bring Sensualitie Fra hand to my presence
Ib. 440.
Gude sirs, I sall be reddie, evin fra hand
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2328.
But mair auise he closit thame [sc. gates] fra hand
1567 G. Ball. 35.
Quhen all was gone, thair rais fra hand Ane derth
a1578 Pitsc. I. 45/16.
Bot then, fre hand, ane cumpanie of airmed men buschit out
1596 Dalr. II. 283/24.
Incontinent … he grew pale and wann, as fra hand to shed teiris
1600-1610 Melvill 495.
I hasted hame … And cal'd for chamber, fyre, and bead fra hand
1622-6 Bisset I. 11/32.
The mater ȝe sall heir fra hand
1665 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 214.
And that he borrow vpon hand from the owners of Johne Annand's shippe the four guns and cause put the samen wpon the block-hous

9. a. Hand for hand, hand to hand, at close quarters. c1420 Wynt. viii. 3162.
Thai war all rycht wadand To fecht in gret rowt hand for hand
1513 Doug. vi. x. 35.
Hand for hand Thai fal to werslyng on the goldyn sand
1535 Stewart 57404.
With him to fecht in barras hand for hand
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1307.
Nane durst cum neir him, hand for hand

b. Hand for, in, to, hand, hand in hand, side by side. c1420 Wynt. vi. 2191.
To the Kyng … Malcolme past, Makduff wyth hym hand in hand
?1438 Alex. ii. 2907.
Syne our [the] steppis hand in hand Thay clam
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2363.
Than hand in hand thay held vnto ane hill
a1384 Fordun v. ix. 207 (Skene).
[Rex … solus abscessit cum solo … ] and thai war hande for hande
1535 Stewart 11639.
Taikand thai raid togidder … , Hand for hand rycht hamelie
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2551.
Gif thy brother doith ocht thee till offend, Than secretlye correct him hand for hand In freindly maner
 — 1659-60 Hay Diary 159.
Praying with my wife hand to hand

c. Hand over heid, without discrimination, indiscriminately. 1643 Kirkcudbright B. Rec. II. 701.
Att viij lib. the peice of the barrell hand ouer heid
a1651 Calderwood I. 41.
Till that time they preached as occasioun offered, hand ouer head, promiscuouslie

10. To hald hand (to), To bear a hand, to give active assistance, support or backing to some undertaking, etc. 1566 Keith Hist. App. 135.
The quhilk I dout not bot my Lord Cardinall … [wil] solisit and hauld hand
1569 Reg. Privy C. II. 7.
His Grace sall hald hand to se the Kirk and ministeris … put in possessioun [etc.]
1593 Acts III. 53/2.
His Maiestie promittis … to hald hand to the execution of quhatsumeuir thing sall be concludit … be thame
1595 Conv. Burghs I. 460.
That the burrowis will haid hand to the pairtie fund maist ressonabil thairinto
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 237.
And she should hald hand upoun hir syde that they should not escape butt ... punishment
1603 Moysie Mem. 99.
His hienes … promisit to had hand, and sie that maiter repaired
1614 Highland P. III. 161.
I intret ȝow ȝit to hauld hand to that wark
1647 Elgin Rec. II. 259.
Their magistrats … , who were faithfull and painfull in halding hand to sie vyce punisched
1717 Wodrow Corr. II. 218.
I hope you'll hold hand to this History of the Sufferings

b. To bear hand to, To corroborate, bear out. 1590-1 Bruce Serm. (1591) F iij b.
Signs serue … first to beare hand to the trueth, secondly, to confirme the faith of the beleeuer

11. a. To put hand(is) to, to lay hands on, lit. and fig. 1455 Edinb. Chart. 81.
That the said Sir James sal nocht put handis na tak na vitalis at the port of Leth bot [etc.]
1495 Acta Conc. 419/2.
The lordis … deliueris that … the said James [etc.] … sulde put ther handis to the saidis landis and males therof
1518 Chart. Cupar A. II. 118.
The saidis abbot and convent … put hand to the saidis Johnnis fysshinge forsaid and intrusit thame selffis tharin
1526 Acts II. 312/1.
Waltir Scott … , with ane greite multitude of brokin men, lychtit in his hienes gaite, … tending to haue put handis to his persoune

b. To put violent hands on (later, in) a person.(1) 1489 Lennox Mun. 129.
Nocht … to put violent handis on any Cristyn prince
1549 D. Beaton Eccles. Hist. Caithness 320.
To deliuer Arche Keyth to justice for violent handis putting on Schir Alexander Mernis
Ib. 321.
Item, the violent hand putting on the curat
1593 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 85.
[He] patt violent hands on his wyff … and cuist hir our hir awin stair
1641 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 269.
Elspet Smith … convict for putting violent hands on Elspet Craig
(2) 15.. Aberd. B. Rec. MS. XV (J).
Maisterfull and violent handputting in his dekin
1582 Reg. Privy C. III. 560.
Having put violent handis in his awin persoun and privilie put doun and drownit himself
1597 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 129.
Archibauld Howat, quha … is fund … ane quha hes put violent handis in his father
1603 Crim. Trials II. 416.
Quhatsumeuir persone … invaidis ony minister, or putis ony violent handis in him
1629 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 41.
[The accused] putt violent hands in her persoun, band her armes with towes [etc.]
1649 St. A. Baxter Bks. 119.
And did put violent hand in the said Androw Lewingstone and strak him vpone the cheik with his hand

c. To put handis or hand in or on, = sense B 11 b above. (1) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1017.
O cruell Ded, so bald how durst thow be, To put handis in him that aucht the nocht
1533 Boece iv. xvi. 154 b.
Sum, eschaping violence of inemyis, planely in thare awne persoun put handis
a1578 Pitsc. II. 111/29.
Thay pat handis in the serwantis of God and brunt thame cruellie
1596 St. A. Baxter Bks. 59.
Johnne Grig molestit and iniurit Alexander Scharpe be wordis, boisting till haife puttin handis in him
1634 (17..) Black Sc. Witches 16.]
[William Mearns, … put hands on himself at the devill's instigation
(2) 1535 Stewart 27568.
So cruellie … For to put hand other in king or prince
a1578 Pitsc. I. 283/24.
Saying it was sin to put hand in ane consecrat bischope
1641 Kirkcaldy Presb. 202.
Compeired James Lorn who had confessed … that his sone had put hand in him
1701 Brand Orkney 14 (J).
Upon which Belus … , despairing of life, put hand in himself, and became his own executioner

d. To put hand to, = sense 10.Also, to put to one's hand, to lend a hand, intervene in some matter. 1568 Haddington Corr. 271.
Caussing him [Darnley] … to put hand to the murthour of our said domesticall [Rizzio]
1591 R. Bruce Serm. 289.
The magistrate, and in special the supreme magistrate, must put to his hand and make an end of this confusion
Ib. 395.
That he would put to his hand to redress these things

e. To lay (violent) hand(is on (upoun) a person or object, see Lay v.119 b.

12. To speid hand, or one's hand, to make, or get, ready quickly, to make haste. 1513 Doug. iv. x. 91.
Haue done, speid hand, and mak na mair delay
Ib. xi. v. 91.
The Rutilianys … sped thar hand, and maid thame for the fight
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4012.
Speid hand, man, with thy clitter clatter

13. To bere on (later, in) hand, to maintain, in various senses; to assert or contend; to assure; to continue in; to carry on, prosecute.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 62.
Thai bar all othir wayis on hand
Ib. xix. 142.
Vmphrevele, As I bair ȝow on hand eir-quhil, Com till the King
c1420 Wynt. viii. 4920.
As I have herd men bere on hand
Ib. ix. 546 (W).
The King Richart … Wes be his liegis borne on hand How [etc.]
1513 Doug. xi. v. 86.
Drances aggregis weill this thing And buyr on hand baldly befor the kyng
1553 Knox III. 373.
When … the Tempter durst beir Chryst in hand that he was not the sone of God
c1600 Montg. Suppl. 239/73.
Sanct James did beir the Jewis in hand … That Christ [etc.]
(2) 1513 Doug. vi. xiv. 40.
The … excedand desyre he bar on hand Of honour
Ib. xv. 103.
All the batalis and the weir, Quhilk eftir this he had to ber on hand

14. To tak on (rarely, upon) hand: To undertake, take in hand, take charge of. a. With simple obj. or absol. b. With infin. c. Later, also, To tak in hand.a. 1375 Barb. i. 268.
Wedding is the hardest band That ony man may tak on hand
c1450-2 Howlat 529.
His hardy men tuke the hart syne vpon hand
c1475 Wall. ix. 71.
In cursyt tym I tuk this cur on hand
a1500 Bk. Chess 45.
Schawin sall be … Quhat man that first this sporting fand And syne the caus quhy it was tane on hand
1513 Doug. viii. iv. 57.
Na maner wikkytnes … Mycht be, that he ne durst nocht tak on hand
a1500 Peblis to Play 116.
Thow art our blunt To tak sic office vpoun hand
1560 Rolland Seven S. 954.
Think on quhat ȝe haue tane on hand
absol. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 478.
Be na thing argh, tak ferily on hand
b. 1375 Barb. xiii. 368.
Thar sall nane of all Yngland To mak ȝow rescours tak on hand
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 673.
In Godis name thu tak on hand To … preche godis word alquhare
1424 Acts II. 6/2.
The commissaris … had tane on hand to mak the first payment
a1500 Bk. Chess 109.
For to correk the king he tuk on hand
1530 Soc. Ant. II. 393.
Gyf ony man will taik on hand to steik the ȝetts
1549 Compl. 122/3.
Ane … frere gat ane grit some of moneye … to tak on hand to sla the emprior
1571 Bann. Memor. 106.
I tuike on hand to give ane assay and to do that thing that was possible
c. 1545 Reg. Privy C. I. 21.
Patrik Erle Bothuell hes tane in hand to cause thankfull payment to be maid
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvii. 18.
Sa hie ane purpois for to tak in hand
1606 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 54.
Tua men of Dundie quha had tane in hand to clenge thair parochin of the said plague

d. In prohibitory ordinances: To take it upon oneself, to presume, to dare (to do the thing forbidden). Chiefly, To tak upon hand. 14.. Acts II. 3/1.
That na man tak on hande … to amuff or mak weire aganis othir
1436 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 4.
Gif ony takkis on hand to bye this vitaile of derrere pryce
1462 Ib. 20.
That na nychtboures … tak vpon hand to warne ony strangaris of the price of vittuallis in the cuntrey
1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 280/1.
That nane of ȝow tak apone hand to vex … the said Andro
1545 Reg. Privy C. I. 2.
That nane of our soverane ladyis liegis tak upon hand to refuise the said money of the prices forsaidis
1578 Ib. III. 16.
That nane of thame tak upoun hand to credeit the reportis … of the saidis personis
1622-6 Bisset II. 252/9.
That na man … tak upoune hand to depairt fra the schip … but the maisteris licence
1668 Salmon Borrowstounness 92.
That no persone … presum or tak upon hand … to exact or receave any more [etc.]

e. Parenthetically, I tak on (upon) hand: I venture to assert, I dare say. 1375 Barb. ii. 20.
[He] thocht ferly, ic tak on hand, That thai come hame sa priuely
Ib. xv. 213.
Schir Eduard, I tak on hand, Soucht thame … So felly, that [etc.]
?1438 Alex. i. 1108.
Quhom euir he hit, I tak on hand, He chapit nocht vnhurt
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 876.
Ye sall nane torfeir betyde, I tak vpone hand
a1568 Bann. MS. 50 a/78.
I tak on hand, fra thow be berd, Thy sectouris spendis thy gudis cleir

C. 15. a. A handle. b. A cuff = Hand-cuff n. c. The hand of a clock; also attrib. with quheill. d. A size of paper. The reference is perh. to a large or small hand as watermarks of different types of paper.a. c1475 Wall. vii. 78.
Baith hilt and hand [of the sword] all glitterand lik the glas
1505 Treas. Acc. II. 476.
For dighting of viij suordis, binding of thair handis
1506–7 Ib. III. 273.
Ane pan with ane lang hand for the prince
1582 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 236.
The watter mettis and land mettis … with bandis of irne, and handis for lifting thairof
1593 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 500.
To the dur off the ministeris ȝett … ane new hand with ane kneyit sneck, [etc.]
1600 Treas. Acc. MS. 50.
Veluet to be handis of the rakkettis and club schaftis
1636 Edinb. Test. LVIII. 37 b.
Fyve silver handis for gentilvomens fetheris
1702 Foulis Acc. Bk. 307.
2 sneckes and hands and keepers for closet doores
b. 1538–9 Treas. Acc. VII. 144.
Parys rubanis … for sark collaris and handis
1587 Ib. MS. 117.
Reid grograne to lyne the handis and the nekis of the coittis
1590 Thanes of Cawdor 197.
Tuydill to his plait slewis, … for tua ell of knettingis to the handis of them
1619 Crim. Trials III. 478.
Steilling … thre pair of handis, fyve overlayeris [etc.]
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII. 8 b.
Ane pair of silver glespes for shirt hands
c. 1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 191.
For gilting of the hand of the horologe
1621-40 Melville Commonpl. Bk. 29.
Of gryitt cloakes … the peas quheill that guydis the hand quheill
d. 1579 Edinb. Test. VII. 285.
viij rym of fyne litill paper, … xxiij rym … of paper of the small hand, … vj rim of paper of the greit hand

D. 16. attrib. Worn on or used for the hand; managed with the hand; suitable for carrying in the hand: as hand ball, bowett, caird, clames, creill, etc. 1549 Banff Ann. I. 26.
Braking dovn of the sklattis of the kyrk … be inordinatt playing with hand ball and fuit ball
1643 Edinb. Test. LX. 280 b.
Ane hand bowett
1679 Fawside Coal Compt 45; etc.
For a hand buckitt 00: 08: 00
- 1625 Edinb. Test. LIII. 114 b.
Ane paire of stoke cairdis and tua pair of hand cairdis
1644 Ib. LX. 376 b.
Ane pair hand cairdis
1600-1610 Melvill 30.
Hand & racket catche
- 1623 Orkney & Zetl. Test. I. 99.
Ane pair of hand clames
1658 Edinb. Test. LXIX. 150.
Tuo tubbes, ane hand creill
1644 Edinb. Test. LXI. 60.
Anelawer, ane handfatt
1611 Edinb. Test. XLVI. 253 b.
Four hand fedderis at fiftie schillingis the peace
1632 Ib. LV. 256.
Sex bussie blak hand fedderis
1643 Ib. LX. 270.
Fyve dossane of small hand fetheris
1673 Leith Customs MS. 7.
1 hand knife & scrue
1581 Argyll Acc. 15 June.
Subscryvit with my ladeyis hand pencil upone compt
- 1583 Elgin Rec. I. 172.
Thomas Purs, wobstar … , becom actit to work and wyff to Patrik Rattray tuentie hand plaidis
1540 Treas. Acc. VII. 400.
Ane litill hand ring
- 1666 Edinb. Test. LXXII. 150.
Ane hand rubber with ane blak brush
1643 Acts VI. i. 16/1.
Sufficient store of … spades, showles, pick axes, handrules and other materiallis
1643 Edinb. Test. LX. 279 b.
Twa hand sconces, … ane meikle wand skonces
1504 Treas. Acc. II. 293.
xxv elne Bertane clath to be … hand towales to altaris
1541 Ib. VIII. 43.
Four hand towellis to the chapell
1634 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 423.
Sevin dornik hand towells
1645 Edinb. Test. LXI. 134 b.
Ane littill hand tub luggit
- 1633 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II. 100.
To take from the occasione quhairby they cover the falsett and that is the presenting thereof [sc. plaiding] to the mercat in hand wobs ... therefore ... ane strict ordour sould be taken for presenting the same to the mercats layit in foldis or plaides

b. In or with the hand, as hand-money, -silver, -receved p.p. 1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 106.
I can nocht get of hand siluer for the boll iiij schillingis
Gif your lordschipe will tak sic tinsale betuix hand siluer and sa litile first
1674 Corshill Baron Ct. 121.
Lint seede, being hand receved from the pursuer
1685 P. Walker Biog. Presb. i. 96.
It will be best for you to block with him when you want hand-money

17. Handis, ? short for handismen, men who work with their hands, craftsmen: cf. Handy-labourar etc., and Handiscraft n. 1612 Orkn. & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 17 (30 July).
For fleschouris, fischeris, ... cordineris and utheris craftismen and handis within the said town

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Hand n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jan 2023 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: