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

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

Happin, v. Also: happen, happyn(e), happyin, appin, hap(p)ne, hapin, hapyn, haippin. [ME. happene(n, hapene, (north.) hapne, hapin (c 1300), appar. f. Hap n.; the early examples are chiefly northern.]In the perfect tenses. originally conjugated with the verb to be.

l. intr. To come about (by chance); to occur, to befall. In various constructions.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 392.
Fore thu mycht sone peryste be Be storme that hapnis in the se
c1420 Wynt. iv. 796.
Efftyr hope hape hapnys quhille
Ib. vii. 2435.
And gyve thare hapnyd ony let
c1420 Ratis R. 859.
Tuichand the dispocisioune Hapnand of thi conseptioune
1513 Reg. Privy S. I. 379/1.
Throw suddand fire that hapnit in his hall and chaumer
a1540 Freiris Berw. 370 (B).
Sa grit a mervell as now hes apnit heir
a1578 Pitsc. I. 31/20.
The chance happnit better nor ony man supponit
(b) 1391 (1473) Lennox Mun. 44.
Twa thousand marcis … , at the resonable termez, as the tymiz hapynnis
1409 Exch. R. IV. p. ccx.
In case that outhir controversy or bargane happyn amang thair men
1493 Lindores Abbey 179.
Anentis the bludwitis that happynnis in the said burgh
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 224.
A hache is happinit hastely at my hert rut
1533 Boece iii. xvii. 115.
To knaw gif the myscheif … was happynnyt be his myscheant goverment
1567 Acts (1597) 19/7.
When controversie then happines
(2) 1375 Barb. v. 248.
Gif thé hapnys ony thing
c1450-2 Howlat 1001.
Thus on a tyme be Ternway Happinnit Holland
c1420 Ratis R. 1781.
Sum hapnis gud, & sum ill
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 528.
This vncouth aventur quhilk airly me happinnit
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 30.
With schamefull hungir [that] sal happyn our menȝe
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 834.
Greit conquerouris … , Hes hapnit siclike aduenture
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1893.
Is happinnit vs ane wonder cruell cace
1596 Dalr. II. 20/18.
That sum tyme mycht hapne him quhat than hapnet thame
(3) c1420 Wynt. iv. 1922.
Quhat the oys is seldynyare It hapnis all the cruellare
Ib. vii. 243.
How ewyre hapnyd off hys endynge Bot dowt he deyd or he wes kyng
?1438 Alex. ii. 2425.
Thusgate of me hapned is
Ib. 4026.
Lat fall how euer may happin syne
a1540 Freiris Berw. 379 (B).
Symone saw it appinnit on this wyis
1570 Sat. P. xiii. 201.
Gif sa hapnis
(4) 1375 Barb. vii. 400.
Swa hapnyt it that on a day He vent till hwnt
a1400 Leg. S. i. 464.
Sa happinnyt than … Thar wes dede lyand a ȝong man
Ib. xix. 55.
Syne hapnyt a day, a menstrale Come before the kinge
c 1400 Wemyss Chart. 37.
Gif it hapnis that ony of the said partis sustene … scathe
c1420 Wynt. v. 2783.
In swylk pres it hapnys ay That we ar starkare
1456 Hay I. 133/10.
For it hapnis oft that men takis landis be force
1478 Peebles B. Rec. 183.
Geff it happynnis that the said sir Wylyam … decessis
Ib. 191. 1535 Stewart 35563.
Thus fortoun wald it hapnit vpone cace This Elgaryn wes tane
(5) 1375 Barb. xi. 644.
Quhethir him happin to vin or los
Ib. xx. 148.
Gif thame hapnyt vardanys to be
1396 Scot. Ant. XIV. 218.
Gif yt sal happyn the … erle til pay the forsaid soume
1428 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 271.
Gywe it happynis me to qwyt out the lands
1469 Acts II. 94/2.
And it happin the byare to sell again the samyn land
c1475 Wall. i. 289.
With gentill wemen hapnyt thaim to pas Off Ingland born
1513 Reg. Privy S. I. 380/1.
Gif it hapnis thaim to be molestit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7597.
In his hand it happinit him to haif His awin byknife
1640 Edinb. Test. LIX. 191.
If … it sall happin her to convallas
(6) 1393 Reg. Morton II. 190.
Gif it hapnys to distrenȝe noucht agaynstandand this grant
1445 Peebles B. Rec. 10.
Gif it hapynnis ony of the anowrnments to be analy it
1476 Ib. 181.
Qwhat tym it hapynnis the forsaid seruice to wac
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 265/2.
For al the tyme … it happinnis the said landis to be in his handis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 196.
And it happin the samin wad to be stollin

2. To have the hap, to chance (to do or be something). With (a) personal, and (b) non-personal, subject.a. a1400 Leg. S. xlix. 17.
Be the wyndou hapnyt sit … A damycele
c1420 Wynt. iii. 143.
He hapnyd to cum to that stede
Ib. iv. 763.
Suppos I happyn to be slayn
1426 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 202.
The qwhilkis [heirs], as God forbede, happnand to falleye
1468 Acts II. 92/2.
Gif ony … hapynnis to be seeke or absent
1542 Exch. R. XVIII. 51 n.
Be oure grete custumare … that sall appin to be for the tyme
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 19.
Als ane young man … hapnit to droun
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 239.
Giff ony … happnis to make ony ryding in reiff
1599 Fraser P. 156.
The tennentis quha sal happin to occupy the samen [landis]
b. c1420 Wynt. vii. 2224.
Off Cawntyrbery that yhere the Se Hapnyd wacand for to be
1456 Hay I. 42/30.
A day hapnit to cum about him … a cloud
1547 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 253.
In cace the said pece happin be chance to be tane
1582 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 138.
[At] the dairest pryces that the … burdis sall happin to gif … at the tyme
1680 Inverness Rec. II. 283.
All the voluntar contributiones that shall hapin to be uplifted & receaved be the collectores

3.To chance to be or to come.(1) 1458 Peebles B. Rec. 126.
The first service that sal hapyn vacand
c1475 Wall. iii. 14.
Fude was hapnyt der
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 85.
Quhair ony persoun happinis seik
1557 Prot. Bk. A. Gaw 44.
To marry his son … wyth the said Jhon Huggonis dochtir that happynis as bettir chaip … than he may have otheris
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlv. 20.
Ane colt of ane gude stude oft happinis best
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 6852.
The Marschalle … Hapnyd amang thaim in melle
c1475 Wall. v. 351.
Scho … tald his eyme that he was hapnyt thar
a1500 Rauf C. 330.
Gif thay micht heir of the King or happin quhair he lay
1513 Doug. ii. vii. 32.
He felt hym self happynnyt amyd his foyn
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 213.
I … dar nocht be plane in this wreittyng becais I feir it haippin in wrang handdis
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 47.
Methocht I hapnit on ane montane sone
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 249.
So in Sanctandrois happened then Ane callit Scot
Ib. 895.
He happened on ane vther man
1596 Dalr. I. 205/14.
Thay beleiuet that na … wickitnes culde happne vpon S. Ninian

b. To happin out, To chance to say. a1578 Pitsc. I. 209/6.
He [sc. James III] hapnit out wnhappelie and said ‘I was ȝour king this day at morne’

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



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