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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.

Her(e, Heir, v. Also: (ere,) heire, heyre, heer, hier, (hir,), hear. P.t. and p.p. herd(e, hard(e, horde, haird  (quot. 1566, sense 6 a); Pres. p. herand(e, erand(e .[ME. heere(n, here(n, OE. Angl. héran, WS. híeran, hýran.]

1. Intr. a. To have or exercise the faculty of hearing. a1400 Leg. S. x. 62.
Thai tuk fra men the sycht, And for to here to haf na mycht
 Ib. xx. 356.  Ib. xxxvii. 215.
Men … wele erande Sal haf na hape til vndirstande
   c1420 Wynt. v. 225.
[He] mad sic argument That all that herd … Off hys wyt had gret ferly
?1438 Alex. ii. 2403.
I haue nouther strenth nor micht To heir, to se
1456 Hay II. 162/13.
Thyne eye to se and thyne ere to here with
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xxix.
The Deif Stane, … the more he standis a dreich fra it, he heris the better
a1540 Freiris Berw. 280 (M).
He gane ane hoist anone. The gudman herd and sperit ‘Quha is ȝon?’
1562-3 Winȝet II. 55/26.
Teche it in hidlingis, leste the warld heir
1630 Kirkcaldy Presb. 44.
Thairby four scoir women … will be easit both to heir and sie

b. To hearken, listen, give ear. 1375 Barb. i. 445.
Quha likis for till her, The romanys now begynnys her
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 682.
A man sulde here weill ore he ansuerys and mak hym, quhilum, to nocht here at he heris
c1475 Wall. viii. 1650.
I thé besek … To the berer ye her and gyff credance
1513 Doug. iv. vi. 112.
As the mater requiris, a litil heris
1657 Balfour Ann. III. 48.
A petition … by the eldest sonnes of noblemen … anent licience to them to sitt in the housse and heire

c. To here of, to hear, listen to. 1456 Hay II. 93/2.
Na that thai war sa irkit to here of his our lang speche
a1500 Henr. III. 106/4.
Suet wes the voce and cleyr: It wes grit ioy to heir of sic ane thing
a1500 Bk. Chess 29.
Sum lykis wele to heir of menstraly

2. tr. To hear, in usual contexts and constructions. a. With direct object denoting or implying sounds or utterances.(1) 1375 Barb. xii. 544.
Quhill men mycht her … A gret frusche of the speres that brast
Ib. xiii. 35.
Men herd nocht ellis bot granys and dyntis
c1420 Wynt. vi. 1213.
The Empryowre … , Herd a woce … Oppynly sayand on this wys
Ib. vii. 1277.
The modyr … , that herd the cry
c1500 Rowll Cursing 237 (B).
At hellis ȝettis … sic reirding That it beis hard in middilerd
1513 Doug. iii. iv. 37.
Thar voce also was vgsum fortil heir
1533 Boece ix. vii. 303.
Oure all the feildis herde war the granis … of woundit men
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4014.
Sic sorrowfull lamentatioun Wes never hard
1642 Spalding II. 101.
The countrie people … hard nichtlie tovking of drumis
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 3781.
I wyll pas, and here quhat he … wyll say to me
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 683.
A man sulde … mak hym, quhilum, to nocht here at he heris
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 344.
Thou … blaberis that noyis mennis eris to here
1513 Doug. xi. vi. 169.
Hys answer hes thou hard, as I haue tald
1533 Boece i. iii. 38.
The pepill hering the name of Symon … declarit him thair king
1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii. 90.
Ȝe hard ȝour self quhat Knox spak at the preiching
a1578 Pitsc. I. 61/7.
Mony wordis abhominable for to heir ȝe [have] spokin heir this day
1624 St. A. Baxter Bks. 86.
Quhilkis brethren vir present … and hard the said vordis
(3) a1500 Henr. III. 143/119.
Bakbyttaris to heir it is no bowrd
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 6.
Neuer ane blythfullar birde was on the beuche harde
1513 Doug. i. vi. 37.
Nane of thi systeris dyd I heir ne se
1562-3 Winȝet I. 124/14.
Gif ȝe allege that the sanctis heiris ws nocht
c1590 J. Stewart 88/306.
Bald barking doggis also did he heir

b. With the object accompanied by infin. or participle.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 734.
Men mycht her wemen hely cry
Ib. xvi. 504.
As ȝe forrouth herd me tell
a1400 Leg. S. i. 262.
Quhy dredis thu For to her me of pece spek now?
c1420 Wynt. v. 4810.
Efftyr that he had wonnyn Pers, As yhe befor herd me rehers
1456 Hay II. 92/35.
For his … wyse speche his folk desyre … to here him speke
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 875.
Thai harde the meikle fore tour fall
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2485.
Auld dosinnit carll, … , I heir thé lie
c1590 Fowler I. 20/13.
Than Fowlars laude so lowde I herd them sound
1604 Elgin Rec. II. 120.
Scho hard another bevest hir ringand a girdell
(2) c1420 Wynt. vi. 2168.
As I hawe herd red in the Wangyle
?1438 Alex. ii. 2003.
Quhen the ladeis hard him sa louit
15.. Clar. v. 609.
When that the Duike … hes hard taulde Of this wading
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 68.
The quenis grace hard ane psalme song
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun xi.
Quhen he reidis or heiris red the nobill actis
(3) c1420 Wynt. ii. 762.
As ye herd before be talde
a1500 Henr. Bl. Serk .
I hard be tald Thair was a worthy king
c1475 Wall. i. 20.
Of Wilȝham Wallas ȝhe haf hardbheyne tald
1513 Doug. XII. xiv. 114.
Thou had forsuyth, as I haue hard be tald, … sik a fader as is he

c. With ellipsis of the object, with the verbs say, tell, speke, in various phrases.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 348.
Quhen the emperoure herd say That Placydas wes … Went of the towu
c1420 Wynt. v. 2068.
Quhen the empryoure herd telle That Frans agayne Rome wese rebelle
1456 Hay I. 77/16.
Sum lufis, and sawe neuer bot herd speke of ane othir
a1500 Rauf C. 15.
Him betyde ane tempest that tyme, hard I tell
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 153/14.
Thai herd neuer speike of sic merwallis befor
1545 Hamilton P. II. 554.
I heir saye thair will mony of thaim ga
1562 Fam. Rose 239.
Gif we heir tell that ony … rebellis beis ressett within your boundis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1075.
Oft times I haue hard speik of ȝour bewtie
1596 Dalr. I. 171/22.
Sik a taxte as nevir befor was hard tel off in Scotland
1630 Blair Autob. 83.
The Separatists … , hearing tell that there was a people zealous for the Lord
1688 Peebles B. Rec. II. 123.
Any of the neighhbours … that sees or hears tell … that their neighbours have been upon their grass
(2) ? 1405 Brit. Mus. Vespas. MS. F VII fol. 86.
Thar has grete commissaris of ȝouris and vtheris grete … poynctit trewys langare in lyke effect to contynw … , as I heir say
c1420 Wynt. vii. 3318.
This mowyd the Kyng off Norway In Scotland to cum, as yhe herd say
Ib. vi. 2222 (W).
As men heris in the gospell tell
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3541.
Moyses, that tyme, as I heir say, Ressavit the law
1603 Philotus cv.
For oft the goddes, as I hard say, Hes done the lyke

3. In various phrases, esp. legal formulae.(1) 1379 Douglas Chart. 28.
Till all that thir lettres herys or seis … gretyng in God euer lestand
1392 Lennox Mun. II. 48.
Be yt made aknawyn til al that thir lettrez herys and seys, that [etc.]
1419 Wemyss Chart. 44.
Til al men at there present lettres sal here or se
1466 Acta Aud. 3/2.
The lettres, euidentis [etc.] … beand at lenth sene, herde, & vndirstandin, the lordis ripely avisit decretis [etc.]
1490 Reg. Paisley 61.
Thare richtis, ressons, and allegations at lenth sene, herid, and understandin
1503 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 662.
To here & se ane act & decrete gevin be the lordis of our consale
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 351.
The compt of Johne Symsoun … [being] hard, sene, red, and ryplie avisit on
1594 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 61.
Seing your comptis ar hard and allowit
1630 Kirkcaldy Presb. 13.
The Presbytrie … ordaines thir last resons to be sein and hard be the Presbytrie
1667 St. A. Baxter Bks. 134.
Quhill first the pairtie … be lawfullie warnit … to compeir … to heir and sie the complaint givin in against him
(2) 1487 Melville Chart. 246.
I sall nouthir here, se, nor wit his skaith, … than I sall warne him thairof
c 1494 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 353.
That nathir of tham heir nor wit the tothirs … scaith bot he sal warn him tharof
1545 Wemyss Chart. 171.
We … sall nothir wytt, see, heir, nor vnderstand his dammage nor skaitht, … bot sall reuele the sammin vnto him
1606 Grant Chart. 202.
That nather of the saidis parteis sall heir, witt, or sie wtheris … skaythis, … bot they sall aduerteis wtheris thairof
(3) c1420 Wynt. v. 4944.
Wyth hym twa carlys chargyd was To se and here and bere wytnas
1509 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 66.
Thomas Crag … deponit … that he bistud, hard and saw and for witnes was tane quhen [etc.]
1534 Rec. Earld. Orkney 218.
The forsaid witnes provs … that they hard and saw Michall Myrreman … grant … that he was thankfully … payt

4. To hear (tidings, etc.) of someone or something, or from someone. 1375 Barb. ii. 184.
Off thar nobleis gret affer, … Ȝe sall her na thing now for me
a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 144.
Clement … cuth nocht here Of fadir na modir tythand
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiii. 7.
Quhat tythingis hard ȝe thair?
1551 Corr. M. Lorraine 345.
I thocht it neidfull to breik with my lord governour gife he harde ony thing of this sclander
1550 Corr. M. Lorraine 339.
Yowr grace hes horde off the taking off the provest off Edinbruchg
  1552 Buccleuch Mun. II. 210.
Hard ȝe ony tythennis of the Lard of Bukclucht?
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 72.
Wee will heir tydance, peild Polwart, of thy pow
1660 Red Bk. Menteith II. 162.
Ȝour Lordship hes possiblie heired sumquhat fra Sir James

b. To get to know, by hearing; to become informed of. Nocht hard = unheard-of. 1375 Barb. ii. 163.
Quhen the Bruce had herd his will
a1400 Leg. S. i. 146.
Mony other … , That herde this resurreccione, Trowit in God
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1256.
In it ar changys sere, That ferlyffull ar for to here
1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 147.
Sua that in defaute of ministratioun of ȝour office we here na rychtwys complaynt in tyme to cum
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiv. 5.
Sic hunger, sic cowartis, & sic cummer Within this land was nevir hard nor sene
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 404.
Heryng vtheris indigence, I may the more haif patience
1562-3 Winȝet II. 33/2.
Strange errouris quhilkis thow misknew and is new and nocht hard [L. inauditi]
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun ii.
The things I have hard or sein in my awin tyme

c. With clause as object.(1) 1375 Barb. xvi. 463.
Quhen thai … has herd How that the Dowglas with thame ferd
a1400 Leg. S. i. 98.
With that sanct Paule … hard quhow Petir presonyt wes
c1420 Wynt. vii. 491.
Offt yhe have herd, off me That yhe suld betresyd be
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 750.
Oft tyme has ben hard, that a gret cete has ben segit
1596 Dalr. II. 470/28.
His eldest brother … , quhom he hard was now fettirit in Caluines girnes
1614 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 238.
I heir his maiestie gatt a fyne … goshalk
c1650 Spalding II. 451.
Ye heir … how Montrois cumis to the Bog
(2) c1420 Wynt. vii. 2803.
Fra that the Byschape … , As yhe before herd, peryst wes
1535 Stewart 284.
Scota his wife … Ȝeid with him als … , as ȝe sall heir
a1578 Pitsc. I. 193/33.
Thinkand weill that thay sould … returne fra the King … as thay did efterward, as ȝe sall heir

d. To receive information or tidings of a person or thing. a1400 Leg. S. xi. 170.
Na towme haf I of sik thing Now for til her
c1420 Wynt. i. Prol. 3.
Mony yharnys for tyll here Off tymys that befor thaim were
?1438 Alex. ii. 5981.
Of sic ferlys hard neuer nane
1456 Hay I. 49/1.
Quhen the Romaynis herd of that mysfortune, thai war sa wa [etc.]
a1500 Rauf C. 330.
Gif thay micht heir of the King … To Jesus Christ thay pray
1576 Douglas Corr. 219.
A mater that … ȝe haue oft anewch hard of
1622-6 Bisset II. 354/22, 28.
I have harde of thé, and thy cuiris; … quhen I hard of these thingis of thé [etc.]
1660 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 194.
Haueing hard of ane meiting of the burrows [etc.]

5. To hear, with some attention; to listen or hearken to; to give a hearing or give andience to. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 90.
A man clymit on hycht To her hym
Ib. iii. 591.
Now her thou me, Sone of ded and iniquite
1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 163.
To the qwhilk … the Kyng answerit, saiand that he had weel herd and vndirstand his request
c1450-2 Howlat 233.
The dow … Was a corate to heir confessionis hale
1456 Hay II. 41/31.
He suld nouthir here na speke vicious spech
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 91.
He heris consail radely
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 755.
The word of richmen is better hard in scylens
1533 Bell. Livy I. 66/3.
Quhen the seriandis had … warnit the Albanis to here the Kingis concioun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2258.
Schaw me that tale, & blyithlie I sal heir ȝow
c1590 Fowler I. 394/12.
Ȝit hier the counsal of thy freind
1631 Strathbogie Presb. 2.
Robert Rime, elder, being summonit to haue hard a processe of excommunicatioune … , compeired not
c1650 Spalding I. 214.
The Scottish humelie desyrit his Majestie to appoint sum of the English to heir thair humill desyres

b. To listen to, kindly or favourably; to accede to, grant (a request, etc.). 1456 Hay II. 107/6.
Gif thai … makis thé ony request, here thaire prayeris
1490 Irland Mir. I. 56/33.
Traist weill thou sal be gracinslie herd, and optene thi … asking
Id. Asl. MS. I. 58/10.
God … will ws here als lang as the saull remanis in the bodye
1513 Doug. x. vii. 150.
The god hys askyn hard, as he dyd pray
1528 Douglas Corr. 134.
Besekyng ȝour hienes to dedeyne … to heir my brother glaidly
1567 G. Ball. 116.
He … heiris thame and forgeuis thair sin
c1650 Spalding I. 285.
They maid thair owne ansueris, bot wes not weill hard
Ib. II. 453.
Montrois … myldlie hard thir commissioneris

c. (He, they) micht or wald nocht, etc., here (of), refused to listen to, entertain the notion of, or consent to. a1500 Bk. Chess 79.
He … micht nocht heir of his correctioun, Bot his correkkaris all he slew thaim dovne
1570 Leslie 57.
Give he wald renunce his crowne … thay mycht … talk of peace … , uther wayis wald here of nane
a1578 Pitsc. II. 101/16.
It was thair awin pryde … that wald not heir no goode ressonabill affaris of the Inglischemen

6. a. To hear, in a court of law or administration, etc.; to give a judicial hearing to, to try (a person or a case). 14.. Acts I. 24/2.
In burgh sall nocht be herde bludewyt na ȝit stokisdynt
1456 Hay I. 190/12.
The injure that is done to the wyf is pertenand till hir husband and he salbe for hir part herd in jugement
Ib. 260/11.
Quhat ever he be that slais a man murtherabily … , he salbe herd to defend him be bataill
1467 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 403.
Quhasa euir brakis in ony of thir condicionis … nevir to be hard in prufe na witnes
1566 Peebles B. Rec. I. 303.
Gif ony nebur … hes just actioun to complen, that thai ma be haird for the awodin of sclander
1600 Acts IV. 207/2.
Immediatlie eftir this deponar hard [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. Table 62.
He quha first accuses, is first hard
1667 St. A. Baxter Bhs. 134.
Without convening his counsell or brethrin for heiring the persone who, as he aledget, had wrongit his traid

b. To audit (an account). 1488 Lanark B. Rec. 2.
The cownt of William Foster, rentmaister, herd of twa termys in the yer higane
c 1489 Liber Aberbr. 224.
That the countis off the officiaris be harde four tymys in the yeir
1546 Treas. Acc. IX. 22.
As the said Williames compte ellis harde and sowmit be ȝour lordschip heir present to schew beris

7. To attend and listen to (divine service, a lecture, etc.).See quots. 1666, s.v. Herar n., Hering vbl. n. c1420 Wynt. viii. 1857.
Nane othir serwys that day herd he
c1460 Vert. Mes 113.
The tyme of the mes that a man heris lenthis his lyf
1526 Acta Conc. MS. XXXVI. 19.
Eftir that he has herd mes and disjonit
1549 Compl. 13/8.
At sum tyme thai vald pas to the sculis, to heir the lecture of ane philosophour
1558-66 Knox II. 215.
But neathir shall suche as will applye them to hear the lawis, be compelled to hear medicine
1596 Dalr. I. 318/8.
In a monaster he entiris, quhair Abbat Richart … was abbat … vnder quhome … he harde al sciences

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"Her v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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