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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Horning, vbl. n. Also: horninge, -yng, -eing, hoirning. [ME. (in sense 1) hornyng (1421–2). Cf. Horn v.]

1. Fitting with horns (in sense 1 d) or horn. Also attrib. with studie (anvil). 1496 Treas. Acc. I. 259.
Bocht ij vnce of rubanis to be poyntis and lasis … Item, for horning of the samyne
1503 Ib. II. 212. 1506 Ib. III. 394.
To Simon Glasfurd buklarmakar, for hornyng of foure tergatis
1512 Ib. IV. 273.
To Johne Mayne, bower, for seasounyng of the kingis bowis, … glewing and hornyng of thame
1579 Edinb. Test V. 352.
Ane horning studie
1645 Ib. LXI. 118.
Certane double and single plaits for horneing of poynts

2. Law. The process of putting a person, or the fact of being put, to the horn.(a) 1536 Acts II. 350/1.
Thaim that sustenit sik procesis of hornyng ȝeir and day as said is
1563 Stirling Chart. 213.
To send eist Robert Forester … to purcheis suspension of hornyng purchest be the vicair
1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 303.
He obtenit suspensioun of the saidis horningis upoun certane frivole caussis
1582–3 Ayr B. Acc. 36.
To Nicolas Scherar for his expenssis … quhen he ȝid ovir with horning upoun Irvin
1622-6 Bisset I. 227/16.
In complayntis of dowbill horning, … the complinare to eschew the danger of dowbill payment
1643 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 10.
The bygane vnlawes collectit … be vertew of the hornings alreadie raisit
1678 Soc. Ant. XXX. 21.
All executions of horneing, poynding and warding … and the horning to pass on ane single charg of six dayes onlie
fig. 1692 Presb. Eloq. (ed. 2) 85.
If ye will have him, I will take him with horning and caption for you
attrib. 1563 Annandale Corr. 271.
The said James producit hornyng letteris vpoun yow
(b) 1572 Prot. Bk. A. Lawson 20.
Johnne Carkettillis vnhabilitie to mak lawchtfull renunciatioun of the landis … be reasoun of his convictioun and hoirning
1583 Reg. Privy S. III. 603.
Ane pretendit hoirning led aganis him
1587 Acts III. 496/2.
Hoirningis or vther actis of parliament
1607 Crim. Trials II. 534.
The Justice is nocht iudge to the nulling of hoirnings

b. Freq. in the phrase under the pain of horning. 1545 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 224.
Chargeand all nychtbouris … to returne againe to the same [town] … under the paine of horning
1561 Treas. Acc. XI. 91.
The Shereff of Forfair to mak payment of the soume … awand be him … under the pane of hornyng
1596 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 182.
Urgeit vnder the pane of hornyng for payment … of four hundreth and xl li.
1637 Baillie I. 4.
This all the Churches in Scotland are commanded to doe against Pasche nixt, under the paine of horning
1663 Decis. Lords G. 51.
Nor was the parricide cited to compear … under any higher pain than the pain of horning

c. Letters of horning, letters in the Sovereign's name charging the persons named in them to make the payment or performance ordered under the penalty of being put to the horn for disobedience.‘They are directed to messengers-at-arms … , who are ordered to charge the person, against whom the letters are directed, to pay or perform in terms of the will of the letters, which must be consistent with the warrant on which the letters proceed.’ (Bell.) 1525 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 223.
And [= if] thai do in the contrare heirof … the toun will putt the Kingis lettres and proces of hornyng till executioun upoun thame
1562 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 340.
He … obleist him that na executioun of his saidis letteris of horning suld be maid … in the meyntyme
1582 Conv. Burghs I. 151.
Letters of horning aganis … Air for allegit non payment of thair brig stent
1622-6 Bisset I. 241/10.
Quhensaevir any letteres of horning ar presented to the clerk of registeris deput, or schireff clerkis, … to be registrate in thare buikis [etc.]
c1650 Spalding I. 125.
The committe of the assembly cravit letteris of horning aganis the excomvnicat bischopis
1684 Acts Sederunt 5.
The Lords … ordained letters of horning and poynding … to be direct against such deficients

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



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