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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.

Kirk-ȝard(e, -ȝaird, -ȝeard, n. Also: kyrk- and -yhard(e, -yeird, also -yard(e, -yaird(e, -yeard. [North. ME. kyrke-, kirkeȝerd(e, kyrkȝerd, -yarde (14th c.), ME. churche-, chircheȝerd, -ȝeard, early cyrceiærd (1154).] A churchyard.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxiv. 167.
In a kyrk-ȝard done sat he … & ilke day thigyt his lyf-led
c1420 Wynt. v. 2446.
Dynys … Fyrst kyrk-yhardys ordanyd
Ib. viii. 4195.
The ost, that in the kyrkyharde lay
1450 Peebles B. Rec. 15.
Al thaim qwhais bodys beis beryst in this kyrk or kyrkyhard
1482 Bamff Chart. 31.
In Sanc Rynganeis chapell in the kyrkyarde of Alytht
1503 Acts II. 252/2.
That ther be na merkate nor faris haldin … within kirkis nor kirk ȝardis
1513 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 26 b.
That all maner of man cum to the kirkȝard qhen ane fraye hapens
1529 Rec. Earld. Orkney 59.
[They] tirffit thame in the saids kirkis and kirk yards … breking of the privilege of the girth
1533 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 149.
Georg Annan pvndler of thair kirk yard
1551 Hamilton Cat. 51.
Siclike supersticion … that will nocht berisch … thair freindis on the north part of the kirk yard
1561 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 106.
Because … that the kirk yard is nocht of sufficient rowme … ane buriall place [to] be maid farer fra the myddis of the toun
1594–5 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 160.
Actioune of remoiving … aganes the tennentis of the new kirk yardes
1672 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 281.
Ane considerable plate of ground round about the saids kirks, commonlie called the kirkyard
(b) 1551 Old Dundee II. 305.
That all cramers, … come to the kirkyaird … and big their stands and tents there
1567 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 229.
To caus steik the gret yet on the est syde of the kirk yaird sua that the laddis get na interes
1568 Ib. IV. 255.
[In time of pest] that the buriell be maid in the Grayfreir kirk yaird … of deipnes sevin fute
1595 St. A. Kirk S. 808.
That nane … pak nor dry skynnis, in the kirk yaird, nor fyle the samyn
1633 Orkney Bp. Ct. 87 b.
Be taking of ane stone for the ebb and vther for the hill and the third for the kirkyaird
1640 Acts V. 278/1.
The presbyteries … to appoynt stent maisteris for reparatione of kirke and kirkȝairdis
c1650 Spalding I. 136.
[They] buskit … thair muskattis round about the dykis of the kirk yaird
1659 Dunferm. Kirk S. 54.
A little peace more rowme of the kirkyaird for the sole of his oven
proverbs a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. 956.
Like to die mends not the kirk-yaird
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1840.
Ye trow I dar never say the kirk stands in the kirk yaird
(c) 1560–1 Edinb. O. Acc. II. 121.
For helping the fowsis of the kirk yeard
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 133.
Conventionis with wiches, … in kirk yeardis, corse gettis, lawis [etc.]
1620 Breadalbane Doc. No. 437.
Na persone haid powar … to … tak away aney buriell stane aff any graive in the kirkȝeard
1650 Strathbogie Presb. 121.
The kirk yeard is miserablie abused by the minister his horse and cattell … till it is vorse then a taxfold
1677 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 297.
All litle stones in the kirk yeard put wp for poynting out … the graves
(d) 1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 176.
Thir gudis following belangis to the kirk yeird: … ane flesching buird [etc.]

b. Attrib. with bray, close, dur, fee, gers and in Kirkȝard-dike and Kirkȝard-stile. 1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 355.
To put away the rede of the kirkyard bray
1560 Ib. III. 66.
The southe kirk dur callit the kirk yarde dur
1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 163.
The lok of the kirk yeard dur
1564 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 181.
[To remove] his stanis liand at the fut of the kirk yaird close
1599 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 93.
The presbiterie … findis … the said toun … to have intermellit with the said kirk ȝard gers … and declairis the same to belang to the kirk
1654 Dunferm. Kirk S. 44.
That the kirkyaird fees … be advanced … to meet expences

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



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