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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.

Knave-chyld, Knafe-, Knaif-child(e, n. Also: knaw-, kneave-, knaf-, knaif-, knayff- and -child, -chyld(e, -cheld, -cheild. [ME. cnave-, knave-child (c 1175). Cf. Knave-barnn. and Knave n. 1.] A male child.(a) 1375 Barb. xiii. 693 (E).
Thai gat … Ane knaw [C. knaiff, H. man] child
15.. Clar. i. 1030.
Gif ane knave chyld war I
1655 Canisby Kirk S. in Old Lore Misc. V. iii. 131.
If it be a kneave child a scharpe sword to his briest bane
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xii. 68.
[Scho] saw … A far knafe cheld thare-in ly
Ib. xxiv. 104.
Syne dyliuere was that nyld … of a knaf chyld
Ib. xxvi. 1030, etc. Ib. xl. 641.
A man … that … one his wyf a knafe child gat
(c) 14.. Acts I. 28/2.
Gif ony man … gettis with hyr [his wife] a knayff chylde or a maydyn
c1420 Wynt. ii. 562 (W).
The knaif child suld be put to dede
Ib. 1487. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 219/1.
Deliuerit … of ane knaif child that liffit nocht ane houre
1560 Rolland Seven S. 65.
Ane knaif chyld of him scho did consaue
1586 St. A. Kirk S. 578.
Ane horsman … begat the said bairn, being … ane knaif cheild

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"Knave-chyld n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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