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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
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Manhed(e, -heid, n. Also: manne-, (mand-) and -heide, (-heild), -hied(e, -head. [ME. man(h)ed(e (13th c.), appar. surviving longest in Sc. where it was the regular form.]

1. The state of being a human being, humanity, human nature. a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 527.
As is [Christ's] manhed wes dede
Ib. l. 375.
Wnsichtfull sichtfull schape can ta Of manheide
c1500 Makc. MS. iv. 15. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 314/4.
That Jhesus ioynit godhed & manhed
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 209, 1628. 1533 Gau 47/30. 1560 Acts II. 528/1. 1635 Dickson Hebrews 9.
The glorie of Christ's godhead was hid … by the sufferings of his manhead

2. The state of being an adult male person. c1420 Wynt. v. 120.
Till hys barnehede Was passyd, and entryde in manhede
a1500 Henr. Orph. 71.

3. The qualities becoming to a man: manliness, courage, valour, prowess, strength.(a) c1420 Ratis R. 1322; etc.
Mercyfull entent, Metly meswre withe manhed
c1420 Wynt. iv. 2388.
Fywe batayllis sere in his youthhede He dyde, and prowyd gret manhede
Ib. v. 465, 4417, etc. c1508 Ch. & M. Pr. ii b. 44.
Knyghtly manhede & schamefull couardise
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 69, etc. a1500 Lanc. 2934.
He wold wichsaif for loue of them this day In armys sum manhed to assay
Ib. 547, etc. a1500 Bk. Chess 442. 1513 Doug. ii. vii. 47. 1533 Boece i. ii. 34 b.
The Spanȝe chiftanis woundering the manhede of thai strangearis quhilk … made thame for batell
1549 Compl. 27/18.
Nocht … of manhede ar visdome
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1159.
Man of thy manhede mak thow na ruse
(b) 1375 Barb. xv. 151.
Thai war all of sic manheid That thai no dreid had of thar dede
Ib. i. 402, etc. 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 58.
Ȝoure hee wisdam discretion and manheide & ful honorable leaute
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1347, etc. c1475 Wall. viii. 908, etc. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1482 (Bann.).
A thowsand mys to keill … Is littill manheid vntill a strong lyoun
Id. III. 123/61 (M).
Quhen thy manheid sall mynnis as the mone
1492 Myll Spect. 273/4.
Semelynes of persone thi manheid and weilldoing in armes
1494 Loutfut MS. 129 a.
Quhilk is schawin manheid and strenth of body
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxix. 2.
Meid manheid [M. manhied] mirth and gentilnes Ar now in cowrt reput as vyce
Id. xlvi. 82. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 238, 275, etc. 1535 Stewart 9598.
Ȝe sall se als greit manheid and mycht In wemen now as ony vther wicht
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2213. 1567 Sat. P. iv. 148. a1578 Pitsc. II. 261/28. Ib. I. 14/4, 107/4, etc.
Taine be chance … and nocht be the manheid of the towne of Edinburgh
1580 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 173. c1590 Fowler II. 97/11.
Ane that proveth not a man of conduct or manheild
Ib. 164/2.
1614 Crim. Trials III. 292.
He that wald rewle heir hes both neid of wit and manneheid [Melrose P. 183, mandheid]
1626 Garden Worthies 16.(c) 1558-66 Knox II. 355.
The Quenis army, boyth in nomber and manhead, far surmounted his

4. The state of being another's ‘man’. = Manrent n. 1591 Bk. Carlaverock II. 497.
We [citizens of Annan] ratefie … our bandis of seruyce and manhead maid be ws … to the said … lord

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"Manhed n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Feb 2023 <>



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