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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mene, Mein(e, v.1 Also: men, meyn(e, meen, menn, mean(e, meaine, meaynne, maine. P.t. and p.p. menit(t, -yt, mein(n)it, -et, meynit, meanit, -et; mened, -id, mean(e)d(e, meynd, meind(e, mynded; ment, meant, mentit. [ME. and e.m.E. mene(n, meene, (north.) mein (Cursor M.), p.t. mende (13th c.), meenede, mened (14th c.), e.m.E. meaned, mente (14th c.), e.m.E. meant, p.p. meened (15th c.), e.m.E. meaned, y)ment (14th c.), e.m.E. meant, OE. mǽnan, p.t. mǽnde, p.p. (ᵹe)mǽned.]

1. tr. To intend, purpose (something, to do something, that something be done, etc.).Also intr. or absol. Weill-menyt, = well-intentioned.(1) (a) a1400 Leg. S. xxiii. 368.
Quhas menis thu ws to beswyk?
c1420 Ratis R. 315.
To men the gud, leif the contrare
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1242. 1535 Stewart 60722.
To brek that band or ȝit sic thing to mene
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8867.
Scho meruellit greit quhat Alexander did mene [: sene]
Ib. 4061. Ib. 8285. 1562 Edinb. Hammermen 252.
1570 Sat. P. xxi. 1.
Quhat menis thir mischant murtherars In muifing mair mischeif
Ib. xvii. 14. 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 70.
Mening not to faill in playing hir part
(b) c1475 Wall. viii. 1254.
1513 Doug. ii. i. 55.
Quhou gret wodnes is this at ȝe now meyn [: weyn]
Ib. iv. Prol. 100.
Quhat, is this lufe, nys luffaris, at ȝe meyn [: betweyn] Or fals dissait?
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlviii. 153. 1573 Wemyss Corr. 94.
I persaife that yee meyn nocht to assent
1588 Douglas Corr. 239. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1397.
I mein now, convein now The counsell ane and all
1600-1610 Melvill ii.
Never to mein to acclame againe the tytle … of thay teinds
a 1624 Edinb. Univ. MS. La.ii.319.
Thowe meine to mowe me into mirth
(c) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 26.
That thai meane na vther thing bot the deid of the King and Quene
1587 Aberd. Trades 331.
Gif they mean to leif by their said craft
(d) 1618 Mar & Kellie MSS. Suppl. 84.
We maine also to remain … till [etc.]
(b, c) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 432.
For ought they ment [: went]
a1500 K. Hart 149.
Quhat thing ȝour peple ment [: sent]
15.. Clar. iv. 2227. 1558-66 Knox II. 424.
Thai nevir ment to devyde thame selfis from the sociatie of thair bretherin
(b) 1533 Boece viii. xii. 276 b.
That his flattery menit nocht ellis but fraude
15.. Clar. i. 920.
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8049.
Ib. 8458. 1562 Reg. Morton I. 9.
I knaw … my brother hayd nevir meynit sic thing to my displaseur
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 515. Ib. 521.
Seing na maner of just tryall tane nor menit to be takin for the cryme
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 82. 1577 Reg. Privy C. II. 608.
Howbeit the said unworthy oppressioun is meanit to be concelit, cloikit and worne up
1586 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 468.
1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 24.
I have never meinnit inuartlie bot that quilk I have professit outwartlie
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxi. 13.
‘Mercy, madame’, me thocht I menit to say
1600-1610 Melvill 531.
1603 Reg. Privy C. VI. 577.
1618 Sc. Brigade in Holland I. (S.H.S. xxxii) 290.
I nether menit the father who is hurt nor the sone who is deid any harme
(c) 15.. Christis Kirk 89 (B).
As man that no ill meynd [: freynd, teynd] Bot gud
1584 Gowrie P. 37.
It was never mened against his estait, persoune, or autoratie
1591 James VI in Purves Revenue Crown Introd. xxxviii.
In the morninge I see nathing menid but to gurne
1600-1610 Melvill 37.
Giff sa he meinde indeid … to essay my resolution I can nocht tell
1696 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. IV. 320.
Seeing it has been so meaned amongst the parties, that at least some deed should be excepted from the warrandice
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 992 (W).
For scho trowit bot honeste Bot all other wayis menyt he
c1475 Wall. viii. 1510.
Me think ye meyn bot weill
a1568 Scott xii. 2.
As I mene, so tak me
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xxviii. 9.
Sho meinit weill, I grant, hir mynd wes guid
1652 Stirlings of Keir 493.
The Inglishe … quhilk will houghe thes who meane honestlye
(3) c1475 Wall. xi. 1041.
I haiff spokyn … Wyth thair chyftanys weill menyt for your lyff

b. To intend (to go), to direct one's steps, to make one's way. c1450-2 Howlat 2.
At morne as I ment [: blent] Throw myrth markit on mold till a grene meid
c1530-40 Stewart Bann. MS. 265 a/5.
Furth ouer the mold at morrow as I ment [: bent] Withowttin feir to tak the helsum air
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 19/12.
So I amongst the paths vpon that hill … Did stay confusde, in doubt what way to mene [: grene]

c. fig. To intend to follow (a certain course), to incline (in a certain direction). 1582-1603 Colville Lett. 4.
Thir ar the most part of the greit men that menis his way

2. To intend to convey or indicate, to mean to say, to have in mind, when using some words, gesture, etc.Also that is to mene (= to say).Passing into next sense.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xi. 253.
Nane to spek a word had Na takyne mak quhat thai cuth mene With hand na hed na with ene
Ib. xv. 89.
Gyf ȝe will wit quhat ve meyne
Ib. xix. 187.
Fore quhat seruice thow menis I ne vat
?1438 Alex. ii. 3833.
Quhat he menit thay vnderstude na thing, For thare was doubill vnderstanding
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1283.
That best … Wyst rycht noucht quhat scho wald meyne Bot wend hyr bourd hade manans bene
1456 Hay I. 292/27.
Ande ȝit alssua Sanct Peter menyt be his teching, that the name of king was mare excellent na the name of emperoure
1490 Irland Mir. I. 55/9.
Quhar he [sc. St. James] menis that pacience agane aduersite is throu wisdome and sapience
a1500 Seven S. 1783. 15.. Dunb. App. vii. 9. 1513 Doug. i. Prol. 139.
Grantis quhen twelf ȝheris he had beyn diligent To study Virgill, skant knew he quhat he ment
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 123/6.
And ȝe vill diligentlye considder quhat phrais and maner of spekynge menis thir vordes, sayand [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8657.
Na wayis mening that of ȝour grace I tire
Ib. 10510. 1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii. 140.
Ȝit botis & hummis declaris ȝow quhat I mene [: wene]
1562-3 Winȝet I. 18/15.
Quhat we meanit to be immediatlye callit of God
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 239.
Thei meane not heirby that ony impunitie suld be gevin to sic
1596 Dalr. I. 46/27.
Thay quha quhat thay speik meines contrare
a1599 Rollock Wks. II. 76.
Pilate grows somewhat angry, that Christ should have meaned that the sentence should have proceeded from him
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2771 (Bann.).
From wolffis byt, I mene extorceneiris
c1500 Fyve Bestes 43.
In more effect of this mater I mene Thir brethir two in euery man thai bene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxv. 4. 1513 Doug. i. Prol. 80.
This maist excellent buke, I meyn Virgillis volume
Ib. 381. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Prol. Romans 339/28.
1531 Bell. Boece I. 117. 15.. Clar. iv. 1116. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1507.
He menis quha straikis cruellie Aganis the law
1560 Rolland Seven S. 888.
The sternis I mene, to be mannis conscience
1567 G. Ball. 79. a1578 Pitsc. I. 176/17. 1622-6 Bisset I. 15/5. 1661 Galloway Synod. Suppl. in Wodrow Hist. (1828) I. 128.(3) 1560 St. A. Kirk S. 44.
Mening the ministeris
1638 Dumbarton B. Rec. 54. 1673 Kingarth Par. Rec. 86.
But not meening Isbel N'Kaw; … Depond Cirstine N'Kaw that Margret Fleming meand Isobel N'Kaw
(4) 1446 Rec. Earld. Orkney 51.
Our saillis, that is to mene the seill of bischop
(5) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 101/21.
Sen be the name of eldaris … expreslie is meanit bischoipis [etc.]
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 8. a1650 Row 105.
In the fourth article is meaned the King of France and Duke of Guise and other papists there
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III. 46.
The articles of Pearth, … are contrarye to the Confessione of Faithe, as it was meaned and subscrybed 1580

b. intr., const. of or be (by).Passing into 3 b below.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiv. 13.
So mony preistis cled vp in secular weid … It is no neid to tell of quhome I mene [: sene]
Id. lxxxvii. 39. a1538 Abell 7 b.
The fischaris menit … of wermyne … But Omeir trowit thai spak of thare fische
a1550 Ave Gloriosa 5.
Off thé, Mary, I mene
1562-3 Winȝet I. 3/11. Ib. 44/19.
Sleipand sterismen (we mein of the pastores of the Kirk)
Ib. 45/17 marg.
1563 G. Hay Confutation Abbot Crosraguel 17 b.
That the Fathers neuer did meane of no such magicall consecration
1558-66 Knox II. 413.
The speikare allegit that he menit not of all mynisteris
Ib. VI. 190.
For of us and our doctrine it is plane that my lord [sc. Abbot of Crossraguel] ment and meneth
a1568 Scott xxiv. 5. a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xciv. 4. 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 35. 1576 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 350.
The said act means only of ministers … and is not meaned of bishops
1599 Crim. Trials II. 87.
The actis of parliament … is nawyis menit of sic as abaid att all tyme att his maiesteis obedience
1603 Dalr. II. 418/11. Philotus xlvi. 1631 Justiciary Cases I. 195.
That gif the defence meanit of the tressone relaited be the Loird Reay
1638 Henderson Serm. 132.
But it was another whom the king meant of
1649 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I. 427.
The defender … should not be meaned or understood of making her tocher equal with the eldest
(2) 1570 Sat. P. xix. 8.
Gone is the joy … of this natioun, I mene be James, Regent of Scotland
1585 James VI Ess. 63.
For thais quhilkis ar cuttit schort, I meane be sic wordis as thir
Id. Dæmonol. 59.
The rest of them that the Scripture speakes of is not meaned by a locall remaining continuallie in one place

c. ? To seem to convey by one's appearance, to make a show (as if something were the case). — a1500 Sir Eger 1213.
He … hailsed her … And in his visage could he mean As he before had done her seen

3. tr. To convey, indicate or express in words, to declare, relate, say, tell.In some later instances of (1) not certainly distinguishable f. Mene v.2 4.(1) 1375 Barb. x. 736.
Of this takyne that I meyne [: queyne = queen]
a1400 Leg. S. i. 418.
Quhat I think to me he men [: bene]
c1450-2 Howlat 255.
Sen it was menit [Asl. menyt] to ȝour mynd and maid manifest
Ib. 583. c1475 Wall. xi. 1354.
A clerk thai set to her quhat he wald meyn [: keyn]
1490 Irland Mir. II. 146/11.
And this menys the apostil Sanct Paule in the epistil … to the Romans [etc.]
a1500 Lanc. 510.
If we the trouth shal mene
1513 Doug. ii. i. 30.
Heir stude the army of Dolopeis, sum wald meyn [: cleyn]
1533 Boece iv. xviii. 161.
Sangis & rymys … menyng the lawde and glore of thare victorios prince
1535 Stewart 19879.
In this same tyme now that ȝe heir me meyne [: quene = queen]
1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 183.
I traist the sacryter hes menyt in hys syfeyris writin to the beschop of Dunkell that this Frenche man … will dyssyr [etc.]
a1568 Bann. MS. 218 a/21. Knox Hist. (1732) 181 (Jam. (1808) s.v. Mene).
We will (as of befoir) mein and declair the caus unto the haill nobilitie
1567 Sat. P. iii. 73.
And Maddie meinis scho did in Setoun sing
1568 Sempill Ib. xlvii. 42.
Bot I heir mony mene thame Catholik virgenis of the holy congregatioun
1575 Waus Corr. 102.
And quhar ye mein tharin that my aent … vas meining to yov that thar vas swm sortting your company rathar to [etc.]
1600-1610 Melvill 250.
And when I haid come twyse or thryse na thing was meined to me of that mater be the King
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. Prol. 14.
As yhe hawe herd me befor meyne [: qweyne = queen]
c1450-2 Howlat 44.
With mair murnyng in mynd than I meyne may
Ib. 157.
All thus in May as I ment in a mornyng
1513 Doug. vi. v. 22.
For in a god the age is fresch and greyn … immortall as thai meyn
1535 Stewart 47021. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4941.
As planelye menis the apostill Jhone
a1568 Bann. MS. 287 b/29.

b. intr. To speak or tell of: cf. 2 b above. a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 1316.
Thare he had sene Hyre fyrste that I of to ȝou mene
Ib. xxi. 487. ?1438 Alex. ii. 64. a1500 Henr. III. 114/6 (Makc.).
A mery man that al of myrtht cowd mene [: grene]
c1475 Wall. ii. 300.
‘Of litill hard I meyn [: bene. kene, seyne, teyne]’
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxiv. 12. 1533 Gau 46/17.
He menit of the tempil of his body
1535 Stewart 56894.
This gude Douglas quhome [of] befoir I ment
a1585 Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. xlv. 34.
My fingeris failleth me To wryte or dyte of mirrines to mein [: bein]
1567 G. Ball. 190.
This wind sa keine that I of meine
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl. 97.

c. tr. Also appar., to express by gesture only. — 1560 Rolland Seven S. 1043.
With humbill hart to him menand I dar not speik for feir of deid

4. a. tr. To believe, suppose, think, be of the opinion.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi. 105.
Haffand scham that men suld meyne Scho sa auld with barne suld bene
1533 Boece ix. xx. 341.
Na man menyt that the quene … wald consent to slachter of hir awne husband
a1538 Abell 112 b.
His lady Margaret eftirwert remanit in company with king Hare and sum menit at thai wer mareit
a1578 Pitsc. I. 31/4.
Evirie man menit that it sould redound to his gret hurt
Ib. 44/11.
[He] gaif command … that no man in his companie menitt sic thing, lat be to speik of the samin
(2) 1567 Sat. P. v. 45.
Ȝe had done wrang as sum men mene [: sene, kene, sustene] Hir to withald agane hir will
a1605 Montg. Sonn. lvi. 10.
Suppose the solids subtilis ay restrantis, Vhich is the maist, my maister, ȝe may mene [: contene]
Id. Misc. P. xiii. 33.
Love maks a man, I mene, Mair semely to be sene
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 182.
Knots of straw and things (as they mean) off the way to heaven

b. intr. To have mind, consider, reflect, think (up)on or of (something), to bear in mind, to recall, remember. Also refl. and tr.(1) 1375 Barb. xii. 269 (C).
Menys on ȝour gret manheid
Ib. xv. 351 (E).
Lat ilkane on his lemman mene
Ib. xvi. 525. a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 1392.
Quhen [he] that fellone beste had sene & namely as he cane one mene
Ib. xxvii. 703.
I … wat, gyf ȝe wil one meyne, That I al-way has besy bene [etc.]
Ib. 1161.
That he meyne one & thochtfull be Of his hicht that he mad to me
?1438 Alex. i. 1524.
Quha-sa had sene him … Vpone the best knycht he mycht mene [: sene; F. souvenir]
Ib. 2109. a1500 Sir Eger 1814. 1513 Doug. xi. Prol. 172.
All thocht hys lord wald meyn [: bene, weyn, betweyn] On hys old seruyce
Ib. x. xiv. 15.(2) 1375 Barb. xii. 291 (E).
Bot quhen I mene off your stoutnes
a1400 Leg. S. i. 54.
For ay he grate, quhen h[e] cuth mene [: ene] Of his master swet spekin[g]e
(3) 1442 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 397.
It is to mene apon that … Robert Masoun and Gilbert Masoun oblist them … til a honourable knight
(4) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 881.
reflex. Menis thé nocht of the ewangel That in the kirk is red vmquhile Of Mary
(5) c1420 Ratis R. 1209.
tr. And tendirly always meyne [: clen] That resone gevyne vas to al men To gare vs [etc.]
?1438 Alex. IV. 442/26.
That ȝour name may for ȝour bounte Amang men of gude menit be

c. tr. To reckon, calculate; to plan. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 77 (A).
Giff ony man chalange ane other … & menys his scathis til i c. merkis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 964 (Bann.).
Perplexit thus in to his mynd can mene [: ene] With falsheid quhow he mycht him self defend

5. Only in Elgin: ? To declare, name (a person, as elected to an office). 1541 Elgin Rec. I. 64.
Allexr Wynchistir [etc.] … war menit and chosine baillies of this bruch
1547 Ib. 91.
The qlk day the haill communate hes electit and menit Sanct Geill thair patroun provest

6. Of an event etc.: To betoken, portend, signify. a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 670.
Thai wyst nocht quhat it [sc. a child] suld men [: sen]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 850 (Bann.).
All meruailand quhat sic a cry suld mene [: grene]
c1475 Wall. xi. 620.
‘Quhat menys this?’ rycht sodandly he said
a1500 Seven S. 352.
Schir wait ȝe quhat this tale may meyne [: quene = queen]: This tre is ȝow
a1500 Lanc. 159. 1513 Doug. vi. ix. 59. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 409.
Me thocht I saw cum … Ane greit otter, … Quhat this suld mene I can not say
1540 Id. Sat. 1420. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 531.
The Empreour than heirand all thair sawis Quhat sic thing ment of the mater and caus
Ib. 2557. 1567 G. Ball. 37.
Quhat menis all This glaidnes and this merynes?
c1590 Fowler II. 25/6.
Quhat menit sic horribill handling & cruel demaning of me?
1596 Dalr. II. 6/1.
Bot quhais pietie they skorne, thay wist quhat it meinet or the morne
1600 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXVI. i. 21.
‘Chalmerlane, Jesus! quhat menis the mater?’
1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 257.
Quhat menis that ye wret that I am a comissioner? … How cam that to pass or what can it meine?
a1650 Row 462.
What meanes this long caudie rapier, this short skarlet cloake and all this gay graith?

7. Of words etc.: To have a certain signification, to import. 1513 Doug. i. Prol. 379.
Quhilkis [sc. Latin words] in our langage suythly, as I weyn, Few men can tell me cleirly quhat thai meyn
1533 Gau 83/21.
For quhen he ramembers thay wordis with the quhilk he prayis and quhat thay meyn sua he man leiff the wordis and think quhat thai meyn [etc.]
a1568 Scott i. 82.
Thai lute thy liegis pray to … paintit paiparis wattis nocht quhat thai meine [: betuene]
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xxi. 5.
Quhair is the blythnes that hes bein … Daunsing singing game and play Bot now I wait nocht quhat thai mein [: schein, sein]
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 315.
For thine heart … wist never what the taste of mercy meaned
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 164 (W).
I langit in luiffis bowe to schuite And wist not quhat it meind [: obteind; Wr. mean'de]
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xii.
A trigram of D.M.S., a diton that meaned, Diis manibus sacrum
1646 Culross 214.
They confessed they used some words which a begger used them, they not knowing what it mynded

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