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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.

Mis(s)our, -ur(e, Mus(s)our(e, n. Also: mys(s)-, mwss-, mus(s-, mos(s)- and -our(e, -or, -er, -ir(e, -uyr. [Var., only in Sc. and only after c 1500, of Mesur(e n.]

1. Measure, measurement, in various senses of Mesur(e n.(1) 1531 Vaus (1531) 4.
Dictionis that signifyis missure of quantite, distans or space
1570 Lanark B. Rec. 52.
Tua of thair toun … come and tuik the rycht mussour of our prencipall stain within our brucht
(2) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1378.
Ane richt cubeit … Off misour now mycht be ane ell
(3) 1680 Maxtones 45.
If your showes do not fit … send your missour quhen yee send againe
(4) 1513 Doug. ix. vii. 91.
So that my schote and myssour may go rycht
(5) 1642 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 53.
Anent the misoure of the coales
1702 Culross II. 44.
Establishing of the pryce … and missure of great coall
(6) 1620 Laing Chart. No. 1838.
[Two chalders oatmeal] girnell missoure
1650 Aberd. Council Lett. III. 177.
Then the Hollens misor ocht to be maid usse of
1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 140.
[Four chalders victual] of the misour of Linlithgow
1670 Aberd. Council Lett. V. 71 (see Met p.p. 1 (1)). 1670 Kirkcudbr. Test. 13 May.
Fowr pecks of beir small missor of Kirkcudbright
(b) 1532 Wigtown B. Ct. 266 a.
That naye wyne be sold bot with the mvssovre of Edynbrucht
1587 Montrose Baillie Ct. 4 July.
Fywe barrellis salmound … of the stand and mwssour of Montros
(7) 1523 Wigtown B. Ct. 142 b.
And at na pewder myssour be vsit nor sald bot wyth wyne
1524 Ib. 155 b.
Selling with fals missour
1533 Boece 28.
How the king … ordanit mettis and myssuris
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6189. 1587 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 118.
The visitoris to haif ane comoun misour, the quantitie of ane ladell
1600 Crim. Trials II. 194 (see Gage v.2)1603 Inverness Rec. II. 5. 1606 Glasgow Merchants House 100.
The remanent of the stopis and missors to be brocht in and markit
1608 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 295 (see Jadge n. 1 (c).) 1615 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 563.
For vsing of ane vther misor nor wes givin him
1629 Dumbarton B. Rec. 32.
That nane sell meill [etc.] … with ony uthir missirs bot the new prik straik missirs
1632 Edinb. Test. LVI. 23 b.
Two misseris for strong watteris
1644 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 706. 1649 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 80. 1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 267. 1656 Glasgow Bakers 90.
That the height of the said [mill] dame … sall be of the height according to ane missour in the clarkis chalmer
1656 Nicoll Diary 189. 1658 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 95.
(b) 1530 Wigtown B. Ct. 235 b.
That naye ayll be sald vith treyne pevder mvsovre
(8) 1577 Waus Corr. 160.
And in speciall to remember of the small missour that his lo. will allove
1638 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 565.
That the said James King … hes takin of everie seck … ane loik … vnder pretence of voluntarie gifting thairof to him or his servandis attour his appoyntit missour
1643 Strathbogie Presb. xxi.
I intended to give my hors a misure of oates ther
(9) a1500 Lanc. 1828.
Suppos his larges sumquhat pas mysour
1513 Doug. vii. v. 59.
Abuf myssour [Sm. myssuyr] forsuyth thai chastyit war
plur. 15.. Clar. ii. 1620.
Richt … plesant ower missours [: flours]
(10) 1513 Doug. x. viii. 154.
O manis mynd … Can not be war, nor myssour hald with thé!
1583 Waus Corr. 275.
Quhilk sall satisfie your l. as reasoun and missour wald
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 315.
He that forsakes missour, missour [MS. measur] forsakes him
(b) a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. ciii. 27.
With musoure spend thi geir
1575 Annandale Corr. 274.
Qwhat thay ordane ws to do … accordyng to mossor, that we wyll do
(11) 1600-1610 Melvill 29.
Giff I haid atteined to anie reasonable missure thairin [sc. in the art of music]
1596 Ib. 366.
The mair feilling of the soares of sinne, the graitter missoure of grace
Ib. 632.
That the heirer … be punisched in the samyne degrie and missure as the principall offendaris
Ib. 146. 1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 275. 1665 Carstairs Lett. 158.
In good missur
(b) 1615 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 258.
In sum mussour

b. Fals missouris, ? ‘fraudulent standard measures’, hence fig., means of defrauding or deceiving, deceits. — c1420 Ratis R. 729.
I am nothir monk nore frere That can discryf thar [the Seven Deadly Sins'] fals missourys Sa weil as sum wis confessouris

c. A portion or endowment of ability, ‘gifts’: cf. (11) above and Mesur(e n. 8. — 1583 Melvill 158.
That the guid ordour of the Kirk … hes bein brought to sum mediocritie of perfection sa far … as the smalnes of that missour quhilk God hes bestowit upon us might attein unto

2. a. = Mesur(e n. 9. b. A poetical ‘measure’, metrical arrangement, metre.a. c1550-c1580 Art of Music 1.
Misur quhat is it. It is of a certane moving vith alternatie be ane equall straik or ain choip distinctlye proporcionat. Throw the quhilk all nottis and pausis of sangis for the qualitie of everie sing or figur ar in mensurall proportion deducit
15.. Clar. ii. 1655.
The duilse, base fiddell, with the recordour Assayit war and set at ane missoure
c1590 J. Stewart 256 § 222.
Ane fleing bird … sang Thir sequent verse, and held the missour lang
b. 1600-1610 Melvill 23.
Of the missours and cullors of Scottes ryme

3. To tak, do missour, ? to make necessary arrangements, take necessary steps to some end. ? orig. ‘to take the measure of’, ‘size up’ (a situation) with a view to appropriate action: cf. Mesur(e n. 1 c and F. prendre des mesures in similar use. 1562 Bk. Carlaverock II. 480.
The said Christe to abyd at the sam and to tak and do missour thairintill as thai disserne
c 1575 Annandale Corr. 273.
Gyf ye ples to pont ane tryst and do mossour and tak mossour
1586 Maxwell Mem. II. 24.
For your lordship's caus he wald do missor and maire

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"Misour n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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