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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.

Mo, a., n., and adv. Also: moe. [ME. (midl. and south.) and e.m.E. mo, moe, moe, moa (Ancr. R.), adopted in place of Ma.] More in number. = Ma, in various applications.

A. adj.a.(1) 1533 Bell. Livy II. 173/2.
Mo strang basteilȝeis … than [etc.]
1558-66 Knox II. 152.
That they sould nominate double moe personis then war sufficient
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 653. 1608 Conv. Burghs II. 252.
That in euerie brugh … thair may be … mo or fewar inns build
c1616 Hume Orthog. 16.
A syllab of ane letter, … a syllab of moe letteres
1624 Conv. Burghs III. 159.
Cheising of moe baillies then they hawe bein in vse to doe
1622-6 Bisset II. 310/20.
Mo than fyve hundreth bretherne
1688 Notes on Sermon by A. Shields 20.
The Lord bestowed moe and greater priviledges upon Scotland than upon any other nation
1701 Brand Orkney & Shetl. 72.
They have mo grey fishes in these two parishes then in others
Ib. 129.
Some hundreds of mo ships … then what now use to do
(2) a1500 Lanc. 1196.
He usyt haith mo hors than one or two
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 1300.
Thair is mo wayes to the wood nor one
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i. 32 b. 1617 Acts IV. 545/2.
Incace any tak … conteane moe lyverentis nor one
1649 Alyth Kirk S. in Sc. N. & Q. i Ser. XII. 75.(3) a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 304.
If ther be twell or moe spoons, he should have twell
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III. 95.
By four or moe sworne launded men
(4) c1450-2 Howlat 756.
Menstralis and musicianis, mo than I mene may
c1590 Fowler I. 82/148.
Betuix sa manye shrilling shouts and sobbis in number moe
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 146.
The king's commissione of 40 persones, mo or fewer
b. (1) 1554 Knox III. 101.
Who doubteth that Stevin wald not have labourit mo dayis in preaching [etc.]?
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxiii. 47.
I will not stand with mo words ȝou to deiv
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i. 37.
Gif anie man haldis lands in cheif of the King, the warde … sall … perteine to the King quhither the vassall hes moe overlords or not
1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas iii. 353.
Withowt moe words
1674 Cunningham Diary 43.
To buy 200 moe litle nails to my work, 8.0 d.
1695 Glasgow B. Rec. IV. 153.
And in caise any moe persons desyre to few [etc.]
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1716 (Ch.).
To … heir the maueis sing and birdis mo [: ago, fro]
a1500 Bk. Chess 942.
Garybald … as traytour … Was depryvit of his dayis mo [: also]
a1500 Lanc. 1228.
With-outen wordis mo [: fro]
1535 Stewart 13911, 42424, etc. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3066.
Thocht scho had mony a legioun Off men mo nor I tauld affore
1556 Knox IV. 113.
By infinit meanis mo
1581-1623 James VI Poems i. 33/267.
With witnes mo
1638 Henderson Serm. 388.
Get a burn-wood or two moe
1650 Strathbogie Presb. 127.
Sex scoir of men moe
1680 Rothesay Par. Rec. 54.
Everie stranger therin [to pay] ane xijd. mo ilk ane
?1661-5 M. Bruce Soul-Confirmation 13.
The soul confirmed man leaves ever the devil at two moe
(3) c1475 Wall. x. 977.
Schyr Amer hecht he suld it haiff … and othir landis mo [: to]
a1500 Bk. Chess 437.
Leiffand his wyf & takand vther mo
Ib. 429. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 136.
Melchisedech with other mony mo [: Plato, Cicero, go]
Id. Æn. i. Prol. 368.
With many hundreth other termys mo
Ib. iii. iv. 6.
With all the otheris harpyes mony mo
1531 Bell. Boece I. viii. 1535 Stewart 59485. Ib. 2942, 16923; etc.
And other mo he loissit in that steid
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 52. c1552 Id. Mon. 4659. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5890.
With mony relicks mo
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxx. 148. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 20 (L).
With mony beistis mo
c1590 Fowler l. 79/53. c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxiv. 55.
Bot we haue ressonis money mo
c. 1689 Cramond Kirk S. III. 6 Dec.
Two toun lands or one town land where there are moe tennents or inhabitants

B. n.a. (1) c1616 Hume Orthog. 27.
Number is distinction of person be one and moe
16.. Rudiments 2 b.
Number: … men ar of the plurall, because they signifie moe
(2) 1535 Stewart 28825. Ib. 53316.
Into the chace that da wer slane far mo Nor in the feild
1558-66 Knox VI. 141.
But the Erle of Arran hath both written and spoken to moe, alace, than to one or two
c1590 Fowler I. 160/1.
Newe wondar of the world, one mo then seaven
Ib. II. 152/20.
If ane prince … tak mo than ane in conseil of his affairs
1655 Cramond Kirk S. 6 Feb.
Considering … that the sessioun were not able to sustane any moe nor they sustaine presentlie
(3) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxi. 2.
Quhome to sall I complene my wo, And kyth my kairis on or mo?
1614 Breadalbane Doc. No. 401.
Court or courtis ane or moe to sett affix and hald
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 290.
If ane burges have two wyffes or moe
1650 Glasgow Wrights Acts 6.
[If an elected officer] sall fall into any ane or mo of the foirnamed vyces … ther place is … declarit vacant
1668 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 45.
Any two or moe … of the toun officers
(4) a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 581.
The moe she entise to be her followers, it is the greatter dittey
b. (1) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2152.
Off namis thay had ane houndreth mo
1563-72 Ferg. Tracts 42.
Nor cast any mo of owr pretions pearles before your filthy swyne
1584 Cal. Sc. P. VII. 517.
And many mo of the nobeletie
16.. Ouchterlony in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 39.
Lethnet & … Lochlie both highland countries but pay a great rent in moe, besydes casualiteis, of cowes, … wool &c.
1637 Baillie I. 8.
A signature wherein … many moe of their rights … are confirmed
(2) a1500 Bk. Chess 2127.
Knychtis two, Ane quhyte and blak on euery part no mo
c1508 Ch. & M. Pr. vii. c. 26.
Dauid that slew the gyant Golyas And mony mo
1535 Stewart 7762. a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 119.
I sall For euer luif ȝou and no mo
1640 Z. Boyd Lett. Comf. 5.
All these considerations and many mo
1680 Lauder Observes 9.
Some affirme ther ware many mo against it
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II. 219/32.
For I did sie it my sellff with mony moe
c1590 Fowler I. 111/190.
To sie gif thair war anye moe then these that I did knoe
1610 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 156.
Manie moe cam in my handis
(3) a1500 Bk. Chess 1438.
All craft as woll ledder and weile mo
a1500 Lanc. 2956.
Whar that one hundereth knychtis was & mo
a1500 K. Hart 42. 1585 James VI Ess. 16.
Bot thow [Neptune] has fishes lyke to them and mo
c1590 Fowler I. 16.(4) a1605 Montg. Misc. P. lii. 29.
Uncourtesly thus keill thay [sc. women] mo than I
1649 Kingarth Par. Rec. 17.
There was present moe nor herselfe
(5) c1590 Fowler I. 150/2.
Ten thousand wayes love hes enflamd my harte, and nature greivd me with far moe agayne
c1616 Hume Orthog. 22.
Ther may be moe, and these I yeld because I ken noe other waye to help this necessitie
1656 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II. 188.
For his pentioun and for new wark by the moe which is contained in the silver compt
(6) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2547.
Pirrus And his broder withoutin mo
a1500 Bk. Chess 513. 1535 Stewart 59161.
Withoutin ony mo
15.. Clar. v. 2615.
The lord apairt went with him but mo
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4715.
Thre ky withouttin mo
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. vii. 46.
O myn but mo!

C. adv. — a1500 Lanc. 110.
And that is suth, and sal be euer mo

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"Mo adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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