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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.

Moder, Muder, n.1 Also: modir, -yr(e, modre, modder; moider; mudir, -yr, muddir, mudr-. [ME. and e.m.E. moder, -ire, -ur, -re etc., mooder (15th c.), OE. módor, -er. Cf. Mother.]

1. A person's mother.Also fig.Also Quene-moder n.(a) 1375 Barb. iv. 241.
The Erll Ferrandis moder was Ane nygramansour
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 406.
For-thi wa tyd is ȝou … That ȝoure gud modir now mon mys
Ib. ii. 976.
Ib. vii. 691, xxxvi. 401. 1395–6 Menzies Charters 10 Feb.
To his lufyt moder
1409 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 73. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2588.
Moder als to Achilles
c1420 Wynt. v. 994.
Dame Cibeles That modyr off all goddys wes
Ib. 4817.
The modrys … Thare barnys wald for hungyre ete
Ib. 198, 2809. 1450 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 18.
Be the sight … of his modre
a1450 Fifteen Ois 144. 1456 Hay I. 295/22.
That thai governe thame till haly kirk as sone to moder
a1500 Henr. III. 147/31.
To be moder and madyn meir
1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 318.
His modir carnell
a1500 Bk. Chess 624.
Sic is the douchter as the moder beyne
Ib. 506. a1500 Seven S. 1477, 2703. c1500 Fyve Bestes 204. 1501 Treas. Acc. II. 104.
Giffin to Curryis modir
1513 Doug. iii. ii. 58.
To seik ȝour ald moder mak ȝou bane
1531 Bell. Boece I. 194.
The moder, desiring to bring hir sonnis to concord
1543 Reg. Cupar A. II. 25.
Becaus his fader and moder ar ald and decrepat
1551 Hamilton Cat. 186.
Quhen we war borne of our moder
1557 Banff Ann. II. 382.
Our deirest moder Marie, quene dowreare
1564 Edinb. B. Deeds MS. 148.
Mergaret Littill, moder to the said Williame Lausoun
1565 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 327. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 150. 1597 Douglas Corr. 40.(b) 1544 Prot. Bk. Sir J. Cristisone 88.
Gif the said barnis remanis nocht with thair moider
(c) 1406 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 64.
Til the said Dame Elizabeth his mudir
c1420 Wynt. i. 701.
Sum mudrys in that land alsua Berys bot anys
Ib. iii. 507.
His mudyr at his beryng Deyd
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxvi. 37.
Luke how the bairne dois to the muder
a1568 Jok & Jynny 14.
Muder, ȝone man makis ȝow a mok
1567 Echt-Forbes Chart. 113.
Our grandschir, gud sir, gud dam, muder and ourself
fig. a1568 Bann. MS. 342b/4.
Lusty May that mvddir is of flouris

b. Said also of animals. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1068 (Bann.).
Sa come the ȝow, the moder of the lam
1513 Doug. i. ix. 101.
Ane hundreth lammys and thar moderis
1531 Bell. Boece I. 39.
He … maid lawis that grew-quhelpis suld nocht line thair moderis

c. Said of the Virgin as mother of Christ.(1) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 79.
Of His modire syne sad I Sume thing tho it be rudly
Ib. v. 15. c1420 Wynt. ii. 234.
Oure suet lady. Goddys modyr. myld Mary
Ib. vi. 1176.
Be helpe of the virgyne pure, The modyre off my creature
1429 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 42.
To God and His modir Mari
c1450-2 Howlat 719.
Haile moder of our maker and medicyn of mys!
1456 Hay I. 3/5, II. 70/11. 1475–6 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 33.
Certane statutis … maide … for the honour and loving of Gode … and of His moder
c1475 Wall. vii. 388. 1490 Irland Mir. I. 151/20.
To be His lady and modere
Ib. 153/6. c1515 Asl. MS. II. 272/44. 1513 Doug. i. Prol. 456. 1532 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 59.
For the honour of God and His blissit moder the Virgen Marie
1535 Stewart 28495. Arundel MS. 286/226.
The moder of God stude besyid the croce drery
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 145/24.
Declarand the blessit virgine to be moder of God
Id. Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 155/23. a1568 Bann. MS. 32b/62.
His meik mudir
a1586 Lindsay MS. 8 b.
That he gif lowing to God and to His moder Marie
(2) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 2915 (Bann.).
I will go to Baquhiddir. It sall be Pasche, be Goddis moder, Or evir we meit agane

2. In the possessive and objective genitive. a.Without inflexion.So also in many ME. instances. In OE. the genitive normally coincided in form with the nominative.Also Moder thowng.Gud moder douchter, the daughter of a good mother. Moder barne, maternal half-brother or -sister; moder broder, sister, eme, maternal uncle, aunt or great-uncle. (Cf. ON. móður-bróðir, -systir.)(On, of) (the, his) moder half, side, (on, etc.) the mother's side (with reference to descent). (Also e.m.E. (1483) moder syde.)(1) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 459.
The child can snawil than, and grape The modyr pape
Ib. xxxvi. 404.
He In his modir wame mad gle
c1420 Wynt. ii. 213.
Jacob … throwcht hys modyre suggestyowne … wan his fadyr benysowne
Ib. 488.
And thare modyre banys ta
Ib. vi. 2242. 1507 Treas. Acc. III. 292.
To the Kingis offerand at his moder saule mes
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xix. 12. 1577 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 44.
Salfand the lyferent of Marioun Reddik his modder vse
(b) 1544 Prot. Bk. Sir J. Cristisone 88.
The said Besse Marsair … to remane with hir moider apone hir moider expens tua ȝeiris
(c) 1425 Montgomery Mem. II. 8.
Joyntfeftment of tuenty markis worth of his mudir landis
(2) a1500 Bk. Chess 621.
Will thow thi wyf cheis weile To the gud moder douchter se thow go
(3) 1563 Edinb. B. Deeds 82.
Johne Gemmill … brother and moder barne to the said vmquhile Mertyne
(4) 1513 Fam. Rose 183.
Valter Ross … moder broder to the said vmquhile Archibalde
1542 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 333. 1566 Prot. Bk. J. Foulis 106 b.
The said Robert … lauchfull air to vmquhile Johne Bischop of Brichen his modir brothir
1570 Leslie 28.
Edmond Duik of Somersett, modir brodir to K. James the secound of Scotland
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII. 47.
To Jonet Broun hir moder broder dochter
1580 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 174. 1596 Crim. Trials I. ii. 379.
Hir moder brother
1517 Acta Conc. MS. XXX. 106.
His moder sister sone
1533 Boece v. i. 162 b.
His antis, moder sisteris, sisteris germane, necis and … dochteris
1584 Argyll Fam. Lett. 67.
I leif the gouernament of my dochter Annas vnto … hir modir sister
16.. Hist. Kennedy 15.
Moder sister
c1420 Wynt. vii. 1784.
Oure Kyng off Scotland, Dawy be name, Wes … Henrys modyr eme
(5) c1420 Wynt. v. 3021.
On hys modyr halff a Brettowne He wes be kynd off natyowne
14.. Burgh Laws c. 7 (B).
Systris on the fadyrhalf or of modyr half
14.. Acts I. 40/2.
His frendis on the mudyrhalf and … on the fadyrhalf
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 89.
Johnne … as narrest of kin to the said Robert on the moderside
1575–6 Carrick Baillie Ct. 28 Jan.
Certane of the nerrest of his fader & modersyde
1584 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 320.
On the fathers syid, … on the moder syid

b. With inflexion.Cf. ONorthumb. mōderes gen.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 940.
For commonly thai [women] folow kynd And gretly to the moderis strind
1423 Wemyss Chart. II. 47.
To the sade Dame Cristyane my moderis landis
1490 Irland Mir. I. 68/11. 1495 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 317.
For the said Georgis fader sawll and moderis
c1515 Kennedy Asl. MS. II. 274/35. ?c1500 Rathen Manual 27/1.
All thai that fordois bairne consavit in modiris vaime
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxv. 37.
My clype … With moderis milk ȝit in ȝour mychane
1513 Doug. i. ix. 10.
All other thingis … Is now conform onto thy moderis sawys
Ib. iii. v. 95.
For cryme of his moderis slauchtir
Ib. xi. xi. 23.
Eftir hir moderis name
Ib. i. x. 62, iv. iv. 30, x. vi. 64. 1533 Boece ix. i. 288 b.
Ane barne in the moderis wame … was herd lauch
1553 Banff Ann. I. 31.
For his brother and moderis lair
1570 Conv. Burghs I. 16.
The Kingis modirreis … writingis
(b) 15.. King Berdok 24.
He saw Mayok milkand hir mvderis ky
(2) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2370.
Peleus one his faderis syde And one his moderis Licomede
1513 Doug. xi. vii. 107.
The nobill kynrent of hys moderis syde
c 1600 Paterson Ayr & Wigton III. 33.
As chief … be the muderis and guiddam syde

3. In various extended and fig. uses.a. As a reverent term of address or reference to a saintly woman or one regarded as having religious authority. b. A Mother Superior of a convent. c. An ancestress. d. An originator or source (of a condition or state of affairs). e. An elderly woman. f. Applied to one's mother-in-law.a. a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 307.
Spirituale modyr, quhat-sa thu be, For Godis sak schau thé to me
Ib. 785.
Modir als of haly kyrk To safe synful that wil nocht irk
b. 1571 Acts III. 59/1.
Landis … in few … of the priouris or prioressis moderis and conventis of sindrie frieris and nunnis places
c. c1420 Wynt. i. 83.
That woman … that Eve we call, for scho wes modyr of ws all
a1568 Bann. MS. 273 a/351.
Our first muder
d. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 397.
Dame Aueryce … That moder is of alkyne wice
c1450-2 Howlat 747.
Thow moder of all mercy
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 74.
Thow … The fathir and moder of morthour and mischeif
e. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 313/24.
The auld moder leugh quhen the angell said scho suld consaif
f. 1589 Reg. Privy C. IV. 444.
His hienes, invited be his darrest moder the Quene of Denmarkis … letters

4. Applied to things, more or less personified.a. Said of the church, as man's spiritual mother. = Moder Kirk a. b. Said of the earth, as giving birth to mankind. See also Mother earth. c. Said of a country, as giving birth to its natives. d. Said of a quality or condition which ‘gives birth to’, ‘nourishes’ or gives rise to, another.a. 1416 Liber Melros 539.
Til alle the sonnys of oure hali modir the kirk gretyn in God aylesty
1470 Wemyss Chart. 97.
Be law of our modir haly kirk
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 78/18.
I haue offendit God my creature and my modere the haly kirk
1514-6 St. A. Formulare II. 104. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 33/4.
Returne … to your awin moder Godis kirk
b. c1420 Wynt. ii. 502.
I can be na way trowe That othir modyre have we nowe Than the erde
1533 Bell. Livy II. 231/20.
This erd that we call oure moder
c. 1513 Doug. iii. ii. 11.
Delos … the moder … Of the Nereydes
d. c1420 Ratis R. 1253.
Cowatice That is moder of ilk wyce
1492 Myll Spect. 274/11
The moder of lechorye is ydilnes

5. In combinations.a. Appositive: fig. That is a source or fountainhead (of a river, stream or the like). b. Objective in modyr-slaar (also e.m.E. (1483) modyr slaer).a. 1325 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 547.
Incipiendo ad inferiorem finem de le Modirlech qui vocatur Gramos et sic ambulando [etc.]
14.. Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 246.
The modermyre
c1515 Kennedy Asl. MS. II. 273/25.
The moder se fludis lochis and wellis
1576 Inverness Rec. I. 249.
The burne to haif the passaige as the auld moder burne had of befoir
b. a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 462.
Nov is the barne sa borne Modyr-slaar

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"Moder n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Feb 2024 <>



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