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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.

Mort, n. [ME. and e.m.E. mort(e, (c 1330) death, (a 1500) the hunting note, (1592) the skin of a sheep or lamb that has died, (1658) a corpse, F. mort, L. mors, mort-is.]

1. A dead body, a corpse. ? Chiefly with allusion to the occasion of the obsequies: The corpse, at a funeral. a 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 159.
Ane burd and tua trestis for the mortis
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 214/13.
And all his bowallis come out and thus he endit his lyf awfully & offerit ane mort to Mahovne
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1294.
Quhilk is the ȝet that we call now the port? Nocht bot our graif to pas in as a mort
1533 Boece xi. vi. 416.
As mort or dede carion … he was in derisioun to his propir servandis

b. Obsequies, a funeral service. 1555 Crail Ch. Reg. 64.
Ane blak stand of duble wyrset for mortis, viz., thre caippis orphest with reide satyne
Ib. 65.
Ane baitkyne for mortis of blak duble worset

c. A fee for a funeral or for something connected with it, ? a burial-fee. — 1569 Crail B. Ct. MS. 21 June.
And the said sir George sall haif the half of the mortis alanerlie

d. Attrib. and comb.: = Funeral.Mort-caip, a cope for the service for the dead. Mort(-glas, -ring), = for funerals, funeral, mourning-.Mort-money, = c above.Mort mumlingis, ? mumblings over a corpse, mumbled prayers for the dead.Also Mort-bell, -clathe, etc.(1) 1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 359.
To mak twa mortcaippis, xj elnis ½ Lyllis worsat
1641 Edinb. Test. LIX. 269.
Certane glasis … vineigar glasis morte glasis ventois glasis
1661 Ib. LXX. 17 b.
Four mort ringes and thrie cornelian ringes
(2) 1667 Jas. Stuart Hist. Sketches Fowlis Easter (1865) 134.
That the persons who were resting the vacancy mortmoney to the box be Mr. William Kyd should be spoken to
(3) a1568 Scott i. 92.
Mantand mort mvmlingis mixt with monye leis

2. ? A death's head, = Mort-hede n. a 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 156.
For the stule tua baltkenis mortuaris ane of blak sylk and ane of arress with a mort

3. Death, slaughter. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i. 834.
That lufe was … Ouirset with slicht sulphurious And suddant mort [: sort]
c1590 J. Stewart II. 40/389.
Quhilks all susteind ane miserabill mort [: sort, tort, athort]

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"Mort n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Mar 2024 <>



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