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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.

Nativitie, n. Also: nativite(e, -ivyte, -ivity, -iwite, -yvite, -yvitie, -ywite, -yvyte, -ywyte, -evite, (-ivintie). [ME. nativite(e (Cursor M.), e.m.E. -tie, F. nativité, L. nātīvitas.]

1. The fact or occasion of a person's birth. 1500 Acta Conc. II. 453.
Nocht of compleite aige of xxj yeris fra the day of his natevite and borne of his moder
a1538 Abell 4a.
The thrid age of the warld beguth in the natiuite of Abraam. … The 10 ȝere of the natiuite of Habraam, Ninus the King of Assur deit
Ib. 6* a.
Ib. 108 b.
Bot that sam ȝere in natiuite of his tua twynnis [etc.]
1540 Treas. Acc. VII. 322.
Tithingis to the Kingis grace of the nativite of my lord prince
1549 Compl. 72/22.
The natiuite of ane man suld be litil prisit ande his lang liuie dais les desirit quhen [etc.]
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3617.
Of his marvellous nativitie
Ib. 371. a1568 Bann. MS. p. 34/3.
Fra the tyme of our natiuitie Fast vnto deid
c1590 Fowler II. 29/26.
For … thou … hes bene in the scholes … befoir my natiuitie
c1612 Skene Memorabilia 14.
Natiuitie of L. Charles
1608 in Foulis Acc. Bk. xliv.
The tymis of the natiuities of my fader … and off his bareins

2. spec. The nativity of Christ or the Virgin. c1420 Wynt. ii. 970.
Before the natywyte [C. natywite] That wes the caus off alle oure gle
Ib. v. 332.
1456 Hay I. 1/11. Ib. 36/7.
Before the nativitee of Criste
Arundel MS. 287/265.
Haill Mary, quhais natiuite Wes till oure gret solempnite
1490 Irland Mir. I. 158/29.
He [Jesus] was merwalus jn his natiuite
Ib. 141/26. ?a1500 Remembr. Passion 122.
Schawand tham of Cristis natiuite
1562-3 Winȝet II. 44/7. 1567 G. Ball. 76. 1587 St. A. Kirk S. xcix. 1680 Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. X. 155.
Being the anniversary of our blessed Saviour's nativintie [sic]

b. The anniversary of the Nativity of Christ, the Virgin or St. John, commemorated as a church festival, or as a calendar date.For further examples (of the Nativity of Christ) see Ȝule n. 1375 Barb. xvii. 337.
On our ladeis evin Mary, … That men callis hir natiuite
1400 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. 44.
Yhour saufconduyt endurand quhill the fest of the natiuite of Seint John the Baptist
1404 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 57.
The fest of the natiuitee of our lord Jhesus Crist
c1420 Wynt. v. 562. 1498 Acta Conc. II. 196. Ib. 281. 1505 Treas. Acc. III. 64.
The viij day of September, the nativitee of our lady
1509 Newbattle Coll. (Somerville).
At our lade day in herwist callit the natiuite
1521 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. xv.
Gif it had nocht beyn for this the fest of Crystis natyvyte
a1538 Abell 120 b.
Inwith the oct of the natiuite of our lady
1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 29 b.
At the said feist of mydsomer and the natiuite of ȝwill nyxt eftir
1562-3 Winȝet I. 2/71.
The glaid solemniteis off the blyssit natiuitie, circumcisioun [etc.]
1617 Bk. Univ. Kirk III. 1141.
Anent preaching upon the dayes of the nativity, passion [etc.] … of our lord

c. comb. — a1680 Blair Autob. 44.
I trow Augustine makes no mention of the nativity-day in that epistle

3. The occasion of a person's birth considered astrologically; also, a person's horoscope. 1456 Hay II. 150/21.
For the body of the persone that is borne folowis the nature of the body of the sternis and planetis that concurris in his nativitee
Ib. 151/16; Ib. 150/18, /30.
And thai saw be his nativitee that it cum of … naturale inclynacioun of his constellacioun
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 294.
Nectanabus furth went For to behauld into the firmament And to the stern of his natiuitie
Ib. 480, etc. c1500-c1512 Dunb. vii. 74.
Hie furiu s Mars … Rong in the hevin at thyne natiuite
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 8. c1550 Id. Test. Meldrum 66. a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 4.
O ewill aspect in my natiuitie
1597 James VI Dæmonol. 13.
The knowledge by the natiuities, the cheiromancie, geomantie [etc.]

4. The condition of having a certain status or character by birth, one's heredity. 1456 Hay II. 69/5.
Gentill men that … has bot honour and worschip of thair awin birth and nativitee

5. The condition of being born a ‘native’ (Native a. and n. 1 and 7) or bondman. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i. 90 b.
Gif the natives bond-men deny to their lord their nativitie or bondage, they sall be attached. … There is sundrie kindes of nativitie or bondage

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



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