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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.

Nest(e, Neist, a. Also: neyst, neast, neyest, nist, nyste. [ME. nest(e, neest (14–15th c.), (north.) neist (Cursor M.), OE. nést(a var. of néahst(a, néhst(a, Next, ON. nǽst-r: cf. also Nixt.]

1. Nearest, most closely adjacent.Also following the noun and predic.(1) c 1420 Liber Calchou 451.
Betwex the thoum & the nest fynger
1596 Dalr. I. 293/1.
This Haii … was behaldeng in the neist feild how the pluche teilet
(2) c 1420 Liber Calchou 449.
The principale party nest, that is the leuer
1535 Stewart 56417.
Europe and all landis neist
16.. Sempill P. 42/23.
So kindly to his neighbours neast At Beltan and Saint Barchan's feast He blew
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 252.
Scho … with hyr newis reft hir brest Al that scho mycht wyne to nest
Ib. 1154.
To thaim that nest war he can say
c1420 Wynt. i. 882.
Nest lyis the land off Araby And that that we Saba cail
Ib. vii. 2866.
Landys … That the King that tyme off Scotland Had abowt thaim nest lyand
c 1420 Liber Calchou 450.
The hede vayn … that lies nest abowin the hart wayn
1462 Peebles B. Rec. I. 148.
His yard lyand nest auestal the land of Georgis Robysoun
1596 Dalr. I. 48/12.
Buquhan and Boyn, to thame lyes neist Froumarten
Ib. 55/13.
The ile that lyis neist, now called Anglese

2. Nearest in kinship; most immediate (heir). Also absol. Also in positive sense, = near, closely related (in kinship).(1) 1375 Barb. i. 55.
He thair king suld be That [wes] in alsner degre And cummyn [wes] of the neist male
1391 Lennox Mun. 43.
The quhilkis faleȝand to the nest and lachful ayris of the forsaid erle
absol. 1375 Barb. i. 63.
For than the neyst cummyn off the seid, Man or woman, suld succeid
(2) 1391 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 23.
The said Erle … sal haue to wife a nest cosyne of the said Erllis of Fife
1584 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 317.
Our said cousing and the said Wm. in consanguinitie ar nist secundis and thirds

3. The next or second in a succession or series. c1420 Wynt. v. 261.
Octovyane yharnyd hym to be Hys ayre and his neyst successoure
Ib. 3524.
And off the psalmys dystynctly The ta part suld the fyrst wers say, The tothir syd the neyst wers ay Suld begyn
Ib. viii. 3159.
1463 Peebles B. Rec. I. 150.
For the nest faut … vj laffis to be … delt to pur fouk
1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 55.
Andro Luctone … [was] absent as fra the first cvrt as fra the nest
1596 Dalr. I. 122/20.

4. The next in point of time; the immediately following. Also placed after the noun.(1) 1375 Barb. xiv. 21 (E).
At Ayr syne schyppyt he, In till the neyst moneth of Mai
a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 563.
& thar in presone can thame thring … To nest day of jugment
1400 Maxwell Mem. I. 138.
At the nest vsuale terme of Martynmes or Wytsunday
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1639.
The neyst tyme that thai mycht se A day set in serenyte
Ib. v. 319. 1430 Ayr B. Ct. 8 May.
The quhilk was deferryt tyl the nest courte
1462 Peebles B. Rec. I. 148.
And the thyrd mark he sal … pay to the nest chekker
? 1542 Prot. Bk. Sir Wm. Corbet 23.
Aye quhyll the nest Sondaye that I was [in] the barne
1585 Cal. Sc. P. VIII. 37.
Withe the nyste comodetye I shall wryt your lordshipe
1596 Dalr. I. 246/26.
Sche on the neist day was appinlie burnet
Ib. II. 177/13.
The neist day Farniherst … held court
Ib. 161/17. 1599 Murray Lyon Hist. Lodge Edinb. 14.
(2) 1535 Stewart 44520.
In the winter neist … that castell doun he kest
(3) 1375 Barb. x. 821 (E).
Giff at mydsomer the neist yer To cum, it war not with bataile Reskewyt
1398 Liber Melros 489.
At the fest of Qvhissonday of the nest yhere folowand

5. Governing a noun, quasi-prep. or with till.a. Close or adjacent to, next to, (till).(1) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 526.
& layde the chylde til hir breste, Hed & mouthe the papis neste
Ib. xl. 653.
The hend part thare neste Of the hed ves fast to the breste
c 1420 Liber Calchou 450.
& the tother tha nest it
c1420 Wynt. i. 876.
Thar nest lyis that regyown The kynrik calde off Babylown
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 109.
His chalmer was thame neist
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 457.
Ȝong men he lufit to be him neist
a1538 Abell 39 b.
The castellis & strenthis principallie neist the Britonaris he reperalit
15.. Christis K. (B).
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4370. 1596 Dalr. I. 11/28.
Neist this lyes Eusdale
Ib. 65/26.
Island … neist the pol articte
Ib. 174/1.
Al Westmurland and the land neist it he wastes
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 49/103.
Syne to be neist him bissilie thay striue
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 5713.
He that nest wes till hym

b. Next after, immediately succeeding to (till).(1) a1400 Leg. S. i. 939.
& syne thar neste I sall gere turment thé
1416 Liber Melros II. 539.
Appon the morne nest the saide Fastirnisewin
c1420 Wynt. vi. 968.
Nest hym foure papys had thaire det Payd off kynd
Ib. 312, viii. 284, 457; etc. 1596 Dalr. I. 326/7.
David … succeidit lauchfullie neist Alexander his brother
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 4694.
Neyst till him Vigilius … held that se
Ib. vii. 993.

c. Next in rank or degree to, second (only) to. c1420 Wynt. ii. 1559.
Neyst Ercules in al degre The gretest off that ost wes he
1572 Sempill Sat. P. xxxviii. 20.
Thy style was Treschristien, maist Cristen King, Baith hiest and friest and neist the impyre

6. Predic., passing into adv.: Next in order, next thereafter.Also with complements. Also Nest(e)-to-cum.(1) c1420 Wynt. i. 1521.
Off Neptwne nest scho wes lychtare
Ib. v. 2483.
Crownebenet fyrst, accolyte neyst [: preyst] [etc.]
Ib. vi. 1873.
Syne neyst he thowcht to be kyng
Ib. vii. 825.
Dawy … Succedyd nest
Ib. v. 3015.
Ib. vii. 676.
1535 Stewart 1973.
Quhat hound … bait neist and baid quhill he wes slane
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9555.
1567 G. Ball. 164. 1570 Sat. P. xv. 86.
Traist weill thay cair not neist [: preist] To kill the King
1572 Ib. xxx. 99.
We beand doun, na dout thow salbe neist [: breist]
1581 Sempill Ib. xliii. 54. 1596 Dalr. I. 85/16. Ib. 300/25.
First in Ingland, neist in Scotland
Ib. II. 40/8; etc.(2) 1397 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 35.
Befor Yhole nest commande
1398 Ib. No. 38.
On the morne efter the fest of saint Martin that nest commis
(3) 1393 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 28.
At the terme of Martimess nest folowande
1397 Ib. No. 35.
To the forsayde day … & fourty dayes neste folowande
1398 Grant Chart. 15. 1400 Maxwell Mem. I. 140.
At twyn termys nest folowand
c1420 Wynt. ii. 308.
Sewyn yher owt contynnand Wyth othir sevyn nest folowand
1431 Ayr B. Ct. 23 Apr.
Eftir Michelmas nist foluand the day of this wyrt abown
1435 Douglas Chart. 65.
1460 Peebles B. Rec. I. 135.
Sewynten ȝeris nest and togeder folouand the dat of this present wryt
(4) 1392 Lennox Mun. 46.
The fest of Saynt Martyne in wynter neste eftir the makyng of thir presens
1397 Douglas Chart. 37.
For terme of five yheir neist eftir folwand
1416 Liber Melros 539.
The fest of Fasternisewin nest efter folowand the dat of thir presentz lettres
c1420 Wynt. v. 947.
Fyrst … Hys systyr sonnys all he slwe, Neyst efftyr … He made fyrst persecutyown Off Crystyn men
Ib. vi. 643.
And efftyre hym neste wes he kyng
1545 Prot. Bk. Sir Wm. Corbet 6.
At Sanct Michaellis daye nest effter the making of this ac

b. Immediately before (a date). 1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 139*.
On Mononday neste before Whyssoneday
? c 1390 Reg. Morton I. xl.
On Thurisday neist before Yhole last passit

7. The next (most rich). 1596 Dalr. I. 53/4.
Abeit it be nocht esteimed the richest, it may weil be esteimed the neist riche

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"Nest adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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