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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.

Newis, n. pl. Also: new(e)s, neues, neus(e, nues. [ME. newes (Wyclif), e.m.E. newes, -ys, news: cf. OF. nov-, nuveles (mod. F. nouvelles), med. L. nova pl. of novum a new thing, and mod. Du. nieuws.]

1. New things, innovations. 1535 Stewart 45220.
Dreidand sum thing for haistie chang and newis

2. Tidings; recent occurrences as a subject of report; the report of recent occurrences.Chiefly or only construed as a plur.(1) 1456 Hay I. 57/29
The Franche men … send ten men … to tell the newis to Rome
1513 Doug. iv. v. 42.
Thys menskles goddes in euery mannys mouth Skalys thir newis est, west, north and sowth
1533 Douglas Corr. 141.
Thar is no owder newes in thir partes
1535 Stewart 40691.
Thair come ane man the quhilk schew to the King Of nyce newis in the tyme wes done
1540 Lynd. Sat. 606. 1567–8 Q. Mary in Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lvii.
Y … pres you to vreit al neus to mi
1568 Id. in Ellis Orig. Lett. Ser. II (1824) 253.
Y heuu har sum neus from Scotland
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I. 538.
Vnsperand farther newis quhill [etc.]
1571 Sat. P. xxix. 1.
First quhen the newis begouthe to ryse, gretly thai maid me wondre
a1578 Pitsc. I. 398/21. 1584 Colville Lett. 47. 1596 Dalr. I. 186/19.
Thir nues
1600-1610 Melvill 30.
These newes
Ib. 198. 1604 9th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. ii. 197/2.
Thair is na newis heirway worthe the wreitting
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis i a.
And think ye not thes guid newis guid man
Ib. 4 a.
For suith, Jok, I pittie thes newes from my heart but I pray yow … let me heir the rest of your newes
1667 Laing MSS. I. 361.
An accompt of the enemies newis and cariadge heire
1649 Rutherford in Sel. Biog. I. 395.
‘My lord, I come with news to you.’ He answered, ‘What be they?’
c1650 Spalding II. 272.
In this moneth many newis cumis to Abirdene
1689 M. Bruce in Dalyell Darker Superst. 493.
Some of you will say, what neuse, minister?
1693 Misc. Spald. C. II. 300.
Ther ar no other news
proverbs. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 387.
Evil newes ar oft tyms trewest
1639 John Corbet Ungirding Scottish Armour 52.
They are scant of newes that tels their father was hanged
(2) 1456 Hay I. 53/33.
Quhen he herd the newis bathe of his brothir taking and of the grete slauchter … he gret for sorow
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvi. 5.
The gude newis and tythingis confortable Off the contract of maryage
1588 Events Q. Mary & James VI 54.
The first certain newis … of the unhappy reisteris
1590 Cal. Sc. P. X. 278.
These soroufull newis of the deathe of Mr. Secretarie
1632 Prognostication.
We shall heare great and vncouth newes of kings and prelates
1635-64 Hist. Fragm. II. 10.
Quhen Dumbar was foughten and the neuse therof came to Glasgow
1645 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII. 60.
No doctrine, be reason of newes of the enemie
(3) 1456 Hay I. 59/25.
In the samyn tyme come newis till him that … Schir Pompee … slew thair emperour
1596 Dalr. I. 313/23.
Thir newis now cam till his eiris that sum of the nobilitie had coniuret his deith

b. transf. A ? printed news sheet or news letter. 1678 Cunningham Diary 109.
For a copy of the news about the plot, 2.0.
1693 Answ. Presb. Eloq. 38 (see c (2) below).

c. Attrib. and comb.(1) in new(e)s-book (e.m.E., 1652), -letter (e.m.E., 1674), -paper (e.m.E., 1670) and -print, all = news-sheet or newspaper.(2) in news-man (e.m.E., 1596), a news-writer.(1) 1663–6 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp 17.
A newes book of tuo sheit
1665 Stirling Common Good 35 b.
To Robert Buchanan for ane yearis cariedge of news lettres fra Edinburgh
1680 Fountainhall Decis. I. 113.
Robert Mien, keeper of the letter post office is imprisoned … for publishing the news letter before it was revised by a [sc. privy] counsellor or their clerk
1682 Lanark B. Rec. 210.
Appoyntis the newis letters to come out everie weik
1689 Thanes of Cawdor 381. 1698 Glasgow B. Rec. IV. 270. 1702 Banff Ann. I. 173.
To roup the weiklie newes letters for ane year to come and each persone to pey for the sight therof ane penny
1705 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 248.
Your petitioner having obtained … permission for emiting a news-paper under the title of the Edinburgh Courant
Ib. 262.
Adam Boig … contrived with a printer … to undertake a news print under the name of a Courant
(2) 1693 Answ. Presb. Eloq. 38.
The public news-man who writeth the Monthly Mercury in his news for April 1692

3. Na newes, no novelty, nothing new; tidings that are not fresh or interesting. c1520-c1535 Nisbet I. 14.
How saluatiounn in Christ is na newes bot a thing prophezyed of auld
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 160.
Quha leuis, our deithis will be thocht na newis

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"Newis n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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