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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Obefor(e, Obefoir, adv. and conj. Also: obefoyr, obfoir. [Reduced form of Of-before adv. Cf. also Abefore adv.]This form is appar. specially common in records of Aberdeen.

1. adv. Earlier, formerly, previously, before. = Of-before 1 a.(a) 1431 Liber Melros 523.
To … end all thingis … that was noth endit o befor touchand the said landis
1450 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 135.
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 183. 1491 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. I. 256.
That nayne rede legendis … bot gif thai be lymmit in the cheptour obefore
1542 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 30a.
The directionis and trest I haid obefor
1556 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 28 Aug.
Thai suld tak cognitioun gyf scho was admittit to use the baxter craft obefore or nocht
1574 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 17.
She … remanit still stubburn as sche wes obefor
(b) 1487 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 43.
As ye dide obefoir
1512–3 Mill Mediæv. Plays 121.
The actis maid obefoir
1529 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 68. c 1549 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 307.
They … beand obefoir lauchfully summond
1554 Prestwick B. Rec. 62. 1568 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 366.
At sick tymes as thai war in wse … of libertie and skaling obefoir
1583 Perth B. Ct. 15 Nov.
The defensis producit be him obfoir
1590 Conv. Burghs I. 315.
As obefoir
1597 Misc. Spald. C. II. lxi. 1603–4 Ib.V. 132. 1641 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 262.

b. Before the time in question, hitherto. — 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C.I.87.
James Ailhows hewing remanit ane lang tym in thy service obefoir, thow desyrit him yit to remane with thie

2. Prior (to). 1474 Stewart Mem. 73.
Sa that I … beis warnyt … on fourty days warnyng obefor to the resait of the saidis aucht skor of markis

3. conj. Before. 1434–5 Chart. Coupar A. II. 34.
The land debatable … nocht to be occup[yit] uthirwiis than it was obefor that the said corn was sawin

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"Obefor adv., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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