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

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

On, prep. Also: one, onn(e. [ME. and e.m.E. on, onn (Orm), late ME. and e.m.E. one (c 1420), OE. on. Cf. also O prep.2]

I. Of position or situation upon. In material and non-material applications.

1. Above and supported by or in contact with; upon.(1) 1375 Barb. xi. 518.
On fair courseris
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 167.
With crowne one hed & septre in hande
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 258.
Byrdes one the trees syngand
a1500 Henr. Fab. 669.
Freir wolf … With beidis on [v. rr. in] hand sayand his paternoster
Id. III. 114/10.
Ane catyf one a club cumand
a1500 Rauf C. 405.
To watche on the wald
a1500 Colk. Sow iii. 95.
Scho maid brud on thir eggis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxii. 61.
In ȝowth on nureis kne
a1568 Bann. MS. 157b/19.
His hand on his knyfe
(2) a1400 Leg. S. i. 14.
Thu art Petir, at is oure stane, To byg myn wark one haff I tane
1473 Treas. Acc. I. 16.
To mak Nikky and Bell a bed to ly on
1501 Ib. II. 43.
For ane hors to the ladyis lathenar to ride on
1511 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 103.
The … loft that the prik of that said stepil sal be raisit on
1574 Edinb. Test. III. 209.
Fiftie spynnillis of clay & tymmer that muildis is maid on

b. In fig. contexts. — a1570-86 Maitl. F. xiv. 6.
Found thé on treuth
1568 Buch. Indict. 44.
Standing one na triflis

2. Carried on (one's person, one's back, etc.). 1375 Barb. iii. 432.
And on his bak ber a fardele
1456 Hay I. 202/26.
A preste … berand Goddis body on him
a1568 Bann. MS. 288 b/102.
And on thy finȝeris mony ioly ring

3. On (the land or the sea or any part of the earth's surface).Used frequently without the article, esp. in verse tags.For many further examples see Feld(e n., Fold n.1, Gate n.1 1 b, Grene n. 1, Grund n. 1, Land n.1 3, 9, etc., Mold n.1 2, etc. 1375 Barb. xix. 236 (E).
Quhen euir thai met thaim on the se
a1400 Leg. S. i. 33.
As one dry land [he] ȝed one se
1427 Melville Chart. 245.
Jone Malvyle … to make a myllyn dame … in ande on the landis of the said Schir Jone
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1331.
The souerane him self, semely on syll
1505 14th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. iii. 20.
Land that lyis beneth the Magdalenne Corse onne the nedder pairt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxvii. 20.
Ane fair processioun … Ressauet hir on streittis lustilie
a1500 K. Hart 223.
Thus come thay keynlie carpand one the cost
1535 Stewart 30100.
He grew into sic eild, As he wes wont he micht nocht walk on feild
1549 Compl. 60/17.
Sche vas on the feildis for hyr recreatione
1562-3 Winȝet I. 124/4.
For ws on erd
1573–4 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII. 73.
Hame and one field
1593 Culross I. 131.
That the land flesche-market be also haldin on the Sand Hevin

4. Standing, sitting or resting on (some part of one's body).See also Kne n. 2 for further examples. 1375 Barb. x. 380.
[They] can ga On handis and feit … Richt as thai ky … weir
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 3477.
Quhill I on fute may stand
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 325.
Cum to the Croce on kneis
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. iii. 624.
On his back

5. Of clothes and the like as covering one's person or part of one's person.See also Bak n.1 2 a. 1375 Barb. xix. 352.
A gown on his armyng he had
1513 Doug. i. vii. 126.
Vlcanus armour on blak Menon
a1568 Weddirburne Bann. MS. 260 b/60.
Quhill that my clayis grew threidbair on my back
a1628 Carmichael Prov. 953.
Suppose there were not a hail rag on them

6. a. Mounted on (a horse or other animal); on (horseback). b. On (foot). 1375 Barb. xiv. 534.
On hors ane hundreth thai mycht be
?1438 Alex. ii. 1720.
Knichtis … On fute wer fechtand
c1475 Wall. v. 286.
A large gret myile wichtly on fute [he] couth gang
c1500 Rowll Cursing 167, 8 (B).
Sum on wolffis and sum on wichis Sum on brodsowis sum on bichis
a1500 Bk. Chess 638.
To teche … his sonnis … All thing to do on horsbak & on fute
1620 Urie Baron Ct. 33.
For ilk laid of peits on hors with creillis, xl s.

c. By (sea). — c1420 Wynt. v. 5104.
Saynct Brandane … Travalyd on se fra ile tyll ile

7. a. At (one's table). a1400 Leg. S. v. 547.
Et now One myn bwrd

b. On (shipboard): see Burd(e n.1 3.

8. Applied, fixed, or set to or supported or suspended on. c1450-2 Howlat 400.
On ilk beugh till embrace Writtin in a bill was [etc.]
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 239.
Thair baner on a birk born is
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1085 (Ch.).
The flesche ȝit stikkis on [v.r. in] thy teith
c1500 Rowll Cursing 190 (Bann.).
Thay hafe lang tailis on thair heilis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 174.
Ay loungand lyk ane loikman on ane ledder
Ib. 196.
Ma wormis … Nor thair is gers on grund or leif on lind
Id. ix. 60.
Jesu … on croce deit
Id. xlix. 24.
On gallow treis ȝitt dois he glowir
1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 247.
With ane scheip heid on ane staff
a1568 Pedder C. 38.
With his keis clynkand on his arme
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 64.
With ane heuin dur on the foirentre
Ib. 65.
And sall big ane sufficient wyd entres and stair on the est end of the kirk
c1590 Fowler I. 385/239.
On Diomeds cote of armes Thou spyed the little bruche

b. On (an axis or centre of revolution). — c1400 Troy-bk. i. 504.
A cercle that turnys in heven One some ane of the planetes seven

c. On end. — 1513 Doug. xii. xii. 194.
Weggit full law the lance on end dyd stand

9. Indicating the object touched or invoked in making an oath. 1440 Cop. St. A. 197.
The said Willȝeam is oblist till ws on the hali ewangelis that [etc.]
a1500 Rauf C. 949.
Thay swoir on thair swordis

10. (To play, etc.) on (a musical instrument): see Play v. and the names of various instruments.To harp on ane string, see Harp v. a.

11. Near or at (a river, river-bank or sea-coast or a border region). 1375 Barb. xvi. 538 (E).
Men … That duelt on Humbre
1514 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 91.
Gif thai sal hapin se ony salis one the cost
1587 Acts III. 465/2.
Baillies of landis duelland on the bordouris and in the hielandis
1596 Dalr. I. 15/28.
Paslay quhilke is situat … onn the Riuer of Carronn
1670 Lauder Jrnl. 202.
We was at a kettle on the water syde

12. On (a certain side). 1375 Barb. xv. 172.
On athir syde the toune
Ib. xvi. 689.
Quhen thair levis on athir party Wes tane
c1420 Wynt. v. 3021.
On his modyr halff, a Brettowne
1476 Acta Aud. 42/1.
Betuix the land & tenement of Johne Patonson on est side & the land of Nichol Spethy on the west parte
1490 Irland Mir. II. 142/11.
The gait on the kar hand was fair
a1578 Pitsc. II. 193/5.
Ane M. one the on syd and on the vthir syd ane letter callit this J.

b. On side, on or to one side, aside, apart. On bak, aback, backwards. See these nouns.

c. On the by, in the by-going, in passing. — a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 84.
And, on the by, we may say that [etc.]

13. On hand, immediately: see Hand n. 8 b. On hede, headlong: see Hede n.1 2 d.

14. With nouns of time.For further examples see the various nouns, as day, morne, nicht, time, Monanday, Martimes day, etc.

a. On (a certain date, time or occasion). 1375 Barb. xix. 524.
And thai that tane war on a day On ane othir changit war thai
a1400 Leg. S. i. 458.
Ve sal son cum quhare that ȝe On a day sal bath iugit be
Ib. xxvi. 912.
One a tyme it betyde Hyme pas [etc.]
Ib. xxix. 197.
One the morne
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 2.
The king turnit on ane tyde towart Tuskane
a1500 Henr. Orph. 398 (Ch. & M.).
On a nycht com traualand thare by The god of riches
c1475 Wall. viii. 1574.
On Lammes day
1521–2 Wemyss Chart. 150.
One Tisday the vii day of Januar
1581 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 169/25.
From fasting on fishe dayes to gormanding fleshe on Frydayes
1661 Elgin Rec. II. 299.

b. During (daytime or night-time), by (day or night): see Day n. 1, Nicht n. Also Now-on-day(e)s adv. and Day n. 5 b. 1545 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 221.
Ane port … to be fast lokit in the nycht and weill keipit one day lycht

c. At (morning or evening). ?1438 Alex. ii. 27.
On morne quhan brichtin day had dicht
1598 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 150.
James Kilgour, belman, to soup the kirkis daskis thair ilk Setterday on eiven

d. Within (a certain time-limit). 1494 Acta Conc. I. 325/1.
Callit in be a masser on a dais warning
1693 Apol. Clergy Scotl. 62.
They cite the Archbishop of St. Andrews on twenty four hours to compear before them

e. In the course of (a certain period of time). 1492 Sc. Ant. VI. 24.
All at God made on sex dayis and sewin nycht

f. On the day, on each day, per day. 1538–9 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 249.
Ilk hors on the day [having] ane pek brawn
1559 Rentale Dunkeld 356.
xviij d. the man on the day

g. On late, of late, lately. — 1497 Acta Conc. MS. 191 (Jam.).
The said Androvis charteris [etc.] … of the landis of Ballegerno wer tynt one late

15. (Authority or dominion) over (someone or something). 14.. Edinb. Univ. MS. La.ii.318.
I sal … tel thé On quhilk men the feynd has pouste
?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 88.
On ȝow to ring
1490 Irland Mir. II. 41/8.
Sic autorite and dominacioun on deid to triumphe our it
a1538 Abell 121.
Christ wer nocht ane gude maister of howset bot gife he left his hird on his flok

16. On (one's behalf or account).See also Behalf n. 1, Name n. 4, for examples. ?1438 Alex. ii. 3531.
Ȝe sall grete wele the maydinis all, And on my behalfe say thame ȝe sall That [etc.]
1600 Crim. Trials II. 185.
I trow it sall kyth to be ane plane treassoun one my lordis pairt

17. In phrases indicating a reason, justification, motivation or basis of an action. c1420 Wynt. vii. 1604.
All othir kyn offys That all othir byschapys mycht And fallys for to do on rycht
1460 Lindores A. 158.
On thair awin fre wyll
1505 Treas. Acc. III. 134.
To ane pur wedo … quhilk taryit heir lang on pley
a1578 Pitsc. II. 278/32.
Thay of Edinburgh had maid thair proclematiounis in Linlythgow on the quenis name
1587-99 Hume 78/320.
That I Haue this inuaid on malice and inuie
1649 Conv. Burghs III.337.
They haue proceided orderlie one good and legallgrundis

18. In phrases expressing a risk or penalty.See espec. Pain n. 1398 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 38.
On paine of tynsail of lyfe and lyme

19. Indicating the unit on which a levy was taken: cf. Of prep. 13b. 1675 Rothesay B. Rec. 340.
For the faire aille being ane gallon a creill of peits and a hen on ilk house

20. In (a certain manner).See also Maner n.1 1 (2) and On-na-wayis etc. a1500 Seven S. 2420.
The knycht … cled hir on a newe fassoun
1513 Doug. ix. xii. 115 (see Avise n.2). 1535 Stewart 48869 (see Kind n. 4).

b. In other phrases of manner. 1375 Barb. xi. 79.
And of Yngland the mychty Kyng Purvait hym on so gret aray That [etc.]
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 708.
Thay thair ankeris weyit on haist
16.. Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 11.
The water of Dyroyk … becomes unpassable on a sudden

c. In phrases specifying a posture: see also Grouf n., Hede n.1 2 d, Held(e n. a. a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1291.
Apoun His bak he did ly on suppyne

d. In (part). c1475 Wall. i. 310.
We sall ws wreke on part

21. On raw, also on range, in a row, also, in sequence or regular succession: see these nouns.

22. a. By means of (= Be prep. 2).For further examples see Force n. 2 b and its variants and Leve v.4 5 a, b and its variants. 1375 Barb. x. 708 (E).
Alexandir … Lap on bar fors fra the wall
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiii. 34.
Sum … on creddens dynis
1531 Bell. Boece II. 205.
That thair freindis … suld be constranit to seik thair leiffing on vile craftis

b. In accordance with (= Be prep. 3 b).For further examples see Law n.1 8 b, Lay n.1 b. 1513 Doug. vi. Prol. 79.
He was a gentile and levit on payane lawis

c. ? By way of, in the form of, with. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 215.
The meriest war menskit on mete at the maill
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 498.
Diapason of mony sindrie sortis War soung and playit be seir cunning menstrall On lufe ballatis

23. By (chance or necessity): see Cace n.1 2 b, Cas(e n.1 2, Force n. 3 a, Fors n. 6, Nede n. 2 b.

II. Of motion or direction on to or towards.

24. With verbs of motion or in other contexts implying motion: Upon; onto.To lay (handis, one's handis) on, see Lay v.1 19. To put (violent) handis on, see Hand n. 11 b, c.In on, = into.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 128.
The thrid … stert be-hynd him on his sted
Ib. x. 57.
The folk off Lorne … tumlit on hym stanys
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 206.
He … one kneys & elbois gat
Ib. xxxiii. 346.
[He] lape one horse
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 144.
We sall sett ankeres one the sand
Ib. ii. 420.
Bestes wer Leyd to be brent one the alter
?1438 Alex. i. 1635.
The sone shyne cleir on armouris bricht Quhill [etc.]
14.. Burgh Laws c. 73 (B).
[To] be put on the cukstule
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1170.
The selie scheip durst lay na mouth on eird Till [etc.]
a1500 Seven S. 2570.
Ane nychtingale lichtit on the mast
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 193.
On burd!
a1568 Bann. MS. 4 a/11.
The frosty nicht … Hir mantill quhyt spred on the tendir flouris
Ib. 156 a/30.
The partane … Scho spred the mvk on feild
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxix. 20 (see Hede n.1 2 e).(2) a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1233.
Out of the peit pot in on the myr

b. In fig. or non-material contexts. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1624.
Lothomine … The quhilk … haid his curage fermelie set him on
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 520.
Thair miserie Dois licht on thame for thair iniquytie
1657 Balfour Ann. III. 136.
Satling the said committee and puttinge them one the way againe

c. (To fall) upon, in embracing. a1400 Leg. S. i. 102.
He fel one hym, gretande ful sare

d. (To chance to come) upon: see Cum v. 2, Happin v. 3 (2).

25. So that the thing in question is applied or fixed to or suspended on (the object of the prep.).Cf. sense 8 above.(1) a1500 Henr. Orph. 185.
He tuke his harp and on his brest can hyng
a1500 Seven S. 80.
On the wallis all within Thai pantit all the science sevyn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 45.
And lat him lay sax leichis on thy lendis
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 124.
Ane ful sack will tak ane clout one the syd
16.. Dundee B. Laws 145.
Putting on ewerie cunȝie … ane knap [etc.]
(2) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 666.
Quhat kind of tre Hym lykit one to hangit be
1453 Sc. Eccles. Soc. 219.
The cros that our Salvator wes crucifyit on
1554–5 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 133.
Ane greit gebet … to haif hangit Hommill Jok on

26. Without the notion of descent on to. a. To, unto. b. (Opening) on to or into.a. On gatewart, -ward, on landwart, see these words. a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 464.
Ȝe cane nocht a maydine ȝyng … on me to bryng
1602 Stirling Merch. Guild 19.
All gild breither … that passis on the merkat
b. 1571 Lanark B. Rec. 64.
Sax sufficient voltis opinand on the suith syd wall

c. From or to (the side). c 1360 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. xix.
Heredibus … linialiter [gl. euin in line] et non ex latere [gl. on side] procreandis

27. On or to (land or the land, from the sea): see Land n.1 1 and 1 b.

28. (To advance or set) upon or against, in attack. 1375 Barb. ii. 383.
On thaim! On thaim!
Ib. vii. 563 (E).
Schyr Amery With the Clyffurd in cumpany … War cummand on thaim at thar hand
1456 Hay I. 64/14.
Thare durst nane cum on him allane
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1610.
The gret battall Was cumand to and strykand on thame haill
Ib. 3654.
He sett on Arestes to do prowes
c1475 Wall. xi. 232.
Dar ȝe go fecht on our lioun?
1513 Doug. xi. xii. 60. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 45.
Thay devisit … to ische on thair ennimes
1560 Rolland Seven S. 326/35.
Thay will on thé with thair feit
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 33.
The realme … to pas on the ald enemies

29. (Of the infliction of a blow, stroke, injury or the like) on, upon or against (something).Also Lasch(e v. and Lay v.1 21, 46 c. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 564.
Thai … Hewit on the hard steil
c1475 Wall. iii. 364.
Wallace tharwith has tane him on the croune
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 161/21.
The red se is … red … throu baffing & wesching on red cragis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 490.
I nip on his finger
15.. Wyf Awcht. in Blackwood's Mag. Apr.–Sept. 1817, I. 67.
Clourd his croun on keming stock
a1568 Bann. MS. 140 a/31.
On thy bak … Wer brokin full mony ane gud ax schaft
1567 Digest Justiciary Proc. G. 12.
The saidis persones … to be brunt on the cheik with the tounes irne
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 260.
The gates are steiked on our chafts
1602 Reg. Privy C. VI. 862.
Mr. Alexander put bak the dur on my faice
16.. Hist. Kennedy 42.
He wes … lemmit one his hand

30. (Of the action of touching or handling someone or something) on (some part): see Claw v., Tuich v., and similar verbs.

31. a. (To gnaw or bite) on. b. (To choke) on. 1375 Barb. xix. 664.
A fox … That fast can on a salmond gnaw
a1628 Carmichael Prov. 658.
He hes bittin on a beir corne, he dar not cheip
Ib. 1608.
Tak there a baine to knaw on
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. 1347.
The cook is wirried on a wilk

32. (To look, glance, etc.) upon or at: see also the various verbs of looking etc. a1400 Leg. S. x. 154.
Twa dragonyse that awful ware One to luke
c1475 Wall. xi. 314.
The kyng … To chawmyr went and mycht nocht on him se
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 407.
Thai goif one strangers
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii. 19.
The buthman on the barras blent

33. a. (To call or cry) on: see the verbs, as Call v. 1, Cry v. 5 a.

b. (To roar or scream) at or against: see Bray v.1, Rowp v.

34. a. (To beget or be begotten) upon: see espec. Get v.1. a1400 Leg. S. ix. 136.
Sa suld He One a … virgine be borne

b. (To marry, be married) to: see espec. Mary v. 1535 Stewart 42120.
Richt laith he wes to wed hir on ane lord Into Ingland

35. (To await or attend) upon.See also Await v. for further examples. 1513 Doug. i. iv. 84.
Be stout, on prosper fortune to remane
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 38.
The governour come to Melros and remanit on his freindis
1586 Warrender P. MS. 176.
We have ever since attendit on the consalis laisoure to heare ws
1617 Old Ross-shire I. 32.
I have stayid lang on your promise

36. Indicating the person or thing to whom or which a feeling, attitude or action is directed.See also Kyth(e v. 3 c and 4 and Dispone v. 5 b. ?1438 Alex. ii. 2237.
I think nouthir quhare on luffing Bot on dam Ydeas the ȝing
c1475 Wall. ii. 196.
On our kynrent, deyr God, quhen will thow rew?
a1500 Seven S. 1320.
Than may ȝe do ȝour will on him
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiv. 39.
The dewill said and on him cowld nod [etc.]

b. Indicating an object of thought, concern, wonderment or debate.See also Ferly v. 2, Mene v. 4 b, Mervaill v. 2 b, etc. 1375 Barb. iii. 363, etc.
To think On the King
?1438 Alex. ii. 3870.
We think our lyttill on our play
1456 Hay II. 41/14, etc.
Of all synnys … that he may think on
a1500 Bk. Chess 507.
On sic a thing thai sit Quhether better war [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiii. 18.
Sum patteris with his mowth on beidis That hes his mynd all on oppressioun
Id. xc. 60.
[He who] on the end hes no rememberance
1513 Doug. i. x. 39.
Ascaneus … On quham maist is my thocht
Ib. x. v. 165.
Now euery man ramembir on his spows
1532 Acts Sederunt i. 8.
To decyde onne all materis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8830.
Than Alexander bethocht him on ane cast
1569–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 112.
Weill, I shall gar als mony wounder on thé Or this day tellmound as thow garris wounder on me now
a1628 Carmichael Prov. 793.
His mynd is on his meate
?1665 M. Bruce Six Dreadful Alarms 9.
What need you to spear what the minister was on?
1692 Pitcairne Assembly ii. viii. (1752) 29.
All. Well thought on

c. (To trust, depend, rely or believe) on: see Depend v. 1., Leve v.3 b, Lippin v., etc.

d. (To risk or wager something) on.a1578 Pitsc. I. 267/24 (see Cast n.1 2).

e. With respect or reference to (some particular person or concern). 1456 Hay I. 69/5.
And sa was sene on thame, for thair jurisdictioun began with force and crueltee
Ib. 195/15.
To mak certayne labourage on the felde, bathe on cornis and wynis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxiv. 34. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1394.
Wo is me (quod he) to see this sicht on thé, quhilk worthie wes
1567 Sat. P. v. 73.
Syne on your self ye tak gud keip
1672 Edinb. Test. LXXIV. 221 b.
At hir mariedge to vttrick hir on clothes

f. (To know) of or about: see Knaw v. 11.

37. (Of various hostile or punitive dealings or attitudes, offences, accusations or complaints directed) on or against (a person or his actions).See also Blaw v. 2 c, 3 b, Cast v. 22, Complene v. 1, Cry v. 6 a, Ley v. 2 b, plenȝe, tell, etc., also Fy interj. (2). 1375 Barb. v. 366.
Thai the chanser on thame van
?1438 Alex. ii. 1245.
I sall me venge on that King
14.. Burgh Laws c. 15 (A).
Iustice salbe done on him
Ib. c. 43 (B).
Gyfe the burges hafe na wytnes on hym
1479 Acta Conc. I. 38/2.
The deforsment made on Robin Inglis
c1475 Wall. iv. 754.
Giff all this payne on my self mycht be brocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxiv. 12.
Wald … fortoun on him turn hir quheill
Ib. xli. 4.
Be ȝe nocht sa it will on ȝow be tauld
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 248.
Makand weir on the realme of France
1551 Boyd Fam. P. No. 33 (10 March).
That the said Adam … allege na falt on tham for [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9177.
I am saikles of ȝone he sayis on me
1551 Hamilton Cat. 58. 1578 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 41.
He is ryt importuin on me for the samyn
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 57.
Your Inglessmen ar fund liars … allegyng on hym sic thyngs as he never said
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 229.
The pantry door will be locked on the bairns in appearance ere long
1676 Cramond Kirk S. II. 29 May.
Because of his insobriety and scoldeing on some of the members the session

38. = From, out of. a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 820.
As He be Moyses gert be tane Far vatyr one the hard stane

III. In the following senses subdivision according to the notions of position or motion has not been attempted.

39. On (one's way), on (a journey): see the various nouns, as Viage n., Way n.

40. With nouns of state, condition or action in which a person or thing is or into which he or it passes.See also Brerd n. 2, Broche n. 3, Char adv. 1, Flicht n.1 1 a, Flocht n., Flot n.1 a, Keping vbl. n. 2 a, Kind n. 2 b, Lif(e n. 1 c(1), Slepe (= asleep), Steir (= astir), Stray (= astray), and Wry (= awry). ?1438 Alex. i. 1636.
All the land lemit on licht
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 558.
Glauis glowand on gleid
a1500 Seven S. 1421.
Scho … said that scho wald luf on deid
1492 Acta Conc. I. 253/2.
Alexander Setoun [etc.] … beand on the seruing of a breif
1513 Doug. xi. xii. 55.
Persewyng on the chays
Ib. vii. Prol. 19. 1517 Acta Conc. MS. XXIX. 21.
Als lang as that blud rengis the king sall nevir hayf the Ylis on pace
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6994.
I wald ȝour grace to my desire wald grant Sa on seruice the better I micht hant
Ib. 2351. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 111/8.
Quhat tyme is it … that a guid bischope … suld nocht waik on prayar, studie, or preching
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. i. 18.
Tenditque fovetque, scho mentenis in on that houpe
1596 Montgomery Mem. II. 236.
Four coveringis of beddis quhairof ane on reid, ane on blew, ane on oriange, and ane on arische werk
1600-1610 Melvill 21.
It kendlet sa on fyre that [etc.]

b. On (deposit). 1617 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 351.
The said Mr Patrikis mortification of tua thowsand merkis to be laid vp on bank

41. With nouns denoting height, depth, breadth, distance, loudness.See Beich n., Brede n.2 2 b, 4, Dreich n. 1, Far adv. 4 a, Fer adv. 4 a, Hicht n.1 2 b, 9, Hie a. 9, Law n.4 6 b, Lenth n. 8 f, Loft n. 2, Loud a. 4, etc.

42. a. Indicating a course of action in which one is engaged. 1375 Barb. xvi. 251.
Quha on were vald ryde In the vaward
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1808.
In the tyde That Grekes on the sege gan byde

b. Indicating an aim or a course of action determined upon. 1375 Barb. i. 378.
His hart on hey honour wes set
a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 32.
Is foly that he one was set
a1500 Rauf C. 392.
Ane man … That neuer wald set him on assay withoutin his assent

c. (To set a person) to (work). 1641 Acts V. 411/2.
How necessary … the erecting and menteyneing of manufactories will be for this kingdome … in seting poore ones one worke
1651 Dickson Matthew 12.
The least spunk of saving knowledge doth set a man on work to seek after Christ

43. Of membership of or accession on to (a body of persons): see also Assise n. 1, Lite n.1, etc.

44. a. (To take or accept a charge or undertaking) upon (one).Also to bere, tak on hand, see Hand n. 13 and 14. ?1438 Alex. ii. 9905.
Hector on him the gouerning Tuke of the toun
1488 Paisley B. Rec. 26.
To tak the said deliuerance on thaim
1493 Acta Conc. I. 272/1.
Than my lord chancellare … gef him Stevin Lokart [etc.] … curatouris in the said mater, quhilkis except the sammyn on thaim & oblist thaim to do [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt.110.
I tak on me ane pair of Lowthiane hippis Sall fairar Inglis mak … Than [etc.]
1599 Rollock Wks. I. 389.

b. As a charge against, charging (a person).Also, (a precept) on (an officer, authorising a disbursement): see Precept n. 6.(1) 1492 Acta Conc. I. 213/2.
The xv li. that the said maister Clemet allegiis he has optenit on thaim be vertu of a decrett
1498–9 Ib. II. 309.
The soume … clamyt be the sade Wilyeam on him
1499–1500 Ib. 362. 1508–9 Reg. Privy S. I. 281/1.
The soum of [3745 lib. 13 d.] restand on him
(2) 1501 Treas. Acc. II. 115.
To David Tempilman, passand in Tevidale with lettrez on the lardis of Bethroule [etc.]
1529 Bk. Carlaverock II. 2.
Scho hes optenit our lettres on ȝou in the ferd forme

c. (Of something required or exacted) from (a person). d. As a responsibility of, at the charge of. 1628 Edinb. Univ. Chart. 117.
[They] sall ressaive ane oath on the Principall and Regents that [etc.]
1690 Rothesay B. Rec. 465.
Ordaines those who hes ky to put them to the herd or else to keip them on themselfes

e. On one's (awin, etc.) cost or expens, see Cost n.1 1 b, Expens n. 2 b. f. On one's awin aventure, see Aventure n. 3 a.

45. Also in various other collocations with lay: see Lay v.1 16, 17 a, d, e, 18, 20, 26 e (1), 27.

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"On prep.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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