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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.

Overhede, Overheid, adv. Also: ovir-, ovar-, ower-, owir- and -heide, -haid. [North. ME. (once) owerheued (c 1400) together, OE. ofer héfod in each case, one with another. Cf. Ourhed(e].

1. a. At the same over-all price for each of a number of items, at an average rate per head.Also in the mod. dial.Cf. Hede n.1 4 b. 1547 Biggar 312.
xxxij score viij sheep, price of the piece overheid viij shils, sum [£259. 4 s.]
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 70.
The sowme of xxx s. … for ilk boll … for the yeris foirsaidis owirheid
Ib. 266. 1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 251 .
Pryce of the pece of the saidis yowis and scheip owerheid xx s., pryce of … stirkis ourheid xl s.
1583 Douglas Bequest 24 May.
Pryce of the boill ovarhaid xl s.
1591 Misc. Spald. C. III. 160.
Ane latron … pryce of ilk stane thairof [sc. of brass] ouerheid fourtie pundis money
1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 237.
That thair be na waillit killing in the boit and all sauld ovirheid
1647 Falkirk Baron Ct. 26 Jan.
The pryce of the boll of meill within the towne of Falkirk to be overheide [£6/6/8]
1670 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 20 July.
Ane naige and thrie meeres … worth ten pownds the peace owerhaid
1673 Argaty Baron Ct. 10 Apr.
Anent the clame … for six firlottis meall and ane boll bear … to pey six pund for ilk boll meall and boll beir overheid

b. As the whole amount, over all, in total.Cf. Hede n.1 4 c. 1572 Reg. Privy C. in Hawick Arch. Soc. 15.
Two stakis of quheit contenand owerheid thre scoir thravis quheit
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 16.
For iic daillis … at iii lib. the hundreth ovirheid … vi lib.

2. Precipitately, headlong. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 140 (E).
That vglie flude … Rinnand ouirheid … That it had bene a riuer naturall
a1578 Pitsc. I. 77/1.
Quhat mischeif befallis them that runes owerheid to ony porpois witht out regaird … to God or man

3. Completely, overall. 1513 Doug. x. iv. 77 (Ruddim.).
In quhite canois soft plumes joyus Become ouerhede [v.rr. ourhe(i)ld] in liknes of ane swan

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"Overhede adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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