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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.

Pinning, vbl. n. Also: pynn-; penn-; pin-, pyin- and -yng, -in, -ien. [e.m.E. and late ME. pynnynge (1427–8), pinning(e (16th c.), also pynyng (1533), f. Pin v.]

1. The action of ‘pinning’, in the sense of Pin v. 3. b. ? The action of underpinning (buttresses; see quot. for 1584).Also attrib. with -stane. 1584 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 387.
For pyinin of the butrisis of Jesus yll
1596 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 136.
The reparing pinning and harling of the tolbuyth outwith
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 21.
To Walter Bryce ruchlayer … paines in harlaying and pining of [etc.]
1683–90 Soc. Ant. LIV. 239.
For ane boatfull of oyster shells from Newhaven for pinning the walls of the church and steeple
attrib. 1559–60 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 350.
For twa mendis [sic in MS.] to beir pinning stanis in

2. concr. One of a number of small stones or the like used in pinning masonry.Also, once, coll. as pl.Also in fig. context.(1) 1591 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 440.
Small stanes … to be pynnyngis to the maissounis
1624–5 Aberd. Shore Wk. Acc. 135.
For tua leid of brokin sklaitts to be penningis to the wark
1637–8 Ib. 231.
For piniens to the schoir
1640–1 Ib. 256.
For 20 leid of pinnings out of the kirk to the wark
1685–6 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 220.
For dressing of the cross with thre loads of pinnings
(2) 1589–90 Lanark B. Rec. 100.
For pykis and irnis, hammeris, penning, crukis to the cors
fig. 1623 Blair Autob. 50.
As pinnings laid in to be foundations, these all will be crushed
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 474.
Suppose my Lord would make a stop-hole of me … or a pinning in Zion's new work
a1652 Dickson Psalms 18.
As pinnings in the bigging of a wall, to bolster it up

b. ? A peg or bolt used in fastening (or perh. a further instance of (1) above). — 16.. Peden Serm. 7.
Our Lord's enemies have not broken a pinning off, or dung a pin out of the work of God

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"Pinning vbl. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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