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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.

Pleseir, -er(e, n. Also: pleis(s)-, pless-, plesch-; plas-; pleas(s)- and -eyr, -eire; -ier; -ir. [ME. and e.m.E. plesir (Gower), -er(e, -ier, -yr(e, -yer, pleasir (1450), -yr, -er, -ier, e.m.E. also playsir (14811), playsyr(e (Caxton), appar. obs. after 1539, OF. plesir, plaisir (12th c. in Littré), subst. use of verb infin., L. placēre to please. Cf. Plesour n.In ME., orig., with stress on final syllable.]

Pleasure, in various senses and applications.

a. Enjoyment. = Plesour n. 1. 1531 Bell. Boece I. xi.
The schamefull deid … Remanis ay quhen pleseiris ago
Ib. II. 297.
To haif sum pleseir … be chace of hundis in the said forest
1549 Compl. 16/22.
Sum … tuke pleiseir to gar ane vord … to be ful of sillabis half ane myle of lyntht
a1568 Bann. MS. I. p. 40/62. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 123/24.
Tarquinius Sixtus concludit … to haue his plesere of Lucres be violent deforsing
Ib. 30/19.

b. A favour, service. = Plesour n. 2. 1525 Douglas Corr. 98.
Gif ther be ony sted pleseir that I may do … charge me ther to
1585–6 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XVII. 100.
Certane plesirrs and guid service done … the tyme of the pest

c. The desire to please. = Plesour n. 3. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 224.
I have maid this translation … for pleseir of lawit men
Id. Bann. MS. 366 b/6.

d. (One's) wish or will. = Plesour n. 4.(1) 1533 Douglas Corr. 141.
Gif it be the kingis most graysows plesir that [etc.]
1543–4 Corr. M. Lorraine 59.
I … stand content to abide youre pleser
1549 Compl. 156/18.
That he sellit his heretage til entretene his vane pleseir
1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 245.
It may be her favorable pleasser to send [etc.]
(2) 1490 Lennox Mun. 136.
Sa that scho may frely … maneur the sade … lande at hir wyll and plaseyr
a1500 Seven S. 238.
Thairfor ȝe tak it heire With all my hart at ȝour pleseire
1494 Loutfut MS. 7 b.
At thair awin singler pleisser
1506 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 346.
At his plesser
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 182.
At the wyll and pleiseire of the said Johne
1533 Boece xvi. ix. 624 b.
1615 Inverness Rec. II. 138.
1632 Justiciary Cases I. 201.
1533 Boece vi. xv. 218.
Licence … to liff at plesere quhare scho lykit best
1670 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 16 July.
He is also to remane in prisoun during pleasser
(3) 1488 Acts II. 207/1.
According to the plessere of God
1494 Loutfut MS. 29 a.
He … perist thaim … bot thai did to his pleissere
1540 Lynd. Sat. 84 (B).
Send me the grace … That I may rewill my realme to thy pleseir
1659 Dumfries Council Min. 5 Dec.
Imprysonement … during the counsallis pleaser

e. A source of pleasure. = Plesour n. 5. — 1531 Bell. Boece I. 187.
He wes gevin to honest pleseiris and nurist with him crafty menstralis
1549 Compl. 3/16.
1588 King Cat. K. iv.
Despysing couragiouslie the pleasiers of this warld
a 1624 Edinb. Univ. MS. ii. 319.
Foull pleschiris are bot hurtfull thingis

f. In of pleseyr. See Plesour n. 7. — c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 92 (M).
Thir ladeis … Enterit within this park of most pleseyr

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"Pleseir n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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