Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Se, See, Sey(e, Sie, n.1 Also: seie, (seyi), sye, sea, seæ, sche. [ME and e.m.E. se (c1290), see (a1225), sea (a1200), OE ; MDu. see, ON sǽ-r, sjá-r, sjó-r.]

I. 1. The sea, the body of salt water surrounding the land masses of the earth; also as a place with locative expressions, as a type of vastness, etc.With indef. art., the sea in a particular condition, as specified by an adj. or modifying phrase.See also Main sé n. for further examples.(1) 1375 Barb. iii 615.
We kast our thing all in the se
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 496.
Thane in the se The carle wod to the bat but bad
c1420 Wynt. i 1046.
Lytyll Asy lyis … Nere beltyde wytht the se abowt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 14.
The se sould birn the mone sould thoill ecclippis
1513 Doug. i Prol. 280 (Sm.).
And bot my buik be fundin worth sic thre, Quhen it is red, do warp it in the se
1533 Gau 54/22.
Pasz I to the ferrest partis of the se thow art thair
(b) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1005.
Of the see the gret tempest
1456 Hay I 12/5.
Sanct Johne … saw the birnand hill castyn in the see
1456 Hay II 138/11.
All wateris, bathe salt water and suete water cummys out of the see
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 210.
Fra the son to the see
1513 Doug. vi vi 53.
Hys watry hewyt boyt, haw lyke the see
1531 Bell. Boece I lii.
This goume … throw ithand motioun of the see, it growis als teuch as glew
1559–60 Treas. Acc. XI 12.
For ane skin of ane monstour fische of the see, vj li.
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 11.
Thoise placis ar maist subject to the pest quhilkis ar neirby the see
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiv 174.
The sey that is doutowise ay
c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 88.
Als mony synnis as thare is dropis in the sey
1460 Hay Alex. 152.
The sey wox red, … The erd trimblit
1490 Irland Mir. III 11/37.
The mater conuenient to it [sc. baptism] is the watter naturale and elementar as is the rane watter of the sey of the ryver of the well [etc.]
1500 Hist. Carnegies 523.
Thar beand ane sufficient goyll in the said dame for passagis of fische to … and fra the sey
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 157.
Rock the quhilk the sey vpcast
1513 Doug. vii iv 50.
The seys rage
1513 Doug. vii viii 118.
Lyke as the sey changis … hys hew
1528 Lynd. Dreme 130.
Onto the see fordwart I fure … And this fals wardlis instabilytie Unto that sey makkand comparisoun
1533 Boece 52b.
Ane heich montane … within the sey callit the Mule
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1542.
Affore the Flude … The sey wes all in to ane place
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5460.
The horribyll soundis of the sey The peple sall perturbe and fley
1580 Aberd. Chart. 238.
His said new fischeing to be betwix thame and the sea and in the sey forganis the watter mouth of Done
1593 Edinb. B. Rec. V 91.
For bringing of the sey to the North loch and for making clowssis at the schore
1596 Dalr. I 47/34.
A mater that wirkes out of the stanes and hardnes throuch the calde nature of the sey
(d) a1568 Bann. MS 258a/3.
All the sie vndir the lift that flowis
a1578 Pitsc. II 258/4.
[They] tuik furth all that thay micht carrie with thame and cuist the rest ovir burd in the sie
(e) 1456 Hay I 16/4.
Creaturis quhilkis had saule and lyf in the see war dede … be the quhilkis … was understandin the grete schippis that was perist in the sea
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 280.
At Munrose … was drevin into the sea a grit number of scheip
1581 Burne Disput. 19.
My truble … is hauiar as the sand of the sea
1587-99 Hume 37/105.
The sea and earth … Sall be brunt vp and euerie thing shall burne
(2) 1461 Liber Plusc. 382.
All thir watteris … Baith of salt sey, of burne [etc.]
1513 Doug. i iv 42.
Eneas … widequhar behaldand the large see
1513 Doug. iii ix 34.
Rent me in pecis … Or drown law vndir the large seys brak
1513 Doug. vi xii 44.
Vndre the watir or deip hydduus sey
1513 Doug. x iv 86.
Throu fludis of the stormy see
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 110.
Watry hewit as the haw wally see
1549 Compl. 40/1.
The suelland vallis of the brym seye
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1708.
The heit into thy hippis the salt sey will not slokin
1587-99 Hume 28/81.
Calme is the deepe and purpour se
c1600 Montg. Suppl. iv 26.
The … rageing of the roring sey
(3) 1549 Compl. 140/5.
Ane calme sey in vyntir

b. Without the article.Also contrasted with the earth or land and the air.On (be) seis half, ? from the seaward side.(1) 1375 Barb. xiv 371 (C).
The Bane that is ane arme of se [E. of the se]
?1438 Alex. ii 658.
Als far as sey excedes land
c1420 Wynt. i 1501.
Off batylle, wyne, wynd, and se
1501 Aberd. B. Rec. I 428.
Ane brokin schip, … quhilk, throw storme of sey, happin to brek
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 95.
In sey desert quhill we wer famist aw
15.. Dunb. App. ix 21.
Makar of angellis, man, erd, hevin and se
1513 Doug. i iii 42.
The swokand swelth sank vnder sey and drond
1513 Doug. iv viii 44.
Tary quhil wynd blaw soft, and stabill see
1551 Perth Guildry p. 277 (22 Oct.).
Quhair he be chance of sey hes tynt his pak and fallin in extreme pouerte [etc.]
c1615 Chron. Kings 90.
The Laird of Wester Weymis … slew sewine hundreth Inglismen be ane ambous quhair thay war deffendit be sie
1618 Trial Isobel Inch 6.
That God sould never let sey nor salt watter beir thame above quho had … injurit hir
(2) ?14.. Ship Laws c. 7 (B).
The maystyr and the schypmen has stowyt thair wynys as thai aw to do Stres of wedrys cummys to thaim on seis half [Harl. 2 be seis half] thai cum in fast to the land [etc.]

c. In collocation with land (also, erd, and, once, sand), freq. with reference to the entirety of the earth, things, a situation. Also be (in, on, our) land and (or) se, by (in, on, over) land and (or) sea; by all possible means; everywhere. Also pl.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi 444.
Al wrangis … That twechit othir land or see
1460 Hay Alex. 145.
Baith erd sey and air
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 17/71.
Lord of sey and landis, I cry thé marcy
1570 Sat. P. x 332.
For all wes trublit, baith se, land, and air
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii 277.
For-thi be land and sey men sowcht
a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 8.
Quhat parele man war in sted, Be sey or land
1384 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 5.
This condicion … sall … be kephit … by see als vell as … be lande
c1420 Wynt. viii 3824.
That towne straytly assegede he Bathe be land and be the se
c1420 Wynt. viii 4752.
Qwhethir he went be land or se, I wate noucht
1548–9 Reg. Privy S. IV 8/1.
All oistis, raidis [etc.] … tobe maid be sey or land within the realme
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5778.
Ȝe lauboraris be sey and landis
1567 G. Ball. 97.
Suppose he fall be sey, or ȝit be land, God will erect him
a1568 Scott xii 41.
Be land or se, Quhair evir I be
a1585 Maitl. Q. 22/68.
Ilk ane to other keip trew fraternitie Defend ane other bayth be land and sie
1622-6 Bisset II 253/27.
pl. 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 756.
Quhat thow hes hard, be landis, or be seis
(3) a1500 Colk. Sow i 92.
A schipman on se & sand
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 547 (Asl.).
Na man knawis … the place In sey or land
1513 Doug. iii vi heading.
Quhat dangeris he suld thoill on land and see
15.. King Berdok 19.
The king Berdok he fure our se and land

d. pl. as coll. See also c above. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 107/21.
Donald Owyr Mair falsett had nor udir fowyr Rownd ylis and seyis
1513 Doug. iii v 85.
We, quhen that ybrynt war our kynd landis, Careit our fremmyt seys and diuers strandis
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxi.
Ane roche crag, dippand with ane lang hals in the seis
1531 Bell. Boece II 52.
Sail, mast, and taikillis wer blawin in the brim seis
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 2.
Ȝe seyis sa deip! ȝe fludis and fountanis fair!
1580 Hume Promine 15.
Flowand Phœbe, Lady of the seyis
c1590 J. Stewart 40/366.
Monsters … From seis he send his peuple till annoy
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxv 5.
The surgeing seyis
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xlix 11.
Levir sees that syndry shippis devoirs

e. The sea with specif. reference to shipping operations, sailing, etc., esp. to tak (sail) the se, to set sail, go to sea, etc. and to keip the seyis, to maintain control over a particular stretch of sea (cf. d above).See also Sail(l v. 4 for further examples.(1) 14.. Acts I 356/1.
All the havynnis of the sey
1575–6 Conv. Burghs I 44.
Vnderstanding the seais to be replenischit with piratis
(2) c1420 Wynt. ii 1666.
Anthenor and his menyhe Wyth thare nawyn tuk the se
c1475 Wall. x 795.
Amang merchandis gud Wallace tuk the se
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 104.
Quhowbeit his grace Had salit the sey
1596 Dalr. I 87/2.
Thir peple with lang schipis … tuke the sey
a1605 Montg. Sonn. lxi 10.
To saill the seyis
(3) 1610 Reg. Privy C. IX 19.
[They] haveing keipit the seyis this lang tyme bigane

f. The sea as subject to the ebb and flow of the tide.See Eb adj. a, Eb v., Ebbing vbl. n., Fill v. 4, Filling vbl. n. 1, Flowing vbl. n., Full adj. 2, Furth adv. 3 (1) for further examples. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 8 (B).
Gyfe mute be rysyn betwene a burges & a marchand it aw to be determynde wyth in the thrid fyllyng of the see
1424 Acts II 5/2.
In fresche watteris quhar the see fillis & ebbis
14.. Acts I 22/2.
Wythin the thrid flud of the see
c1475 Wall. x 419.
The sey was in, at thai stoppyt and stud
15.. Lynd. Rutter fol. 7 (B).
From Ardmurth alongue the costis of Mull, Coll and Terrey the moone south to wast, full sea
a1568 Bann. MS 267a/24.
And quhen the sie will nathir eb nor fill
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 23/63.
Bot changeand ay as dois the mone and see
a1578 Pitsc. I 75/32.
Ower the watter bridnit witht the filling of the sie

g. fig. a1500 Henr. Thre Deid Pollis 1.
In to this mortall se, Quhilk is the vaill of mvrnyng [etc.]
1490 Irland Mir. I 82/18.
The thrid ryuer and flud is the haly scripture and doctrine of Jhesu, that is a greit and merwalus seye
1490 Irland Mir. I 154/13.
Sche was the ark of Noy … and be hire wertu in this present sey we sall surelie pas fra the perill
a1568 Bell. Bann. MS 4b/47.
Of fortoun gud I had no esperance So lang I swomit in hir seis deip
a1568 Bell. Bann. MS 6a/154.
Gif thow desyris in to the seyis till fleit Of hevinly blis
1562-3 Winȝet I 96/17.
Hir grace's … vndoutit freindis in the stormie seis
1601 Melvill 499.
Sen from hopped herbrie I mon now Lainche furthe again into the stormie sies
a1649 Drummond Wks. (1711) 156.
Having to these seas of joy … added this small brook or nymph of mine

2. With reference to the edge of the sea; the sea-side or sea-shore. Also in a place-name.(1) 1571 Inverness Rec. I 209.
Alexander Cruyschank dwelland in the burcht sea
1572 Elgin Rec. I 131.
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xviii 474.
Til I … Saw men of Luby & Egipe Hast thame to sey, for to schype
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 492.
Thai … thare thocht land to tak. Ane Melluma … Come to the se & saw thame thare
?1438 Alex. ii 2829.
Besyde the see at the brasin ȝet
c1420 Wynt. iv 1840.
He bad thame … Fra the se that thai suld fare Ten thowsand pasys
a1500 Henr. Fab. 747.
Syne ouer the heuch vnto the see he hyis
1488 Acta Aud. 117/2.
All the land fra the bra of Stratirum to the sey
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 350.
Stopping of thame fra taking of wair of the sey to lay apone the sadis landis for the gudeing thairof
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 190/17.
In burghis, to landwart and to sie
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 83.
That he … sowd browk fre the lawest of the se and up to the hiest … of the said grownd [etc.]
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 207.
The expensis of certane cariage maid be the carteris of Faulkland fra the se, viz., Lewin, Dysart, Kirkcaldy [etc.]
a1540 Freiris Berw. 8 (M).
In to this toun the quhilk is callit Berwik Apon the se
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 241.
Utheris apon the schoirris of the sey or burrows apon the se of this realm
1559–60 Reg. Privy S. V i 161/1.
Ane tenement of land … liand within the burgh of Irwin … the sey on the west parte and oure soveranis streit on the eist parte
a1568 Scott i 194.
Quhat berne sould bruke all Bretane be the see?
1580 (1587) Reg. Great S. 390/1.
Beginand at the sie … at ane merche stane
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 48.
Ane little ile callit Inismerog twa myle of sea
1608 Douglas Bequest IV 3 Nov.
At the wast the skelle and full sie at the south

3. a. A large wave; a heavy swell. Also pl. 1375 Barb. iv 445.
The wynd wes thaim agayne That swa hey gert the land-bryst rys That thai moucht weld the se na wis
1513 Doug. i iii 38.
Ane hydduus sey schippit at hir stern behynd
pl. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1359.
Ane lustie barge Ouirset with seyis and mony stormie charge
1572 Sat. P. xxxi 43.
That seis als greit as Noyis flude Sall drowne the warld
1632 Lithgow Trav. iii 93.
We were in danger to be over-runne … with two huge broken seas which twice covered the body of the closse boat

b. pl. as coll. Sea-water. 1513 Doug. v iv 35.
And al his weid sowpyt with seys [L. madidaque fluens in veste]

4. A particular sea or tract of sea, freq. with defining adj. or proper name. Also transf.The est (easter) se or seis, the sea or seas east of Scotland, the North sea, the Baltic; west se or seis, the western sea or seas, the Atlantic ocean or coast around Scotland.For further examples of est se see Est adj.The grete, also mekill, se, the ‘great sea’, the Mediterranean; the mekill se also = the great outer sea, the Ocean = Oc(c)ean n. 1, q.v. also for ocean se, se ocean.See also Scottis se(e n.See also narrow seis Naro(w adj. b (3).The kingis seye, ? = Scottis se(e n.(1) 1375 Barb. xv 279.
A myle wes betuix the seys [sc. sea lochs of East and West Tarbert]
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 42.
Thare is … a locht nere that cyte As lyk a se nere to be; It is sa mykil, lang & brade
c1420 Wynt. ii 685.
Oure fra hym be-yhonde a se He kend lyand a gret cuntre
c1515 Asl. MS I 153/17.
The warld … was fundyn to haf xxx vncouth seis
1528 Lynd. Dreme 817.
The haboundance of fyschis in our seis
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 241 (see 2 above). 1574 Conv. Burghs I 28.
For clenging of thair seais and watteris [sc. of pirates]
1617 Yester Wr. 328.
[The] haill lockis and seyis of the Ilis of Ust Lewis and vther ilis
1630 Acts V 232/1.
That the seas foreanent the coasts of this kingdome and about the yles thairof [etc.] … ar the Scotish seas properlie belonging to the crowne of Scotland
1631 Acts V 235/2.
If these seas sould be exhausted … of fishes they [etc.]
transf. c1515 Asl. MS I 159/5.
Thar is alsa a gravel see that ebbis and flowis without watter
(2) ?1438 Alex. i 1683.
The Red See [F. rouge mer]
c1515 Asl. MS I 156/1.
The gret se begynnis in the west at Hercules pillaris, thar the se of the occeane of Athaland brekis out & makis the se Gaditan. The lenth of the se is xvm pas and the breid vm pas
1513 Doug. Comm. i iv 73.
In the Sycill sey
1513 Doug. vii xiii 52.
The Tyrrhene see
1513 Doug. viii iii 122.
Thai sall … occupy thai boundis oriental Quhar as the ovir see [sc. the Adriatic] flowys
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxi.
Lochtie risis nocht viii milis fra Lochnes and fallis … in the Almane seis
1532–3 Acta Conc. & Sess. (St. S.) 19.
Fra the midstreme of the watter of Cree west to the Ireland see
1533 Bell. Livy II 198/21.
The laich sey is callit mare Adriaticum
1574–5 Day-bk. J. Cokburn 25.
To fecht our mylstane out of Broxmouth sie
1574–5 Day-bk. J. Cokburn 29.
Broxmouth sie
1582 St. A. Kirk S. 483.
Sche hed to do with Patrik … sindry times … and spetialie amangis the craigis at the partane sey
pl. c1500 Interl. Droich 61.
Scho fischit all the Spanȝie seyis With hir sark lap betuix hir theyis
1531 Bell. Boece I 2.
In the reid seis
1596 Dalr. I 170/19.
Betuene the Germane and the Yrishe seyes
(3) 1487 Acts II 183/1.
Anent the fisching … of hering … at the west sey and Lowis
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 397.
The assise hering of the est sey set to the sade Margaret
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 412.
To La Mote, Franche man, quhen he past to Dunbertane to the west see
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 479.
The marenaris of Dunde and of the est sey
1515 Reg. Privy S. I 390/2.
A lettre of tak … of all and hale the assis hering and keling of the west sey
1570 Leslie 116.
He arryvit in Scotland at the west seyi in ane heavin callit Gawrathe [sc. Gairloch]
1596 Dalr. I 52/13.
Evin to the west sey, ay quhil it cum to Dunbartane
pl. 1512 Reg. Privy S. I 371/2.
The eist seys of the realm
1547 Cal. Sc. P. I 5.
To wait weyll apone the Abbot of P[ai]slay … for the west syes, and at oder his passages for the est sees
1564 Warrender P. (SHS) I 37.
Quhair in all ageis … the … mercheantis trafficqueing in the eist seis wer … mair favourablie intertenyit then ony uther strangearis … we haif hard that of lait yeiris our subjects travelling throuch the strait of the Baltique sey ar burdeynit with new impositiones
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 298.
Johne lord Flemyng come out of France to Scotland, and landit at the west seyis
1577 A. Hay Nobility 12.
An other castell called Ardrossen standinge vpoun the west seas for anenst the Isle of Bute
1591 Conv. Burghs I 358.
All merchandis resortand to France, Flanderis or any pairt of the Easter seyis
(4) a1400 Leg. S. v 614.
And tyd a tyme, thar-fore, at he For sic cause passit the gret se In to a cunctre far away
1456 Hay II 137/26.
Fischeis … in the grete see or in the lytill wateris
c1515 Asl. MS I 154/25.
Europia strekis dounwart … to the costis of Spane and lestis till the gret see
1596 Dalr. I 35/4.
Frome the diocie of Perth evin to the grete sey
(5) c1420 Wynt. i 1251.
That is in the mekyll se wyth-out Beltand all the erde abowt
c1420 Wynt. v 4142.
Crete, That lyis wythin the mekill se
(6) c1500 Harl. MS 4700 269a.
Quhair … thai schuel [? for duel] on this syde the kingis seye he sall haif xxi days be it beȝond the Scottis sey on this syde Drumalban he sall haif twis fourty dais

5. Applied to an inland sea, a lake or a river. 1375 Barb. x 23.
For a schor crag hey and hydwous Raucht to the se [sc. Loch Awe] doun fra the pas
c1515 Asl. MS I 304/16, 17.
Thar is … the se of Galile Thebarias and the see of Theberiadis
1513 Doug. v xiv 54.
Sowpit in Stix, the forcy hellys see
1513 Doug. vii ix 62.
Acheron … that hellis see [Ruddim. sye]
1596 Dalr. I 12/12.
Ganging about the coste of Anandale, quhilke the hiland seyes flowis till

II. In prepositional phrases.

6. At se, at sea, on board ship. 1661 S. Ronaldshay 36.
Ane poore Zetland man whom God had wonderfully preservad into a storme at sea

7. Be se. a. On the sea, at sea. b. By sea, using the sea as a means of travelling. See also 1 c above. c. Be the se, at sea, on the sea, by means or because of the sea.a. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 609 (B).
Se how I am new cum in … Stormested be sie [Ch. Tostit on sea] ay sen Ȝule day
1570 Leslie 88.
That slayers be sey aucht not compair personallie, bot be thair atturnayis
1610 Conv. Burghs II 305.
Schippis for apprehending of certain pirattis … spoiling and riving all persons be sie
b. 1375 Barb. xiii 619.
The erle Patrik … gert … send the king by se To Bawmburgh
?1438 Alex. i 11.
That nouther ship nor ȝit gallay Sould be sey cum to the toun
c1420 Wynt. vii 2509.
The Kyng off Francys swne Wyth a gret nawyne past be se
1444 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) xcix.
Al maner of gudes of aventur that cummys be see to this burgh
c1475 Wall. vi 798.
Away be sey, he staw out off that place
1481 Acts II 139/1.
Geif it sall happin oure ennemyis to invaid the realme be sey
1513 Doug. ix iii 8.
Eneas By sey to tak hys vayage schap to pas
1546 Treas. Acc. IX 44.
Ane schip wes ordanit to ly before the castell of Sanctandrois … sua that nane of the said castell suld ische be sey
1570 Leslie 219.
Thay transportit thair be sey … xvij hundreth lancequenetys
1600-1610 Melvill 168.
To put me saiff in Berwik within twentie-four houres be sie
1604 Inverness Rec. II 26.
Sex bollis meill quhilk com in be sey
c1650 Spalding I 225.
The bischop of Ross wyf … be sea saillis to hir husband
c. 1494 Loutfut MS 5b.
The admirall of richt is ane office that suld ring and be exersit be the sey to wer and lieutenant to the prince on thaim that wald offend or move wer be wattir or sey in his land
15.. Dunb. App. ii 42.
Gif thow beis ane marchand man, And wynnis thy living be the see
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. I 11.
To releve his extreme pouertie in tyneyng of his pack be the sey

8. Beyond (the) se, on the other side of the sea, abroad, overseas. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 34 (A).
The partis be ȝond the see
1456 Peebles B. Rec. I 118.
Of a sartan som … the qwylk he had geyfyng hym beyond the se to kyp
a1500 Colk. Sow ii 30.
One aliane come frome beȝond the se
1496 Acta Conc. II 35.
For expenses made be him in the partis beyond sey
1497 Acta Conc. II 90.
That letters be writin to the clerkis being in the partis beyond sey [etc.]
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 382.
And sitt unsoupit oft beȝond the sey
1515 Reg. Privy S. I 409/1.
Of France or ony uther port beȝond sey
1518 Edinb. B. Rec. I 183.
Alsweill beyond the sey as on this syde
1546 Crim. Trials I i 333.
During the said Johnnis remaning beȝond sey
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II 227.
Diuers … schippis cumin furth of … places beyond sey
1624 Perth Kirk S. MS 31 May.
Henrie Mukarsie pure parentles boy … is boun to the pairtis beȝond see
1665 Edinb. B. Rec. X 1.
Aill and beir comeing from landward or beyond sea
pl. 1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 209.
The exportatioun of yarne beyound ses
1626 Justiciary Cases I 59.
To serve in his maiesteis weiris beȝond sees

9. For the se, for use on a sea voyage. 1495 Treas. Acc. I 242.
For the tursing of the kingis letacampbed, and othir gere for the see, to Dunbertane agane his passing in the Ilys
1540 Misc. Hist. Soc. X 47.
Scloppys and brekis for the see to his graice

10. Fra (fro) the se, from the (direction of the) sea; from voyaging. 1375 Barb. x 98.
Quhen he his men mycht se Owte off his schippis fra the se Be slayne
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2422.
And he was richt sikker that he Frome Troye suld cum home fro the se

11. In se, at sea, on the sea. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1186.
The Gregeois frome Troye myght not pas For gret tempest in see that was
?14.. Ship Laws c. 26 (B).
The chepmen aw to hafe ilk ane a ton fre of fraucht gyf thai help thaim selvyn wele in the see as thai aw to do
1622-6 Bisset II 232/2.
Crymes committed in the seæ or in portis thereof
1632 Acts V 243/1.
Thair trakboats … crears [etc.] … designed and prepared for taking of fishe … whether they be in sea or herberie

12. On (apon, upoun) (the) se(is. a. On the sea, at sea, by sea, in the process of travelling by sea, on a voyage. b. Over the (surface of) the sea. c. lit. On the surface of the water. d. On seys, throughout the region of the sea; with regard to the sea.a. 1375 Barb. x 34.
And him selff held him apon the se
c1420 Wynt. iv 1728.
Agayne the Romanys … come on se wytht his powere
c1450-2 Howlat 774 (A).
Sound saland on the se schippis of towre
a1500 Bk. Chess 1411.
Off fortitud and strenth in hert stithly Thir folk suld be first on the seye for quhy Throw waik spreit of thaim that has the cure Schippis ar tynt mor than with stormys
1533 Boece 9.
How on the sey Cadal was trowblit
1531–2 Treas. Acc. VI 45.
For breid to the hors and doggis upon the sey
1549 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) (J. de Complude v. Robertson).
The saidis schippis in thair myd viage vpoun the sey
a1578 Pitsc. I 57/31.
Schir James Stewart … was tane wpoun the sie
1579 Menzies MSS in 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 697/1.
The said duik wes on the seie cumane to Scottland
1589 Edinb. B. Rec. V 6.
For performing of thair vow maid upoun sey
c1590 J. Stewart 97/627.
Vaeik creȝit barge vpon the suelling sie
1587-99 Hume 29/123.
The stabill ships vpon the sey
pl. 1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii 3.
Lyke to ane schip that saillis on the seis
b. 1549 Compl. 52/1.
Ane man beand on the hede of ane hil, he vil see ane schip farrar on the seye nor he vil see at the fut of the hil
c. 1490 Irland Mir. II 27/25.
The discipulis of Jhesu saw him gangand on the seye as one the land
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 7.
Christ … apperis be nycht vnto his disciplis vpounn the see
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 127/29.
Nor that our saluiour ȝeid apone the see
1562-3 Winȝet I 87/11.
As quhen He passit vpon the see
d. 1513 Doug. i iii 75.
He has na power nor autorite On seys
1612 Acts IV 497/2.
The office of lieutenandrie vpoun the seyis

13. Our (the) se, over the sea; overseas, abroad.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii 2930.
[They] Past … Oure se togyddyre into Frans
c1420 Wynt. viii 379.
The effect oure se he wrate, Cownsale til hawe
1473 Treas. Acc. I 43.
To Johnne Broune lutare, at his passage oure sey
a1500 Seven S. 2422.
Clething … that he brocht with him our se
1513 Doug. iii ii 160.
Quhar that … we … set our cowrs our see
(2) 1375 Barb. i 325.
That he wald trawaile our the se
1375 Barb. i 346.
Then come tythandis our the se
c1420 Wynt. ii 778.
As [he] passyd … oure the se Fra Denmark
c1450-2 Howlat 303 (A).
Thai … Seikis our the salt se
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 3.
Hym to seik our the sey, that saiklese wes sald
a1500 Seven S. 2565.
He … thaim behude Pas our the sey in pilgrimage
1513 Doug. i vi 102.
The tresour … Is thus caryit our the sey
1513 Doug. vi v 35.
Byrdis … Quhom the cald sesson cachis owr the see
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 212.
[They] saillit owr the sea
1591 Crim. Trials I ii 254.
Ye and thay tuik the sea, … past owre the sea in riddillis to ane schip [etc.]

14. (Out) throu the se, through, over the sea. c1475 Wall. ix 333.
Ye mycht haiff send … Eftir power, to bryng yow throu the se
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 36 (M).
Out throw the frossin se We salit … but steir gyd or glas To paradyce
a1568 Scott i 190.
Naveis of schippis outtrocht the sea to sneir
a1578 Pitsc. I 361/6.
Thai … marwellit mekill of the King of Scottlandis comming throw the sie
1587-99 Hume 60/277.
God … led them safely through the sie

15. (To put, pas, go, etc.) to (till) (the) se, to embark, set out on a voyage; to put to sea. b. In the direction of, towards the sea. c. For (use on) a voyage. d. To the sea-side or shore: See sense 2 above. 1375 Barb. iv 441.
Thai put thaim to the se And rowyt fast
1375 Barb. iv 629, 630.
Then in schort time men mycht thaim se Schute all thar galayis to the se And ber to se baith ayr and ster
1375 Barb. xx 589.
To [C. Till] se thai went, gud wind thai had
c1400 Troy-bk. i 192.
That he ger ankeres rasit be And smertly set thame to the see
1429 Ayr B. Acc. in Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXI 146.
To the wagis given the nechboris past to the see [etc.]
1535 Treas. Acc. VI 261.
The kingis gracis woll … to be send to the sey
1539 Treas. Acc. VII 229.
At hir passing to the sey
1542–3 Reg. Privy S. III 9/2.
Gudis … passand furth of the said burgh … to sey
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 78 (B).
Ane [sc. whale] him swelleit and bair him to the sie
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 92.
Quhen the greit nauie of Scotland Passit to the sey aganis Ingland
15.. Clar. v 2867.
Convoyit him to sea his luiftenand
1615 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 250.
The rebellis wilbe forcit to leaue all these Iles or then to the oppin seaes
c1650 Spalding II 434.
The Laird of Echt … causit arreist the schippis careing salmound to France … Thairefter … the salmound wes agane schippit, and so gois to the sey
b. 1460 Hay Alex. 3280.
Sum to wod and sum to sey can ga … That mony in the sey men mycht se droun
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 249.
Apone that riche river, randonit full evin, The side-wallis war set, sad to the see
c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 12b.
Na maneir of watteris war defendit fra fisching of salmond bot watteris rynnand to the sey
c. 1590 Edinb. Test. XXII 31b.
The half quarter of the schip … quhair of William Lathoir is master frie outred to the sie with xx li. of stuilling
1595 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 9b.
For irne wark to the seye … For ell to the seye … For twyne to our sallis and to the seye
1598 St. A. Baxter Bks. 63.
Baikes, or faiges, or bread leawes, to gang to the sea

III. 16. attrib. and comb. See also many separate entries, as, Se-box n., Se-side n., etc. Cf. also Scley n. ? = sea-clay. a. Se sand, ȝard, hous, etc., ground, etc. found by or in the sea. c1450-2 Howlat 208 (A).
Apon the se sand
1487 Douglas Chart. 120.
Our Lady Chapell, witht the ȝard and the sey ȝard
1517 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 63a.
The sehous croft set to Patrik Mwre
1528–9 Reg. Great S. 160/1.
Salmonum piscariam super le seyschoire subtus villam de Inverbervy
1531 Bell. Boece II 336.
King Hary … brint and heryit all the see camp to Haddingtoun
1535 Stewart 32723.
Ane fair castell standand on the se skar
1546 St. P. Henry VIII V 580.
Thate daye thai schote downe all the battellyne and caiphouse of the seytowre
1549 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 588.
[Poor persons] gadderaris of wilkis … and uthir small fische upoun the sey sandis fornent the landis of Balcomy
1565 Reg. Privy S. V i 600/2.
Dimedia marcata terrarum de Balcary cum lie sche yair et piscaria earundem
1567 Prestwick B. Rec. 70.
At na man … leyd wrek out of the se or se sand quhyl the sone rys
1569 Inverness Rec. I 178.
Four aker land lyand in the see feyld occupeit be the said Andro
1578 Rec. Earld. Orkney 354 (see Oise n.2). 1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Pharus, ane sey towne
1587 Conv. Burghs I 235.
Thatt att the making … of the said [taxation] roll thair be ane equall nomber of dry and sea burrowis
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Scopulus, rupes marina, a sea craig
1595–6 Rec. Earld. Orkney 358.
The yard and pertinentis … haifand … the commoun gait and sie use to the west and the Quoybank to the eist partis
1621 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 123b (20 June).
Dilait for byding amongis the sie craigis on the Sabbothe day
1623 Conv. Burghs III 148.
Coalles whiche ar wyn vnder the sey and ar vpone the sea shore
1641 Acts V 492/1.
The free portes and sea places of Bellheaven Lamerheaven and Lamercraige
1647 Edinb. Test. LXII 378b.
Johne Raith vivar of the seywark and induellar in the Potterraw
1696 Cullen B. Rec. 175b (21 April).
Ane rigg off land in the sea rudes

b. Se wattir, clay, sand, viewed as materials. 1560 Treas. Acc. XI 32.
For twa gang of see watter and iij firlottis of grit salt to mak pickkle
1563 Edinb. B. Deeds 94b.
The said schip … wes drevin on schoir … quhair scho skoirit and the sey watter enterit in hir
1627 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 206.
For ten lead of sey clay for my lord chancellaris furnes bigging up
1639 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 408.
For iii laid of sie clay to the smythis xxxii s.
1698 Acts X 151/1.
That each puncheon load of lyme be refreshed at least with one or two loads of sea sand

c. See tangle, rede, starne, wrack, etc., marine flora. 1531 Bell. Boece I xlix.
Be adventure [he] liftet up ane see-tangle, hingand full of mussill schellis fra the rute to the branchis
1531 Bell. Boece I liii.
Oftimes the see tangle is found involvit with this goume
1549 Compl. 66/1 (see Red(e n.2 4). 1596 Dalr. I 62/1.
He saw bred of a sey tangle, mussilis, and quhen thay were apned … in thame was fund … nocht fishe bot foules
1660 Laing MSS 310.
[The] sea starne … is an herbe that I know hes oft cured the swelling
1674 Rothesay B. Rec. 330.
The sea wrecks … being ropped … libertie is granted to him to take up the said wrack and make his best use therof
1683 Cullen Kirk S. 5 Nov.
That non should gather war or seawrack from Saturday at skey setting till Munday at skey rysing

d. Secat, volue, eyl, etc., marine fauna. 1513 Doug. x x 43.
Thir sey monstreys in thar wod rage
1528 Household Bks. Jas. V App. 17.
j secat, ij conguerellis
1549 Compl. 60/22.
The selcht quhilk sum men callis the see volue
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 12/9.
As whailes so huge and sea eylis rare
1683 Garden in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 134.
The lempitt and little kind of mussell, the sea burr, the claim-shell and the great black cockle
1683 Garden in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 137.
In summer time we see abundance of sea nettles floating in the water with long roots at them
1684 Symson Descr. Galloway 93.
Keilling and skait and sea-carps
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 23.
Serpens marinus, the sea-serpent
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 24.
Lyra, quibusdam the crowner, aliis ex nostratibus the sea-hen: quæ appellatio quoque (sea-hen) Germanis communis est, referente Turnero
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 24.
Perca marina, the sea-pearch
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 24.
Cyprinus, the sea-carp
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 34.
Pulex marinus, the sea-flea
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 37.
Catalogum piscium … sea-adder … see-needle [etc.]
c1650-1700 Descr. Zetland 41.
The several kinds of fishes here are … seath, sea-dogs (here called hoes) and podlocks … which three … are very beneficial by reason of the oyl they make of their livers

e. Se fowle, etc., sea birds. c1450-2 Howlat 238 (A).
All se fowle and seid fowle was nocht for to seike
1513 Doug. iii iv 65.
Thir laithly sey byrdis
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxvii.
Soland geis, nocht unlik to thir fowlis, that Plineus callis see ernis
1596 Dalr. I 24/28.
Sche is a sey guse … commonlie now ane solande guse
1682 Irvine Nomenclatura 220.
Solan-geese … are properly a long-winged sea-haulk, that prey upon fish, after the manner of other sea-eagles
1683 Garden in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 133.
The sea cock, the kitwiack and whap
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 14.
Haliæetus, the sea-eagle, or ospray
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 19.
Charadrius, the sea-lark
1684 Sibbald Scot. Illustr. iii 20.
Columba Groenlandica dicta, the sea-turtle dove

f. See-tempestes, tide, etc., natural forces in relation to the sea. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1011.
And sene that so the see-tempestes Lownyt not
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxiii.
The see tide, quhen it cumis in maist swiftlie [etc.]
1531 Bell. Boece I lii.
See froith, quhilk is cassin up be continewal repercussion of craggis aganis the see wallis
1627 Orkney Rentals iii 63.
Be tempesteous stormes and sea gust
a1688 Wallace Orkney (1693) 19.
How great is the power of the sea-break may appear from this, that … there are … large stones thrown up … a great way above the rock

g. See pyrate, etc., persons functioning in some relation to the sea. 1526 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 243.
Henry Bardinare … dilatit as ane see pyrate
1526 Acts II 315/1.
Henry Bardiner … ane sey theiff
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 40.
For twa litill barrellis of Allacant wyne to the kingis grace for the sey partie
1610 Crim. Trials III 102.
Pirates, sie-thives, and rivers
1622-6 Bisset II 241/17.
The maister aw to tak counsall of his fellowes and seæ meittis
?a1648 Polemo-Mid. 19.
Sea-sutor obstupuit
1672 Rothesay B. Rec. 231.
Four sie sojers and a landsojer
1683 Stirlings of Keir 520.
He wreits to me they have good pay, and wil have occassione to be a sea suldier, and a land one

h. Sey schip, etc. 1513 Doug. v iii 38.
The sovir sey schip
1576 Edinb. Test. IV 88b.
Ane quarter of ane litill sey boit with ane lyne thairin

i. See kart, book, instrument, etc. 1597–8 Aberd. B. Rec. II 158.
The haill universall see kart of Europ, Affrica, and Asaia, and new found landis of America
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII 86.
David Cowstoune skipper. Ane sea book … ane loadstone
1668 Edinb. Test. LXXIII 204.
Ane sea glob 2 sea cairts with a great mane sea instruments
1699 Edinb. Test. LXXX 356.
Ane old sea quadrant

j. Se brekis, claithis, kistis, knyff, etc., clothes, etc. for use, or as used, at sea. 1506 Treas. Acc. III 51.
Ȝallow carsay to be se brekis to the king
1538 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 233.
Dismontand the artalyary furth of the se stokis in the land stokis
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 23.
Blak welvot to jeit the kingis sey claithis
1546 Treas. Acc. VIII 458.
To David Avirre to by him se clathis quha wis ordanit to pas in the Lyoun in weirfair xxii s.
1579 Conv. Burghs I 100.
That no cloithis … within sey kistis … sall scatt and lot with the vther guidis
1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 178.
Thre sey kistis and remanent baggage and claythis
1584 St. A. Test. II 50.
xxx pair of sea bwtis littill and mekill
1589 Burntisland B. Ct. 17 Oct.
Ane bludy straik giwine be the said Thomas to the said Johine with ane sea knyff vpone the schulder
1600-1610 Melvill 168.
I gead a-land and reposit me in my sie abbat
1619 Reg. Privy C. XII 760.
Ane seagoun for a man
1628 Edinb. Test. LIV 266.
Ane sie kist pryce iij li.
1633 Orkney Witch Trial in Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. V 545.
Scho wold take that watter and cast itt about him and upon him and into his sea caschie … and quhen he cam to the sea he should get fisch
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 222.
Ye … gropit his breast and back and said he was melt grown … and he was aye the worse thereafter … and was all drawn together as it were with sea cords
1680 Edinb. B. Rec. X 391.
Thrie sea packs of lint in boulk

k. Sey lawbour, fecht, tred, etc., activities in some fashion to do with the sea, happening at or by sea, etc. c1475 Wall. ix 202.
Ane Inglis schip … For sey lawbour that ernystfully was dycht
1602 Conv. Burghs II 142.
Than sall the skipper haue his fraucht for the guidis that ar saif, … according to the custom of sey handling
1623–4 Mar & Kellie MSS Suppl. 191.
We have hard mutche heir of a sea fecht betyxt the Dunkirkers and the Hollanders
c1650 Spalding I 84.
Our sea tred and salmound fishing
1662 Decree Arbitral Earl of Rothes in Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 21 July.
By shipwrack, pirrating, sea hazard or uther accident
1665 Glasgow B. Rec. III 60.
Johne Gemmill, merchand, … hes lost his stok be sea venter

l. Sey borrow, misserage, etc., finance or dues to do with trade by sea. Cf. also Sey custome n. 1550 Reg. Privy C. I 104.
That befor thair deperting that the maisteris, awneris, and capitanis of ilk schip comper befor thesaurar clark and ressave sey borrow and find sufficient cautioun that tha sall pas na uthair way bot upoun the cost and throw the watteris of Scotland
1614–15 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 1.
Sey misserage and ankorage

m. Sea fewer, seiknes. 1623 Elgin Rec. II 182.
The sea fewer and the land fewer
c1650 Spalding II 379.
Sore trublit with the sey seiknes

n. Sey hewis, seights. 1513 Doug. iii i 121.
Crownyt with garlandis al of haw sey hewis [L. caeruleis … vittis]
1683 Inv. in Donibristle Mun. (Earl of Moray's MSS) 9 (9-10 May).
Tuo other landskeps representing sea-seights

o. Sea poor box, = Se-box n. 1691 Pittenweem Ann. 101.
Ther are thrie mortificationes of aikers about the town—one belonging to the sea poor box, one to the crafts' box, and one to the kirk session box

p. Sea-broken. 1674 Cunningham Diary 47.
To a poor sea-broken German, 6 s.

q. fig. Sey wawis, sea wallis, a wave-form pattern used as decoration on cloth. 1512 Treas. Acc. IV 263.
Ane coit of the fassoun of the sey wawis
1634 Stirling B. Rec. II 388.
Ane handsenȝie … to the wse of the gildrie, of the ordinar cullours of rid and yallow, wrocht in sea wallis

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Se n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: