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 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Smal(l, Sma(w, adj. and n. Also: smalle, smale, smail(l, smayll, smealle, smell, smau, smaa. Pl. also smallies. [ME and e.m.E. smale (c1200), smal (Layamon), smel (c1275), small(e (Cursor M.), OE smæl, OFris. smel, MDu., MLG smal, ON smár (< *smals. Cf. smali n. small cattle, etc.).]Also in place names and personal names. a1160 Liber Calchou 75.
Rivulus que vocatur smalbec
12… Reg. St. A. 32.
Smalham
1321 Douglas Chart. 357.
Smalchoucheiud
1534–5 Reg. Great S. 317/2.
Smailhame
1558-66 Knox I 79.
Smallame, Stichell and such place nere about
c1300 Liber Dryburgh 92.
Robertus Smel
1338 Liber Dryburgh 261.
Thoma Smale
1359 Exch. R. I 609.
Roberti Smal
13… Liber Melros II 431.
Ricardo Smalle
1465 Peebles B. Rec. I 154.
Sir Wylyam Smayll

A. adj. I. 1. Of a person, a limb, etc.: Of relatively little girth or circumference, slender, thin. Also, specif., the small guts.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 2577.
Small … and schapin wele … Hir hare as gold
?1438 Alex. ii 3752.
Ideas the small
?1438 Alex. ii 4746.
Fesonas, that was gent and small
a1568 Scott x 46.
Scho dois moif My hairt … To se hir proper persoun small
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 440/123.
To mak thame small thair waist is bound
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 63.
With pappis quhite and mydlis small as wandis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 105/23.
With schinnis scharp and small lyk rockis
15.. Clar. iii 675.
Scho … with hir armis small thair legs imbract
(b) a1538 Abell 109b.
[She] put hir smaw arme in the place of the bar
(3) 1460 Hay Alex. 517.
His body was weill schapin as ane hors … Gret neckit … on the widderlok And weill small at the cuplin of the hewide
(4) a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 344 (W).
The trie heich, lang and smal
(5) 1587 Carmichael Etym. 33.
Sordes, the small guts

b. Of thread, rope, etc.: Of relatively little circumference, thin, fine. 1496 Treas. Acc. I 291.
For viijxx and vj fawdome of smal pailȝoune tow, ilk fawdome ij d.
1501 Treas. Acc. II 26.
For v fawdom of smal tow to the [curtains] v d.
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxvi.
In the vale of Esk is sa quhit and small wol, that it hes na compair in Albioun
1531 Bell. Boece I lvi.
Thair hois war maid of smal lint or woll
1540 Treas. Acc. VII 300.
Ane doubill hank of small sewing silver
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII 131.
Small cord to be ereledderis
1566 Treas. Acc. MS 104.
xv hankis of small gold, xxxvij s. xj d.
1582 Edinb. Test. XII 5.
To … hir dochter … hir haill small ȝarne
1603 Eglinton P. (Hist. MSS Comm.) 31.
For small thrid to shoue my rufs
1626 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 198.
For thrie bunsche of small towis to be bak raipes and bellie braissis
1649 Lamont Diary 9.
They werre forcet to binde her with small cords
(b) 1513 Treas. Acc. IV 515.
Smale towis to be eirlederis for the hernys
(c) 1513 Doug. xii Prol. 119.
Downys smaill [Sm. smaill, Ruddim. smal] on dent de lyon sprang

2. Of relatively little breadth, narrow. a. Of ribbon, etc.(a) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 16.
viij elne of smale rybbanis for the King
1474 Treas. Acc. I 27.
Smal
1506 Treas. Acc. III 51.
For ane unce and ane quartar unce of small grene ribanes to hing the said cowrtingis
1580 Treas. Acc. MS 9.
Foure vnces of small quheit lyllikynnis
(b) 1586-7 Acc. Lady Bellenden 5.
Sma satin pesementis

b. Of geographical features, their characteristics, etc. 1493 Reg. Episc. Morav. 250.
Ascendand to the small burn onder Monedy
1531 Bell. Boece I xlii.
Thir salmond … cumis up throw the smal watteris, speciallie quhare the watter is maist schauld and loun
1533 Bell. Livy II 168/16.
That thow lat it [sc. the water] nocht ryn to the se. Devide it first with small granis and burnys
a1595 Descr. Isles 429.
Ane small grip of the lenth of twa or thrie pair of buttis quhilk narrow grip [etc.]
a1595 Descr. Isles 430.
The Ile of Wist is 40 miles of length, but of small breid
1654 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 530.
Devyded be a small cutt of land
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 561.
A loch … sixteen myles of lenth and of small breadth

3. Of cloth, etc.: Made of fine thread, fine in texture.(1) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 13.
xiij elne of smale Hollande clath for iij sarkis and a curche
1474 Treas. Acc. I 23.
vj quarteris of grete brade clatht to stufe a doublat … v quarteris of smallare brade claith to floyte the samyn
1483 Acta Conc. I *83/2.
xj elne of smal quhite
1494–5 Treas. Acc. I 230.
xij ellis of smal lawne
1504 Treas. Acc. II 331.
For ane elne small clath to hir collaris, viij s.
1506 Treas. Acc. III 249.
For … smal cammes to be patrons
1533 Boece 413b.
The kingis corps was … with clene muldis and small lynnyng in ane cere claith involuit
15.. Wyf Aucht. 44.
Ane gud new sark Athir of round claith or of small
1562 Will A. Betoun 224.
x buirdclayths of small lyning
1594 Treas. Acc. MS 143b. 1604 Glasgow Weavers 50.
Nane of thame sall work onie linchie winchie of the roundest sort bettir chaip nor xxx d. ilk ell, and fourtie pennyis the smallest sort ilk ell
1634 Wedderburn Gramm. 11.
Sindon, small or fine linnen
1673 Stitchill Baron Ct. 65.
Three ells and ane halfe of small plaiding delyvered be him to be littet
1693 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 460.(b) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 15.
xxj elne of smale braid clath for a pair of schetis to the king
(c) 1484 Acta Conc. I 90*/1.
Sevin elne of smaw lyning
1586-7 Acc. Lady Bellenden 4.
To lyne the same clathis of Mr. Thomas viii els of sma twell
(2) 1456 Hay I 301/32.
The delicious metis and fethir beddis and small schetis of oure lordis and princis that thai ar usit till

II. 4. Little in size or dimension, not large, esp. in comparison with others of the same sort. Variously const.For examples of small signet see Signet n.1 2.Rarely, with non-material thing.(1) attrib. 1375 Barb. iv 463.
With [thretty] small galayis … The king arywyt in Arane
1464–5 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 164.
ij small garnatis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1730.
Of small birdis thair come ane ferlie flicht
c1475 Wall. xi 909.
A small haknay
1496 Acta Conc. II 39.
Ane lytil small saket and in it ledder and uther smal gere
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 68.
Thyne heuinlie work … The small herbis constranis till incres
1501–2 Treas. Acc. II 140.
Tua pair small bellisses to the leich
1503 Treas. Acc. II 226.
For v elne satin to be ane small cote to the King
1537 Acta Conc. & Sess. MS IX 157.
xxij paperis of gret prenis … xxiiij clowtes of small prenis
15.. Clar. v 1196.
As the fearse lyoun dois small beistis chase
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 127/24.
Sa small beistis [sc. bees]
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vi 238.
Lapidosa (full of littell small staines)
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 28.
Diminucioun is knawin thrie maner of vays … Thridly be the small draucht of ane virgle throw ane circle or ane semecircle tract
1590–1 Crim. Trials I ii 240.
Ane bony small pictour
a1595 Descr. Isles 428.
Small ilands … we omitt
1597 Household Bks. Jas. VI and Anne 3 March.
Ane small rone fluik
1600-1610 Melvill 85.
The coll … kendles the small speales lyand alangs a pleaning burde
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 20.
For … iiixx great treis … fourscore small treis to the abbey; … for tua lang treis of fourtie fute
1679 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 24 April.
Ane small sword with ane silver handle
(b) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 775 (see Berfrois n.). 1483 Acta Aud. 112*/1.
A chenȝe of gold weyand iiij vnce … a smale chenȝe weyand half a vnce
1513 Doug. i vii 6.
The gretnes of Cartage, Quhilk lait tofor had beyn ane smal cotage
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xxiii 30.
Montanis … and … smal hillis
1599 Conv. Burghs II 55.
Ilk doissin small skynns j d.
(c) 1458 Reg. Great S. 143/1.
Of ilke gret bat sex pennys … of ilk smale bate twa pennys
c1515 Asl. MS I 155/25.
The smale poris haldis the hete within and makis him … hardier
1533 Boece 561b.
Nocht ane smale passill [etc.]
1561–2 Treas. Acc. XI 105.
Ane smale bark or crayar
(d) 1513 Doug. xii Prol. 166.
Smaill
a1568 Scott i 220.
Smaill sweit smaragde
(e) 1589–1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 48a.
iii sma barellis
1641–8 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 12.
Sma neles
post-positional 1375 Barb. v 3.
Byrdis smale As turturis and the nychtyngale
a1400 Leg. S. ix 276.
Gert hym brak the mawnment all … in pecis smal
c1420 Wynt. iii 368.
Smalle
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 63/114.
Birdis … amang the levis small [: travall, availl, nychtingaill]
1609 Argyll Rentals I.
Of kye great and small
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 47/68 n.
Sho past haill Asie: sine to flie To Europe small sho did resolue
1702 Old Ross-shire I 323.
Houses great and small, high and laich
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii 4262.
Smale [C., W. small; rh. al]
a1500 K. Hart 366.
His bandis gart he birst in peces smale [: wall]
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 485.
Carvell nalis, greit and smale, of all sortis
(c) 1513 Doug. xii Prol. 113.
The dasy dyd onbreid hir crownell smaill
(d) 1535 Stewart 2954.
The wricht the neiris and the briscat smaw [: law]
1535 Stewart 8873.
Smaw [: flaw]
(e) 1579 Misc. Bann. C. II 196.
Thrie Arithmetic, [books] smell, the pece iiii s.
predic. 1456 Hay I 43/33.
The citee of Hostrye [sc. Ostia] … now is bot small
a1497, 15.. Gray MS v 21.
Smal as droppis of rane, Wan wormys … sall all to schow ws
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 113/18.
The silly lame wes all to small To sic ane tribbill to hald ane bace
a1568 Bann. MS 211b/3.
The lawest treis hes cropis thocht thay be small
c1530-40 Stewart Bann. MS 216b/62.
War all the erd papir … All wer to small ane buk … For to contene of ladeis the honouris
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 575.
Loch Spey … is small not a myl of lentht
(b) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 843.
Ane … That was richt cleir perfite and wonder smaw [: saw]
compar. a1400 Leg. S. xl 1445.
Thare wes les of flesche & smallare sum part … Thane the todire leg had bene
c1420 Wynt. viii 465.
In grettare feis, or smallare
1482 Edinb. Chart. 168.
Of ilk grete geist … Of smallare geistis, iiii d. of the dosane
1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 68.
All the haill lychtis in the tour except ane smallar lycht in the laichest chalmer
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 112.
For v stane … irne for ane grete gawellok and ane smallar cuttit furth of ane gad
1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 187.
iiim smaller nalis
superl. 1549 Compl. 170/33.
For the gritest green tre … is haistyar blauen doune … nor is the smallest treis
c1590 J. Stewart 231 § 124.
To sie Ane camell pas throch smallest niddill ie
ellipt. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1421.
To noy the small the greit beistis had na will
1586 Edinb. Test. XVI 127.
Tua dossoun of greit halk bellis with fyve pair small
1643 Edinb. Test. LX 281.
Ane round heckle & ane small
(b) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 3097.
Greit thing or smaw [: law]
(2) 1579 Edinb. Test. VII 285.
viij rym of fyne litill paper, … xxiij rym … of paper of the small hand [etc.]
1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 316.
Landiers or kreepers small sort
(b) a1500 Bk. Chess 42.
The trety of this ches sport … Diuidit is in to four partis smale [: fale]

b. Of persons, esp. children: Not fully grown, young. 1375 Barb. xvii 820.
Women with child and childer small
1513 Doug. iv vi 95.
Ȝong Eneas small
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Galat. iv 19.
Smal childir [W. litle sones, P. smale children, Abp. Ham. litil children]
1530 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 37.
He … is ane pure man with small barnis
1536–9 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) No. 1 (Abbot of Newbattle v. Williamson).
My … vife & mony small barnis
1688 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 7 March.
My sone George and my uther foure smal younger children

5. With coll. or pl. noun: Denoting the (relatively) small size of the individual pieces comprising the group or class referred to.Specif., small artailyerye; also, transf., small founder a founder of small goods.(1) with coll. noun 1496 Acta Conc. II 39 (see 4 (1) attrib. above). 1499 Halyb. 145.
To by pantoffyllis and other smal ger
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 87.
Small aslar for topping of chymnais
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 284.
The cutting … of greit and small tymmer
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II 300.
To ane man to beir down her [sc. the clock's] small wark in ane clois creill to Leyth
1558-66 Knox I 79.
Some cornes thei brunt … but small butting thei caryed away
1570 Inverness Rec. I lxxiv.
[Merchants … authorised to deal in] small chrymerie
1574 Edinb. Test. III 48.
Cuscheonis & vther small insicht
1589–1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 53a.
iiii peses of small takell to be keyes to our sallis
1606 Dickson & Edmond Ann. Sc. Printing 353.
Fyve hundreth tua doubill catechismes, small prent
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 136.
Meate, drinke, claies … and sic like other small merchandise
1668 Edinb. B. Rec. X 50.
[The council] grants warrand to Christiane Craw … to keip a schop for selling small waire
1672 Dunferm. Coal Acc. 11b.
For his horse leading small coill to mend the gaitt
1694 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 135.
All maner of small brass work
(b) 1474 Treas. Acc. I 59.
To by lynyng and smale grath to the Kingis litle lutare
(c) 1589–1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 61a.
Of slotis and ryns helis and wyer smau irne warke
with pl. noun 1450 Ayr Chart. 28.
Lynt claith and al uthir smal gudis
1507 Treas. Acc. III 278.
Bukis of illuminyn gold, quailȝeis, fesandis, and other small thingis
1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 119.
Uther divers geiris that are small
1538 Sc. Hist. Rev. XL 117.
To by hym horsis and uther small thingis in Denmark
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 303.
Oxin and vtheris small goodis
1577 Edinb. Test. V 96b.
Ane kirtill [etc.] … with vther small clathis
1604 Black Bk. Taymouth 339.
The litill small kist quhairin the auld ladeis small claithis ar
1625 Macgibbon & Ross V 551.
For xx pund weycht of small irnes
1645 Edinb. Test. LXI 152.
Certane small comodityes as … chizoris and rizores
1694 Household Bk. Gr. Baillie 257.
For sevarell small things
ellipt. 1654 Wemyss in Sc. Diaries 126.
For every load of pan smealle or colls … 10 pennes Scotts the leade
(2) c1530 Misc. Spald. C. II lxxxii.
Smal artailyerye and powdir
1540 Acts II 371/2.
Gunnis hagbuttis handbowis & vther small artelȝerie
1546 Reg. Privy C. I 54.
Small artailȝery sik as double falcoun, single falcoun
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 332.
The castell men kust thair hand with schutting of small artailȝerie
(3) transf. 1694 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 171.
John Miller … presented petition to be a freeman small founder

6. a. The small penny, appar., a particular coin. b. Of money in general: Of low value, consisting of coins of low denomination; in small sums.For further examples see Penny n. 6 d.a. 1468 Acts II 92/1.
The small penny and the fardyng sal haue the same cours that thai hade of befor
b. 1505–6 Treas. Acc. III 181.
To the quene to play at the cartis in smal pennyis
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 377.
Small fynance amang thy frendis thou beggit
1597 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 268.
Ane small money of fyne copper onlie, to wit penneis and twa penneis
1600-1610 Melvill 19.
Sum small silver
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I 353.
The present inlack of small money
1668 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 8 Jan.
More soom small penies of money dew be severall persons
1669 Edinb. Test. LXXIV 8.
Ane eleiven shilling pace and tuo paces of small money

7. Consisting of fine particles, drops, etc. Chiefly of salt. 1513 Treas. Acc. IV 489.
viij chalder small salt
1517 Misc. Spald. C. II 79.
Small salt, price of the boll vi ss. viij d. … gret salt, price of the boll xvi ss.
1544 Elgin Rec. I 80.
Certane small salt being in his schip
1549 Compl. 61/13.
Smal soft ranis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3747.
A mekle stone … dang all doun, in poulder small
1574 Reg. Privy C. II 406.
The exhorbitant derth of small salt within this realme
1583 Argyll Acc. 28 Aug.
Of small flour … j firlot
1587 Acts III 494/2.
Grite fisches … can not be … dressit with the small salt … and thairfoir … behovit to be … saltit with gryt salt
1594 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I 218.
For thair grund leve within the fluid mark to dry thair fische yeirlie ane barrell of small Scottis salt
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 153b.
They grind it over small … , quhere it sould be broken in twa or thrie cornes in the mylne
a1652 Dickson Psalms III (1654) 36.
The Lord … maketh them [sc. the clouds] distill smaller or greater drops
1655 Canisbay Kirk S. in Old-lore Misc. V iii 131.
This libbe is done with small salt

III. 8. Little in amount or quantity. a. Of material things or non-material things with a material referent or of the properties (size, number, etc.) naturally associated with them. b. Of non-material things, chiefly, faculties. Also proverb.a. c1420 Wynt. viii 6103.
It is hyr [sc. Fortune's] lauch to be movand … Qwhill gywand gret thyng, and qwhill smale
c1475 Wall. i 389.
The Sothroun said ‘As now of thi delyng … thow wald giff ws our small.' He lychtyt doun and fra the child tuk all
1501 Aberd. B. Rec. I 70.
Induellaris … that bringis in ony gret salt within this hevin sale deliuer to Sanct Nicholes work ane smale mett of ilkan hundretht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xiv 47.
Sa mony jugeis and lordis now maid of lait, Sa small refugeis the peur man to debait
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lvi 2.
At this feist of benefyce, … small partis makis grit seruice And equale distributioun Makis thame content that hes ressoun
1531 Bell. Boece II 387.
Specially thay that had bot small insicht at hame
1555–6 Edinb. B. Rec. II 231.
Na poultry be sauld darrer than the pricis following … and the smallar of smallar prices [etc.]
1565 Cal. Sc. P. II 192.
[For she is not] sa laich borne of hir self nor yit hes sa small moyens
1578 Acts III 98/2.
The pure … hes small or na thing to leif vpoun
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 160.
The Earle of Moirtoun having sustenit this small lose, for recompence thairof [etc.]
1600-1610 Melvill 14.
The smalest of his unknawin benefits passes the graittest reatche of my apprehension
1611 Reg. Privy C. IX 268.
Grosse wairis and marchandice payand small custome to his Hienes
1632 Lithgow Trav. vii 323.
[I did] in all my trauells prosecute the like course of a small diet, … often too small against my will
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 571.
The Lard of Loncartie called Petscottie of smal rent
(b) c1475 Wall. viii 1340.
His wynnyng was in Scotland bot full smaw
b. c1475 Wall. vii 121.
Thocht my cunnyng be small
1549 Compl. 16/6.
The maist part of my knaulage is the smallest part of my ignorance
1562-3 Winȝet I 24/33.
My erudition wes smal
1639 Baillie II 446.
The small appearance of any great good it is lyke I can doe amongst them
1646 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 61.
To bear burden with the rest of the inhabitants … according to his small power
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1408.
Thair was never a grit loss without som small vantag

9. Only a little or slight amount or degree of (something); not much; hardly any or hardly at all. b. In negative constructions, also, no small: Great, considerable.(1) 1456 Hay I 252/16.
To the quhilk argument it is sone ansuerd—That is small deficultee
1460 Hay Alex. 884.
Quhan Alexander baith gold and clething delt Till his awin corps small clething he helt Bot anerlie his hors and his arming
1460 Hay Alex. 3590.
Smal tinsale war suppois my dede war dicht
1461 Liber Plusc. I 383.
Thow man that is of poure and smal valoure
a1500 Henr. Fab. 835 (Bass.).
Thy air … Have he thy gude he takis bot small tent To execute … Thy … will
1533 Bell. Livy I 31/12.
Romulus … tuke the samyn with small contradictioun
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 444/103.
With small plesour is meikill pane
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun ix.
This lytill buke; quhilk I present to thé willing the samin to be thankfullie resauit thocht it be of small valour
1593 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 216.
This matter … wald turne to his skaith and your small honoure
1598 Crawford Mun. Invent. II 210 (12 May).
He is for his strait handling in smal acompt with his marouis
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix.
And althogh to beligger the lodgings of men … they wil looke ere they loupe, yet to enforce the kirk-house (as if God had no gunnes) there are many of small feare
c1650 Spalding I 3.
Thair kyndlie possessions quhilk … they had keipit for small deutie
a1651 Calderwood VII 164.
The people murmured, and the mater was meaned to the king, but they found small ease
(b) c1590 Fowler II 90/4.
It sal be a mater of sma travell to a vyse … prence … to [etc.]
(2) 1545–6 Corr. M. Lorraine 157.
Ther is laitle an sommondis of tresson raissit on Sir Adem … and surle Sir Adem is haldin innocent and sic thingis allegit be his small freyndis
b. 1558-66 Knox I 110.
King Hary … maid our schippis pryses … which, to the browghtis of Scotland was no small hearschipp
(b) 1596 Dalr. I 22/13.
Nathir [is] thair proppite of smale estimatione

10. Of little length, short, brief. a. Of stories, writing, etc. b. Of time or events happening over time.a. c1420 Wynt. v 1442.
Justyne … Abbregyde all tha gret storys In smallere and in les tretys
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xxiii 37.
Ȝit to the iuge thow sall gif compt of all Ane raknyng rycht cumis of ane ragment small
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 68.
Efter the said barne had spoken some small speitches
b. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6014.
That the small minuth of one hour To thame salbe so gret dolour
1632 Lithgow Trav. iii 91.
Within a small time he found the captaines promise and performance different
(b) 1666 Jurid. Rev. XXIV 27.
So sma [a sickness] … of short continuance, which lastit but five or six days

11. Not many, few in number. 1535 Stewart 48264.
The quhilk [power] that da so litill wes and small, Quhilk wes the caus of thair miseritie
a1578 Pitsc. I 261/19.
Levand so small successioun behind him
a1578 Pitsc. II 270/16.
The Maister of Forbus … marchit fordward with ane small cumpany langlines the vatter of Dee
1596 Dalr. I 16/22.
Ane academie nocht obscure … or of ane smal numbir
(b) c1475 Wall. v 807.
Our power is to smaw [: draw] … To few we ar agayne yon fellone staill
1535 Stewart 42768.
It availlit nocht his power wes so smaw [: law]
1535 Stewart 50072.
Smaw [: aw]

12. Constituting a lower standard, lesser size, number, weight, valuation, etc. than another of the same designation. 1573 Edinb. Test. II 308.
xxxij bollis aittis small mesour
c1575 Balfour Pract. 88.
The great hundreth knapple, contenand xxiiij small hundrethis, is twa last
1581 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 160.
To pay ilk burges of the greit stent vj s. viij d. money and ilk burges of the small stent iij s. iiij d.
1588 Edinb. Test. XIX 32b.
Tua last of small bind of tar
1670 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 13 May.
Fowr peeks of beir small missor of Kirkcudbright
1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 141.
Ane small booll of malt

13. Of alcoholic beverages: Not strong, light, weak. Also proverb. c1420 Liber Calchou 451.
It is gud to … drynk tysan or in the hete smal ale & thyn
1456 Hay II 144/12.
Thou sulde … drink of a fyne small plesand wyne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xxv 13.
O! ȝe heremeitis … That … drynkis no wyn confortatiue, Bot aill and that is thyn and small
1526 Aberd. B. Rec. I 115.
Stark mychty wynes and small wynnis
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 297.
Thair [sc. prisoners'] fuid to be breid and small drink
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics ii 93.
Tenuisque: subtile vinum reddens, small cleine wyne
1610 Hilderstoun Silver Mines II 116.
Ane barrell of small aill to draik the bone ashes
1669 Meikle Old Session Bk. 95.
Confessed that they had som small woort upon the fyr on the Sabbath
1671 Rothesay B. Rec. 211.
The small aill or the pot aill to be sold for tuentie pennyis the pynt
16… Boyd Fam. P. No. 251c.
Aughtin penis Mage Campbl for smal drink
(b) a1500 Bernardus 68.
Thi famel fede and thus sal be thar fude, Nocht delicate, smale drynk and metis rude
1644 Acts VI i 76/1.
On everie pynt of ale and smale beire … 4 d … One everie pynt of strong beire … 6 d.
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1738.
Ye are sharpe and wyse ye bred of smal drink

14. Small corn, a particular variety of oats. Also ellipt. Also attrib. with aittis.‘The small or ‘sma’ … oat was sown on the poorest soil … It is what we know now as the Bristle-pointed oat (Avena strigosa)' W. M. Findlay Oats 18. 1604 St. A. Baxter Bks. 62.
Small corne
?1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 218.
Fyve pecks of small corne … destroyed be dailly pasturage of her goods
1698 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 818.
12 loads of sufficient small corn, Kirkcudbright measure
ellipt. 1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 295.
Thrie pecks great corne and four pecks small
attrib. 1599 Dunblane Test. III 16.
Sevin bollis small aittis … viij bollis small corne aittis

b. An inferior sample of barley (Bere n.2). c. A cheaper sort of bread.b. 1669 Corshill Baron Ct. 88.
Hew Hamill … deponed that the beir was fresh enough but cornie and small beir
c. 16… Anal. Scot. II 160.
She causing serve the table with smal bread … so that the doctor was rather stinted by … her … narrow method in furnishing the table … he caused change that sort of smal bread in to a better as he can make appear by the accompts payed for bread

IV. 15. Of people, orig. in a military context: Belonging to the common soldiers; passing into, belonging to the common people (freq. translating L. plebs); of no authority or rank. Also ellipt. or absol., chiefly, gret and (or) small, = everyone.(a) 1375 Barb. ii 375.
The kingis small folk ner wencusyt ar
1375 Barb. ix 261.
Quhen the small folk thai had thar Saw thar lordis vith-draw thame swa
1375 Barb. ii 393, etc. ?1438 Alex. ii 1202.
To our small folk [F. gent menue] I rede we fare
c1420 Wynt. v 3219. 1456 Hay I 302/8.
For [= on account of] ony lycht mennis counsailis or ony small wrechit mannis
1456 Hay II 15/35. 1456 Hay II 52/9.
Noblesse of curage has chosyn knychtis … to be abone the small peple, and the small peple to be at thair service and governement
1460 Hay Alex. 1302.
Ȝour small freindis ar at ȝow cummand neir, Aray ȝour battell
c1460 Regim. Princ. 192 (Marchm.).
To smal men commit al causis smale [: counsale]
c1475 Wall. vii 764.
The small fute folk began to irk ilkane
a1500 Colk. Sow i 477.
To contempt a small fo Quhill he haith grace to ryd or go … I hold it no wisdome
1530 Aberd. B. Rec. I xxxvii.
We ar oure small mene to hald ony thing fra your lordschipe
1533 Bell. Livy I 82/16.
Tarquyne … made ane crafty … orisoun to induce the myndis of small pepill to his purpois
1533 Bell. Livy I 187/6.
[He was] ambassiatour of the faderis to the smal pepill
1533 Bell. Livy I 250/31, etc. 1551 Acts II 488/1.
Gif ony vther small persoun or persounis wald presume to brek this … act [etc.]
1562-3 Winȝet I 6/23.
[He] sall require the blude oute of ȝour handis of the smallaste ane that sall perise throw ȝour negligence
a1568 Scott vi 7.
Luve garris sober wemen small Get maistrice our grit men of gud
a1586 Lindsay MS 64.(b) 1375 Barb. xi 427.
All the smale folk and pitall He send with harnays and with wittaill
a1500 Bernardus 293.
Na marchandis … by Of mychti men … Gyf a smale frend it hapynnis thé to have
ellipt. or absol. (1) 1375 Barb. iii 214.
Thai within bath gret and small
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 456.
He gef til al Heilful consel, gret & small
1386 Rot. Sc. II 85/2.
That gyf ony gretter or smaller of outher of the reaumes shapes to do harme [etc.]
?1438 Alex. ii 1766.
The ladyes … louit him, baith great and small
1549 Compl. 167/4.
There is nocht mony men, grit nor smal, that [etc.]
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4838.
That Christis law mycht … be … trewlye precheit baith to gret and small
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 2/10.
For gyding of ȝour people great and small
(b) a1400 Leg. S. i 144.
The pepill, all That this has sene, gret and smale
(c) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xxxiv 97.
Man or woman gryt or sma
1535 Stewart 19775.
All the men … greit and smaw
(2) 1456 Hay I 232/13.
Sen he has power to tak the grettest prisounaris than suld thai have power apon the smallest

b. With various designations, titles, etc.: Minor, of less importance than others of the same designation.(1) 1427 Acts II 15/1.
That the smal baronis & fre tenandis nede nocht to cum to parliamentis
1456 Hay I 126/32.
The autoritee of the grete officer … slokis … the autoritee of the smallare officer
1495 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 596.
For ws & … oure barnis, kin, frendis, … & smal branchis of kin
1549 Compl. 77/32.
Gedeon … vas ane pure lauberar of lytil reputatione and discendit of smal linage
1551 Acts II 485/1.
Ane landit man frehalder wassall fewar burges and small beneficit men ij d.
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 111.
Certane vtheris small gentillmene quha awatit vpone the said Duke of Orknay
a1578 Pitsc. II 57/18.
Wther small preistis, as gray freiris, … chanonis, monkis [etc.]
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 10.
For we sie sum mein barrouns and small gentlmenis houssis
1588 Reg. Privy C. IV 311.
The small barronis and freehaldaris of this realme
1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 348.
The commissioners … did cast ane cast of the small heretors
(b) 1488 Acts II 208/1.
Thir lordis vnder writtin … sall haue … pouer to caus vtheris smale lardis within thar boundis to mak faith elik wis
(2) 1456 Hay I 126/28.
[The king] is autorizit, with grete … jurisdiccioun … abune the small jurisdictioun of the baroun
1596 Dalr. I 127/25.
To appne vpe euerie smal office wil be laborious

16. Of things, events, etc: Of little or minor consequence or importance, esp. in contradistinction to another (thing, etc.) of the same sort, slight; trivial.(a) 1375 Barb. xix 698.
Our fayis for this small tranowntyn Wenys weill we … sall ta To giff thaim opynly battaill
a1400 Leg. S. xii 334.
All Cristis maraklys gret & small
1460 Hay Alex. 1277.
Quhan Alexander haid hard thair small hething, He hard thame and made litill answering
c1460 Regim. Princ. 100 (Marchm.).
To mel him with smal wrechit besines
1517 Treas. Acc. V 121.
Item, … sintries for the chymnay in the … keching, with uthiris smal thingis don in the gon hous
c1520 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 385.
I sal nocht be inrasonabill to charge your L. in sic ane smal cais
1525 Treas. Acc. V 259.
For smal jottis don be him in the abbay xxiij s. xj d.
1531 Bell. Boece I 69. 1533 Bell. Livy II 173/9.
He drew … his … army fra all small batallis
1549 Compl. 12/16.
Thai ar mair prompt to repreif ane smal ignorant falt nor to commende ane grit verteous act
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 22/26.
Be na dysar nor playar at the cairtis Bot gif it be for pastyme and small thing
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 141.
Upon this point this beuirer will schaw ȝow mony smal thingis
a1585 Maitl. Q. 281/33.
O cruel deith … Thy triumph is bot small
1584 Knox III 434.
To compare small, base, and litle thinges unto such as are great, highe and mightie
1600-1610 Melvill 78.
Jhone Dury was of small literature, bot haid sein and marked the grait warks of God in the first Reformation
1622-6 Bisset I 33/25.
Small, and vane caussis
16… Paterson Ayr & Wigton II 43.
Sum littill small jarris [between the tutor and the Master of Cassilis]
superl. 1549 Compl. 163/18.
Ȝe suld cheis the smallest of thir tua euillis
(b) c1450 Misc. Maitl. C. III 201.
Ane smale graill with stuthis in the vestre
1456 Hay I 3/2.
I have had mony smale thouchtis and gude will to mak sum buke
c1460 Regim. Princ. 185 (Marchm.) (see 15 (a) above). 1551 Hamilton Cat. 286.
Nocht dedlie synnis bot smale synnis ar purgit
1551 Hamilton Cat. 288.
Smale or vanial synnis
(c) 1535 Stewart 14171.
Euirilk lord he causit to keip law Within him self of thingis that wer smaw

17. a. Small custom(is (impost, duty) = Petty-custom(e. Also transf. b. Small teindis = vicarage teindis, tithes paid on produce other than growing crops. (See Personag(e n. 3 b for further information.)a. (1) 1423 (1429–30) Reg. Great S. 30/2.
We haf … grantit to the said Michel yherly … the feis of the custumys langand to the watter keping; Item al the smal custumys langand til us in Annanderdale [etc.]
1490 Lanark B. Rec. 6. 1514 Wigtown B. Ct. 25b.
The terd part off the small coustoum at was in the handis off Johne Koke
1517 Wigtown B. Ct. 73a. 1540 Edinb. Chart. 212.
Allegiand that thai suld have hankerage and small custvme of his said boit … howbeit he and inhabitaris … whilkis duellis in the regalite of Halyrudehous war neuir in vse of paying of ony ankerage or small custvme in ony tyme bigane … thai [sc. the Lords of Articles] fynd that the toun of Edinburgh … ar in continewale possessioun of ankerage and small custume in all the partis of the said hevin of Leith
1592–3 Aberd. B. Acc. in Misc. Spald. C. V 117.
The bell and small custumes
1616 Rec. Old Aberd. I 56.
Robert Gairdyne hes sett and assedat to the prowest baillies [etc.] … the haill small custumes sic as gangis nocht to wecht for the space of thre yeiris
1619–20 St. A. Treas. Acc. MS in Ayr B. Acc. xlix.
The small kustum ladill mailmarcatt and toust of the schor
1641 Peebles Chart. 102. 1641 Acts V 510/2.
Collectoures receives at the shore of Leith … the bell customes, small customes … and otheres customes
1679 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 103.
Salt sold at the Croce on merrcat dayes custome of it is to the small customes
(b) 1471–2 Aberd. Acc. fol. 3a.
The said Recherd sall mak cownt for the smaw custum
1534 Wigtown B. Ct. 292a.
The comvnyte hais pait hym iii bollis xiii cronys of the smaw cuistomys of the scheppis
transf. 1523 Old Dundee II 26.
The collector of the Haly Blude silver and … the small customars
(2) 1630 Stirling's Royal Lett. II 413.
The small impost of wynes
1697 Fountainhall Decis. I 764.
He had … the power of … uplifting the small duties of the lock, knaveship and bannock
b. 1573 Davidson in Sat. P. xlii 412.
All The teindis of Scotland, greit and small
1579 Liber Melros II 654.
Belangand to our said abbay as part and patrimonie of the saming with small teindis and viccaragis
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 15.
The bull teind, lamb teind, corne teind and utheris teindis great and small
1650 Brechin Presb. 28.
Taksman of the teynds, great and small
1673 Cramond Kirk S. II 15 June.
He shall lift up the small teynds of Nether Cramond gifted by John Lord Balmerinoch to the schoolmaster
(b) 1597 (1599) Reg. Great S. 303/2.
Teyndis bayth grit and smaa, fruittis, etc.

18. ? Final. 1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 124 (10 Feb.).
And ordaines them to proceed and administer farder justice therin untill the small end and decision therof

B. noun. 1. The slender or narrow part of a. The leg. b. The back.a. 1456 Misc. Bann. C. III 93.
A goun of broun gray to the smal of the leg
1615 Bk. Islay 242.
Captain Crayford … receiued a shott that brake the smale of his legg all to shiuers
b. 1630 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 15 July.
Dinging of the said Cristeane with ane rung on the small of hir back
1661 Forfar Witches in Reliq. Antiq. Sc. 133.
By laying one hir hand one the small off his back

2. a. In (be) small(is (once, smallies) in small amounts, portions, sums, pieces, etc.; piecemeal; little by little. b. specif. Of the sale of goods: Retail. c. Of persons: ? Individually.a., b. (1) 14.. Acts I 333/2.
At thai mak lardnar in gret and it out tavernis in smallis [L. et illud vendunt minute tabernando] again the law … in burgh
1526 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 249.
And because it is tedius to bring the said gold, silver [etc.] … to be sald till us dalie in smallis, it is agreit that the forsaidis personis etc. sall bring the said gold and silver till us at iiii tymes in the yeir
1529 Edinb. B. Statutes 8 Oct.
At na personis man nor woman regrait nor by meill to sell the samyn agane in smallis
1558 Edinb. B. Rec. III 24.
[Skinner craft.] Vnfremen that cumis … to vent and sell thair pursis … and otheris maid wark … nocht onlie in fuill grossis bot alssua in smallis
1565 Aberd. B. Rec. I 357.
Accusit … as a forstaller, in bying of … aittis in smallis athort the cuntrie, keiping thairof to a darth
1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 167.
James Broun, Inglisman, to sell and dispone in smalles to friemen the beynis brocht in be him at Leyth
1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 277.
That na gild brether vse the tred of topping and selling in smallis of … oylie, saip, butter … or sicklyke
1584 Reg. Privy C. III 649.
His haill vicarage is bot tuelf pundis or thairby, pait to him in smalis, in iii s. and iiii s. in sum placis
1590 Mill Mediæv. Plays 200.
Summa of the haill expensis debursit in smallis the tyme of hir maiestieis entres
1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I 237 (see Grete adj., n. and adv. 5 b). 1627 Orkney Rentals iii 85.
The iyll is dewydit in sa money vrslandis, ewerie vrsland … possest in smallis by mein men
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 361.
For sawing of wanscot in smalles and spares
a1650 Row 287.
Fifty merks (whilk … he had at sundrie tymes stollen out of the boxe in smalls)
1653 Binning Wks. 178.
Since he cannot get one sum in value equal to it, he must be eternally paying it in smalls
1675 Cunningham Diary 56.
To … beggars … in smalls during the month of July, 3 s.
1679 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I 453.
A tack set … of the burgall lands paying 62 bolls; but in respect it is in smalls and that the toun councill pay and collect it [etc.]
1682 Edinb. City Archives Letters Vol. II (16).
It never does so much good in smalls as when all is sold togeather
1621 Anal. Scot. II 118.
That na person … sell medicinal drogues by smalls to his majesties lieges, but allenarly that they sell the samen be greattes to the apothecaries
1661 P. Gordon Diary 49.
It is … forbidden to all to sell any by smalls
(b) 1632 Aberd. Trades 221.
To sell any flour, in greaties or smallies to unfriemen
(2) 1482 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 41 (see Grete adj., n. and adv. 5 a). 1551 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 155.
[He] confessit and grantit that he sawld ane part of his battery inbrocht be him to this burgh in small, and weyit the same in small
c1575 Balfour Pract. 49.
Nor to mak claith, and cut the same in pieces, or in small, to be sauld
1587 Aberd. Chart. 350.
To sell and top in small and gryt thair said handie wark of seyis [etc.]
1588 Reg. Privy C. IV 317.
The victuallis, sic as breid, drink, fishe and uthir pennyworthis, being sauld in small, ar sett to heichar priceis
1671 S. Leith Rec. 125.
The pettie impost of four pounds upon each tun of wyne toppit and sold in Leith in small
1642 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 658.
In … selling of the samyn to cuntrie men be small and retaill
c. 1526 Aberd. B. Rec. I 115.
To my lord chancellor, ane potioun of wyne; to my lord of Angus, ane potioun of wyne and [blank] all wther in smallis ane potioun of wyne

3. pl. Small quantities (of goods, etc.); small sums (of money). a1500 Prestis of Peblis 187 (Asl.).
Of mony smallis couth mak This bony pedder a gud fut pak
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 215.
In vermiewling … quhit leid [etc.] … and skrowis with utheris smallis
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 427.
So thou must do as a man that has lost meikle gear, who will begin his pack with small wares, and so go forward piece and piece, till his riches be … doubled; even so do … begin at smalls, and go forward
1705–6 Melville Corr. 202.
It is pay'd in so many smalls that it deminishes the valow

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

"Smal adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Mar 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/small_adj_n>

40229

dost

Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST:

    Loading...

Share: