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

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

Spanis, Spanis(c)h(e, adj. (n.). Also: Spanes, Spannis, Spanyeis, Spanyshe, Spainis, -e(i)s, Spaynis, Spainis(c)h(e, Spaynish, Spains(c)he, Spenis, Speanisch. [ME and e.m.E. Spainisce, Spaynes (c1205), Spanyshe (Wyclif), Spaynesshe (c1400), Spaynysh (1483), Spanyshe (1486), f. Spain + -ish; Spanȝe prop. n. Cf. OE Speonisc, also MDu. Spaensch, Spaens.]

1. Of or pertaining to Spain, Spanish.(a) 1562–3 Reg. Privy C. I 234.
The writtis … writtin in Spanis langage
(b) 1566 Sel. MSS Q. Mary 166.
The Spaynis embassadour
(c) 15.. Clar. i 1458.
The Spanische King Of Spainȝie land
1624 Crim. Trials III 570.
Thre Spanische young men
c1650 Spalding I 239.
Tuo gryte Spanishe galliouns
(d) 1558 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 54.
Ingland is in ane great fray for fear of the Spainische airmy
1707 Dunkeld Presb. II 293.
Yea, this looks rather lyker a Spainish Inquisition then a fair tryal
(e) 1685 Dunlop P. III 15.
The Speanisch toun … which is from this pleac 6 myells

b. With Spain. 1681 Edinb. B. Rec. XI 6.
I have payed him nothing which wes occasioned by the decay of the Spanish trad and noe fault of myn

2. Of goods, etc.: Manufactured or produced in Spain, of a Spanish type or pattern.(1) 1583 Edinb. Test. XII 101.
Ane hundretht Spanes nedillis price v s.
1596 Fraser P. 229.
Tua quhyt Spanes mattis
1625 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 323.
(b) 1626 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 195.
(c) 1598 Acts IV 169/1.
Euerie erle be armit and furnist with corslet of pruif … and ane Spanische pik
1601 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 316.
[The clothmakers shall] teiche sua mony as thai may … in the making of … Spanische frieses of the best sort, Spanische coverings for beddis [etc.]
1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 329.
Spanish Civile or Cordovan skins the dozen xxxvi li.
1615 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 234.
A Spanish pype full of poulder in it
1616–17 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 442.
In the Kings bedchamber a Spanish table
1624 Crim. Trials III 570.
The schip … frauchted … with ane laiding of walnuttis, chestanis, and certane Spanische irne
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 385.
Ane Spanische wyne pype to keipe the kingis flour in l s.
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 226.
The Devil was riding on ane horse with fulyairt clothes and ane Spanish cape
1665 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp in Misc. Maitl. C. II 526.
Spanishe ressins
16… Alchem. MSS V.
Spanish salt
(d) 1615 Bk. Islay 297.
A Spainshe pype
1664 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp in Misc. Maitl. C. II 511.
3 Spainsche bisomes
(2) 1498 Halyb. 74.
3 bredis Spanis bowgis
1582 Treas. Acc. MS 40b.
Spanis orange taffetye to lyne the buist and the putchis
1602 Treas. Acc. MS 97b.
Changeand Spanis taffatie reid and ȝallow
1591 Thanes of Cawdor 199.
1610 Edinb. Test. XLVI 84.
xvij elnes blak florit Spanes sateing
1628–9 Edinb. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 208.
Thrie elne and ane half blak and quhyt Spainis taffitie to be the trumpetours baneris
(3) 1499 Halyb. 146.
8 Spanis ryallis to 8 s.
1571 Bann. Memor. 216.
Spaines ryallis
1598 Acts IV 175/2.
The Spanische pistolet … at iij li. ij s.
1605 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 319.
For everie vnce weicht of Scottis gold and Spanish pistollets of 22 carret fyne … the owner sall ressaue 34 lib. 13 schillings 4 d.
1676 Conv. Burghs III 666.
The Spanish and Dutch doucat douns may be brought in to pas at thrie pund ten shilling
(4) 1576–7 Reg. Privy C. II 603.
For the pilleing … of ane greit quantitie of Spanyshe wyne
1589 St. A. B. Ct. 29 July.
Ane pype off Spaineis wyne
1590 Reg. Privy C. IV 514.
Frenche or Spaynish wynis bocht be his hienes subjectis in France or Spainye
(b) 1591 Innes Sketches 524.

b. Spanish fig, a poisoned fig. Cf. French fegges, s.v. Feg n. (a).Cf. also e.m.E. Italian figge (c1589), figs of Spain (1616). 1669 Jus Populi (1669) 414.
They need not fear either dag or dagger, pistol or poysoned poinard, a Spanish fig, nor any such secret applications

c. The Spanish berry, wine. ?a1640 Copie of a Baron's Court (1821) 14.
I can as well be merry, With the bear pickle as the Spainish berry

3. Of a disease: ? Originating in Spain. Cf. Spanȝe pockis (Spanȝe n. 5.). 1596 Lowe Spanish Sicknes title.
An easie … method, to cure and preuent the Spanish sicknes

4. absol. or ellipt. as noun. a. The Spanish people, or language. b. Spanish snuff. a1578 Pitsc. I 233/21.
Sindrie … langagis, that is to say Latine, Frinche, Italieans Spanis
c1650 Spalding I 237.
The Spanish, … did set there courss touardis the Downes
b. 1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1751) 121.
Then hope triumphs, and fear doth vanish, Like grief, when it's expell'd by Spanish

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"Spanis adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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