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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Suspicio(u)n, -tio(u)n, n. Also: suspiciounn, -oune, -ione, suspicoune, suspition(e, -iowne, suspisione, sus-, susspissioun, susspitio(u)n, suspecioun, -ione, suspeccioun, suspetioun, -ionn, -ion(e, suspectioun, -yown, -ion(e. [ME and e.m.E. suspecion (c1290), susspecyun (Manning), suspicioun (Wyclif), suspition (1577), AF suspecioun, OF so(u)speçon, med. L. suspection-, n. of action f. L. suspicere.]

1. The action of suspecting; feeling, conjecture, apprehension (of some wrongdoing, trouble, or the like, or that something is amiss).(1) 1531 Maxwell Mem. 260.
All displessouris, onkyndnes, suspecione and hatran
a1538 Abell 29b.
In his begynnyng he had him lawlie bot eftirwert be suspitioun he slew mony nobillis
1536 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 134.
To evad all suspicion aganis hym
1559 Inv. Q. Mary xcii n. 2.
The said erle and scho … being quyetly mariit or handfast, or at the leist sik vtheris caussis of suspicione
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7080.
Scho suld him schaw the same but questioun For to exclude ill word and suspitioun
1562 Q. Kennedy Ressoning 206.
He [sc. Knox] makes ane meine, that I go by naturall ressonis to persuade, to take the suspicion of men justly of me
1567 G. Ball. 100.
For suspitioun They will bring men vnto confusioun
a1578 Pitsc. I 18/25.
He hes ane merwellous foirsicht of all kynd of suspitioun and of ony kynd of craft or fraude that may be ony way redownd to his hurt and dampnage
1596 Dalr. II 13/18.
Al suspicioune he [sc. Douglas] stayes in thame quha suspectet this kuir thairfor to be committit to him that he war nocht molestful to his [sc. King Robert's] ȝoung sone Dauid
1608 Hist. Fam. Seton 908.
Soulde … be sufficient gairde from delatiouns and naiket suspitioun
1622-6 Bisset I 51/23.
We have removed all suspitioun gif we have had any aganis ȝow
(b) a1578 Pitsc. I 17/1.
The chancellar remowit all susspitioun and haitrent out of his mynd
(c) 1549 Compl. 132/10.
Sum coniuratours causis there enterprisis to be discouuert be there seruandis or childir, throucht suspectione and coniecture that occurris
(2) 1490–1 Acta Conc. I 173/2.
Thai tuk ane consait of suspicioune of the said mater
1548 Crim. Trials I i 340.
Althocht thair was no suspitioun of any crime conteaned in thame, ȝit (was) the wrytid lettre and wrytter thairof harlid to judgment
1580 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxx.
We therefore willing to tak away all susspition of hypocrisie and of syk dowble dealing with God [etc.]
1589–90 Misc. Spald. C. II 206.
The saidis personis … duellis in the partis of our realme frie of all suspetion of the pest
1601 Elphinstone Chart. 165.
Sic as sall be free off all maner off suspicioun off onye offence
1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 123.
In this dangerous tyme and suspitioun of the pest
1662 Craven Caithness Diocese 133.
Upon suspicion of malefice done … to ther persen or goods [by witch]craft
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 424.
Laird of Foules … died … this yeare, not without suspition of malifice
(3) a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 304/25.
Men full of seditioun Hes sawin suspitioun that credence is areir

b. specif. In legal use: A ground for a plea by a defender in a case that the judge is partial or suspect. 1622-6 Bisset I 174/15.
The uthir exceptioun is called exceptioun of suspitioun quhen the defender in ane actioun pertening to the jurisdictioun of the judge allegis that he can nocht be judge because he is partiall and suspect in the cause
1681 Stair Inst. iv xxxix § 14.
It is a competent reply against all these declinators, that the judge declined is of equal relation to either party; for then the ground of suspicion upon inequality of affection ceaseth

c. An instance of this; a feeling of mistrust or apprehension. Also const. of (a person or thing), or noun clause.(1) c1520-c1535 Nisbet 1 Tim. vi 4.
Invyis, strijfis, blasphemies, euile suspiciounns
1531 Bell. Boece I 14.
The responsis of thair Goddis, concurrand to thair awin suspition
1562 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 8.
Quhair full probatioun can nocht be had, bot ane suspitioun risin throcht evill apperans
1562-3 Winȝet II 24/7.
It wes nocht lesum that sa grete … men suld affirm … and feruour the wauerand suspicionis of ony ane or twa men
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 28.
Sr James to mak him self clene of that suspitioun socht [etc.]
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 311/102.
Ane vther caus thair is of this seditioun Amang the lordis the vehement suspitioun The ane trowis [etc.]
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 3.
Gif at ony tyme scho espyit the suspitiounis of the ane aganis the uther to languisch, … scho quhettit thame on agane to fresche displesuris
a1578 Pitsc. I 166/33.
His wnworthie consall … augmentit him daylie in that suspitioun towart his brether
1585–6 Montgomery Mem. 227.
Leist ony sould consaue ane suspitioun doing be my trawelling to ȝow
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. Prov. No. 148.
Ane ill dispositioun breedeth ane ill suspitioun
1596 Reg. Privy C. V 340.
Ouer grite withgait … micht … ingenner … suspitionis
1631 Justiciary Cases I 161.
Hir allegit testimonie befoir his maiesteis counsall being only of suspitiones and naikit presumptiones
1650 Blairs P. 20.
This to yourself til I knou more nor my suspicion is for the present
(2) 1543 Douglas Corr. 152.
That ȝe … caus the said imbassatour depart … to avacuat the suspitione rissin of ȝow
1549 Compl. 117/9, 16.
The Grekis tuke ane real suspetione and ane vehement imaginatione of his coniuratione and conspiratione quharfor … he beleuand to keip hym fra ane gritar suspetione … past forduart [etc.]
1560 Bk. Disc. 248.
That no suspitioun of dangear may arise
a1578 Pitsc. I 86/32.
The Earle of Douglas … was remaning thair … witht out ony suspetionnis of Schir William Creichtounis gaddering
1597–8 Warrender P. (SHS) II 354.
Thair is … ane greit suspition of sum inventious personis to be enteritt in striking and conterfuting his majestie cunȝei
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 130.
Whervpon that his keepers should not have any suspition of his determined escape he sitteth doun agane to cards
1633 Aberd. Council Lett. I 389.
Yow sall not neid to conceave the least jealousie or suspition of oure careage in the business
1645 Fraser Polichron. 306.
You will neglect the country … This is my suspition of yow
(3) 1549 Compl. 74/6.
Throucht the suspetione that ilk ane of ȝou hes of vthirs euyrye ane of ȝou seikis his particular releif
a1578 Pitsc. I 27/10.
He punischit … vtheris richt honorabill … men … for ane licht suspitioun that he tuik of thame bot ony decreit or inquisitioun of thair peiris
a1578 Pitsc. I 91/16.
The Erle of Douglas … tuik ane suspitioun and coniecttour quhat Schir Patrick Grayis commissioun was
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 24.
Whence a new suspition entred in my head … that he had sliped away
1675 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 6 Dec.
Becaus of the unwillingness of any [to] undergoe the chairges upon ane suspisione that they ware to mairche out of the cuntrie

d. Const. of a noun describing the nature of the suspicion. 1570 Leslie 145.
[Henry VIII] apoun sum suspicione of gellisie quhilk he tuik aganis the Ladye Anne [Boleyn] … caused her to be headed

e. The state or condition of being suspected (of something); blame (of or for something). Also personified. 1515 Douglas Corr. 318.
It is agreyt … to bryng theyr graces owt of the kepping of suspeccioun … ande to be pute in souer kepping
1559 Knox VI 33.
I resavit your letter … persavyng thairby the dout and suspitioun ye stand into for the commyng forwardis of the congregatioun
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 3.
And that hirself suld not be twitchit with suspitioun of the murther
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 72.
Suld bring sum of the seruandis in sum suspicion of trecherie
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 46.
Jonat Cummyng … accused of suspitioun of fornicatioun vith Petir Fultoun
1605 Melvill 592.
That the Kirk mycht be put out off suspitioune … of disspossessing of thame and losseing of ane assemblie for evir
1607 Highland P. III 99.
For purgeing of thame selffis of the suspitioun whilk thay undirly in this mater
personified c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xlix 5.
Schame and susspissioun Ay with him dwellis

f. Appearance of being suspect; apparent falseness or unreliability. 1622-6 Bisset I 89/21.
The bull … heill, nocht brokin, torne, nor cancellate, nathir in ony pairt suspect, bot laikand all fault and suspitioun

2. In various prepositional phrases and verbal constructions. a. But suspicioun, without being suspected, or attracting suspicion. For suspicioun, on the grounds of being suspected (of something). Also const. that, suspecting that (etc.). In suspicioun, suspect, under suspicion. Under suspicioun, = in suspicioun.  Also const. of. Upon the suspicioun of, on the grounds of being suspected of. Withsuspicioun, in such a way as to attract suspicion. Without()suspicioun, = but suspicioun. Also, free of all taint of suspicion, (regarded as being) above suspicion (of some crime, etc.).(1) 1375 Barb. x 560.
I but suspicioun Mycht repayr till hyr preuely
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3869 (Ch.).
That they be of gude conditioun, Of publick vices but suspitioun
(2) 1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 245.
It was inquirit … gif thai wald impugne or remove ony of the said assysse for suspicion or other cause
1516 Acts XII 36/2.
All lawis excludis the said governour fra administracioun and governance for suspicioun vehement and violent
c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 326.
Fergus … was slane be industry of his wyfe for suspitioun of adultry
a1578 Pitsc. II 105/20.
For suspitioun that na man sould knaw that thay war gentillmen ilk ane man tuik on his awin leid vpone his bak
(3) 1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. 4a.
Quhen thow bewreyis thy mynde to ony wycht Thows in suspitiowne
(4) 1585–6 Montgomery Mem. 227.
Adwys sadlie with the lettir, makand our commownaris informit thairof with all expeditioun; for it is of weritie that thai ar under suspitioun
(5) 1595 Highland P. I 191.
I being detenit captiue within the castell of Carnnaistrie vpone the suspitioune of the said murthour
(6) 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 47.
Scho causit him to be poysonit, that being absent from hir, he micht sa die with les suspicioun
(7) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1355.
The Magdalyn besid the sepultur … Baid for to spy how scho oure saluiour Mycht se cum out withouttin suspecioun
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 522.
Na nobill man … durst resort to hir Majestie … to procure thair lesum besines without suspitioun
1591 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 257.
First quhair thair is twa exchaingeors nominat to taik in the monney thair vald be personis vithout suspitione to vit nather merchantis nor goldsmythis
1654 Misc. Spald. C. II 241.
The petitioner having lived hithirtill without any suspitioun of popery
1670 Robertson Cullen Ch. Ann. 71.
[They] lived with us verie civily, Christianly and honestly, without the least suspicion of maledeportment

b. To be in (a) suspicioun (that, etc.), to suspect (something), or that something is the case. c. To give suspicioun of, to give grounds why one should be suspected of (something). d. To have (a) suspicioun of (on, aganis) (a person or thing), to have (a person) in suspicioun, to be suspicious of (a person); to regard with suspicion or apprehension (a thing, circumstance or state of affairs). Also const. noun clause. e. To put (someone) into suspicioun, to make (someone) liable to be suspected. Also, to put (someone) in suspicioun of (another), to lead (someone) to suspect (another). f. To take (a) suspicioun of (a person or thing), to find grounds for suspecting. Also const. noun clause. Also, to take a suspicioun of doing (something).b. 1608 Calderwood VI 793.
By his Majestie's countenance, and some rounding that past betuixt his Majestie and Sir Alexander Hay, I beganne to be in some suspicioun
1578 Reg. Privy C. III 5.
He wes in that opinioun and suspitioun that the principall keiparis of the castell of Striviling wer his unfreindis
c. 1605 Dundonald Par. Rec. 87.
Faltis defferit: William Forgushill in Gaitsyd of Capreintoun to gif forther suspitioun and occatioun of sclander be thair over grait hamlines togidder
1615 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 48b (21 March).
Being accuisit of furnicatioune in respect thay gaw great suspitionis thairoff
d. (1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1903.
Vlixes … Sayand: at that suspicioun; … That thai on Pallamydes had Was all of cruell malice maid
c1420 Wynt. viii 1912.
The Cumynys [had] all thir lordis for-thi In gret suspectyown and inwy
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 78.
Neuermar forsuth the keping of the heretagis pertenis to hym of quham is hade suspicoune
1531 Bell. Boece I 183.
He had na les suspection aganis the Britonis than aganis the Scottis and Pichtis
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 327.
Havand na litill suspicioun of sa grete powere of Saxonis cumin in thair land, to thair grete manassing
(2) ?1441 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 35.
Scho was evill contentit that hir said onlie sone was in the Lord Crichtoun his handis, and had great suspition thairof
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts xxv 18.
Thai said na cause of quhilk thingis I had suspitioun of euile
1549 Compl. 115/7.
Hefand suspitione of the contineu of ther vrytingis
(3) 1456 Hay I 266/9.
I have grete suspicioun aganis thé, that thou slewe my fader, broder, [etc.]
1533 Boece 411b.
The noblis … had vehement suspicioun that he suld be cryminall of the tresoun
a1578 Pitsc. II 30/36.
He had suspissioun of money of his lordis and barrouns … that they sould haue put him in the Inglischemenis handis
e. a1585 Maitl. Q. 174/42.
That sort ar ay to saw seditioun And put gud men into suspitioun
1579 Acts III 176/1.
To put ȝow in suspitioun and wrang consait of thame that hes euir faythfullie seruit ȝour progenitouris
f. (1) a1578 Pitsc. I 214/22.
Hie … tuik sic suspetioun of them that he wald not come in thair handis without pledgis
(2) 1531 Bell. Boece I 12.
The Britonis tuk na litil suspitioun of this mariage
a1578 Pitsc. I 93/25.
To tak suspitioun of ȝour evill mynd towart me
(3) a1538 Abell 84b.
Erll Gilcrist tuke a suspition of his wife … at sche suld commit adultrie
(4) 1571–2 St. A. Kirk S. 360.
[That they] was nocht content wytht the suspition at they at tymis tuik of luking betwix Henry Lawmontht and the said Eufame befoir hir departour

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"Suspicion n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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