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

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

Takinning, Taknyng, Taik(e)ning, Toknyng, vbl. n. Also: takinnyng, takynning, -yng(e, -ying, takynyn, takynnyne, takening, -yng, takning, -yn(g)(e, -ying, taikinning, taikin(e)ing, taikynin, taikning, -yn(g, -yne, taikynnyng, tokynnyng, tokening. [ME and e.m.E. tocninge (c1200), tokninge (1297), takening (Cursor M.), tokening (c1320), OE tácning.]

1. a. An indication or characteristic (of something). = Takin n. 1. 1375 Barb. vi 101.
He thocht he thar still wald stand Tyll that he herd mar takynnyng [C. taknyng] Than for ane hundis [questyng] He wald nocht wakyn his menȝe
c1420 Wynt. v 734.
Off Nero this wes the endyng, That is ensawmpill and taknyng Till thame that drawys thare delyte, … Throuch … wantowne wylle
1456 Hay II 3/3.
The sext chapiter contenis the poyntis of the takenyngis of the blasoun [etc.]
a1487 Gud Wyf & D. 38.
Quhen Scho is proude to schawe hir than, Is taknyng of ane euill woman
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 733 (Harl.).
Cryste … of hys passioun sall taiknynis [Asl. takinnis, Arund. taikinnis] pretend
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 197.
Quhilk wes ane evident signe and taikning that the said capitane wes the causer of the said slauchter

b. In (into) (ane) takinning (of, that), as an indication, in witness (of, that), = Takin n. 1 b.(a) 1375 Barb. xii 23.
He bar … in-to taknyng Ane hey croune that he wes king
1375 Barb. (1571)ix 510 (see Takin n. 1 b).
a1400 Leg. S. i 163.
In taknyn at thai suld be Seruand to God
c1420 Wynt. v 1739 (C).
He made … A wal … Strekande ewyn fra se to se In the takynnynge [R. takyn, W. takin] that he wan Off were the kynrik of Brettan
c1420 Wynt. vii 689.
In wytnes and in taknyng That [etc.]
c1450-2 Howlat 163 (A).
With red hattis on hed, in haile takynning [B. taikinning] Off that deir dignite
1456 Hay I 51/25.
In takenyng of victorye, he gert gader togeder all the golde ryngis that was apon dede mennis handis
1472 Lennox Mun. 89.
I haue to-hungyn my sele, … in witnes and takynyn of his consent
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 590.
Baith broche and belt, Quhilk Troylus gaue me in takning Of his trew lufe
1490 Irland Mir. I 130/31.
In takynnyne, that his deite gave stabilite to oure nature
1498 Acta Conc. II 196.
In the playne court haldin be the sade bailye in taknyn of consent and assent to the thingis contenit in the sade assedacione
1513 Doug. vi iii 149 (Ruddim.).
1513 Doug. ix vi 124 (Ruddim.).
1525 Wemyss Chart. 153.
Taknyne of thaire consentis
(b) a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 232.
In taikning that all fleschlie paramour … Is sum tyme sweit
c1475 Wall. (1570) ix 169 (see Takin n. 1 b).
15.. Clar. i 316.
Thir loveris, in ane taikineing, Two litill chanȝeis interchangit they
15.. Clar. ii 419.
Geive hir this letter in ane taikining That I fair weill
(c) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4517.
[He] That nobyll Empriour gart ly down Apone his wambe, with schame and lake, Syne tred his feit apone his bake, In toknyng of obedience
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2093.
15.. Clar. v 1453.
This scho hes ȝow sent in tokening

c. Written information, evidence, proof. = Takin n. 2. 1375 Barb. xix 29.
Scho tauld all to the king … And tauld him werray taknyng This purches wes suthfast thing
1460 Hay Alex. 3461.
Quhat wauld men say, I war bot ane leare, Bot I bare sum takynnying that I was thare
1563 Melville Chart. 103.
The taiknyne he wrait expreslie in his writing send to his sone

d. A mark. = Takin n. 3. 1375 Barb. xiii 45.
The arowys … thyk thar flaw … quhar thai fell ik wndre-ta Thai left efter thaim taknyng That sall ned … leching

e. An emblem or symbol. = Takin n. 4. 1375 Barb. x 746.
In sted off prophecy Scho left a taknyng [C. takyne] rycht ioly … in-till hyr chapele Scho gert weile portray a castell, A ledder wp to the wall standand [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. v 646.
Quhen the kinge had sene the rynge, He knev it, & be the taknynge Persavit vele, Sancte Johne it ves

f. A beggar's token. = Takin n. 5 d. 1536–7 Ayr B. Acc. 25.
To the tynklar for making of v score of lyddin taknyngis to the pure folk

g. A gesture or signal. = Takin n. 7 a and b. 1375 Barb. iv 558.
Mak a fyr on a certane day [And] mak takynnyng [C. taknyng] till ws that we May thar aryve in sawfte
1375 Barb. xix 348. a1400 Leg. S. xxx 11.
& deuotly Sanis hym with the taknyng Of the corce
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 289.
George of fare mad taknyng, That thai suld nocht drede for ony thinge
1513 Doug. ii v 13.
Quhen the takynnyng [Ruddim. taikynnyng] or the bail of fyre Rays from the kyngis schip, [etc.]
1686 Mackenzie Observ. (1687) 48.
1686 Mackenzie Observ. (1687) 51.
By bailis is meant letters to raise fire or takenings for advertising the countrey

h. An omen. = Takin n. 8 a. a1400 Leg. S. xix 272.
To that takine I thé sane; The staf … Thrist it fast … in the grownd & to-morne … Berand fluris thu sal it fynd … & sone in the mornynge, He come to se this taknyne [etc.]
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 176.
Or is it from the hevin a visioun? … I ȝow beseke full humily of this thing, That of ȝoure grace I myght haue more takenyng
1513 Doug. iii vi 67 (Ruddim.).
I sall thé schaw taikynins [C. takynnys, Sm. takins] therof full mete, Quhilkis thou sall hald within thy mynd
a1538 Abell 63b.
Mony taiknyngis wes seyne before the distructioun of the Pichtis

i. A trace or vestige. a1400 Leg. S. ix 82.
Thire men … socht the appostol besyly … Bot taknyne of hyme fand thai nocht

2. The action of betokening, acknowledging or giving attention to (something or someone).See also Lufe-takynnyng n. a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 204.
God … To this emperoure cane se … & eftyr ded of flesch-rysing Scheu hyme suthfast taknying
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2006.
Cletemistra gaif trowyng To Oetus and gret tokynnyng Of his counsall

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"Takinning vbl. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2023 <>



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