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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Tan(e, pron. (adj.). Also: tayn(e, taine, tene, ton(e, tonn(e, toune, toon, toin. [ME and e.m.E. ton (c1250), tan, tonn (both Cursor M.), toon (Manning), tane (c1440), earlier ME (north.) þet or þat ān the t being attached to ān when þe became the general form of the definite article.]

A. pron.The one (of two). Chiefly, in opposition to the tother (uther). Also, once, in a list of three = the first.(1) 1375 Barb. vi 190.
The tane suld be kyng a ȝer, & then the tother … Suld [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. x 47.
The tane Arphaxat callit wes, & his companyone Zarroes
1392 Lennox Mun. 47.
Gyf the sayde erill dissesys before the saydis William and Issabel, the saydis William and Issabel or the tane of thaim qwhey sa than be off lywe, sal [etc.]
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2845.
c1420 Wynt. iv 2305.
Twa traytourys … The tane off thai wes Cassius, The tothir callyd wes than Brutus
1428 Liber Melros 521.
[They] tuke twa kavillis & brocht me thaim & I kest thaim the tane to the son, the tothir to the schadow & thus it [sc. the land] wes departit
1456 Hay I 265/6.
Bot syne cummys the sentence that is terrible for the tane
1456 Craven Ch. in Orkney III 113.
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 105.
[Of a wise man and a fool:] lykand the tan to the hevyne & the tothir to the hell
a1500 Lanc. 1820.
c1475 Wall. ii 404.
c1475 Wall. vii 756.
Toune [McD. tonne]
1485 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 137 (see Ta adj.). 1513 Doug. v vi 25.
Twa othirris sammyn, Salyus and Patron, Of quham the tane born of Epyria, And the tother was of Archadya
1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 120.
Twa rigis lyand within the fredom of Selkyrk, the tane upone the know … the tother in to Gosloudaillis
1546 St. P. Henry VIII IV ii 560.
Tha brocht the Cardinale deid to the wall heid, in ane payr of schetis, and hang hym over the wall be the tane arme and the tane fute
1551 Hamilton Cat. 16.
That ane sacrament is constitute … of twa principal partis, the tane is ane sensibil signe, and the tother is the word of God
1568 Waus Corr. 51.
What ye haif to requeir beth of the tene and the vder your vesdome knavis
1571 Misc. Bann. C. III 143.
(2) 1456 Hay I 84/6.
Thare is here thre thingis till understand, the tane is, till assailȝe, the tothir to flee in tyme, the thrid till abyde

B. adj. 1. With def. art.: The one (of two). Freq., the tane half. Chiefly, in opposition to the tother (other).(1) ?1438 Alex. i 1562.
Ane riche duke … He keruit with his sword in tua, Quhill the tane half to erd can ga And in the sadill left the laif
?1438 Alex. ii 9444.
Porrus kest vp his blasoun And he it claif euin in tua, That the tane half to the erd can ga
c1420 Wynt. ii 49.
The tane half off hyr hare wnplet, Scho gert plat on hyr hys basynet
1431 Acts II 20/1.
Na salmonde be saulde nor barteryt … bot for Inglis mone alanerly that is to say golde or siluer for the tane halfe & gascone wyne or siclyk gude penny worthis for the tother half
1451 Acts II 40/2.
The tane half to the king & the tothir half to the tayntour & the takar
1493 Edinb. Chart. 173.
To heue the half of the gudis vnenterit eschetit, the tane half thairof to the kingis hienes and the tothir half to the provest [etc.]
1510 Reg. Privy S. I 326/2.
Payand … ȝerely … the soume of foure thousand pundis … be tua equale partis, ilk ane of thaim the tane half of the soume forsaid
1527–8 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 92.
Gef the tane halff of the steid be founding to the said Ysabell, scho, … sall have the tane part of the reid land
1542–3 Lanark B. Rec. 20.
The tane half tyll the awnar and the [uther half] to the balyeis
1545 Reg. Cupar A. II 38.
The said Janat sall haif the tane half of the samin teindis, and the said Jhonis aris the tother half equallie betuen thame
1553 Lanark B. Rec. 26.
The said Wylyem … uphaldand the tan half of the said bait, syklyk as Jhone Haste dois to the tethyr half
1565 Reg. Privy C. I 333.
The tane half to be applyit to our Soverane Ladiis use, and the uther half thairof to the Conservatour
(2) 14.. Acts I 337/2.
Off the chalance of malt makaris … that thai … schut out all the pith of it quhare it aw bot to chip and cum at the tane end
1503 Orkney Rentals i 36.
The tane uris land and Innerstromnes … the tother urisland of Innerstromnes
1518 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I 211.
Lat the wardanis put on thaim on the tane syde, and I sall put on the tothir
1533 Boece 37.
Cruell were and batell quhilk nocht without distructioun of the tane pepill … couth be fynyt
1533 Boece 317b.
Edelfrede of the tane was lamyt
1535 Stewart 8172.
At the tonn end set Cesar in his trune, And at the tother stude king Caratac
1542 Hamilton P. I 158.
In the toin forray wes J.H. … and the tuther forraye wes [etc.]
1551 Hamilton Cat. 77.
Samekil is the lufe of God and our nychbour fessinit and linkit togiddir, that the tane lufe can nocht be had without the tother
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 76.
Ane arm of the sea hes worn the earth that wes at the tane end of this loch

2. specif. With part (Part n. 10) = Ta adj. 2. 1494 Bk. Carlaverock II 449.
It is … concordit betuix … Richart bischope of Sanct Assaph [etc.] … on the toon part, and … George bischope of Dulkeldin [etc.] … on the tother partye
1510 Misc. Spald. C. V 394.
Rychert Sincler, in the umbyf of Jhon Ademsone, one the tayn part, and Wilȝam Flet, in his awyne umbyf, on the tother part
1521 Reg. Cupar A. I 317.
The debatis betuix Den Johne Hugone on the tane pairt, and Paton Meyk … on the tother pairt
c1532–50 Breadalbane P. MS (Reg. H.).
Johne Campbell of Glenwrquhar vpoun the tane part and Johne Campbell of Lochtennel vpoun the twthir part
1539 Liber Melros 627.
It is appointit … betuex … Andro … abbot of Melros on the taine part and … Matheu Steuard person of Moffet … on the toder part
1549 Breadalbane Doc. MS No. 68.
It is … agreyt betuixt … Jhone Campbell … on the tane part and Jhone Menȝeis … on the tothyr part

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"Tan pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2023 <>



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