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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.

Thank, n. Also: thanke, thang, tank, thonk. [ME and e.m.E. þonk, þeonke (both c1175), þonke (c1200), thonke (1340), thank (Chaucer), thanke (Prompt. Parv.), OE þanc, þǫnc.]

1. a. Gratitude, thanks, feelings of gratitude towards someone for a favour or services rendered, goodwill. Passing into b. The expression of gratitude.Chiefly in the singular in early uses.a. sing. c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 150.
Thow has done mony gud deid, and tharfore thow nedys na mercy bot al the thank thar-of
1456 Hay (Glenn) III 62/49.
Gift gevyn to thame that na myster has requeris nocht thank na loving of vertewe
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 307.
Quhat thank serf I thocht it gud bee, Sen gudnes cummys nocht of me Bot of thir worthi mennis sawis
1463 Liber Aberbr. II 132.
The said abbot … has promittit thank and gratitud to the said byschop
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 62/63.
Bot he, the wirker, that put in her sic grace … The thank redoundis to him in every place
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 129/24 (B).
Deserving of ȝour grace most ding Bayth thank, rewarde, and cherissing
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke vi 32.
Gif ye lufe thame that luvis you, quhat thank is to you
1604 James VI Tobacco (STS) 92/11.
When you were forced to auoyde much winde out of your stomacke, and much grauell in your vrine, that you should attribute the thanke thereof to such nourishments as bred those within you
pl. c1475 Wall. iv 390.
On Scottis men he spendyt mekill gud, Bot nocht his thankis upon the Sothren blud
a1578 Pitsc. I 91/5.
The erle resauit him with mair thankis bot all was vnder cullour and disseitt
1587-99 Hume 41/10.
Suld not I, an impe of Christ … Ane sacrifice of thankes present
1615 Highland P. III 239.
A letter of courtesie and thankis for his good intertenyment
b. sing. a1500 Rauf C. 743.
God forbot … my thank war sic thing To him that succourit my lyfe
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 208/19.
Or the gift deliverit be, The thank is frustrat and expyrd
1509 Glasgow Chart. I ii 100.
And this ye do as yhe will report singular thank of ws tharefore and do ws singulare emplesour
1513 Doug. i Prol. 52.
Thyne is the thank, and myne salbe the schame
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4835.
Thankis ane hunder fald To thé doctour for the taill thow hes tald
1607 Reg. Privy C. VII 513.
We haif reported small thankis of those who so liberallie hes talked of us
1668-9 Fraser Lawfulness Separ. 68.
God will not hear prayers, when iniquities are regarded in the heart, and more thanks to let alone

2. In verbal phrases. a. To gif, kythe, rendir, ȝalde thank(is), to express gratitude, esp. to God. Also, with omission of verb as an expression of gratitude, mekill thank (cf. also Alex. ii 8292 in (1)), and thank(is) (be to). b. To have, gett thank(is), to be thanked, to receive thanks, goodwill or credit. Variously const. c. To lese or tyne (the, thy, etc.) thank(is), to lose or be deprived of thanks, to forfeit gratitude or credit due. d. To cun thank(is), to feel or express gratitude, see Cun v. 2 for examples.a. (1) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 324.
Quhene the byschope herd this talde, Thang to al-mychtty God he ȝaulde
?1438 Alex. ii 4715.
Bot thank now will I gif to nane Bot to dam Ydeas
?1438 Alex. ii 8292.
The folke of Grece to Gaudefere Kythit mekill thanke
1490 Irland Mir. II 105/37.
And thar be ony thing honorable or proffitable in this werk the honour lovage and thank be gevin to God tharof
1513 Doug. x Prol. 141.
Quhat thankis … May I … Rendir
1517 Wigtown B. Ct. 66b.
To hald ferme or stabill quhat at his said procuratour or ony ane or thame dois in the premissis he gewand thame tank & revard
1531 Vaus (1566).
I gif ȝow gryt thankis
1531 Bell. Boece I 93.
The Britonis returnit hame and gaif thankis to Vespasiane, for his humanite schawin to thaim
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 113/9.
Quhene he hed giffin thankis, he b[r]ak the breid and said [etc.]
1573 Sempill in Sat. P. xxxix 48.
Ingraitfull people gaue hir lytill thankis
1621 Aberd. Council Lett. I 193.
We have all moir nor reason to gieve him harty thanks for the good he hes already done
c1650 Spalding I 282. 1682 Cramond Kirk S. II 17 Sept.
The session rendered unto Mr. James Hunter of Muirhouse many thanks, for his caire and paines taken by him in secureing the poores money
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii 1980.
‘Schir, mekill thank!’ sayis the Bauderane
?1438 Alex. ii 3497.
‘Mekill thank!’ said Cassamus
(3) 1535 Stewart 19127.
Greit thank … ane thousand syis Be to thy king in quhome sic lawtie lyis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 151 (Ch.).
Howbeit my coat be short and nippit Thankis be to God [B. Thankit be God] I am weill hippit
1551 Hamilton Cat. 174.
To God thairfor be all louing and thankis, honour and glore for evir and evir. Amen
Arundel MS 242/130.
O maist benyng Jesu … thankis be to thé for the maist haly wound of thi syde
1602 Elgin Rec. II 97.
Thair wes a gude and frequent conventioun baith befoir and eftirnone, thankis God
b. a1400 Leg. S. xxix 41.
He that cesis nocht to syne Til that it lewis hyme Sal nothyr haf thang no mede
?1438 Alex. i 553.
Thow sall thank haif of the king, And grete reward for thy ganging
?1438 Alex. ii 2151.
‘Schir,’ said the Bauderane, ‘thank haue ȝe!'
14… Misc. Spald. C. II 323.
Ye wil do vs singler emplesance and haue speceale thankis of ws tharefore
a1500 Lanc. 152.
To have hir thonk and be one to hir es
a1500 Henr. Hasty Credence 3.
Howping at thair lord to gett grit thank Thay haif no dreid on thair nybouris to lie
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 61/59.
Scho suld haif the thank thairfoir
1533 Bell. Livy I 142/9.
Thir twa lawis war richt plesand to the pepill and war pronuncit allanerlie … be auctorite of the said Valerius (that he mycht tharethrow haue the thank thareof)
1551 Hamilton Cat. 96.
Gyff ye len to thame of quhome ye hope to resave, quhat thank have ye thairfor?
a1578 Pitsc. I 391/10.
Quhene the king hard of his inputting he was not content … and wrait to the captane of the castell … schawand him that they sould haue no thank that was his inputtaris
1604 James VI Tobacco (STS) 93/33.
If a man chance to recouer one of any disease, after he hath taken tobacco, that must haue the thankes of all
c. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2269.
This tarying wyll tyne thé all thy thank
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 57.
I haif beyne vexit wyth seiknes … and geif I had decessit ye suld haif lesit bath thankis and recompens
a1568 Balnaves in Bann. MS 138b/23.
Fra tyme ȝe stank in to the bank And drypoynt puttis in play Ȝe tyne the thank

3. In adverbial phrases in, with, (grete, mekill, etc.) thank(is), gratefully, in gratitude; with pleasure, with thanks or goodwill. a1400 Leg. S. vi 12.
A man … That he in grete thank vil take, And als reward him t[h]ankfully, Gyfe he his varke dois parfytly
c1400 Troy-bk. i 16.
Jasone & Hercules … dyd no-thing bot ete & drank And payit tharfor with mekle thank
?1438 Alex. ii 2274.
‘Schir,’ said the Bauderane ‘ … I … for ȝour faith … Ressauis in thank, schir, this hething'
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 124.
With humble thank … I tuke my leue
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 206.
Wysmen … tak in thank at God wyl send
1513 Doug. vii iv 20.
Gyf ȝe … remanys with our thankis In to our port and havynnys fast heir by, Withdraw ȝou not
1513 Doug. vii iv 152.
I grant thyne axyng … And ȝour rewardis ressauys in thank
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 35.
He borrowit of the said mony in thank and mister
1533 Boece 72.
Athir prince with thankis and mery chere at Dingwell made thare meting
1560 Rolland Seven S. 304.
Pleis ȝour grace my seruice for to tak In gude sessoun, in thankis and plesouris
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5128.
Ilk ane of ȝow … sall be ane laird, And intreitit with thankis into my hous Amang my lordis
a1578 Pitsc. I 39/8.
All thair freindis … begane to extoll and ruif them baitht witht great thankis
a1585 Maitl. Q. 42/19.
Tak in thank and gude sessoun Quhat God will send

4. pl. Services rendered, favours. 1493 Acta Conc. I 310/1.
The action … persewit … for the wrangwis detentioun … of the somme of twa hundreth pundis … aucht be thaim to the said Robert be thar obligacion vnder a procurit sele for his thankis help & supple as wes allegiit
1509 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 266.
Becaus of singuler fauoris we beir on to the said Jhone … And for tendernes alliance and blude being amangis ws and for certan wthir profitabill thankis [etc.] we … oblisis ws [etc.] to … pay … twelff thousand pundis … as followis

b. In verbal phrase to do thankis to, to do a service to, do a favour for. 1491 Misc. Spald. C. V 32.
lxi punds and ten schillingis, for his fauoris, gratuiteys, and thankis done and to be done to thaim in tymes to cum
1494 Acta Aud. 200/2.
For ane ȝe[re]ly pension aucht to him for his thankis done & to be done
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 248/1.
For thankis and service done and to be done … be the said lord Gray
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 117.
The beniuolence and thankis of Claudius Empriour done to him [sc. Caratak] & his realm
1533 Boece 457b.
Scottis … maid supplicaciouns to almichty God and processiouns, and did all thankis that kynde hartis couth devise
1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 111.
Jhone Hakat … grantit to Charles Deneston … certan cattellis gres in his myir of Pitfyrran for thankis done and to be done be the said Charles to the said Jhone

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"Thank n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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