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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Unto, Until(l, prep. and conj. Also: untyll, wnto, -till. [ME and e.m.E. unntill (Orm), vntil, vnto (both Cursor M.). Cf. Ontil(l prep. and conj., Onto prep. and conj., To prep., adv. and conj.]

A. prep. 1. Expressing motion towards a destination. = Onto prep. 1, To prep. 1.(a) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1881.
Grekes … held vnto his tent in hy
a1500 Henr. Fab. 196.
Thay … fute for fute vnto [Bann. onto] the chalmer ȝude
a1500 Rauf C. 5.
Thay past vnto Paris
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 236.
Swyth up saile unto the top thai stent
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 88.
Ther wer aboundance more [turners] carryd in unto Scottland
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 765.
[He] baid him pas furth vntill his companie
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 137/59.
Untill hir ludgeing the toun did hir convoy
c1590 Fowler I 75/223.
And further of they passed on vntill Linterno fort

b. In non-material or fig. contexts. a1500 Colk. Sow iii 62.
Thairfoir I turne vnto my first text
1490 Irland Mir. III 47/26.
A noble gait and way to pas fra syn and payn eternal … wn to the hie stage of paradice
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2464.
Ȝe wald pas ȝour auld huredome vntill
1664 Highland P. III 32.
[He] being unwell and in a fitt of distraction … unhappily fell unto manslaughter

2. Expressing extent or direction: To, towards, as far as. = Onto prep. 2, To prep. 2.(a) a1450 Fifteen Ois 207.
Fra the hycht of thi heid Wnto the solis of thi feit
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1313.
All the renttis fra thyne vnto Ronsiwall
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1352.
His hude off scarlet … On hekillit wyis vntill his girdill doun
a1578 Pitsc. I 171/36.
The landis was so waistit be Ingland and the theiffis of Annerdaill that na thing was plenischit wntill Edinburgh
1622-6 Bisset II 296/7.
He preiched the gospell of oure Salviour Jesus Christ frome Ephasus untill Illericum

3. Indicating the person or thing to which another person or thing is joined, communicated, delivered, etc., or to whom or which an action, service or state of affairs applies. = Onto prep. 4, 6, 7, 8 and To prep. 3: a. With transitive verb. b. With intransitive verb.a. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1380 (C).
The blame of hym … Imput … errar wnto [D. vnto] Vlixes
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 145.
I will na vittale be sauld your senyeour vntill
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 63.
Quhois seruice is ȝit vncouth vnto ȝow?
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 133.
Lat wisedom ay [vn]to thy will be iunyt
1460 Hay Alex. 2442.
Ȝe mon othir obey vntill his wand Or ellis to cheis ane man of gouernance
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 482.
Lat nevir this synfull sot Do schame fra hame unto [M. on to] your nacioun
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 227.
Dangere … at the last departing … me delyverit unto [M. on till] hevynesse For to remayne
15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 7.
He hes writtin vnto me Auld storeis for to se
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10399.
He smylit and sine he said Vntill him self [etc.]
1570 Reg. Morton I 51.
I knaw nocht to quhome rather I suld meine me vnto nor vnto ȝow
a1578 Pitsc. I 135/22.
Thair was no mischeif could befall our King bot was deliuerit wnto ws
1643 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. VIII 67.
The said Margaret haid ane … calf whilk did eat ane beat of lint unto ȝow
b. 1567 Reg. Morton I 19.
Schir Iames Balfour … being cairfull for the misordouris above writtin … promises to ayd and assist vnto ws
a1578 Pitsc. I 6/19.
Fals tratouris that … nevir wald aneir [? erron. for adheir] vnto the commonweill

4. Expressing temporal relationships: Until (a specified date or time); until such time as (a specified event occurs). = Onto prep. 5, To prep. 6. 1490 Irland Mir. III 83/36.
That in this stat it sall indur vn to the extreme iugement
a1500 K. Hart 46.
Thir folk … with this king wald woun … Vnto the tyme thair dait be run and past
15.. Wyf Awcht. 101.
Scho draif the day vnto the nicht
1552 Holyrood Chart. 157.
Landis … to be brukit … be thame … unto the ische and full compleit end of the saidis nyntyne ȝeris
1555 Acts II 498/2.
That na poutis pertrik pluwer [etc.] … be slane vnto the feist of Michaelmes
1560 Rolland Seven S. 902.
Sa that he culd be dum Unto the space seuin dayis war gane and cum
a1568 Pedder C. 14.
He lokis thame [sc. hens] vp in to his innis Vnto ane derth, and sellis thair eggis
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 106.
To keip the prince vnto hir returning
a1500 Henr. Fab. 723.
‘Thow sall’ quod he, ‘forbeir flesch vntill [Bann. hyne to] Pasche’
1567 G. Ball. 6.
Als oft as ȝe sall eit of this breid, and drink of this coupe, ȝe sall schaw the Lordis deith vntill his cuming
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 257.
Unto the time that this Spirit free us from sin and death … until this time we shall never … see the face of God
1614–15 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 1.
The said spaice until Beltane, 1615
1652 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 73.
Untill the first day of November next ensuing and no longer

5. Expressing a relationship of service by one person to another. = To prep. 15 a. a1500 K. Hart 34.
The inwarde, ythand seruitouris, Quhilk gouernouris war vnto this nobill king
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8142.
That ȝoung wenche … Quhilk is bour Mayd vnto ȝour awin Empres

6. Preceded by like or lykynnit, as an expression of comparison. = Onto prep. 10 a, To prep. 16. Cf. also Like adv. 1 (2).For further examples see Like adj. 1 (4). c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 155.
The pantere, like vnto the smaragdyne
a1500 Henr. Orph. 351 (Asl.).
Hir lely lyre was lyke vnto the leid
a1500 Bk. Chess 633.
A king but letteris lykynnit is … Vnto a crovnit as that no gud can

7. Indicating the relation of an adjective, participle or noun to the object of the preposition. = Onto prep. 11. a1500 Henr. Fab. 4.
Thair polite termes of sweit rhetore Richt plesand ar vnto the eir of man
1529 Douglas Corr. 139.
As forthir the said latour can mair largely mak manifest unto ȝour grace
a1568 Scott xxxv 5.
Conforme vntill The Lordis command and law

8. As a simple marker of the infinitive. = To B 10 b. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 68.
Bright letteris of gold blith vnto blent

9. In various senses of In prep.: a. Denoting position: In, within (a place). = In prep. 1. b. Into (another substance or form). = In prep. 16 b. c. Into (an abstract entity). = In prep. 16 c.a. 1535 Stewart 211.
Ene baith grit and reid, Quhilk lyke tua sterris schone untill his heid
b. 1535 Stewart 7867.
Syne all his bodie brint wes untill as
c. c1568 Lauder Minor P. i 604.
All will be brocht vnto confusioun
1573 Davidson in Sat. P. xlii 600.
Quhen that the Kirk efter at lenth Had growin vntill ane greiter strenth

10. For (a person, etc.). a1500 Henr. Fab. 1494.
Vnhailsum meit is of ane sarie mous, And that namelie vntill ane strang lyoun
a1500 Lanc. 2133.
Bot o thing is yneuch wn to me
a1500 Bk. Chess 2099.
Vnto a quene be richt it is nocht meit To go to batall weris to sustene
1618 Buchan Cl. IV 197.
How impossible it was unto them being but of ane mein number

B. conj. Introducing temporal clauses, in senses of To conj. Cf. also Ontill prep. and conj. 2, and Onto conj.

1. Until the situation described in the main clause is altered by the event described in the unto- clause. 1533 Gau 60/13.
He keist hime in to presone vnto he suld pay it
1549 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 434.
Assedatioun … for all the termis of thre ȝeiris and sua furth fra thre ȝeiris to thre ȝeiris unto nynetene ȝeiris be gane
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 481.
The maledictione of the pure Sall on ȝow and ȝour seid indure Vntyll that ȝe be rutit oute
a1578 Pitsc. I 137/3.
The kingis grace caussit him witht his companieounis to remove thame wntill he had consultit wpoun ane ansuer
1591–2 St. A. B. Ct. 10 March.
Dischairgit the said persewar fra forder proceding in his said wark wnto the samyn war sichted be the juges
1644 Misc. Spald. C. III 196.
Deponed that thei did tak hir hors from hir … until sche did pay ten merkis for him
1676 Edinb. B. Rec. X 283.
The … baillie … put him in prisone … until he found cawtion

2. With a negative in the main clause: Before. = To conj. 1 c. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 2399.
Thow cummis not in vnto the watches knaw
1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. (STS) 7/31.
Wnto he proue that he defendes that same caus … he will neuer caus me to belue nor grant that [etc.]
c1590 Fowler I 61/96.
I wish … never to reteir Vntill the cynders of my cors be burned on the pire
1600 Crim. Trials II 121.
And protestis, that itt be nocht respectit, vnto it be schawin, that we may ansuer thairto
1615 Sutherland Bk. II 113.
Nather will I be glaid wntill I hear of hir recoverie
1619 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 122.
[Not to kindle fire] untill thare be ane chimnay placit for venting reek & fyer
1662 Crim. Trials III 616.
I knew nothing of witchcraft wntill I wes mari[et with] my husband

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"Unto prep., conj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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