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

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

Ȝe, Ye, pron. Also: ȝhe, yhe, ȝie, yie, ȝei, ȝea, yea, ȝee, yee. Contracted form ȝ. [ME and e.m.E. ȝie (a1175), ȝe (c1175), ye (a1250), yee (Cursor M.), yhe (14th c.), ȝee (Wyclif), OE ᵹe, MLG, MDu. ghi, -i.]In early use, chiefly as the nominative form, but later replaced by Ȝow pron. Appar. also used in addressing someone of a higher status; cf. The pron., Thow pron. and Ȝow pron.

1. a. In nominative and vocative use. b. In apposition, also used in addressing a thing.a. sing. 1375 Barb. iv 650.
Quhat-kyne forton Ȝe [C. Ȝhe] mon drey
? c1400 Reg. Morton I xlii.
At yhe be at Edinburgh at vs the fyrst day of September … to tak yhour journay
1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Learys sulde be lytille alowit wyth ony sic worschipfull kynge as ȝhe ar
1407 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 32.
Wit yhe me … till haf gewyn … till a nobile man [etc.]
a1500 Seven S. 115.
Lord it is our desyre … That ȝe wald wed a far lady
a1500 Seven S. 1477.
Scho said moder ȝe haue na considerans
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 155.
Now fair sister … confese … how ȝe like lif to leid in to lell spousage?
1551 Prot. Bk. Sir Wm. Corbet No. 64.
[Father to son]' … ȝe haiff byddyn lang fra me'
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1706) 290.
Ye breed of the gouk, ye have not a rime but one
(b) 1573 Wemyss Corr. 94.
I persaife that yee meyn nocht to assent
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 104 (H).
God save kowes quhairfra com ȝee
1633 Lithgow Poet. Remains 112.
Yet anagram me Lordes … And yee shall find my Lords turne drols indeed
1649 Cupar Presb. 147.
The said Elspet went in to sie the kow … and said, ‘Lamby, lamby, yee wilbe weill enough’
(c) 1600-1610 Melvill 65.
What hes muvit yow yie neid to bost?
(d) 1609 Innes Sketches 514.
Yow shall excuse me that he was so long of cuming, for this is the first that he gave away since the tyme that yea was here
(e) 1614 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 162.
pl. 1375 Barb. ii 337, 340.
Ȝe ar ilkan wycht and worthy … Wyrk yhe then apon swylk wys That [etc.]
1375 Barb. vii 137 (C).
Fallowis, ȝhe man all thre … ga
c1420 Wynt. v 5460.
As before yhe have herd tell
?14.. Ship Laws c. 17 (H2).
The maistir aw to say to his fallowis lordingis frauchtis in ȝour portaige or ȝe tyne of the frauch of the schip
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 35.
Sa wundir wait wes the way, wit ye but wene
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 343.
I knaw yone bauld berne better than ye
a1500 Henr. Fab. 63.
Ane iolie stone Of quhome the fabill ȝe sall heir anone
c1475 Wall. v 123.
Deyme as yhe lest, ye that best can and may
1522 Fife Sheriff Ct. 176.
This ȝhe do as ȝhe will ansuere to ws
(b) 1610 Crim. Trials III 104.
Ȝea the said Jacob Jansone, Thomas Thomlene [etc.] … being than abuird in the said … schip … ȝea … at the leist ane great number of ȝow [etc.] … ȝea the saidis pirates … persewitt … ane French bark [etc.]
1611-57 Mure Psalmes cxlvi 1.
Praise yea the Lord
b. sing. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 91.
O Nature, quene, and O ȝe lustie May
1547–8 Stirling B. Rec. I 51.
John Hwme, Inglisman, ye ar inditit for the cuming fra the Inglis army [etc.]
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 199.
It suld be ȝe, Mother, suld me instruct
pl. c1420 Wynt. v 665.
Yhe Romanys succoure nowe
c1475 Wall. ii 223.
Yhe birdis, blyth as bellis
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1588.
Behald ȝe men that callis ladyis lidder
1513 Doug. ii vii 122.
O ȝe cald assys of Troy and flawmys baith
1513 Doug. iii ix 94.
Bot ȝhe, onhappy men, fle from this sted
a1568 Scott xxxiv 1.
Ȝe blindit luvaris, luke The rekles lyfe ȝe leid
1611-57 Mure Psalmes cxlviii 2.
Angells of light, Yee hosts of His
1611-57 Mure Psalmes cxlviii 9.
Yea mountaines and yea hills
1611-57 Mure Psalmes cxlviii 9.
Yee which with sapp He fills, Tall cedars of the field

2. In objective use as a direct object. c1550 Exch. R. XVIII 502.
Ples ye to wit that I hav beyn hewyle trobillit with ane sair leg
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. i 755.
Te portat, carieth ye about

3. In the above uses in collocation with Ȝow pron. and, more rarely, Thow pron. a. In instances where ȝe is the nominative form and ȝow is the objective form, specif. as direct object, freq. reflex., as indirect object or the object of a preposition. b. With ȝow as an alternative nominative form. c. With thow as an alternative nominative form.a. (1) 1390 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 19.
We pray yhow … alsa that yhe gerre quit owre obligacion … be myd somer
1401 Aberd. B. Rec. I 380 (see (2) below). 1434 Exch. R. IV 567.
We charge yhu … that yhe content and pay yherly [etc.]
1507 Reg. Episc. Brechin. II 157.
We requere yhow as oure dere frendis that yhe will ger the said chayplanis be payit
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 25.
Howbeit thay call you lawis sone, ye ar nocht lawis fader, to mak lawis at your plesour
(2) 1375 Barb. i 92.
Haid ȝe wmbethocht ȝow enkrely Quhat perell to ȝow mycht apper
1401 Aberd. B. Rec. I 380.
Reuerence & honour likit yhu [sc. an unnamed lord] to wit that … we requir yhu that … yhe wald asich gif yhe ocht aw hym … and gif yhe will adreis yhu to be at ony day with hym
c1475 Wall. xi 269 (McD.).
Hwmblely he [sc. the king] said, ‘Ȝe suld disples ȝou nocht. This ȝe desyryt'
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 181.
God grant sum time ȝe turn ȝou to pennans
a1540 Freiris Berw. 488 (B).
And neir the dur ȝe hyd ȝow prevely And quhen I bid ȝow stryk strek hardely
a1568 Scott xxxiv 125.
Ȝe pryd ȝow at thair proppis
(3) 1460 Hay Alex. 2440.
Ȝe se quhow Dare ȝow has his message send To haue tribut or to destroy ȝour land
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 257 (see List v.1 1 a).(4) 1375 Barb. i 93 (see (2) above). 1375 Barb. vi 658.
Bot the gret part to ȝow tuk ȝe, That slew [four] off the fyve ȝow ane
a1400 Leg. S. ii 222.
For takine ȝe sall trew The thinge I say till ȝow now
1470 Lennox Mun. 81.
That ȝe deliuer … the lede that ȝe haue in keping of oure said castel of Bute, indenting witht him quhat that ȝe deliuer, kepand the ta parte of the indenture witht ȝow
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 310.
Ȝe prelatis quhilkis hes thousandis for to spende Ȝe send ane sempyll freir for ȝow to preche
1560 Rolland Seven S. 248.
I speir at ȝow haue ȝe ony knawlege Quhairfoir I send to ȝow seuin my message
1562-3 Winȝet I 79/23.
Quhy geif ȝe iust occasioun to the infirm to be in that part sclanderit be ȝow?
1568 Liber Coll. Glasg. lxxxiii.
Ye and euere ane of yow
a1568 Bann. MS 93a/11.
Lord God eternall … Ȝe heir the prayer of the pure … We haif no man to plenȝe to bot Ȝow For it wes Thow that coft ws deir
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 320/87.
Ȝe sould tak rycht gude garde Or lestand feid ȝe on ȝou bring
c1590 Fowler I 328/5.
Ye iest at vs, we iyve at yow aga[n]e
1636 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 135.
Ye see your Father is homely with you
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 221.
Ye confesst that … in the glomeing before the said meeting the Devil appeared to you
(b) 1599 Fraser P. 116.
As ȝie and ilkane of ȝow will ansuer to ws
b. 1442–3 Coldingham Priory 148 (see Ȝow pron.1 and note). a1500 Lanc. 1263.
My consell is, therfore, you to absten Whill that to yow the werray rycht be sen Of his entent, the wich ful son ȝhe may Have knawlag, if yow lykith
a1582 Sir Colling 93.
Yow speikis sa littill of Godis mycht Ye weill var I trow ye
1609 Innes Sketches 514.
Yow shall excuse me that he was so long of cuming, for this is the first that he gave away since the time that yea was here
a1700 Whigs Welcome from Bothwell Brig in Bk. Pasquils (1827) i 5.
Ye're holy sprits, tho' hypocrits. Its sack you drink, not ale, boys
c. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii 94.
Wat thu nocht thu mone de That byding brakis of princis hye? … Oure godis ȝe do honoure til … As ȝe se hyeare princis do
a1500 K. Hart 442, 446.
Wantownnes come to the wall … And cryit our, ‘Quhat folk ar ȝe thairout?' ‘My name is Age,’ said he … 'May thow nocht heir langar how I culd shout?' ‘Quhat war ȝour will?' ‘I will cum in, but dout.’ ‘Now God forbid, in fayth, ȝe cum nocht heir.' ‘Rin on thy way, or thow sall beir ane route’
1490 Irland Mir. III 133/18.
Ane that befor was haldin for a foule that said to the king schir weraly ȝe suld … forgeue him For ȝe haue causit this slauchtir mar than he than said the king … thou wait nocht quhat thou sais, quhow haue I slane the persoune Than ansuerit the fule, schir I sall tell ȝou
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 66.
Thow speiris, dastard, gif I dar with thé fecht: Ȝe dagone, dowbart, thairof haif thow no dowt
1533 Dumfries B. Ct. 136b.
We sall deyll it with our neiffs. Cum doun off jugement owt of the bar & se geve ye [overwritten thow] dar byde at that

4. As the indefinite personal pronoun: One. 1576 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 301.
For ane iyrone stanchour quhilk was puttin abone the entres of the gallarye as ye pas throch the ovir trans [etc.]
1682 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS (18 Nov.).
Robert Ewarts halfe skair on the east syde of the gaite as ye goe to Culdoche

5. Combined with a following contracted verb form, or, contracted itself and combined with a following verb form. Ȝeill, yeel(l, yell, yeil, = you will (Wil(l v.1). Ȝ'ar, ye'r, = you are (Be v.1). Ȝeis, = you shall (S1).(1) a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlvi 16.
To pomp als oft as ȝe may haill, Ȝeill nevir hald hir watter-fast
c1590 Fowler I 320/19.
If this day yeil … come to sun your moulyie cunȝe
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 25.
Richelieu, a toune that give yeell consider its bigness … hath not its match in France
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 44.
Remove your eyes to another corner, and their yeel sy great tries torn up by the roots
1680 Sc. N. & Q. 2 Ser. II 43.
I desyre yell doe me the faivour to look out … all the papers ye have
1699 Aberd. Journal N. & Q. IV 121.
[Inscription on snuff-box] Sike me within Yeil powder fin
(2) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 2195 (Ch.).
Sum sayis ȝ'ar [B. ȝe ar] ane fals Saracene
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1150 (Wr.).
Ye'r but a prentise at the pleugh
(3) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 536 (Ch.).
Hamelines the cap ȝeis fill
15.. Wyf Awcht. 29.
Ȝeis lay ane soft wisp to the kill
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3758.
And said gude man ȝeis gif ane croun to me
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5593.
Will ȝe say so … Ȝeis want the heid
a1585 Arbuthnot in Maitl. Q. 90/64.
Ȝeis luik I sall not lie
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 804 (T).
Cappit knaif … ȝeis be knokit

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"Ȝe pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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