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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Pottar, -er, n. Also: -air. [ME and e.m.E. potter(e, late OE pottere, f. Pot(t n.1]Early occurences in place-names are: Pottermedow (1333 Liber Dryburgh 256), Pottartoune (1457 Exch. R. VI 339).

A maker of pots and other objects made by similar techniques, a potter; also ? a vendor of pots.Applied to workers in both earthenware and metal. 1497 Treas. Acc. I 358.
To the pottar of Striuelin for tua schyffis with xiij puleis
1501–2 Ib. II 135.
To the pottair, for laym pottis v s.
1507–8 Ib. IV 105.
To Alexander Bow, pottar of Edinburgh, to by metall to cast the first gun with, v li.
1508 Ib. 116.
To the pottar of Strivelin for ane muld for ane gun making that maid na stede
Ib. 134.
To the pottar of Drumfreis that makis the taist to melt the metall in for gunnis
Ib. 113, 116. 1510 Rentale Dunkeld. (S.H.S.) 218.
[The] pottair [for 132 tiles for the roofs]
1511 Treas. Acc. IV 272.
To William Quhet, pottar, takand ȝeirlie for his labouris at the weschele of the kechingis and cunȝehouse
1534 Exch. R. XVI 362.
To … Johnne Layng, gunnar and pottar to ws, for his … service … in the said offices of gunnerschip and potterschip
a1538 Abell 11 a.
Thare wes a pottair or ane tynclar … callit Pirill
1549 Compl. 19/19.
Ane pottar vil mak of ane masse of mettal diuerse pottis of defferent fassons
1551 Hamilton Cat. 266.
As the fyire preiffis … the layme vessellis maid be ane pottar
1565 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 34.
Issobel Duncone, the potter dochter
1581 Sempill Sat. P. xliii 64.
From a law estait, Ane potteris boy, to be ane potent king
Rutherford Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself (1647) 286.
The earth is but a potters house that is full of earthen-pots and Venice-glasses

b. In the place- or street-name Potter-row, Edinburgh. a1568 Scott ii 197.
They … Syne pairtit at the Potter raw
1561 Reg. Privy S. V i 200/1.
Interfectionis quondam Joannis Russell in lie Pottarraw prope Edinburgh
1574–5 Index Edinb. Test. I 38. 1590 Edinb. Test. XXI 331 b.
Vmquhile Johne Wilsoun potter in the Potterraw

c. comb. in potterschip.1534 Exch. R. XVI 362 (see above).

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"Pottar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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