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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.

Proper, -ir(e, adj. (n. and adv.) Also: propp- and -re; -yr(e; (proprie). [ME and e.m.E. propre, -ur (Cursor M.), -ire (Manning), -er (Rolle), -yr, F. propre (11–12th c. in Hatz.-Darm.), L. proprius one's own, special, particular, peculiar.]

A. adj.

1. Belonging, pertaining or appropriate to one as a property, quality or part; owned as property; (one's, its) own; intrinsic, inherent.Applied to a person: Belonging to as one's relative, servant or dependant.In proper persone, for further instances, see Person(e n. 1 c.Chiefly attrib., also (once) const. to (the possessor).(1) c1420 Ratis R. 1298.
For bewte cummys of propre kind And payntit al of vthir strind
1456 Hay I 298/6.
It is the veray proper condicioun of a vertuous king to do justice
1490 Irland Mir. I 66/12.
This froit had nocht this wertu of the propir kinde and nature, bot of the gift of God
(2) 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Our lorde the kyngis awin propir lande of Arane
1410–11 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 30.
Thir aw na man … haiff pastour in our propir muyr
1423 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 37.
Apon thair propyr landis of Lochtrysk
1454 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I 14.
As thair awin propir grovnde ande heritage
1456 Hay I 241/25.
The pure peple quhilkis deis of hunger on thair propre ground
1471–2 Acta Aud. 22/1.
At his propir mansioune
1489 Acts II 222/2. 1513 Doug. iii ii 140.
Assyngnand ilkane propir howsis and aucht
1518 Peebles Chart. 46. 1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 159. 1567 Acts III 24/2.
Quhill the kirk cum to the full possessioun of thair propir patrimonie quhilk is the teindis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 541.
At his awin proper house and dwelling-place
1636 Misc. Spald. C. V 226.
The peacible bruiking and labouring of his awin proper pairt of the town
1652 Peebles B. Rec. II 7.
The counsell … have resolved to few some aikeres of their propper lands of Caidmure
(3) a1400 Leg. S. v 114.
Quhene man his propre thynge For Goddis sak gyffis powre men
Ib. xxxii 543.
1422 Stirlings of Keir 208.
Qwhill the for said some … of oure awyn propyr gudis … was payit
c1475 Wall. ix 1935.
Off ryches he kepyt no propyr thing
1483 Acta Conc. II cxxxiii.
Sawin with the said Johne of Craufurdis awne propir sede
1491–2 Ib. I 209/2. 1507 Reg. Privy S. I 209/2. 1528 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) Scott v Seytoun.
To haue occupiit the samin [lands] with propir gudis
1532 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 74. 1570 Sat. P. xvii 144.
Aiax wes … On proper knyfe constraynit for to die
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Peculium, proper gude
1583 Edinb. Test. XII 77 b.
The haill said thrie hundreth merkis … to be proper geir to hir
1599 Fraser P. 155.
To occupye the saidis landis with our awin proper plewche guidis and geir
1650 Dunferm. Hammermen MS p. B.
Of his awin propper moneyis
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 35/30, 36/1.
Other she has gudis proper of hir awne and than she maye … geve almos … gif sche has nocht proper to hir self … she suld haue his consent
(4) 14.. Quon. Attach. c. 54.
Nane of his propir menȝe
1456 Hay I 181/27.
A symple capitane suld have na power to geve sauf condyt bot for his awin propre company
1490 Irland Mir. I 24/16.
Thocht He … gouernis … ws specialy as His propir childer
1492 Myll Spect. 283/3.
On hir awne proper fader
1500–1 Acta Conc. II 499.
That he stude with the sade Jhone … as his propir man
1513 Doug. i ii 39. 1516 Reg. Privy S. I 423/2.
All utheris his kyn … and all his and tharis … propir men, tennentis [etc.]
1533–4 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 416. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3995. 1585 James VI Ess. 27.
I can not see his proper soldiers ding With his owne armes him that of all is King
(5) 1412 Facs. Nat. MSS II 48.
Whilkis … we wrate with oure propre hande
14.. Acts I 39/2.
Bot gif he sal forsuer to do that craft wyth his awne propir handis
Ib. 84*/2.
He sall purge him with his awin propir hand
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 19629.
This great storie … he wreit with his awin propir hand
1568 Prot. Bk. T. Lindsay 159 b.
Iohn … with his awin proper handis gaif stait and sesing [etc.]
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II 197/1.
(6) 1385 Rot. Sc. II 73/1.
That day of redress sal be halden betwix tham in propre persons
c1420 Wynt. vii 2971 (W).
Forthy mycht he na wis In proper persone thare haif bene
1423 (1430) Reg. Great S. 30/2.
As till our self in propir person
c 1442 Coldingham Priory 141.
Qwill he and I comperit before yhou in propir personis
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 28.
Bot nocht in singular propire persone
1478 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 471.
As we mycht do and we var present in propir personys
1500–1 Treas. Acc. II 90.
My Lordis of Lenax and Scone in propir persone
1509 Douglas Chart. 193.
1519 Selkirk B. Ct. MS fol. 70. 1589 Warrender P. II 111.(7) 1490 Irland Mir. I 14/4.
Necessare is that oft … thi propir persoune be in counsale special
1497 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 611.
Beand lauchfully warnit … in our propire persone at our habitacioun [etc.]
c 1545 Reg. Privy S. III xxviii.
Tressoun in oure soverane ladyis propir persoun (or hir governour) alanerlie except
1566 Ib. V ii 87/1.

2. Relating to (the person or thing in question), distinctively or exclusively; special, particular, distinctive, characteristic; peculiar (to); private, individual.In this sense, freq. in opposition to Commoun adj.Chiefly attrib. When predic., const. to (also unto and of).Also, rarely, with plur. infl. (see (1) below).In various formulæ, as (with (etc.)) one's proper sele, of one's awin proper confessioun, from one's awn proper fact and dede; also of one's proper motive, see Motive n. 1 b.Proper tune, a tune belonging to one particular psalm.In some instances, there is prob. overlapping with sense 1 above.attrib. (1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 812.
Whar … Pryame … Was abydyng hys propre ded
1405 Maxwell Mem. I 146.
Til the said erlis awyn propir oyse
c1420 Ratis R. 1528. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 27 (B).
Na man aw to ponde a fysschare the qwhilk beris fysch to sel bot for fysch or fysscharis det or for thair propre det
1456 Hay II 116/26.
He mon renounce till his propre lusty desyris of the flesche
a1500 Henr. Fab. (O.U.P.) 1659.
And euerilk planet in his proper spheir
a1500 K. Hart 625.
In to my propir caus Suppois I speik [etc.]
1494 Loutfut MS 11 a.
Al gentil men … may bere this colour … sua thai be garnist … with loiaulte for that is his propir virtu
1513 Doug. iii iii 48. 1531 Vaus (1531) 4.
May actiuis gouerne ony vthir cais abufe thair propir accusatiue? ȝha
1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 153.
To us … all fredomes of our common to his propir sustentatioun, videlicet, mos, muir and lyng gers
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxx 50.
God his peculiar propir pepill prewit
1596 Dalr. II 362/15.
Quha ar present in the weiris, obiecte thair proper bodyes to commoune perrelis
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 224.
The forsaid dyk … is to [be built] … upon the kirk sessiones propper charges
plur. 1391 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 23.
Him twichand … as to thare awin propirez causez
1456 Hay II 113/17.
In the posicioun of the planetis … and in thair … movementis properies and commouns
(2) 1416 Douglas Corr. 234.
Vndyr our propir signe manuele and signet
1418–19 Liber Melros II 503.
With hys awen proper seale
1456 Wemyss Chart. 79.
To thir present letteris we haf hungin to our propir selis
1498 Acta Conc. II 174.
It was allegyit … that it was nocht the propir sele of the sade David Bruse
c1500 Harl. MS 4700 261 b.
Except alanerly on souerane lordis or the wardanis propirsele
1500–1 Acta Conc. II 497. 1500–1 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 12.
In witnes of the quhilk thing I haf hungyn my propir sele to thir present lettres
1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 151. 1572 Crail B. Ct. MS 8 July.
The said vmquhile Sher Eduardes proper saile with the common saile off the chaptour
1471 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 54.
Becaus … Matho had na seil propyr of hys awyn
1505 Lennox Mun. 171.
I haue … to sete my sele propir to thir my present lettres
1564–5 Rec. Earld. Orkney 275.(3) 1552–3 Lanark B. Rec. 23.
Wylem Lowre … akkit hymself, of his awin propyr confessione, to pay [etc.]
1570–1 Crail B. Ct. MS 6 Feb.
Decernit of his awin proper confessioun to … pay
1606 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 116. 1642 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 5.
[The clause of warrandice … was] from my awin proper fact and deid [etc.]
1691 Irvine Deeds MS (Back-bond).
Bearing warrandice from my oun propper fact & deid allenarly
(4) 1456 Liber Aberbr. II 89.
And syne strikand north our betwen the propir landis of Arbroth and the commoune off Balnamonysmyre
1456 Hay II 142/13.
A spice … the quhilk is the propre hele of the liver quhen it is brynt with blak coleris
a1500 Bk. Chess 2131.
Befor the teilman maye he pas & stand And in the proper place of the merchand
1551 Reg. Privy C. I 114.
To indurre ane possessioun in the proper ground of Scotland
1571 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 396.
The just marks and meiths of the propir lands of Hadoch
1578 Reg. Privy C. II 693.
All dispositioun of the propir landis annexit to the croun
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 4 b.
For quhy ewerie noitt hes the propir paus quhilk is of samekill valour
1599 Aberd. Council Lett. I 83.
Of the proper commountie and fredome of our said burgh
1633 Old Ross-shire I 33.
The said kirk is one of the propper kirks of my bishoprick
1641 Stirling Chart. 116.
Vpoun the proper charges … of the prouest, baillies [etc.]
1611-57 Mure Hist. Rowallane 239.
In honorable memorie of the match … the proper armes of both wer … given simple in one scheild
(5) 1485 Breadalbane Doc. No. 22.
As propir det to be pait to the said Duncane
a1568 Bann. MS 141 a/31.
My hatt is ȝouris of proper dett
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. lii 32.
Thay [women] covet not the man that thay may get, For him thay hald as propper det
(6) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 224.
He had ane propir fassoun singularlie Lyk to nane vther in all the land him by
(7) 1650 Lamont Diary 18.
The whole psalmes are translated in to comon tunes, wheras, in the former, ther werre many proper tunes
(8) 1490 Irland Mir. II 104/7.
The saule of man in the body has proper operacioun without help … of the body
1492 Reg. Episc. Morav. 248.
All … merchis and divisis of propir and commound pastour assignit … be the said assisors
1580 Skeyne Descr. Well.
Quhilkis twa minerallis of proper qualitie confortis the stomak and melt
1580 Hume Promine (Epistle) 33.
To tak this peice in proper patronage, Ȝour prencelie prudence will me not deny
1659 Forbes Baron Ct. 224.
That no tennentis … cast … midding hird within proper haning
1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 124.
The archbishop is … superior to all the lands they have holden in propertie and proper communitie within the regalitie
ellipt. 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. viii.
Euen after the institution of common buriall, the vse of proper vpon necessity … was neuer … thoght vnlawfull
predic. 1456 Hay II 105/27.
For suering is mare propre to thir licht men of evill lyf and to … bonde men
1490 Irland Mir. I 109/1.
Thi mercy, Lord, is … propir to Thi godheid
1562-3 Winȝet II 44/13, 14.
Thai thingis that ar propir to God ar attribute to man and quhilkis ar propir to the body ar appropriat to God
1586 Linlithgow B. Ct. 3 June.
They adiuget the stoppis and stanis of the foirstair passage of the said Barthilmois boundis to be propir to the said Johne
1596 Dalr. I 2/13.
Afoir I declare quhilkes ar proper to Scotland, I wil breiuelie twoche quhilkes are commone to the hail Ile
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (S.T.S.) 28/24.
So to haue a quantitie is so proper to a solide bodie that [etc.]
1621 Acts IV 616/2.
The lordis … haue sett doun the pryces off all lettres actis infeftmentis and wreatis proper vnto quhatsoeuir clerkschip within this realme
1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1743) 285.
To make fire is not so proper to fire … as salvation is God's only due
1676 Cullen Kirk S. 27 Nov.
Demanded if that entrie was proper to him or common to them both
1562-3 Winȝet II 41/10.
Quhilk errour is propre of the Arrianis

b. Applied to name, term, noun and the like: Used to designate a particular individual (person or thing); personal to one.(1) 1375 Barb. xv 209 (C).
His propir [E. awne] nayme I can nocht say
c1420 Wynt. iii 820.
Hys douchtyr sone … To propyr name that Cyrus haid
Ib. viii 1069.
Willame wes his propyre name
1513 Doug. i Prol. 385. Id. Comm. i Prol. 367. 1531 Vaus (1531) 4.
Propir namis off litill placis [etc.]
c 1554 Misc. Bann. C. II 29.
Harbargary … we reckin to be ane nowne substantive, and sumtyme to be ane propir name in auld dayis
16.. Rudiments fol. 1 a.
But a substantiue is twofold, proper and appellatiue
(2) 1577 A. Hay Nobility 23.
They [Sempill] be a proper surname
a1578 Pitsc. I 106/18.
The first man of our surname was callit Lyndsay, ane proper name then to him quhilk is now the surname of our clan [I. Lyndsay quhilk was his propper surname]

c. Applied to something regarded as peculiar to a country or district, as language, currency, etc. Hence passing into: d. Native (to); local. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 622.
Sanct Ierome, in his propir toung, Romane, The law of God … did translait
1581 Burne Disput. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. 127/27.
Gif al thingis var turnit in the propir langage of euerie cuntrey [etc.]
1612 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 222.
Bot with that foreyne cunyie is ressauit and hes als frequent a cours … as the propper cunyie of the kingdome
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 112/6.
For to expresse … His full intention in his propre leide
1627 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 13.
That the coyne proper and forraine sall remaine in the estait whairin it presentlie stands
1629 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III 134.
Both the proper and forrane ledder sall be subject to the ordour of the seale
1632 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 34.
Seing that who is the souerane is not knowne by his proper naturall and coynned money
1696 Kingarth Par. Rec. 187.
An big Irish bible in the proper character

e. With reference to the liturgy of the mediaeval church: Appointed for a particular feast or season. — c 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 158.
Tua legends, ane temporall and ane propyr
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lviii 12.
Off sic hie feistis of saintis … Baithe off commoun and propir storie … oft I sang thame Caritas pro Dei amore

f. Of one's homeland: Relating or pertaining to a person, but not exclusively so. — 1494 Loutfut MS 32 a.
And wes man mare hard [etc.] … in strange landis than in the propre land of his natur
1533 Boece 132 b.
Ane pepill of Moravis … of Germanye native … expellit thare propir cuntre … arrivit in Forth

3. In accordance with the facts; accurate, exact, precise; correct.Ane and the awin proper (place), ? one and the same.(1) c1420 Wynt. ii 134.
Sere Dardane … Fra quhom Barbere … Has made a propyr genealogy
1456 Hay I 291/7.
I can nocht se a mare propre declaracioun in the lawis of ane advocate na ar the proprieteis of the emperouris jurement
1562-3 Winȝet I 72/5.
Qvhy diminis ȝe or takis away … the trew and propir sentence … of this part of our Catholik beleif?
(2) 1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 87.
And therefore to be comprehended … within ane and the awin proper place

4. Properly so called; genuine, true, real; regular, normal.‘A proper wadset allowed the creditor to take whatever income derived from the property as interest: in an improper wadset he was entitled to a fixed sum only’ (SND, s.v. Wadset n. 1). See (5) below.(1) 1455 Liber Scon 186.
It salbe lesum to the saides abbot and conuent … as propir lordis of the grunde
1456 Hay I 79/6.
Quhen the twa propre brethir … mycht nocht accord togeder
Ib. II 138/12.
All wateris … cummys out of the see, that is to say the salt water is the propre element
1531 Vaus (1531) 3.
For h is nocht ane propir litter bot ane sing of aspiratione of litteris
1606 Bentinck Dornoch 168.
The said litle hill … to be ane proper meithe and merche of the saidis toune
1621 Crim. Trials III 502.
That the tryell thairof can no way be propper nor competent befoir the said justice
(2) c1550-c1580 Art of Music 1.
Quhow monye propir kyndis fallis to music mensurall? Fyvetein … Mesur … tym … figur … paus [etc.]
Ib. 31.
Everie noit fro the proper key of the sisteyme may be uprasit or subducit be diatessaron [etc.]
Ib. 31 b.
(3) 1590 Welwod 79.
The admiral … is judge propir and ordinair thairto
(4) 1681 Purves Revenue Crown 31.
Casuallitie may be said to be twofold. First, Propper Casuallitie. Secondly, Casuall. Propper Casuallitie may be adjudged to be blench dewtyes of all temporall landes, and which are yeirly compted for in Exchequer
(5) 1686 Stitchill Baron Ct. 101.
All masters, whether heretors, lyferenters, propper wodsetters, tutors [etc.]
1699 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 788 (23 March).
[A contract of wodset containing all the usual clauses] called proper wodset

5. Out and out, thorough, complete.Only in verse.(1) 1375 Barb. ii 380.
Quhen the king his folk has sene Begyn to faile, for propyr tene Hys assenȝhe gan he cry
?1438 Alex. i 1473.
And sum for propir radnes quoik
c1420 Wynt. vi 2500.
And in Saynt Margretys Hope belyve Off propyre nede than till arryve
c1475 Wall. v 752.
For propyr ire he grew in matelent
a1500 K. Hart 211.
Vpstart King Hart in propir yre and tein
1513 Doug. i i 68.(2) a1500 K. Hart 572.
I man accuse thé as thy propir fa
a1568 Scott vi 28.
A leddy als, for luf, to tak Ane propir page, hir tyme to pas

6. Goodly, admirable, of high quality. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 243.
Als John the propereste profit was Of al that aperit in manis flesch
a1568 Fethe Bann. MS 245 b/18.
Hir proper makdome so perfyt hir visage cleir of hew
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlviii 99.
Na thing thair is in hir … That is not … Maist proper & perfyte

7. Of goodly appearance or make.In collocation with person, not always clearly distinct from sense 1 (7) above.(1) c1420 Wynt. i 106.
Paradys A propyr place at all dewys
c1450-2 Howlat 125 (A).
That was the proper Pape Iaye, provde in his apparale
Ib. 901. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 661.
He was … sa propir of all his portrature Thair was na thing to mend of his figure
1513 Doug. xi xi 95.
Ane propir bow and litil arow cace
1549–50 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 196.
Ane propir vch of gold veil annamalit
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 582.
That proper place sa weill edificate
Id. Seven S. 1481.
Ane gay ȝoung imp … He saw growand, quhilk was proper and fair
1571 Cal. Sc. P. IV 69.
Caus mak ane propir ring with a turcas stone
1577 A. Hay Nobility 22.
The Barony of Renfrewe … a very proper contrey
(2) 15.. Clar. v 1877.
Her proper persoun that glorious was and gay
a1568 Scott x 46.
To se hir proper persoun small
c1590 J. Stewart 135.
Fair luiflie dame … Thy proper persone dois approwe thy mycht
15.. Edinb. Univ. MS La. iv 6.
It passis fer my wittis five Hir propir person to discrive

8. Fitting, suitable, appropriate.Chiefly predic. Variously const.(1) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 750 (Asl.).
Of rigorus iustice that is the proper place
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 104.
Divers godlie and proper lessonis, aggreable for the establisching of our purpose
c1590 J. Stewart 27/438.
Heir he repairs in proper tym and place
1590 Douglas Corr. 34.
As the proprest tyme for sice ane action
(2) 1490 Irland Mir. I 31/25.
Amang all the hie nammys of God, thar is nane sa propir na sa conuenient to teich ws quhat thing God is
1625 Justiciary Cases I 20.
Quhilk is maist propper to be proponit
1676 Edinb. B. Rec. X 290.
All materialls propper to be sold in the petitioners chop
(3) 1558-66 Knox I 181.
Butt it [the abbacy of Arbroath] was more proper … for the Governouris keching, nor for reward to the Dowglasses
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 256.
And that medicine that is proper … for ane disease, is most noysome … to another
1611 Reg. Panmure I xcvii.
The ground … is … mair proper for bestial then cornes
1672 Acts VIII 81/2.
A booke … containing causes propper for the Inner House
1676 Douglas Corr. 277.
They called it mussiline; it is only proper for mourning
1692 Ib. 383.
What might be the propperest course for me to take
1707 Conv. Burghs IV 429.
We have not oak propper for building of ships
(4) c1490 Irland Asl. MS 2/11.
Of the natur … of mercye mast proper and ganand to the hie devyne maieste
1596 in Melvill 334.
Na thing mair proper to his royall office nor to be the nurissar of the trew kirk
1606 Crim. Trials II 496.
Being ane actioun maist competent and propper to the jurisdictioun of the lordis of secreit counsall
1626 Justiciary Cases I 51.
Quhairof the tryell and qualitie is maist propper to the presbiterie as being best versit in theologie
(5) 1592 Reg. Morton I 182.
It is properest ȝour lo. suld tak ane doing for me

B. absol. as noun. (A) private possession; private property.In propir, as private property.(1) 1391 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 23.
Alsmekle land heretable as the said erle … has now in propir in demayn
(2) 1440 Acts II 55/2.
Al the froytis and revenowes … the quhilk the said lord … clamys as his propre
1589 Reg. Privy C. IV 445. 1592 Edinb. Test. XXIV 214.
That the samyn [goods and gear] remane with him as his awin proper but … clame of me
1664 Irvine Deeds MS (Decreit).
[The goods] to be … desponit upon be thame as thair awine proper
(3) 1456 Liber Aberbr. II 89.
Quhil it come to the proppis that passis estwart betwix the propir and the commoun

C. adv. a. ? Specially; ? thoroughly; ? finely. b. Correctly; appropriately. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 242.
Propir schene schane the son, seymly and seir
1535 Stewart 38309.
For greit dispyte tha call him ane lurdan The quhilk suld be mair proper ane lord Dene

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