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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rob, Robe, n. Also: robb-; roib, roab(e, rowb, roobe. [ME and e.m.E. robe (c1278), roob (1422), rob (Cursor M.), F. robe, robbe, roube (1175 in Larousse).]

1. A long loose-fitting outer garment (chiefly, appar., of costly material); a gown. Also transf.Also, once, applied to the ‘coat’ of a fox.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 303.
And tak ane rob furred with armine
a1500 Rauf C. 576.
He … in ane rob him arrayit richest of ane
1488 Acts II 212/2.
Ane image of the king in a chair with a lang rob
a1568 Kennedy Bann. MS 268a/18. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 538.
Veluot robbis maid with the grand assyse
Ib. 790. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 102/11.
Ȝour hienes can nocht gett ane meter … To rewle ȝour robbis
1513 Doug. v iii 17.
The robbys fyne of purpour richly dycht
a1568 Bann. MS 81b/1.
I saw ane rob riche of hew With pretius stanis peirles picht
1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii 170.
With sychis and sobbis and beltit robbis Ȝe counterfite the dule
1674 Fraser P. 258.
A seut of rid velvat robs
(b) c1420 Wynt. v 713.
Bot [in] a newe robe ilk[a] day Hys usage wes hym till aray
(c) 1657 Balfour Ann. II 14.
A roabe of murrey sattin, imbrodred ouer with amber lether [etc.]
(2) 1535 Stewart 45901.
Ane Hieland clerk, cled in ane rob of gra
(3) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1976.
‘Schir,’ said the foxe, ‘ȝe knaw my roib is reid’
transf. 1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 82.
For tua lockis ane thairof to the kingis robbis

b. ? Clothes in general. But perh. merely a further instance of 1 above. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 8214.
Scho … raif hir face, and all hir robbis rent

2. A long outer garment of a special form, material or colour, worn as a token of a particular rank, office, condition, etc. c1420 Wynt. viii 1954.
This Jhon the Ballyoll dyspoylyd he Off all hys robys off ryalte
1560 Rolland Seven S. 601.
The riche ryall robbis Quhilk on the stairis war spred
1560 Randolphe in Cal. Sc. P. I 458.
Parlement roobes
1606 Reg. Privy C. VII 488, 489.
For velvett robbis ar nevir … worne by ony erllis except at coronationis, creationis [etc.] … and in tyme of Parliament … erllis weiris nothing in thair robis bot scarlett cloathe … and thair ar none in tyme of Parliament that usuallie wearis robis of crimosine velvett except the Prince awne childrene and the same is a particulair distinctioun betuix thame and the nobilitie
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 379.
A new forme of a parliament rob was devysit to ilk erle and lord
1622 Sc. Ant. XIII 162.
The parliament roab … of ride crimsone velvet lyned with whyte tefety the ferits taill & sleives edgete with ermine
1622-6 Bisset II 127/24.
Thir thrie last ordouris [of friars] … appeiris to be … distinguised be there habittis or robbis of there clethingis
c1650 Spalding I 40.
In their parliament reid roabis, thay cam ryding … wp the get and lichtit

b. To were (a person's) robis, to have office in the service of a person of rank. c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 10.
Alsua he that ȝeildis that dome be nocht of his menȝe na warand his robis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 377.
His baillie, he that weiris his leviray or robis

c. specif. The dress of the legal profession, and hence applied to that profession. In their robbes, as lawyers.See also Robbit ppl. adj. 1627 Kelly Pallas Armata To His Fellow Advocates.
The Fabii … did as good seruice to their country in time of warre with their swords, as they did in time of peace in their robbes

3. Rob riall, a special robe worn by a king on certain public occasions in token of his office and dignity. a1500 Henr. Fab. 879.
In that throne thair sat ane wild lyoun In rob royall
Id. Orph. 157.
My rob ryall and all my riche array Changit sall be in rude russat of gray
1489 Treas. Acc. I 145.
For … taffata to mende the kingis rowbryall
a1500 Bk. Chess 228.
A king suld sit on hicht … In rob riall in purpour colour cleir [etc.]
1503–4 Treas. Acc. II 224.
For ane cote of kentdale to the king, quhilk he usit to were undir the rob riall in the parliament
1513 Doug. xi vii 90.
The char or sete … , Our rob ryall, ensenȝeys of a kyng
1535 Stewart 15089.
Ane nobill man, hecht Donald … , In rob royall that same tyme crownit wes
a1538 Abell 99b.
Thomas [Randolph] … cled him wp in a rob reall and sat in his troyn and gaif answer to the harrot
1539–40 Treas. Acc. VII 277.
To be the kingis graces rob ryall, kirtill and hude xxxviij elnis purpur velvet
Ane steke of purpour velvet … to be hir rob royall
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 23.
Thocht thare [sc. queens'] rob royallis be vpborne
c1552 Id. Mon. 2821.
1570 Mar & Kellie MSS 24.
The quene sittand in robe ryall, and befoir her ane rampand lyoun worriand a libbard
1571 Treas. Acc. XII 279.
To be the kingis majesteis robroyale agane the parliament … twa elnis of quhyte Armosene taffateis
c1650 Spalding I 37.
His majestie made chose to ryd in King James the Fourtis rob royall

b. Applied to a lady's dress of unusual splendour made for her wedding. 1547–8 Treas. Acc. IX 267, etc.
Boucht … to be ane rob ryall to Lady Barbara aganis hir marrage

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"Rob n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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