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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
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Ros(e, Rois, n. Also: roise, roys, roysse; roose. [ME rose (Ancr. R.), roose (15th c.), rosse (1546), OE rose or róse, L. rosa; ‘in ME prob. reinforced’ f. F. rose (OED). Cf. ON rósa, MDu., LG rose.]

I. 1. The rose, the flower or plant. Also comb. and attrib.Sometimes laid down as a nominal quit-rent for lands held in blanchferme.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xliii 138.
Twa cronis mad wynnly Of spanyst rose & quhyt lely
1456 Hay II 134/2.
Ros and othir herbes of calde nature
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 10.
As farest ros takis sonest faidinge
a1500 K. Hart 89.
Richt as the rose vpspringis fro the rute In ruby colour reid
1494 Loutfut MS 36b.
The ros is a flour quhilk passis all vtheris of beaute
1506 Treas. Acc. III 202.
Ane woman that brocht roses to the king
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 22.
The rosis yong, new spreding of thair knopis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6309.
The dew now dounkis the rossis redolent
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 11.
As quhan rosis and violettis springis new in the autumne
a1606 Dioscoridis Annot. 187.
Watter lilie or rose yelowe & white
(b) 1513 Doug. i Prol. 17.
Lyke as the roys in June with hir sweit smell The maryguld or dasy doith excell
a1595 Misc. Spald. C. II xxx.
Tak rue levis and bray thame [in] wynager and put roissis to thame [etc.]
(2) 1563 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 17 July.
Quhair land is haldin in fre blanche is to be vnderstand of the trew & propir (? significatioun) of blanche ane penny or ane rois
1595 Skene in Misc. Stair Soc. I 141.
For payment of ane rois yeirlie in name of blancheferme allanerlie

b. In similes or comparisons, as the type of redness. ?1438 Alex. ii 3755.
Her visage … Vox ridder weill than rose on rys
a1500 Henr. Orph. 354 (A).
Quhar is thi rude as ros with cheikis quhyte
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 854.
The blude … As roise ragit on rise, Our ran thair riche vedis
a1500 Quare Jel. 39.
Off coloure was sche lik vnto the rose
1535 Stewart 9889.
Thair cot armouris … Wes maid als reid as rois vnder the rys

c. attrib. and comb.See also Rose pioné.With rose seche cf. dry rose (1728 in Chambers Cyclopedia s.v. colour).(1) a1400 Leg. S. i 708.
His angelis … stand, With lely and rose-cronis in hand
1513 Doug. v vii 8.
For the victour … roys garlandis red Buskyt full weil
Ib. xii Prol. 123.
Roys knoppys
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 12.
Of stinkand weidis maculate No man may mak ane rois chaiplat
(2) 15.. Clar. ii 1718.
As rose and lillie cullowr was thair face
1583 Edinb. Test. XII 83b.
Thrie elnis … of ros grayis
1586 Treas. Acc. MS 121b.
Ane pair of Napillis silk hois of rose seche cullour
1647 Berw. Doc. fol. 1, No. 19.
Roise culert serdg
(3) 1590 Edinb. Test. XXI 311.
Sax pund oyll rois at ix s. the pund
1598 Ib. XXXI 350b.
Oyle rose, oyle mastick, and oyle cammamyle

d. A rose bush. But perh. merely further instances of 1 above. a1568 Bann. MS 257b/61.
Fast by the nettill growis the rois
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xl 46.
Sen peircing pyks ar kyndlie with the rose

II. 2. In allusive or figurative use, as a type of what is choice, excellent, beautiful, etc. a. Of things. Also comb. 1375 Barb. xi 553.
For the king haid said him rudly That a rose of his chaplete Wes fallyn [C. faldyn]
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 351 (Asl.).
Gif throw syn corruppit be that rois [sc. conscience] It sall accus ws [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 275.
Off all hir [sc. rhetoric's] lusty rosis redolent Is none in to thy gerland sett on hicht
1533 Boece 352b.
Paris … may be … Athenis for philosophouris rois and balme of the warld
a1550 Lang Rosair 372.
Except, gude lady, … thir five rossis quhilkis I haue offerit to thé
attrib. 1562-3 Winȝet II 59/19.
For God forbid that the rose plantis of the catholik sense be turnit in thirsillis and thornis!

b. Of persons, chiefly women.Freq. applied to the Virgin.(1) 1492 Myll Spect. 276/10.
Secundus sayes that wemen ar … a stynkand rois a box full of venvm
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 523.
Than rais thir ryall rosis in ther riche wedis
Ib. (O.U.P.) 97/21.
The mersy of that sweit meik rose Suld soft ȝow thirsill
Ib. (S.T.S.) lxxxviii 54.
Thy famous maire … is … Principall patrone and roose orygynalle
1513 Doug. i Prol. 6.
Maist reuerend Virgill, … patroun of poetry, Roys, regester [etc.]
a1568 Scott i 4.
Welcum, oure rubent rois vpoun the ryce!
Ib. vii 22.
Wald God that I wer perigall, Vnder that redolent ros to rest
c1600 Montg. Suppl. x 1.
Redolent rois, my onlie schois, I man disclois my siching sair
(2) c1420 Wynt. Prol. 126.
I seke the sawowre of that ros That … evyre spryngys, In plesans of the Kyng of Kyngis
c1515 Asl. MS II 245/4.
Hale ros intact virgin inviolat
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 3/4.
Now is rissin the brycht day ster Fro the ros Mary, flour of flouris
a1550 Lang Rosair 69.
Thow art the flour delice of the redolent rois, maist delitabill to the Fathir in Trinite
Arundel MS 285/223.
O thou braid rois off the fald of godlie cherite, haill

c. (The) rose (of a specified quality or class), the supreme or outstanding exemplar. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 500.
Rymis thou of me, of rethory the rose
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 253.
O reverend Chaucere, rose of rethoris all
1513 Doug. i Prol. 342.
[Chaucer,] roys ryall Of fresch endyte
1535 Stewart 53341.
And of religioun haldin ay the rois
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 101.
Thair was the rute of reuerence and rois
a1585 Maitl. Q. 109/34.
Scho … Is sic as in the erthe can not be found … Roise of renoun and dasie of delyte

d. As the name of a ship. e. As a nick-name.d. 1496 Treas. Acc. I 310.
The schip callit the Ros
1576 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 14.
The schip callit the Rois of Dundie
e. a1578 Pitsc. I 242/29.
Amang the rest thair come ane … lady callit the quyht rois

III. 3. A pigment used in preparing red, or reddish, paint.Also in rois of Paris, and, wrongly analysed, in rosa paris, rois aparice. 1501 Treas. Acc. II 63.
To David Prat, payntour, … tua unce of ros, xvj d.
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 215.
Cullouris to the furnessing of the paintouris In vermiewling … quhit leid rois of Paris [etc.]
1617 Ib. II 78.
For halff a pund of rois aparice
1623 Edinb. Test. LI 344b.
xxxij pund wecht rosa paris

b. Applied to erysipelas, a disease in which inflammation causes the skin to turn a red colour.e.m.E. the rose (1599). 1661 Baillie III 483.
I have keeped my chamber these six weeks … through a rose in my legge; but … I now walk up and downe my chamber and yaird. The doctor thinks I have a scrubie

4. A representation of a rose, drawn, painted or engraved on a surface or, freq., stamped on a coin.Appar., stamped on unworked metal (sometimes of English provenance), also on other raw materials, as a sign of their being of the highest quality.See also Ros(e)-nobil(l n. and Rose royall.The quhit rois, the emblem of the house of York in the English Wars of the Roses. Here, transf., applied to Perkin Warbeck, the Yorkist pretender to the English throne. Also, earlier, the emblem of the Ghibellines of Florence, as opposed to the red rose of the Guelphs; put, by Hay, for the respective factions.(1) 1467 Acts II 88/2.
The Inglis noble, Henry ande Eduarde with the ros … sall haif cours in this realme
1506 Treas. Acc. III 196.
For paynting … of the ros on the bolspleit of the schip [sc. the ‘Margaret’]
1528 Lynd. Dreme 102.
Thy mantyll grene, Enamilit with rosis reid and quhyte
1601 Acts IV 257/1.
The saidis peiceis [of coin] haueand … ane litle rois at the begynning of the ditone
1658 R. Moray Lett. 21 March.
It is a fair six shilling piece … for … it hath the rose at the lug of it
(2) 1578 Inv. Wardrobe 251.
Ane Inglis demy culvering of fonte markit with the rois
1593 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 49.
Ane pok vad of the ros and figour of 50 all my vad is markit with this by mark besyd of blak ink W schippit in David Smythis schip
1621 J. Bell Acc. Bk. in Glasg. Her. (1864) 25 June.
Ressewed of yours 39¼ lb. pewder hewand the rose, at 9 stures the pund, … wantan the rose, at 7 stures the pund
1641 Acts V 419/1.
Of the fynnest of the peuter marked with the rose in England
(3) 1468 Acts II 92/1.
The Inglisnoble of the ros
1478 Acta Aud. 60/2.
A noble of rose
1489 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 549.
The Inglis nobil commonly callit the Edward nobil of the rois
1506 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I 250. c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 790. 1560 Stirling Merch. Guild 75.
Thre crownis of the rois, thre abay crownis
(4) 1568 Edinb. Test. I 215b.
lx paper of prenis of the foure rois
(5) a1538 Abell 9*b.
Quhyt rois hair haldyn of Ingland com in Scotland
Ib. 112a.
In his [sc. James IV's] tyme come in Scotland the quhit rois callit King Richardis sone of Ingland
(6) 1456 Hay I 172/6.
Sum … makis unrychtwis weris … as dois ȝone partis of Lombardy, of the Gelf and the Gybblyn, the rede ros and the quhite

b. attrib. with irne and copper.With rose copper, cf. 18th c. Eng. rose-copper ‘a copper melted several times and separated from its gross and earthly parts’ (1706 in OED). 1529 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 6.
For ros irne and virking of the samyn in certane neu vagis pikkis beting of ane mell and gavillok
1678 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 180.
To import … from Stockholm or Drountoun … two tunne of good and sufficient puire rose copper

5. An artefact of metal, ? stone, or other material, made in imitation of the shape of the rose, or of a conventional representation of a rose. b. specif. One of the fittings for the lock of a door or window. a1500 Rauf C. 671.
The rufe reulit about in reuall of reid, Rois reulit ryally, Columbyn and lely
1488 Treas. Acc. I 82.
Ane vche of gold maid like a ros of diamantis
Ib. 84.
A collare of gold fassonit like roissis
A smal chenȝe with ane hinger of rois and diamant
1568 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 644/1.
Ane belt with ane cowter of gold with ceyphres and roissis
1608 Perth Hammermen xxxviii.
[A] chenȝie-belt [with a] rois in the midst
1649 Wemyss Chart. II 232.
My tua rosis seitt uith roubeis
b. 1513 Treas. Acc. IV 526.
Gemma bandis to the heidis of the wyndois … with ringis and rosis to the samyn
1523 Ib. V 220.
Double gemmay bandis to the saidis casit windois, with ringis and rosis
1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 106.
For … irne to be glassin bandis and grete gemma bandis with slottis and roissis and uther necessaris thingis
Ib. 107.
To … the dure of the parpane wall witht ryngis roissis and sneikkis
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 346.
Twa quhit plait lokks, with thair bands, ryngs, roissis, and quhit nellis to the buke almoreis
1558 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 294.
For hengeng of tua duris with rengis and bandis, lokis and roissis
1560 Edinb. Old Acc. II 100.
Foure durris … with roissis nalis and swelkis
1563 Montgomery Mem. 197. 1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I 442. 1603 Treas. Acc. MS 276.
Siluir to mak new rosis and vther peces to hir maiesteis cosche that wantit
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 58.
Window bandis with thair roissis ringis sneckis and naillis
1642 Edinb. Test. LX 42.
Sex pair rosis pryce of the pair xxiiij s.
1665 Stirling Common Good 36.
For a new rose to the lock of the door 12 s.
1684 Ellon Presb. 230.

c. The golden rose, ‘an ornament of wrought gold blessed by the Pope on the fourth Sunday in Lent’ (OED s.v. rose n. 14 b). c1420 Wynt. vii 1932.
A rose [C. roysse] off fyne gold rycht plesand
a1538 Abell 112b.
Ane goldin rois
c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 334.
The Paip Lucius send him ane mervalous roise of gold anamalit, and sett with precious stanis, and rasit on ane sceptour of gold, for his … gudenes

6. A knot of ribbon or other material worn as an ornamental appurtenance. a1570-86 Maitl. F. 440/97.
Thay … Thair garttonis knottit with a rois Putis at [Q. all] the lassis in thair chois
1619 Crim. Trials III 478.
Tua pair of roses of taffitie
1624 Edinb. Test. LII 235b.
Teffetie gartanes pairlit about with rosis
1626 Ib. LIII 318b.
Ane stand of diroy bandit sateine claithis with schankis, gartines, & roisis
1643 Ib. LX 233.
Tuentie aucht pair of ribbennet rosis for womane, … fower pair knottis

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"Ros n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 31 Jan 2023 <>



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