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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.

Roust, Rowst(e, n.2 Also: rouste, rowist; rust(e. [ME and e.m.E. rust (Ancr. R.), roust (14th c.), OE rúst (? also rust).]

1. Rust, corrosion; an agent of decay by corrosion. a1500 Henr. Fab. 139 (Makc.).
It is ryches that euir sall enduir, Quhilk moith, na moist, na othir rowst [Ch., H. rust] [sall] fret
1494 Loutfut MS 131a.
The rowst & filtht of the harnes
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. vi 20.
Bot gader to you tresouris in heuen quhar nouthir roust nor mowris destroyis
1539 Treas. Acc. VII 222.
For dichting, colouring and ourlaying of the samin artailȝery witht reid leid to keip thame fra roust
1549 Compl. 70/25.
Ane beuk, … the glaspis var fast lokkyt vitht rouste
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2486.
Quhen reik & rowst thare [sc. idols'] fair colour doith faid
1582 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 125.
Ane turs hadder to burne the roust of the knok xv d.
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. Prov. No. 97.
Thair is no yrone so harde bot rouste will fret it
1587 Carmichael Etym. 16.
Aerugo, roust in brasse, copper, or siluer quhen they grow blew or grein
1592 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 478.
2 copper plaittis to the gyld buike to keip the samin frome the roust of the lokis
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Rubigo, rowst
1607 Aberd. B. Rec. II 291.
And vtheris cleir and fute wapounes without onie rust
1579, 1617 Despauter (1617) 38.
Ferrugo, the roust of yron

b. fig. or in fig. context. c. Only in Bell. Roust of ȝeris (time, etc.), the part played by time in the deterioration of material things or in the weakening of custom, memory, etc.b. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 129/32.
My work sall hald … But wering or consumptioun, Roust, canker or corruptioun
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 47.
Thy maiestie Sall … rube the ruste of my ingyne
1562-3 Winȝet I 14/3.
The house of Israell is turnit into drosse or roust
1619 Garden Elphinstoun 308.
That his ritche engene … He sould permit and suffer, bot Reguard to roust or rest
a1634 Read Buch. 5.
Quhair some coume and roust of barbaritie stiketh to on of the tuo [sc. Greek and Latin], let ws leave nothing … to purg tham of the sam
c. 1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 100.
The herne … ingravit in the samyn [floor] … now be rowist [1821 roust] of ȝeris is worn awaye
Ib. 239.
The reassoun of the samyn be vnknawin be rowste of lang tyme, quhilk distroyis euery thing
Id. Livy I 52/21.
At last the memorye thareof perist be roust of ȝeris
Ib. 134/29.
Thare names be roust of ȝeris is perist

2. Moral corruption; the corruption of (= caused by) sin. 1460 Hay Alex. MS 12874.
Bot all the roust the rankoures of the syn Sall cleve with thé quhen saull and lifte sall twyn
a1500 K. Hart 931.
To Chaistite … leif I now my conscience for to scour Off all the wickit roust that throw it went
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 167.
Thou … lichour … Eschamys na tyme in rovste of syn to ly
1565 Gathering of the Halie Signes 28.
Christ, … the fire that consumis the roust of our sinnis

3. Rancour; an instance of this. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 163.
I sall a ragment reveil fra rute of my hert, A roust that is sa rankild quhill risis my stomok
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 15.
Sindry auld roustis and sedicionis amangis his nobillis
Id. Livy I 71/2.
All wayis the Sabinis persuadit mony of the said pepill with small lauboure to assist to thare opinioun, throw roust and auld haterent of weris
c1650 Spalding II 205.
Thair wes sum old roust betuixt thame

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"Roust n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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