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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Renk, Rink, n.1 Also: renke; rinke; rynk; reink. [Only Sc. OF renc a row of soldiers, ground set aside for jousting (1080 in Larousse) (F. rang), ? f. OHG hrinc, hring a ring. Cf. e.m.E. renk row (once, c1530, rendering F. renc), mod. Eng. rink (19th c.).]

1. Only in Alex.: A row of fighting-men. = Rank n. 1.Also ? coll., = the press or mêlee.(a) ?1438 Alex. i 1051.
The renkis [F. li renc] begouth sa thik that He feld full fair in sadill sat
Ib. 1343.
He gyrd throw renk [F. les rens] with sword in hand, Thame of Gaderis fast febiland
Ib. 1152.(b) ?1438 Alex. i 1427.
Quhan he the rinkis [F. les osts] saw shudder sua And the battellis togiddir ga … he lansit deliuerly Into the thikkest of the preis

2. The ground taken up in battle by a group of warriors; a battle-ground. 1375 Barb. ii 368.
Knychtis … swa fell strakys gave and tuk, That all the renk about thaim quouk
?1438 Alex. ii 1684.
[They] The renkis deuoydit quhair thay raid
Ib. 9362.
Grecianis thairof war full fane That the renk deuoyded was

b. A space of ground that has been cleared of the enemy; an open space. ?1438 Alex. ii 1709.
Ane renk about him hes he made; Quhair euer he straik, nane him abade
1513 Doug. xi xiv 90.
And all the wentis and renkis … This furyus maid held mydwart the melle

c. A piece of ground appointed or marked out for a combat or joust. Also attrib.Also, to rin ane (one's) rink.(1) ?1438 Alex. i 2671.
Richt to the maister renk he raid
Ib. ii 6208.
The herald … can cry … Woydis the renks lordis woydis
c1420 Wynt. viii 5152.
Fra thai hade thair salus made Thai tuk thare rynkis and samyn rade
a1500 Rauf C. 808.
In the rowme of ane renk in fewtir kest he
Ib. 834.
The riche restles men out of the renk past
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 520.
Quhairon he lap and tuik his speir … And ran on to the rinkis end
15.. Clar. v 1952.
Unto the rinke com monie seamlie knight
(2) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iv 670.
Ald carll … Quhat can thow do … To rin ane rink, or ȝit to brek ane speir?
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 509.
The squyer furth his rink he ran, … And him dischargit of his speir
attrib. c1420 Wynt. viii 6747.
Alssone as cummyn ware thai To thaire renk end, thai lychtyt doune
1535 Stewart 57751.
Euerilkone vpoun ane cursure wycht, At the rynk end, … With speir in hand bydand the heraldis cry, … Syne suddantlie togidder baith tha sped
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 505.
That round, rinkroume wes at vtterance

d. To mak renk, ? to prepare for, or join in, combat. ?1438 Alex. ii 6212.
Makis halely renk [F. Alés aus rens] intermellie

3. A particular onset, or ‘round’, in a joust. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 910.
Twa rynnyng renkis raith the riolyse has tane
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece II 471.
In the third rink, Lord Wellis wes doung out of the sadill
1538 Lynd. Justing 35.
At that rude rink, James had bene strykin doun
15.. Sym & Bruder 115.
The first rynk raif his mowth a span

4. lit. and fig. The way on which one is going; (one's) course, route or journey.Also, to rin a (the, etc., one's) rink.(1) a1508 Want of Wyse Men 14.
Than regnyt reule, & resone held his [B. thair] rynkis
1513 Doug. iv iv 58.
And Ascanyus … Now makis hys rynk ȝondir, and now this way Now prekis furth by thir and now by thame
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. Ep. 2.
The Lord … giue your lordship continuall conuoy to your rinks end
Ib. viii.
Jacob, … within one dayes trauell to his rinks end
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2432.
The Feind … Arctand ilk man to ryn vnrychteous rinkis
a1568 Scott xxx 1.
Fra raige of ȝowth the rynk hes rune
a1568 Bann. MS I p. 34/4.
Fra the tyme of our natiuitie Fast vnto deid a restles rynk we rin
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xiii 45.
That rink he ran
(b) a1500 Rauf C. 549.
Bot gif thow raik out of my renk, full raith sall thow rew
1513 Doug. vii xi 86.
Buskis withdrawys … To red thar renk, and romys thame the way
Ib. x xi 139.
And in hys renk quham euer he [pr. be] met lay ded
1533 Boece 484b.
The land callit the baris renk (now Bair Rymont)

b. The course of the sun, or a river. 1513 Doug. vi xiii 88.
The landis lyis … Outwith the ȝheris cours, and sonnys renk
Ib. vii xiii 51.
The chil ryver … Sekis with narrow passage … Amyd holl valeis his renk and ische

5. A course selected or marked out for a race; the ground traversed by a runner in, or as in, a race.Lit. and in fig. context. 1513 Doug. v vi 57.
Thai … flaw furth … etland to the rynkis end
Ib. 71.
Be this thai wan neir to the rynkis end, Irkyt sum deill befor the mark weil kend
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 382.
That every man will take it in his heart to run out his race patiently, to run out the rink that the Lord has set before him constantly
Ib. 383.
In a … race … if thou sit down before thou come to the end of the rink … thou … tines the prize
Go not off the compas of the rink suppose it be not given thee to run so swiftly as thy marrows
Ib. 385.
And so much the nearer we draw to it let us mend our rink, for every man is not taken out as he came in; but some end their rinks in … their young years
1639 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 564.
It is enough, in a race, to see the goal at the starting-place, howbeit the runners never get a view of it till they come to the rink's end

6. A contest, combat or race. 1513 Doug. v vi h. of ch.
Into this nixt cheptour followys heir The fut mennys rynkis
Ib. x 91.
Thir maner of rynkis [Sm. renkeis] and iupertyis of bataill Ascanyus hantyt, and brocht fyrst in Itaill
Ib. 9. a1568 Scott ii 46.
Trumpettis and schalmis with a schowt Playid or the rink began
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 384.
If he … envy him that went before … he goes out of the way, and slips the conditions of the rink

7. The act of running; the ability to run (fast, far, etc.); an instance of this, a run; a spell of running. Also to tak ane rink, to commence a run; to take a run (at).(1) 1513 Doug. xi xiii 160.
With spedy fut so swyftly rynnys sche By passyt the horssis renk and furth can fle Before hym in the feild
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece I 80.
The Romanis … swift of rink, and reddy to every kind of jeoperde
Ib. 210.
Seand thair houndis of les reputatioun … baith in bewte, swiftnes, lang renk, and hardiment
Ib. (M) I 205.
And quhen the haris had forronnyn the hondis be playn rynk [1821 be lang renk] to be na forthar persewit
Id. Livy I 59/1.
That vthir, ouresett with bleding of his woundis and fast rink [v.r. reink] [etc.]
(2) 1533 Bell. Livy II 186/25.
He ceissit nocht … to draw thame sum tyme with schorter and sum tyme with langare renkis … fra the portis of the toun. At last quhen he had drawne thame ane ferar space fra the toun than he was wont [etc.]
a1538 Abell 125a.
He … tuk ane renk at ane heich craig & lap in the see
1540 Lynd. Sat. 186 (B).
I micht not thrist owtthrow the thrang … Than for to ryn I tuik ane rink
(b) 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 86.
[They] tuik ane rink or raice besyid the wattergange, and maist desperatlie, throw thi witchecraft cassin on tham, rann in the middis of the wattergang and drownit tham selffis

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"Renk n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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