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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rung, Roung, Rong, Ring, n. Also: rwng, runge; rowng; ronge; roing. [ME and e.m.E. roungue (c1290), rong(e (Piers Plowman), rung (1611), OE hrung.]

1. A stick, usu. a stout one, cut from a tree; a staff; a cudgel.Also fig., see Rime v.2 3 (quot. c1650) and the note thereto.(a) 1540 Elgin Rec. I 49.
Als for the manessing of the saidis Katerine with ane rung
15.. Christis Kirk (Laing MS) § 4.
So shamfulle his short jack satt him His legs war lik twa rokis Or rvngs that day
Ib. 136 (M). 15.. Wyf Awcht. 57.
The calvis and ky being met in the lone The man ran with ane rung to red
1582 Burntisland B. Ct. 27 Nov.
Ane brod sow … fellit with ane greit runge apoun the heid
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V 227.
Thai will now … strik thair parteis with battouns, staffis, rungs and siclyke vyle wawpouns
1599 Glasgow B. Rec. I 199.
That he suld belt tua of thaime with ane locht rung
1602 Crim. Trials II 388. 1613 Conv. Burghs II 429.
Gif they stryk ane another with quhinger, daiger, knyf, or rung
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 834.
Or sa be your wife with a rung about your shoulders
1630 Dundonald Par. Rec. 295.
Olde Meg … took a rung and sayd she would chase her to the dore
1631 Justiciary Cases I 153.
Dyuers straikis with kentis, battones, forkis, rungis, staeffis and uther wapponis
1634 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 29 May.
Confest the cutting of arne widdeis and rungis
1642 Falkirk Baron Ct. 11 Nov. 1647 Durh. Univ. J. XXXIV 65.
The thing that she [sc. a witch] raide one was a runge
1657 R. Moray Lett. fol. 67.
A lusty rout with a hazell rung would soon cure you of that intercalar disease
1658 Lanark B. Rec. 167.
All those who came with runges and staffs to make insurrectioun
1662 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 166.
All armed with staffes, stinges, great runges, mells [etc.]
1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 136 (4 June).
With longe rungs battons [etc.] … and wther offensive armes
a1700 Mare of Colinton 441.(b) 1491 Treas. Acc. I 180.
Til a wyfe at Baythcat bog at the king revit a rong fra
1575 Davidson Kinyancleuch in Three Reformers 111.
Ane … Had able met him with a rong: And reaked him a rebegeastor
(c) 1522–3 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 67.
Wolle Craw … addidit quod videt the strak with ane rowng and the kow scall forther
1540 Ib. 225.
That James … kest ane roung at thaim quhen he mycht nocht ourtak thaim
1550 Crim. Trials I i 356. 1556 Peebles B. Rec. I 233.
John Scot gat ane roung and held him furth on force
1579–80 Reg. Privy C. III 273.
He … struke the said James with ane greine roung on baith the armes
1683 Sutherland Bk. II 189.
On of my horssis being not lyke to leive for throwing of stonnis and beatting with roungis
(d) 1608 Peebles Gleanings 37.
And thair strak Andro Ewmont, being ane toun hird, with ane grit roing … , to the grit effusion of his bluid
fig. c1650 Fugitive Poetry II xxvi 3/2 (see Rime v.2 3 and note).

b. ? Sticks to be used as fuel, firewood.Only in Reg. Cupar A. 1542 Reg. Cupar A. II 192.
With commoun careage at all tymis quhen he is chargit efferend to four plewis sic as cheis, roungis, and petis
Ib. 193.
1557 Ib. 133.
With commoun carage to bring hame our cheis and rwngis, vse and wont

2. Such a stick trimmed and shaped for use as a component part of a manufactured article.Also obtainable in bulk, and later adapted to a particular use, as e.g. a spar, spoke, rung (of a ladder), ? a cross-bar of a grill, etc.Also comb. in rung-borrow. Cf. later Sc. dial. rung cart, ‘an early type of cart constructed with spars’ (SND, s.v. Rung n.1 1 (2)).See the note to Ring n.1 3.(1) 1529 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 11.
For … inputting of certane rungis in the cart hors hekkis
1540 Treas. Acc. VII 355.
iij dosane hessill rungis to be rangis to the halkbuttis
1554–5 Edinb. Old Acc. I 165.
Ane dosone of rungs to rung the lang ledder with, xij d.
1555–6 Ib. 184.
For vj roungis to the said barrowis
1574–5 Haddington Treas. Acc. 17.
Ane ledder to the town. Item for ane quartar hundreth rowngis to rowng that
Ib. 24.
Twa rowngis to mend the trynnyll broddis
1586 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 254.
Ane douzane of gret hesill rounges to the said ledder
1629 Dundonald Par. Rec. 290.
John Mure … rugged at a karre to haue gotten a rung out of it
1649 Dumbarton Treas. Acc. MS.
For sax runges to the cleingers when they cleinged McIlbreids house, 4 s.
1653 Ellon Par. 142.
Harrow billes to be couple nailes and runges to the ladders
(b) 1612–13 Ayr B. Acc. 256.
[To John Murdoch, cooper, for] ringis [and] cuttingis [to make slate-pins, 18 s. 8 d.]
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 83.
For iiiic grith stingis to be ringis to the heckis
1618 Ib. 115.
For viii ringis to mak divelling to the pendis abone the windowes
(2) 1541 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 290.
For … xl gird stingis for hek roungis
1618 Ib. 119.
To a couper for dressing the scaffeld rounges to a leder
1647 Elgin Rec. I 285.
They cam to the yeat and hard and saw the said Robert Innes brak up bares and rungis of the carttis
1684 Wamphray Baron Ct. 26 April.
Ninian Halyday and David French being examined … acknowledges the cutting of carr rungs & wands
(b) 1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 104.
Ane hunder hek ringis to the stabill
1633 Ib. II 367.
For fyftie draucht of daills for heck ringes
(3) 1595 Conv. Burghs I 471.
Ilk boit inch [? erron. for irich] rungis half ane hundreth, … ilk bark ladin with jeistis and sparis
1595 Paisley B. Rec. 160.
Ane half hundreth Irland rungis
1596 Reg. Privy C. V 305.
Off … burde of aik or uthir tymmer, cabir or rungis
1597 Edinb. Test. XXX 57b.
Aucht laid of rvngeis pryce of the laid xx s.
1617 Conv. Burghs III 47.
Of ilk hundreth kairtries, tuelfe pennies; ilk hundreth rungs, four pennies
1638 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 576.
Receavit be the thesaurer … fra ane Earishman for libertie to sell runges
1641 Ib. 645.
For libertie to sell runges and cartries
1656 Tucker in Misc. B. Rec. 26.
Whence [sc. Ireland] they bring hoopes, ronges, barrell staves, meale, oates, and butter
1691 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 22.
The couperis of Gorballis have forestalled the mercat by buying of rungs, staves and splitts
(4) a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1164.
Rost upon runges
comb. 1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 367.
A rung borrow

3. In cog and rung, the spoke of a mill wheel driven by a pinion, the teeth (or cogs) of the pinion being geared into the spokes (or rungs) of the larger wheel. See also Round n. 4.(a) 1521 Old Dundee II 221.
To mend the cogs and rungs twenty-eight pence
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 101.
For coggis and rungis to the said quhele
1566 Peebles B. Rec. I 302.
And the millar to find cog roung and tallo and vthir gud seruice, batht to poir and riche
1589–90 Crail B. Ct. MS 31 Jan.
For ane gang of cog and rwng to the quheill
1645 Tulliallan Coal Wks. 146b.
The new mill. For kog and rowng
1656 Glasgow B. Rec. II 351.
Johne Scott … acting himself to vphald the said wark … in cogis and rungis … the toune vphalding all ganging greth
1685 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 211.
[All necessary materials for upholding of the said milne except] irne naills cog rung spinnels and tallaw
(b) 1664 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 35.
[To keep the said mill good and sufficient, furnishing it] in irone steill coug and ring

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"Rung n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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