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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.

Scher(e, S(c)heir, v. Also: shere, cher-, chere; s(c)heire, cheir, scheyr(e; s(c)hear, sheare; sheer; schair, schar(e; s(c)hier; shire, schyr-. P.t. schar(e, share, schair(e, schayr(e; scher, shere, scheire; schewr(e; schore, schoir, shoor; schur(e, shure, schuir. P.p. s(c)horn(e, shoirne; schorin; sherit; chard(e. [ME and e.m.E. schæren (Layamon), schere(n (c1320), shere(n (Rolle), scere (c1400), shear (c1425), shire (1591), sheere (a1593). P.t. s(c)ar (Layamon), scher (a1225), schare (c1320), scherde (?a1400), shore (1563). P.p. scorn (Cursor M), shorne (Rolle), schorn (14th c.), sheard (Spenser), OE sceran, *scear, scǣron, scoren.]

I. To cut through or into.

1. tr. To cut (a thing, also a person or a part of the human body) into two or more pieces (in twa, in (a) schunder, up, etc.); to cut (something) into a single elongated strip.pres. c1420 Wynt. ii 1004.
Than … walde he … scheyre thare thropyll boll in twa
1596 Dalr. I 90/24.
A verie braid sword, … that at the first straik … walde scheir a man in twa in the … midle
p.t. a1400 Leg. S. xxiv 139.
& syne his belt he schare in twa
?1438 Alex. i 2827.
Baith leuer and lungis in shunder he share
c1475 Wall. ii 110.
Ane othir … Abown the kne, the bayne in sondir schar
1513 Doug. i iv 92.
Rent furth the entralis, sum in tailȝeis schare
(b) c1475 Wall. iii 190.
The thrusande blaid his hals in sonder schayr
(c) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1563.
Thay … schuir the raipis off the mastis in schunder
(d) 1533 Boece 265b.
Hengist … schure ane grete bugill hyde in ane lang thwayng like ane threde
1531 Bell. Boece II 32.
Quhen Hengist had gottin the grant of sa mekill land as he micht circle about with ane bull hide he schure it in maist crafty … quhaingis and circulit mekil land with the samin
a1538 Abell 42a.
He tuik ane oxin hide & schure it ay rownd abowt in sa lang a twhang that it rakit about a gret montane
p.p. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 1019.
He had schorne his hals in twa
1437–8 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 5.
That thair be na … hyddis kippit to be schorne vp
1535 Stewart 504.
Scheildis wer schorne with scharpe swordis in sunder
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1349.
Ȝit quhen his schankis wer schorne in sunder … he wrocht greit wounder

b. absol. or intr. To cut cooked meat into slices or pieces; to carve. 1375 Barb. i 356.
The byschop … gert him wer His knyvys, forouth him to scher
Ib. ii 92.
James off Dowglas … All-wayis befor the byschop schar
c1420 Wynt. vi 1272 (W) (see c below). a1500 Sir Eger 1407.
[She] Carved his meat and to him share While he … would no mare

c. tr. To cut up or slice (a loaf of bread, a fish); to chop (herbs). c1420 Wynt. vi 1256.
Wyth this duk he ete a day Before [the burde] than standand thare The dukis brede this childe than schare [W Him happinnit to soiorne a day With this duke and rycht as thai Togidder set at the mete ware This child befor the duke than schare]
14.. Burgh Laws fol. 131b (A).
Of fysch to scheyr & selle again in burgh
Ib. c. 62.
Na man that byis fysch for to sell in the toun sal nocht by it na scheir it befor vndurn
1456 Hay I 58/24.
Quhen folk schare thair brede … the bred bled
1576 Crim. Trials I ii 53.
Thom wald pull ane herb … and baid hir scheir the samin with onye vthir kynd of herbis

2. To cut (a person, a part of his or her body, or a wound) surgically.Also, once, with double object.See also K. Hart and Leg. S. quots. in 8 (1) below.(1) 1375 Barb. xx 581 (E).
Thai … Gert scher him swa that mycht be tane The flesch all haly fra the bane
c1420 Wynt. vii 1283.
Thai Alssa fast gert hyr be schorne And wan the barne all qwyk
a1500 Bk. Chess 1659.
The mediciner … at his belt lancis and yrnis small To scher the woundis
1501 Treas. Acc. II 102.
To the blind wif that hed hir eyne schorne
1570 Sat. P. xvi 87.
I wald sum man wald scheir ȝow clene that ȝe micht … be not blinde as ȝe haif bene
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 479 (W).
Quhy suld he [supra ony patient] loup quhan he is lanceit Or schrink quhen he is schorne?
1622 Perth Kirk S. MS 17 June.
To ane pure woman that hed hir bairne schorne
(2) a1400 Leg. S. ii 711.
As men war hyr scherand Thai prewetes … He had gret ese of hyr hard pyn

b. To schere (a person) (of the stane) to operate on to remove a gall-stone. 1496 Treas. Acc. I 305.
To a man … that was new schorn of the stane
1570–1 Edinb. Skinners in Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 88.
To the man schore Sanders Crage barne of the stane … £5
1571–2 Reg. Great S. 529/1.
James … hes bene twyis schorne of the stane
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 77.
Henrie bischope of Ross was schorne of the stane in Pareis
1582 Edinb. Test. XI 33.
I … being hevelie vext with ane confermit stane and thairfore myndfull for remedie thairof to be schorne & cuttit
1591 Ib. XXIII 125.
Andro … myndfull to be schorne of the stane … maid his legacie
1607 Dundonald Par. Rec. 134.
His bairn, schorn of the stain, [to] be commendit to the help of the parochin for payment of his leiching
1622 Perth Kirk S. MS 12 July.
Laitlie schorne of the ston
1629 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 20 May.
To his sone schorne off the stone

3. To cut (a person, or a part of the body) by striking (him or her) with a sharp weapon; to pierce with a pointed weapon or stake. 1460 Hay Alex. 1967.
Vpoun the hede he hit him sickerlie Quhill doun toward the rycht pape he him schare
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 930.
Sa woundir scharply he schair The berne
a1500 Bk. Chess 683.
And syne [he] gart schere hir with a spale of tre Wp till hir hals
c1500 Makc. MS iv 47.
Ded one the cors thow hang, Thi wanis bursyne, thi senownis schorne than
15.. Christis Kirk 68 (B).
Throwcht baith the cheikis he thocht to cheir him Or throw the ers haif chard him [M. throw the chaftis haue charde him]
15.. Clar. iii 1080.
Clariodus … With his sword him tothe sadill scheire [: feir (= demeanour)]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10279. a1568 Bann. MS 39a/63.
With ane scharp speir Thy syd was schorne

b. To cause (a wound) by cutting or piercing. a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1561.
Quhair that the speir schair a wound deip & wid

c. Of a thorn: To rend, tear. a1500 Henr. Orph. 292.
Wyth scharp pikis he had bene schorne and schent

4. To cut into, or through, a thing with a sharp instrument or weapon; to damage by cutting; to pierce. 1436–7 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 5.
Na gude woll nor skynnis spakit no schorne
1466–7 Acts II 87/1.
At na merchandis gudis … be schorne nor strikin vp in na wise
c1500 Rowll Cursing 248 (M).
Blame the scheiris that schair the skreid
1511 Treas. Acc. IV 322.
Because the king schure his jak in playaing
1513 Doug. iii iv 66.
Thar was na dynt mycht thar fedderis scheir
Ib. viii xii 70.
With mantill rent and schorn men mycht hir se
a1568 Bell. Bann. MS 367a/12.
And stormy Chyron with his bow and arrowis Hes all the cludis of the hevin schorne

b. To cut, or dig, a trench or ditch. 1375 Barb. viii 172.
[Thre] dykys our-thuort he schar Fra baith the mossis to the way

c. To rend, tear apart. c1400 Troy-bk. i 549.
In the temple the wall was schorn Bot nane couth tell how it was torn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 164/105.
He schewre his feddreme … And slippit owt of it full clene

d. To cut (a hole) by biting or gnawing. 1602 Dundonald Par. Rec. 7.
The mys schur ane holl in the boddum of hir purs

5. To cut into shape; to carve; to engrave; ? to fret. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 7096.
Like ane ring be warkmen maid or schorne
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 99.
The syleringis … being of fyne eistland wod, properlie mullerit and schorne in fair and curious work
1590 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 168.
Obliged him to scheir sex pair gairds ilk foure dayis
1632 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 81.
Peices of 4. 2. and 1 d. of 10 d. fyne shorne [marg. shorning] at 60 shillinges in the said pund wecht

b. To sharpen by cutting or filing. 1534–5 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 127.
Tyne dure nale schorne
1628 Ib. II 262.
Stobis schorne in the heidis for the window

6. intr. To cut through (out through, throu, etc.) or into (in) a person or thing; to cut; to rend.Common, esp. in collocation with Scharp adj. or Scharply adv. 1, in stock phrases or clauses emphasising the sharpness of weapons.With and without const.(1) 1375 Barb. viii 55.
With wapnys that scharply schar Sum in the ford thai bakwart bar
Ib. x 176, etc.
Ane hachat that war scharp to scher
a1400 Leg. S. ii 674.
A brand that scharply schar
?1438 Alex. ii 1315.
With sword of steill that wele can shere
Ib. 1448, etc.
His mace, his sword richt hard to sheir
c1450 Cr. Deyng 137.
And sua the sek suld say in the payne at he tholys, now byrne, now schere, now thrist, now sla
c1500 Fyve Bestes 285.
His tuskis scharpe that he with schure
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 151/42.
Sum jaggit uthiris to the heft With knyvis that scherp cowd scheir
1513 Doug. xii viii 113. 1535 Stewart 22481.
Mony ganȝie … Heidit with steill that scharp as rasure schair
Ib. 29910.
Ane small arrow, that scharpe as rasour schair
(2) ?1438 Alex. i 1369.
That fele … may feill His sword schare in thair nakit hyde
a1500 Sir Eger 167.
Through ventil and pensal he share Into my shoulder
(3) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 968.
Sa wondir scharply he schare throu his schene schroud
c1475 Wall. ii 64.
The grounden suerd throuch out his cost it schar
Ib. iii 155.
The Scottis … With suerdis schar throuch habergeons full gude
Ib. ix 1436.
Baith brawn and bayn the burly blaid throcht schar
a1500 Sir Eger 1559.
The sword out through the mantle share
1535 Stewart 2561.
That scharplie schure throw bane and branis bayth

7. To force one's way throw (over) something that hinders progress, as the sea or woods; to make one's way. Cf. 11 below. 1513 Doug. viii ii 68.
Thai seik and schar [Sm. schair, Ruddim. schere] throu owt the woddis greyn
Ib. ix iii 61.
Nymphes … throw fomy fludis gray Scheryng with braid brestis delytabill
Ib. x v 16.
All sammyn swam thai … throw the wallys fast dyd sewch and scheir
15.. Clar. v 2711.
They drew up saillis and ouer the wavis schare

II. To cut off, sever.

8. tr. Usu. with adverbial complement, making more explicit the effect, or direction, of the action of cutting: To displace, or remove, a part from the body, or a part of a body or thing, by cutting with a sharp weapon or instrument. Also to schere of. Also fig.(1) 1375 Barb. vi 629.
Er and chek doune in the hals He schar
a1400 Leg. S. xxxix 361.
The cancryt flesche thai schure away … With that the sek mane waknit
?1438 Alex. ii 653.
For my richt arme sall of be shorne Or he thé wed
c1420 Wynt. ii 1019.
Hyr systyr twyng fyrst schare [C., W. schore] scho owt
Ib. viii 6976.
Thare armys and thare pappis alsua Thai wald stryk off, and schere thaim fra
14.. Acts I 376/2.
His hand salbe schorn of
c1475 Wall. v 748.
The taillis all off thai four hors thai schayr
Ib. vi 408.
Throuch thi chokkis thi tong sall be out schorn
a1500 K. Hart 587.
With his kniyf he schure the flesche away That bred vpone his ene and maid him blind
1533 Boece 87.
His hede dispitefully schorne fra his crag
1531 Bell. Boece I 130.
His heid was efter schorne fra his body
1533 Boece 421b.
The cure thai [sc. Scots] tuke to schere of the hedis of Danis
1535 Stewart 509.
Schulderis wer schorne and sched the bodie fra
1655 Dumfries Kirk S. 26 April.
John Rae massouner who hath his leg brokin & shorne aff
(2) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 633.
In the collair Fifty mailyeis and mair Euin of the schuldir he schair
1562-3 Winȝet I 128/15.
Quhy hef ȝe schorne [MS sawin] away in this mater the quheit togidder with the fitcheis?
1617 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 65.
Ane great garroun naill and marking irne … quhairwith he shure cuttit and dang out ane peice of the bottome of the said kist
(3) c1420 Wynt. viii 4598 (W).
A smale cofyre he gert bring thare A royne lanȝhare tharof to scheire, And schare a thwayng
Ib. 4805 (R).
A rone skyne tuk he … And schayre a [thwayng] all at laysere And thare-wyth festnyd wp his gere
(4) fig. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 398.
I sall … Scaile thé for scorne and shere thé of the scule

b. To cut (an infant) from (of(f, out of) its mother's womb. c1420 Wynt. vi 2242.
I wes nevyr borne; Bot off my modyre wame wes schorne
c1500 Crying of Play 82.
My fader … Out of that wyfis wame was schorne
1513 Doug. x vi 64.
Lychas … That of hys ded moderis waym was furth schorn
1531 Bell. Boece II 274. a1538 Abell 76b.
Makduf … nocht borne of ane woman bot schorn out of his modiris wame

c. To schere doun (a wound), to enlarge by cutting. 1513 Doug. xii vii 16.
Thai suld with a scharp knyf … Scheir doun the wond, and mak it large and wyde

d. To tear (a piece) from a garment. ?1438 Alex. i 1823.
Of his coit ane lap he schare [F.4 deschiré5]
c1420 Wynt. iv 2351 (W).
With his rycht hand Off his skyrt a lap he schare

e. To remove (fetters) by the use of a file or saw. Also to schere of. 1610 Crim. Trials III 91.
Ȝour servand … brak the voult … of the said prisone, and schure af the irnes
c1650 Spalding I 348.
He gat ane smithis fyll convoyit in, quhairwith he schure the iron from his foot

f. With omission of complement: ? To cut down (a bell). 1657 Culross I 269.
Becaus the great bell in the steeple is ryven, the session recommends it to the … baillie to cause shear hir, that shee may be mead ready for ringing

9. To cut off the superfluous nap from woollen cloth as part of the manufacturing process. Also absol. 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 165.
Hir clathes in robys schorn & furryt
14.. Acts I 24/2.
Na man bot a burges sall by woll to lytt na clathe to mak na schere
Ib. 304/2.
Of a pece of clath: … gif the clath be schorne thrw the aldyrmannys leve and be saulde be elnys the sellar sal gyf a halfpeny to the burow sergeand
1473 Treas. Acc. I 17.
To Sandy Balfoure the scherare for certane clath schorne be him
a1568 Sempill Sat. P. xlviii 45.
Cottond and schorne, the mair it [sc. a garment] be worne Ȝe find ȝour self the grittar fule
absol. 1525 (1527) Reg. Great S. 97/1.
That all owtman … takkand … claith to walk, raise and scheir sall pay wolklie his penny
1606 Glasgow B. Rec. I 254 (see S(c)herar n. 1 (1)).

10. To cut (corn, grass, etc.), ? chiefly or only with a reaping-hook or sickle, with a view to using it for a specific purpose. Also, once, to schere af.Also with feild, rig, etc. as object.(1) pres. a1400 Leg. S. i 222.
Myn moder sad … I suld ga To schere hire corne
1513 Doug. vii x 80.
All instrumentis of pleuch graith … With sythis, and al hukis at scheris quhet, War thidder brocht and tholis temper new
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 34.
[He] sayis that he … and … Jok Brydene tuk this corne to schere at James Harper
1533 Bell. Livy I 136/3.
Ane grete multitude of quhete on the said croft, reddy to schere
1539–41 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 275.
To thre personis scherand gers … ilkane wolkle ii s.
1542 Lanark B. Rec. 19.
Syklyk of tham that tha fynd scherand wther menis corne or baukis
1551 Banff Ann. I 28.
Geve ony persone beis fundin cherand or cwttand gres vpone the balkis
a1568 Bann. MS 82b/83. 1574 Carrick Baillie Ct. 5 Sept.
With powar … to intromet with vtheris … cornis hay & elding and to schere and vse the samin
(b) 1531 Crim. Trials I i 156.
With xl wiffis and fallowis or thairby to scheir and leid the said cornis
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxv.
Quhen the peple passis … to scheir thir aitis, thay find nocht but tume hullis
1556 Elgin Rec. I 31.
That nane of thame tak vpone hand to scheir ony growand coirnis
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 555.
Gif the said Johnne Lovell mak convocatioun, and scheir and win his saidis cornis, he is certane [etc.]
1581 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 557.
That na gyrs wemen nor vtheris pas within the South Loch to cheir the gyrs thairof
1585 Reg. Privy C. III 751.
To sheir, cutt or beir away ony growand cornis or hayned medois and parkis
1593 Acts IV 42/2.
To arreist … the cornis [etc.] … of the saidis rebellis, scheir win and stak the same [etc.]
1597 Prestwick B. Rec. 83.
It sall nocht be lesum … to scheir ony bent vpon the commoun sandhillis
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Schireff (see S(c)hire n. 1 b (1)(c)). 1609 Inverurie 194.
Until the corns be begun to scheir
1617 Montgomery Mem. 276.
For ane hwik to scheir gers with
1639 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 598.
And ordanis him for his awin panis to sheir and cut the grass … and apply the samyn to his awin vse
1643 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 104.
To sheir win and away leid these sex aikers of landis corne and fodder to ane barne yaird
1649 Maxwell Mem. 349.
This day I began to sheire my corne in the Drip ley
1662 Highland P. III 29.
Her dochter came to the bog of Ambrisbeg to sheir bent
(c) 1599 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 169.
That nane schear gressis in the kirk yearde … sua that [etc.]
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 115.
Jhon … did shear the cornes, stakit them [etc.]
1633 Lithgow Poet. Remains 97.
1664 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 8.
Whosoever weids or broks uther folks corne … or sheares uther mens grass
1676 Cunningham Diary 80.
To Gavin Moody for the foreyeard grasse to shear to my horse, £1 6 s. 8 d.
(d) 1610 Inverurie 194.
None allowed to feed or schier girs on the haughs fra this day furth [21 July]
16.. Hist. Kennedy 37.
To cum to schier the rest off the cornis
1684 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 127.
[To] shier pow or maw their nibures gresse
(e) 1659 A. Hay Diary 130.
To sheer the corne
(f) a1700 Haigs of Bemersyde 476.
Our tennants did allways shire those padiepepes and grass
p.t. a1400 Leg. S. i 227.
Myn howk … mare corn schare Than ony did at wes thare
(b) 1513–14 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 26.
We scher his ber extendand to xxxvii thraiff … , the quhilk I kene the said Jhone … was in company of me … that scher and band the said corne
(c) 1615 Inverurie 198.
And these schore and led away … their cornis growing in and upon the saids lands
(d) 16.. Hist. Kennedy 38.
And Johnne McAllexander schoir his cornis in peace
(e) 1540 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) (Freser v. Johnstoun).
He … telit harrowit sew and thaireftir schure and takit the saidis cornis
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 60.
Jonat Speir … confessit scho schure svm gars to ane calf [on the Saboth]
1674 Cunningham Diary 37.
To a boy in Rankillo that shure grasse, 12 s.
(f) 1603 Elgin Rec. II 117.
Margit Forsyth schuir corne
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 86.
The hill quhair thay schuir the thak
16.. Hist. Kennedy 37.
1629 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 2 Dec.
Scho schuir only bot the quantitie of ane schaiff on the sabboithe day
(g) 1644 Tulliallan Coal Wks. 47.
To the sheareris that shoor Allexander Burnes corn £2
p.p. ?1507 Aberd. B. Rec. I xxxix.
Fra the tyme the cornis be sawin quhill it be schorne and led
1513 Doug. viii Prol. 63.
The hyne crynys the corn, The broustar the beir schorn
1533 Bell. Livy I 136/7.
Quhen thai had schorne the said quhete, thai gaderit it with the stra in crelis
1555 Acts II 497/2.
That na man … ryde or gang in thair nychtbouris cornis … vnto the tyme that the samin be schorne
1555 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 1b.
The said corn wes schorn and haid away
1563 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 12 June.
v firlottis … beir to be payit of the first of his beir schorne
1570–1 Canongate Ct. Bk. 295.
The crop of quheit and ry now sawin be hir … to be schorne led and disponit be hir
c1575 Balfour Pract. 146.
And the cornis of the bordouris beand schorne and stoukit
1577 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 37b.
Efter the corneis … be schorin and seperatit fra the ground
a1578 Pitsc. II 216/32.
Quhan the corne was all schorne the wictuallis come downe the one half
1596 Paisley B. Rec. 189.
Quhill all the corne wes shorne and input
1631 Kirkcaldy Presb. 32.
Thair wer some cornes unshorne upon the Sabbath day in the morneing and at noone wer shorne and bund and stouked
1643 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 17.
Beir … of his awin grouthe winn and schorne befoir … Bartholday last
1656 Lanark B. Rec. 157.
The … counsell discharges any persone to suffer thair hennis to goe furth upone the victuall to be schorne or indit [sic]
(b) 1594 Reg. Privy C. V 163.
Quhenas thair coirnis ar rype and reddy to be shoirne
(c) 1605 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 2.
Sua son as the corne is sherit
(2) 1610 Inverurie B. Ct. 9 Oct.
To restoir … sic corne as he schuir af of ane half rig
(3) 1465 Misc. Spald. C. V 392.
Thre penyland of Stanbust … nocht rayssit nather ȝeit schorin
1493 Prot. Bk. J. Young 144.
William and Johne sal ger schere thir akeris of this present crop
1513 Doug. vii xiii 40.
Thai that with scharp cultyr teil and scheir … the hilly knollis hie
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John iv 35.
Se ye the feeldis, for now thai ar quhite to schere
Id. James v 4.
1532 Carnwath Baron Ct. (SHS) 145.
That he had schorne a but of corne of his & had it away
1560 Prot. Bk. William Gray in Orig. Par. II ii 763.
Scherand the tane rig and levand the tuther rig
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 93.
Mr. William Rayes huikes beand scherand his croft, callit Round About
1609 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 79.
Quhilk rig he possessit sew, schuir, and led away
1629 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 391.
To sheir the tua halff skairis of land
1640 Hawick Ann. 49.
That na persone … scheir medowis, balkis, or haynit gers thifteouslie
1678 Rothesay B. Rec. 358.
All persones that beis fund in other mens peiz or sheirs other mens marches

b. The gresse soun schere, etc. ? a nickname. 1401–7 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) 230.
[MS torn] the gresse soun schere the windis falow apud Kynglasser

c. To cut (kale) from its stalk. a1568 Jok & Jynny 29.
Ane rowsty quhittill to scheir the kaill

d. absol. To cut standing crops.Rec. Earld. Orkney quot. seems to be a reference to the tenant's right to the growing crop but may mean something else. 1491 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 312.
Giff ony induellaris on the grond scheris in herwist thai sall scher wytht the said Schir John
1526 Carnwath Baron Ct. (SHS) 55.
& utowth the dykis to turn & schar
1531 Prot. Bk. Gavin Ros 204.
Arare, harpicare et mettere, le teill harrow and shere
1538 Prot. Bk. Sir J. Cristisone 64.
[One to reap the ground in harvest, i.e.] ane hwik to scheir
1551 Hamilton Cat. 132.
For thai [sc. birds] saw nocht, thai schier nocht
a1568 Scott i 174 (see Saw v.1 3).
?c1570 Misc. Spald. C. IV 102.
Thay that sawis with teiris sall scheir with glaidnes
1600–1 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 108/10, 24.
He wes schering in the Moirtoun hauch
1607 Peebles Gleanings 24.
Nane [are] to transport thame to scheir furth of the toun in harvest
1607 Rec. Earld. Orkney 178.
I, Malkcom Eysbuster, ballay … hes pairtit the said meidew and gress and gevin the said Rycheirt Ewmonsone his pairt thairof … and … dyschayrgit the said Robert that he of nawayis trubill … the said compleaner ay and quhill that he be payit his silwer and be civelly put thairfra and schairit fowrtie dais befoir Mairtiemess or Witsonday
1628 Banff Ann. I 59.
Giff onye persone beis fund in onye wther menis balkis scheiring on the garse … but license or consent
1638 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 456.
Ane sufficient servand to scheir all harvest
1643 Elgin Rec. I 277.
Huikis in harvest scheiring on the landis haldin of the toun
1656 Edinb. Justices Peace 406.
The wives of the hinds, whether whole or half hinds, are to shear dayly in harvest, while their masters corn be cut down
c1690 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 32.
They shere onlie till elivin a cloack becaus the day wes rainie

e. In fig. or allusive use, freq. in collocation with Saw v.1 Also proverb. Also absol. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 265 (Asl.).
Quhat seid men sawis, sic corne thai mon neid scheire
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 14.
Of wikkyt grayn quhou sal gude schaif beschorn?
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xxv 24.
Lord, I wate thou art ane hard man, thou scheris quhare thou has nocht sawin
Ib. Rev. xiv 15.
Send thi huke and schere, for the hour cummis that it be schorn; for the corn of the erd is ripe
1528 Lynd. Dreme 1052.
Sen that thow mon scheir as thow hes sawin
c1552 Id. Mon. 5873.
That day … Quhen ȝe sall scheir as ȝe haue sawin
1562-3 Winȝet I 122/24.
As quha sawis scairslie sall scheir scairslie
Ib. II 59/12.
We mot also scheir the fruit of the doctrine of quheit
?c1570 Misc. Spald. C. IV 105.
The kirk … is the ground that He [sc. God] takis plesour to labour, He earis it, He sawes it, and He scheiris it
1588 King Cat. 130.
Lat vs thairfoir do gud without cessing, for quhen the tym cummes we sall sheer without cessing
Ib. 185.
Quhat so euer a man saues the same sal he raipe, for quha sawes in his flesh he sal sheer corruption of the flesh, bot quha sa sawes in the spirit, shal sheer lyf ewerlasting
1602 Colville Paraenese 29.
Satan has schorn the feild of the church and vendagit the vynes tharof
1609 Garden Garden 22.
God sheares bot where He sow's
proverb. 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 276.
That all the corne of the countrie Be kempis hes not bene schorne
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 38.
All the corne in the countrey is not shorne by kempers

f. tr. and absol. To cut, or lop off, twigs, etc., from trees. 14.. Acts I 326/2.
Gif forsuth a fre man be wont to cut or to scher [L. amputare vel scindere] in the forest for thris he sall gif viij ky
1475 Peebles B. Rec. I 174.
Quhatsumeuir thai be … that scheris or cottis … our wekeris that growis … about the town

III. 11. To cleave or divide (air, earth or sea) by moving through it. Cf. 7 above. 1513 Doug. v i 3.
Hys navy with north wynd scherand the seys
Ib. iv 107.
[The dove] scherand the lownyt ayr, Down from the hycht discendis
Ib. vii xiii 40.
Thai that with scharp cultyr teil and scheir Of Rutuly the hilly knollis hie
Ib. x xiii 24.
Orion, … woyd throu the mekill see, Scherand the streym with hys schuldris hie

b. To divide (one thing from another). 1513 Doug. iii vi 124.
The seys rage draif in and maid thame twane And fors of streym from the syde of Itale … Sycill devydit hes … Ane narow fyrth flowis … Betwix tha costis and citeis insondir schorn

c. intr. To break apart into two or more pieces; to split. a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1067.
The wale full sone in twa it schure
1513 Doug. x vi 21.
Thys ground … Do scheir and cleif [1553 chere and cheif] in sundyr lyke a stok

d. To divide, part, go in different directions. Only in the phr. as wind and wedder (watter) scheris, common in deeds or the like, referring to the crest of a ridge separating two pieces of lower grounds, and regarded as a boundary between them.Appar. only in areas north of the Tay. a1460 Reg. Cupar A. I 131.
[Marches of] Auchnalesch and Kilry. Beginning from the Dokkan Well and running to the falde of John Ewinson, and thereafter as wynde and watter scheris fra Auchnalese to the forest of Alyth
1514–15 Elphinstone Mun. 191/1.
Passand … vp the said stryip to the hill heid quhairfra the same rynnis, and hald west the hill heid as wynd and wedder schears
1539 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 359.
As the wind and weather scheirs upon the hill betuex Delgatie and Udocht
1556 Reg. Great S. 245/2.
Keipand the heid of the Innerhill in propirtie, quhill it cum to the meting of the tua gaittis as wynd and wodder scheris abone the toun of Boiggergoun
Ut ventus et aer serviunt 1570–1 Reg. Privy S. VI 213/2.]
1592 Inverness Rec. I lxii. 1601 Reg. Great S. 395/2.
Ascendand up to the hill or month heidis thairof as wind and wedder scheirris
1616 Cramond Fordoun Ann. 42.
[To the tops of the hills as wind and weather shears]
1638 Bamff Chart. 253.
Up the burne to the head of the Wester Craniche as wind and weather schyris
1641 Acts V 520/1.
Boundit betuixt the said water and the height of the month and infall of the said water as wind and weather sheares one either syde of the said water in bread
1666 Reg. Panmure II 369.
Keeping the dykes on the head of the hill of Turing as wind and weather sheares
1671 Inverness Rec. II 245.
From quich as wind and weather shears, lineilie eastward to the great stone at the wester end of the said dock

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"Scher v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <>



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