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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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S(c)hor(e, S(c)hoir, n.2 Also: s(c)hoyr, s(c)hoire, s(c)hoar(e, schoore, schuir, scheoir, scoir, soir, suir. [ME and e.m.E. schore (14th c.), shore (Caxton), shoore (1602), shoar (a1639), MLG schore, schare, late MDu. schore, schor, also schaer shore, sea marsh, mod. Du. schoor, schor, schorre land washed by the sea, a sea marsh. ‘Prob. f. the root of shear Scher(e v., but the etymological notion is not easy to determine’ (OED).]

1. That part of a land mass which borders on the sea or, also, on a loch or river. Also pl.Some examples may belong in 2 below. c1475 Wall. vii 809.
Endlang the schoir thai iiij in frownt thai past
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 82.
One the bankis of the wast schoir
1513 Doug. v iii 42.
A roch … Forgane the fomy schor and costis hie … with the boldynnand wallis quhite
Ib. xi 24.
Al the Troiane wemen dyd sche ken Syttand on the schor
1567 Reg. Privy S. V ii 339/2.
The landis of Blairquoyis … begynnand at the strand of Croftfeland and discendand to the Watter of Blane be the suir quhair the aik growis
1583–4 Rec. Earld. Orkney 159.
Fra the said dyk and stone to the shoar
1597 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 17b.
For lysenes at the greine schor to our temermene to worke ii helye dayes
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 64.
The maist pairt of the parochin being upon the mane schoir of Mule
1615 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 175.
Quhatsomevir brekis up the soir in hoillis and chingill
1627 Orkney Rentals iii 68.
Manured land … lying alang an shoare
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 174.
Besyd the wundmilne upon the shoar
1637 Banff Ann. I 79.
Within the flood mark of the schoir
1649 Orkney Rentals App. 57.
Ane bark's lading of lyme [to be imported from the] south shoir
c1650 Spalding II 82.
Few or no corbeis sen in either Abirdeines at the wateris syd of Die or Done, or schoir
Ib. 448.
Montroiss gives ordour to draw all the ferry boites on Spey to the north schoir
1664 S. Ronaldshay 47.
Thes fewe conveined wer glaid to save thair boates upon the schoore
1685 Erskine Diary 126.
Our boat being too laigh in the sides to hide us from people on the shore
16.. Abercrummie in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 5.
The shoar is very well parted all alongst 'twixt rock and sand
pl. 1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 241.
The legis has for feyr, tham on bordouris … and utheris apon the schoirris of the sey, … fawvorit … to Inglis
1585 Reg. Privy C. IV 17.
Within … certane uthiris lochis, caulis, brais, shoris and granis thairof
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 64.
Ane ile … full of conyngis about the schoiris of it

b. Freq., with reference to land, or the coast, when seen or approached from, or regarded as opposed to, the sea or water. Also pl. c1475 Wall. x 797.
Thai saylyt furth by part off Ingland schor
1513 Doug. v iv 7.
Set thi cours innarmor, Seik hard on burd endlang fast by the schor
Ib. x vi 9.
The prynce Tarchon can the schor behald
Ib. 18.
Haist owr the flude, bair to the schoyr with skyppys
1570 Leslie 209.
He turned his course … to cast alongis by the shoire
1558-66 Knox II 12.
Capitane Cullen … traveled betuix the south schoire and Kinghorne
1577 Reg. Privy C. II 654.
Neirby the schoir … within half ane flicht schot to land
a1585 Maitl. Q. 104/37.
As he that suimmis the moir he ettill fast & to the schoire intend [etc.]
1596 Misc. Maitl. C. IV 44.
His gallies then beinge aflott nere unto the shore
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xvii.
The conforme exemples … which the Lord hes set as on the shalde shoare, lyke beakens to warne the shipwreake of soules
1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas i 134.
But scarce the floods had ȝit depriv'd their eyes Frome sight of shoare and viewe of neirest land
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II 452.
[The ship, having a leak] behooved to be layed to the shoare for taking out of her ordinance [etc.] … whairby she being lighted she might the more easilie be putt upoun the banke
1630 Conv. Burghs III 323.
The Fleymings … not to cum neirer to the schoire of anie pairt of this kingdome then ane land kenning of the said schoire
1647 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 191.
They were hard by standing in to the shoare
c1650 Spalding II 347.
1679 Old Ross-shire I 88.
And … being afloat from the shoar he would let none of thaim be brought to it for fear [etc.]
pl. a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xlix 9.
Quhilk for to sie we saild by syndry shoirs

c. In various prep. phr., with omission of article, chiefly in sense b above. a1500 Colk. Sow i 230.
Thoby Cariour him tuk To land with a scheip cruk, Schiphirdis schowit to schore
1513 Doug. viii iv 117.
As it [sc. a rock] stud on schor sweyand that tyde
1554 Misc. Bann. C. III 28.
Be storm of seis … put on schor at Deip
1563 Grant Chart. 129.
To laidin his schip … and lowis fray shoyr
c1575 Balfour Pract. 616.
Twa of the marineris may beir to schoar ane mes … of meit
1610 Crim. Trials III 103.
And be setting of vthers vpoune schoir in … vncouth pairtes
1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas i 188.
And sall the Trojanes save arive on shoare Maugre my will?
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 187.
They wer no sooner on shoar but Mackonald Tearreagh … arryved their also
c1650 Spalding II 206.
Ane schip … wes drevin on schoir

d. Put, metonymically, for the shore and its hinterland; a land or country. 1614 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 162.
His majeste hes good occasione … to mak a new plantatioun … in that iyland … lying wpon the nixt schoir with the wiche Iyla haith dayle commerss
1622-6 Bisset II 228/20.
The admirall salhave the tent penny of … all thingis tane upoun any schoiris aganist innimies

2. A part of the shore reinforced or built upon so that it may serve as a landing-place; a hard, a slip, a jetty; passing into a harbour.Sometimes, as appar. at Leith (see esp. the Latin quots. under (1) below, all of which refer to Leith), applied to a causeway serving as, or leading to and from, the landing-place.Also, rarely, pl.Cf. 17th c. Eng. sho(a)re (north., 1649) = ‘a place at the side of a river built for a special purpose’ (OED, s.v. Shore n.1 3 b).Perhaps influenced by, even ? a conflation with, Schore n.3Some examples may belong in 1 above.(1) 1455 Liber Melros II 566.
Communem viam que dicitur le schore
1469–70 Ib. 595.
Communem viam super le schore ex parte boriali et venellam beati Leonardi
1477 Reg. Great S. 271/1.
Inter plateam nuncupatam le schore et fluxum et arenas maris
1565 Exch. R. XIX 282.
Inter communem transitum lie schoir vulgo appellatum versus occidentem [etc.]
(2) sing. 1482 Edinb. Chart. 168.
Of ilk pak of claith that cummis to the schore
1482 Liber Aberbr. II 183.
Withyn the burgh of Perth one the schore at the vattyr star
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 481.
For the careyng of the said tyn of the schor to the kingis werk
1513 Doug. vii ii 8.
At the schor … Thar navy can thai ankyr fast and hank
1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 182.
For bering of the … tymmer langis the schore to the werk in Leith
15.. Clar. iii 1946.
He haistilie hes passit to the schore And speirit at the marineris … Gif [etc.]
1582 Reg. Privy C. III 521.
[The community of Dundee] have reparit thair tolbuith, almous houssis, stepill, and schore
1582 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 235.
The … tymmer … to be placeit … besyde the schore in the place callit the burse
1593 Ib. V 91.
For bringing of the sey to the North loch and for making clowssis at the schore and for making ane faddom deipper of watter at the schore mair nor it is presently
1596 Dalr. I 61/30.
Landet at Leith … a gret … schip … brocht now to the schore
1633 Orkney Witch-trial in Misc. Abbotsf. C. 161.
All the doggers at the sch[ore] … [? and the] landlyeris
16.. Admir. Ct. Form 63.
Anchorage is 13 s. 4 d. for everie shippe or bark that layes her syde to the peir or shore
1657 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 167.
The counsell … ordains Thomas Merser, present master of impost and shor, to caus lift the said crook
1676 Rothesay B. Rec. 348.
Craveing libertie of soe much ground … att the shore as will build ane litle house
(b) 1513 Dundee Lockit Bk. 1.
The wynd myln be west the schoir
1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 58.
To the pynouris … berand thaim [sc. joists] to the cartis endlangis the schoir
1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. I 80.
For … wynning of hewin stanis to the schoir
1553–4 Ib. 119.
For ane draucht of laiggis fra the Borromure to the schoir
1570 Aberd. B. Rec. II 3.
The haill schoir biggit and to be biggit within the fluid mark pertenis to the communitye of this burght
1582 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 166. 1590 Prestwick B. Rec. 145.
He hes causit fens … victuall … lyand on the schoir … for allegit nonpayment of the ingait custume thairof
1592–3 Reg. Privy C. V 56.
Thair haill commoun werkis, sic as thair peir and shoir, thair poirtis and calsayis … ar altogidder becumit ruynous and decayit
1603 Stirling B. Rec. I 104.
All … boittis … arryving to the said schoir and heavin
1609 Arch. Scot. IV 394.
Bringing of the samin to the coist peir and schoir of the saidis landis
1614 Ayr B. Acc. 62. 1622-6 Bisset II 253/8.
Quhere in a heavin there resortis … diverse schipis, the laidned aucht to have the schoir to loise at
1649 Inverness Rec. II 202.
Eache bot comeing with fraucht to the schoir or harbor
1658 Edinb. B. Rec. IX 95.
The customes imposed … by the Governour of Leith for repaireing of the kie peir and shoir
(c) 1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. II 70.
(d) 1560 (c1650) Dundee B. Laws 22.
That na person presum to hiet pick vpon the stairs of the shoar
1567 (c1650) Ib. 32.
It is statut … that the anchorage, hevin silver, customes and dewties … be only applyit … vpon the said shoar [etc.]
1634 Orkney Bp. Ct. MS 92.
The pannell to be takin … to the schoare and scourgit from that to the end of the Laverock
1668 Stirling Common Good 50.
1670 Inverness Rec. II 242.
Anent his debursements anent the little dock at the shoar
1693 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II 50.
A constant goeing up and down the streat and shoar upon the Sabbath day
1696 Glasgow Chart. II 417.
Wherby he hes ryght to 67 feet of front towards the shoare and back to the tounes selleris
1712 W. C. Dickinson Two Students at St. Andrews 1711–16 (1952) 14.
For … men to lift the plenishing from the shoar to the house
pl. 1513 Doug. ii viii 104.
The fomy ryver … The dykis and the schoris bettis doun
1604 Conv. Burghs II 177.
Ane gift of the impost and dewteis following, for reparatioun of their hewin and herberie in biging of schoiris and bulwarkis [etc.]
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. 207.
Utherwayes our woll might ly on the schoires
(3) 1496 Acta Conc. II 39.
The blude that was drawin ymangis thame on the schoyr of Leith
1512 Treas. Acc. IV 292.
To the said James for kepin of the schoir of Dunde in the custumez, v li.
1529–30 Reg. Privy S. II 65/2.
Alexander and Johnne Bertoun … serchearis upoun the schoir of Leith of all … gudis custumabill passand furth of the realme
1550 Reg. Privy C. I 105.
The lordis ordanis ane messer or uthir officiar of armes to pas to the Mercat Cros of Edinburch, peier and schoir of Leith [etc.]
1558 Crim. Trials I ii 403.
Quhair he wes vpoune the schoir of Leith in sobir maner
1563 Reg. Privy S. V i 345/1.
Within ane schip at the schoir of Perth
1572 Inverness Rec. I 219.
On the scheoir of Dundye
1580 Conv. Burghs I 101.
For the repairing of the schoir and hawin of Sanctandrois
1586–7 Montrose Baillie Ct. fol. 18b (21 Jan.).
Alexander Miln and Walter Scott … will becom actit … to pay … tuenty bollis of wictuall … vpon the schoir of the saidis brugh
1594 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek 35.
The schoir of Kirkwall
1610 Stirling Merch. Guild 30.
The custome of the peir and schoir of the burgh of Stirling
1612 Brechin Test. II 236 (see Schore v.2 a). 1644 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 32.
They most be oblischit to fetch me home from the schor of Dunbar and Tinninghame tua kairt full of hirring I paying for thame at the schor
1679 Cullen Kirk S. II 27 July.
John Thome … had come … to the shore of Cullen in a boat and livered some goods on the shore
1685 Inverness Rec. II 335.
Ane peice of waist ground at the shoare of Inverness to big ane house theron
1686 Brechin Test. VII 158.
The ship … presently lyeing at the shoare of Montrose
(b) 1623 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 291.
Efter the schipis arryvell on the scoir of Kirkcudbricht
(4) 1581–2 Misc. Spald. C. V 53.
To bryng the barrell to the boit fra Torrie schoir
1596 Dalr. II 419/13.
Four schipis … evir by neir Leith schoir

b. transf. The shore-master and other officials administering the harbour, collectively. 1589 Reg. Privy C. IV 417.
[Forbidding masters … of ships to sail till they find caution] actit in the townis buikis [or in the] custumaris and schoris buikis [of the towns they sail from]

3. attrib. and comb. a. In sense 2 above. See also Schore-maister n.Schore dews (deuties, fyie, leivé, maill, syluer, etc.), a due payable by ships making use of a harbour.(1) 1429 Ayr B. Acc. in Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXI 145.
Till the wittalyng off a Franchs balyngger qwen scho passet to the schor see
1560 (c1650) Dundee B. Laws 22.
That na person lay any maner of timber upon the shoar heid
1582 Old Ross-shire I 108.
Out of ilk sek full of corne brought to the schoir sey syde and delyverit to shipis
1595–6 Edinb. B. Rec. V 151.
The schoir tymber
1597 Ib. 195.
Warkmen of Leyth schoir wark
1598 Chron. Perth 7.
The fische mercat wes remowit fra the schoar hed to the south yait port
1603 Stirling B. Rec. II 383.
That quhatsumevir victuall beis bocht … sall pay … custom … to support the schoirgaits
1652 Falkirk Par. Rec. I 189.
Ane bag of malt … quhilk the boatsman laid out on shore-land
1684 Stirling B. Rec. II 42.
Damadge [to goods] throw the want of ane … plank betwixt the vessell and shorbrae
(2) 1607 Old Ross-shire I 185.
Shoir dews 16 sh.
1641-8 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 9.
For shor dowes 5 li. 10 s.
1665 Conv. Burghs III 579.
A warrand for vplifting of shoar deues and ankeradge … of all vessells coming in
1672 Retours I Inq. Spec. Elgin et Forres (128). 1698 Acts X 174/1.
Shoar dues anchorages & other pettie customes
1641 Dundee Chart. 61.
Schoir duties
1656 Orkney Antiq. Soc. V 61.
The haill shoar deuties of the droggeris and dogger boatis
1673 Retours I Inq. Spec. Clackmannan (40).
1678 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 24 June.
John Dowgall, present shoremaister to pay the samen out of the firstend of the shore dewties
1601–2 Montrose Treas. Acc. fol. 8b.
The thre officiaris fyeis … my awne fyie and shoir fyie
1593 Conv. Burghs I 406.
[A petition of Burntisland] for licence to haue ane impoist and schoir leiwe within thair harbery … of all schippis arryueand to and fra the samyn
1603 Argyll Acc. 5 June.
Schoir maill
1615 Stirling Merch. Guild 36.
Sett to William Norie, the half of the schoir mele
a1603 Tract. Leg. Naval. 63.
The pettie customes is the shoremeall
1723 Stirling B. Rec. II 179. 1589 Conv. Burghs I 299.
For reparrelling thairof [sc. the harbour] sic dewty of schoir syluer sall … be vplifted … as [etc.]
1599 Edinb. B. Rec. V 246.
[The council] ordanis the new gift of the impost and schoir sylver … to be insert in the charter buik
1603 Reg. Great S. 515/1.
1626 Aberd. B. Rec. III 6. 1626 Brechin Test. IV 226.
To … shoir maister for schoir siluer vj lib.
1641 Dundee Chart. 58. 1666 Glasgow Chart. II 114.

b. In sense 1 above. 1586 Liber Scon App. 234.
Togidder with the aucht pairt of that schorewod callit Cuthill and wod of Craigmakeroun
1601 Stirling B. Rec. I 98.
The schoir rowme of the cobill fisching of this burgh
For altering … the merche stanes betuix the landis of Winschelhauche and the fisching shoir rowme of this burgh
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 552.
Ruynes … upon a shoyrhil top, having a gallant prospect
1677 Aberd. Council Lett. VI 119.
Ther late hichting … of ane shore dyke upon the south syde of the said river for ther accomodatione of fishing

c. Schore-side, chiefly, or only, in sense 1 above. 1571 (1580) Reg. Great S. 11/1.
Apud lie schoirsyid de Almond
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 78.
At the schoir side of it [sc. Hirta] lyis three great hills
1613–14 Ayr B. Acc. 57.
For wynning of ryss about the carpoillis at the schoirsyd
a1634 Read Buch. 20.
The shoar syd of Jura is manured and the incountrie is cled with woods
1642 Rothesay B. Rec. 949.
The hous at the schoir syde quhilk stands on the commoun
1658 Ib. 275.
For the building of ane smiddie at the schoir syde
1662 Crim. Trials III 609.
We went to the shore … and we wold say on the shoresyd thrie seuerall tymes ower [etc.]

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



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