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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Dow, n. Also: dowe, dwe, dou. [e.m.E. dow, ME. dowe, doo, duu, variants of douve, duve (c 1200), ON. dúfa.] A dove.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxviii. 672.
A quhyt dow was sene Fra the hewine com to that schene
Ib. 708. c1420 Wynt. I. 417.
The dow he send furth anys or twyis
14.. Acts I. 386/2.
Pacokis and dowis … are wont to fle of a certane place and to cum again to that samyn place
a1500 Bk. Chess 429.
Vnto the famell he kepis his natur As in dowis, sparowis, & vther bestis mo
1513 Doug. ii. ix. 19.
As for the storm dowis flokkis togidder ilkane
1535 Stewart 7576.
Throw Albione … it flaw Ouir all the landis as outher dow or craw
1567–8 Rep. Mar & Kellie MSS. 19.
To my Ladie and hir servandis … on ane flesche day … vj chikkynis or dowis
1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 148.
The grit hurt and dampnage done to thair nychtbouris … throuch schuting … of the dowis
1600-1610 Melvill 270.
I haid a pear of fyne milk whait dowes, quhilk I fed in the hous
1662 Melrose R. Rec. II. 28.
For … killing ane great number of … dowes by ane gune
1690 Foulis Acc. Bk. 130.
Thair is got in half a boll of peas for the dowes
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxviii. 596.
Than com a dou of hewin fleand
Ib. xxxiv. 112.
Hym thocht, he A-beoufe hyme suld a blak dou se
1549 Compl. 39/17.
The dou croutit hyr sad sang that soundit lyik sorrow
attrib. 1596 Dalr. II. 389/5.
A hailstane gretter than a dow eg
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 333.
In castellis, stables, dowhouses [etc.]

b. In comparisons or allusive use. 1456 Hay I. 30/17.
As [if] thai war symple as a dow but gall
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 263.
Be dragones baitht and dowis, ay in double forme
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8006.
Becaus thay ar … Quhylis lyke a wylde wolf, quhylis as a dow als tame
1600 Misc. Bann. C. I. 157.
Quhen the master of ane cruel tiger is maid as it war ane dow

c. As a term of commendation or endearment. c1450-2 Howlat 989.
Thus for ane dow of Dunbar drew I this dyte, Dowit with ane Dowglas, and boith war thai dowis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2231.
The caller cryit: ‘how, haik vpon hicht; Hald draucht, my dowis’
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxiv. 36.
Quhyte dow, quhair is ȝour sobir humilnes?
a1568 Scott i. 215.
That thow, sweit dow, may brace Lang space with grace
c1600 Montg. Suppl. Misc. P. x. 28.
My dow, be now my comforter

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"Dow n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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