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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.

Flour, Flowr, n. Also: floure, flowre, flowir; flur, fluir, floore. [ME. flour(e, flowr(e, early flure, flur (a 1225), OF. flour, flur, L. flōr-, flōs.]

1. A flower.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xix. 266.
Berand fluris thu sal it fynd
Ib. xl. 536.
His stafe … bare flouris & froite
?1438 Alex. ii. Prol. 4.
Quhen … flouris spredis on seirkin hewes
1456 Hay I. 20/18.
Quhen the hony beis cummys on the flour of it
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 419.
Lyke a rysand floure in a gardyn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 59.
Als fresch as flouris that in May vp spredis
1533 Boece viii. xiv. 283 b.
Stretis war strowit with flouris & odoramentis
1611 Crim. Trials III. i. 157.
To suck poyson out of the sweitest and most hollsome floures
1661 Mun. Univ. Glasg. II. 329.
All the floures that he planted
(b) a1500 Bk. Chess. 2008.
The sicht of flowris in the meid
1513 Doug. vi. x. 108.
Thar bene our settis, and beddis of fresch flowris
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 96.
I do bot litill wrang Bot gif I flowris fang
attrib. 1631 Edinb. Test. LV. 42 b.
Sex flour pottis of tin
1672 Hist. Abbey Kinlos p. xvi.
A flour yeard, alies, bordis, arbors [etc.]

b. In figurative contexts. c1420 Wynt. vii. 2119.
Thare fell a fayre floure off his crowne
Ib. ix. 1793.
His flowris eftyr sone Fadyt, and were all undone
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 237.
How … falȝeis the frute of all thi flouris
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 542.
Thir fendis ar the flour of thy four branchis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxi. 21.
O flowand ȝouthe, fruteles and feding flour
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 117.
Mercurius … Of rethorik that fand the flouris fayr

2. a. The finest portion of a number of persons; the best men of a country. 1375 Barb. xvi. 232.
I se heir feill fellit to fete, The flour of all north Irland
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1827.
Thare slayne wes down the floure of Fyffe
1492 Myll Spect. 294/6.
Quhare … all the floure of the knychtis of Bartane ware distroyet and slane
1513 Doug. x. vi. 16.
O ȝe walyt flour of weir, … Haist owr the flude
1533 Boece ii. v. 67.
Ȝone vnmercifull tyran … has distroyit the floure of all oure nacioun

b. The best or finest specimen or representative of specified persons or things. 1456 Hay I. 49/18.
It was the flour of the citeis of Spayne
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 78.
O, fair Creisseid! the flour and A per se Of Troy and Greece
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1135.
The flour of knighthede is caught throu his cruelte
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 565.
Quhar is Absolon, of all fairenes the floure?
1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 32.
Men says thou … crelyt vp the flour of poetry
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 6.
Thou … hes reft furth of this land The flour of France
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxiv. 3.
The erthlie E per sie and flour of feminine maist fair

c. The finest or fullest development, the perfection, of some quality. c1420 Wynt. iii. 991.
Floure in Grece wes off clergy
1461 Liber Plusc. 135.
Sen vertew is … flour of mercy and iustice
a1500 Henr. Bludy S. 10.
Off all fairheid scho bur the flour

3. The most flourishing state or time of age, etc. Freq. in the phr. in (one's) flouris.(1) 1375 Barb. xvii. 933.
In the flour of his ȝoutheid Scho endit all his douchty deid
?1438 Alex. i. 3263.
Gif that thow deis,.The flour is done of all my micht
a1500 Bernardus 165.
Thocht elde be cummyne and passit al hir flowris
1531 Bell. Boece I. viii.
In the floure of youth mellifluus
1562-3 Winȝet II. 58/8.
Thair is a grete difference betuix the floure of barneage and the … rypnes of the eild
1596 Dalr. II. 52/15.
A woman, … now in the flour of hir age
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 4490.
Boece, … That than wes lywand in hys flowrys
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 705.
Strenth said ‘Now I am grene and in my flouris’
1535 Stewart 17579.
O bernis bald, ȝoung, fragrant in ȝour flouris
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4125.
Sa am not I, Bot in my flouris, of ȝouthheid blumand grene
1596 Dalr. II. 81/25.
The hail tyme of his rygne the Christne religioun … was in the flouris

4. The menstrual discharge. 1549 Compl. 67/6.
I sau mony grene seggis, that ar gude to prouoke the flouris of vemen

5. A representation of a flower. ?1438 Alex. i. 992.
His scheld was gold … And in the cantel was set ane flour
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 282.
For rede worsat to bordour the flouris of the pailȝoune
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 415.
Satine figuris champit with flouris and bewis
1541 Treas. Acc. VII. 424.
Quhyte dammes of the great flour

b. A flower-shaped part of a metal candlestick or candelabrum. 1545–6 Treas. Acc. VIII. 433.
For thre hingeing chandelaris, with thair flouris, cordis, and other necessaris
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 354.
For making of ane prike of irne, with thre flouris to beir the candillis
1593 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 500.
For tynnyng of the flouris that haldis the prikettis in the kirk
1631 Edinb. Test. LV. 157 b.
Ane hinging-chandler with twa floures for ane brais
1665 Ib. LXXI. 392 b.
Ane little hearse with sex flours
1690 Lanark B. Rec. 237.
Ane hanging flower for a candle
attrib. 1632 Edinb. Test. LV. 177 b.
Twa flour chandleris

6. Wheaten flour. 1375 Barb. v. 398.
Quhet, flour, meill & malt
Ib. viii. 232.
Hawbrekis, that war quhit as flour
?1438 Alex. i. 1214.
His armis quhitar war than flour
1482 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 41.
Baxteris … that byis ony floure fra ony pairtis beyound the sey
a1540 Freiris Berw. 216 (M).
Ane kneddin troche … Wald hald ane boll of flour
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2225.
Twelf gret louis of bowtit floure
1584 St. A. Baxter Bks. 37.
That na seruice man sall baik ony menschoittis except onlie the fluir be bocht fra ane freman
1597 St. A. Kirk S. 835.
Ane leid of flowir
1617 M. Works Acc. XV. 53 b.
For paper and floore [to the painters]
1652 Peebles B. Rec. II. i.
Taking ane capfull floore for ilk boll [of wheat]

b. Attrib. with baik, scon; boyt, can, kitt. 1513 Doug. vii. ii. 15.
The flowr sconnys war set in … With other mesis
1522–3 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 215.
The flour baiks and fadges that cumes fra landwart into this toune to sell
1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 333.
Flour boytis
1606 Edinb. Test. XLI. 303.
Four flour canis
1692 Inchmahome Pr. 163.
Tuo flour kitts

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"Flour n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/flour_n>

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