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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Folk, n. Also: folke, foilk, foik, fok(e, fock(e, fouk. [ME. folk, folc, OE. folc, ON. folk.]

1. In collective sense: People, persons.

a. With the or similar qualification.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 479.
Swa trowblyt the folk saw he
Ib. ix. 497.
All the folk that vyth hym weir
c1420 Wynt. viii. 2769.
Gret pyte off the folk he had
1456 Hay I. 157/3.
The folk that ar tane in sik weris
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 111.
I hald the folk best fure That stud fer without the dure
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 210.
The watchis … hes sene The chaseing of the folk
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 28.
Scho wald gang & dwel vthyre folk amang
c1420 Wynt. iii. 21.
The folk off Israell
Ib. viii. 4369.
Thai folk had lytill cwmpanyis
1456 Hay I. 58/14.
To big a temple … for the folk of Cipre that thare decessit
Ib. 116/1.
Quhat folk he takis till his counsaile
a1500 Bk. Chess 1882.
Thir folk suld be of richt hale consciens
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 442.
Quhat folk ar ȝe thairout?
Ib. 828.
Thir vther folk of wirschip ar full blait
1567 G. Ball 137.
All folk [mycht] honour thy name

b. With limiting or descriptive adjectives.(1) 1375 Barb. xx. 430.
The lord Dowglas with few folk
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 1294.
Feile folk that bundine ar with syne
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1831.
Sum folk that has … plesaunce Of vtheris sorow
Ib. 2283.
The quhene folk that ware Liffand
c1420 Wynt. v. 289.
Quhen deide wes he Fele folk glad ware
1456 Hay I. 47/26.
He … past agayn in his contree with fewe folk
(2) 1375 Barb. ii. 375.
The kingis small folk ner wencusyt ar
c1420 Wynt. v. 3899.
Scho oyssit to wesy bodely Al pur folk
Ib. vii. 534.
Lordys … The sympill folk wald ay supprys
1456 Hay I. 189/7.
For quhat caus … suld sik folk be sustenyt amang Cristyn folk?
1463 Peebles B. Rec. 150.
vj laffis to be tane and delt to pur fouk
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 98.
To the seke folk at Crawmond Brig
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 129.
He trowis that ȝoung folk I ȝerne
1513 Doug. xi. ii. 110.
We had wer at hand with bustuus folk
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 124.
With wilfull folk I man bayth cry and ȝell

c. Without article or adjective. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 846.
Dewenik can to Catnes pas, To folk that than wntreutheful was
1456 Hay I. 102/20.
Law civile may wele be callit lawe of peple or of folk
1476 Acta Aud. 42/1.
In the hieest tyme of the market quhen maist multitude of folk ar present
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 72.
I suld … be found … quhair preis was of folk
1571 Sat. P. xxviii. 104.
Sa Paslay may repent That I thé maid of malesounis of foik
1583 Ib. xlv. 90.
He … maid ane sermone, … To plesour fock on bayth the sydis

2. Persons in relation to a ruler or leader, or naturally connected with each other. 1375 Barb. i. 487.
Thai sla our folk but enchesoune
Ib. vii. 365.
All his folk var fra hym gane
Ib. viii. 5370.
Off thare folk a few ware slayne
1456 Hay I. 142/8.
Thai may wele say to the kingis folk [etc.]
c1475 Wall. viii. 1001.
Thair awin folk was multipliand
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 3.
So semlie wes he set his folk amang
1535 Stewart 450.
All his folk … Callit thame Scottis

3. In the plural folkis, used in the same senses as the singular.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 528.
Symon … al thai folkis dyssawyt il
1477 Stewart Mem. 75.
The said Neill with all the folkis … sall pas [etc.]
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1105.
Of diuers folkis … Gret woundir is
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 47.
That folkis may behald thare feit
15.. Clar. iii. 85.
Thir folkis I beteach in ȝour keiping
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xxiv. 13.
Deil with all folkis faythfullie
(2) c1420 Wynt. ii. 704.
Thai … Unhonest folkis wer
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 155.
To seike folkis … thai wald be mendis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xx. 15.
Fra vyle folkis draw thé far on syde
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 154.
Gif it with mortale folkis ma fundin be
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 306.
So lang as tha sall fleschlie folkis indure
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlvii. 127.
Folkis of law or hie degrey
1628 Elgin Rec. II. 203.
For making ane bear to the pur folkis
(3) 1483 Acta Aud. *112/1.
Williame Lord Crechtoune … and his folkis
1490 Treas. Acc. I. 170.
Quhen Lord Drummondis folkis bayd the law
1512 Reg. Privy S. I. 367/1.
That all his folkis … await apoun him and cum with him to our service
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 15.
That ye … causit thaim to skayll thair fokkis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 55/25.
The earle of Huntlie being destitut of his folkis … fled away
1596 Dalr. I. 195/14.
Our folkes … skairse mycht … byd the firste brasche

4. a. A number of persons. b. A distinct people. 1375 Barb. xvii. 284.
A gret folk than with him had he
a1400 Leg. S. i. 154.
He … wan to Cryst fell folkis seyre
c1420 Wynt. ii. 285.
A folk that callyd wes Telchyses
Ib. vi. 651.
Off that folk [sc. the Danes] he wes ane

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"Folk n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2022 <>



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