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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hamely, adj. Also: hamelie, -lé; hamly, -lie, -lé, hambly, hammelie, hammellé; haymly, heamly, hemlie, heymlye. [Northern ME. hamely (1483), ME. hom(e)liche, ho(o)mly (14th c.), not recorded in OE.]

1. On intimate or friendly terms, familiar, at home (with or to a person). a1400 Leg. S. xl. 853.
Rycht sa this man, that vas hamely With hyme, than can hyme espy
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 225.
For our hamly to folk lawly Causis disspising comonly
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 121.
Thocht ȝe be hamelie with the king
1540 Id. Sat. 4237.
Ȝe maryit men, … Let never preists be hamelie with ȝour wyfis
1584 Sat. P. xlv. 136.
They callit him into thair assemble, But not so welcome thair as hamelie
1588 Douglas Corr. 239.
Lyik as my predicessouris hes beine hamlie with ȝour predicessouris, sua meyn I … to continew in freindschip towardis ȝow
1600-1610 Melvill 79.
I haid ... sum of this gentilman's sonnes my schollars and be that occasion was hamlie in his hous
c1610 Melville Mem. 126.
That he was also sa weill acquanted with me be report, that he durst be sa hamly as to requyre [etc.]
1624 Brechin Test. IV. 175.
For eschewin of ony question may result efter my deaythe … I remowe the occasion tharof that I may be reddiar & heamliar with my God

b. Of animals and birds: Domestic; tame. c1420 Wynt. iv. 2087.
And alkyne best hamly thare That amang men lywand ware, Left thar stablys and thare fude
1549 Compl. 39/18.
Robeen and the litil vran var hamely in vyntir

c. Personal, private. 1456 Hay II. 96/36.
It efferis wele till a prince to be servit with lele servandis till his privee and hamely officis of his secretis

2. Unceremonious or unreserved in speech, as if addressing an intimate; blunt, outspoken, familiar.(a) 1522 Douglas Corr. 84.
This my litill avise under correccioune of ȝoure grace, quhom I beseyk to perdone this my sa haymlye wrytinge
1579 Reg. Morton I. 119.
I am the mair bald and haymelie becaus ȝe desyr me to charge ȝou quhen necessite requirit
(b) 1571 Haddington Corr. 201.
Be youris als reddy at command, as I am hamelie to charge yow
1586 Waus Corr. 361.
Prayand your ll. to hald me apardonit of this my hamelie requeist
1595 Maxwell Mem. II. 180.
I man be that hamelie as to desyr ȝow to convene [etc.]
1609 Rep. Hist. MSS. Var. Coll. V. 113.
I … must be this hamlie with yowe as to desyre yowe to tak the panes to meitt me
(c) 1576 Sutherland Corr. 112.
I haue bene the mair hammelle to put your ladischip to this charge
1585–6 Waus Corr. II. 350.
Your l. man apardoun me of my hammelie stett and chargeing
(d) c 1580 Misc. Spald. C. IV. 64.
Appardon my heymlye conferens in sik maters
1616 Sutherland Corr. 122.
I wilbe this hemlie to say gif their be ony actioun in yow, itt will kythe now or neuir

b. Presumptuous or impertinent in conduct, cheeky. 1557 Inverness Rec. I. 15.
It wes owr hamle to onne of ye all to hald my pan fra me say lang

3. Friendly, kindly, kind, gracious, cordial.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 7060.
Scho wes swete, and debonare, Curtas, hamely, plesande, and fare
a1487 Gud Wyf & D. 19.
Suet and hamly, sempill and coy
1456 Hay II. 91/16.
It afferis till all grete … lordis to be ever hamely and debonair, quhilk genderis lufe of all subjectis
(2) 1375 Barb. xix. 794.
Thar wes richt hamly welcummyne Maid emang gret lordis thar
a1400 Leg. S. xl. 184.
Betwene thame wes rycht hamely faire
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 331.
He … with suete wordys hambly Reconfortit thame rytht hertly
c1420 Wynt. viii. 803.
He … wyth thame spak famylyarly. Fra thai thare hamely spek had dune, [etc.]
c1475 Wall. viii. 1660.
And he agayn, with humyll hamly cher, Resauit him
1513 Doug. ii. vii. 24.
In haymly wordis [L. verbis amicis] to ws thus carpis he
1535 Stewart 21514.
Ressauyng thame … With fair calling and hamelie cheresing

4. Simple, plain, unadorned, unpolished, homely. a1500 Henr. Fab. 36 (Makc.), Ib. 119.
In hamly langage & in termes ruyd Me nedis wryt
a1500 Rauf C. 112.
Heir is bot hamelie fair
1513 Doug. 909/14.
Kepand na facund rethoryk castis fair, Bot haymly, playn termys famyliar
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 573.
Ane hamelie hat, a cott of kelt
1598 Elgin Rec. II. 64.
She allegit that she spak the wordis bot in ane hamelie maner

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"Hamely adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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