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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.

Holm, n. Also: holmme, holem, howme, houm. [ME. holm(e, ON. Holm-r, small island (OE. holm, sea, wave, OS. holm, hill.]

1. A stretch of low-lying land beside a river; a meadow.Examples in early place-names are Kerlyngholm (c 1240), Mikylholmesyd (c 1320).(a) a 1230 Liber Calchou 81.]
[Duos holmos super Naithan
1386 Bk. Carlaverock II. 418.
Al the holmis of myne lyand on aither side of the water of Nith
c1420 Wynt. vi. 1615.
Fra slak till hyll, oure holme and hycht, He trawalyd all day
Ib. viii. 2491.
To sek bath holme and hycht Thai men to get
1470 Prestwick B. Rec. 8.
The holmis lande, apoun … the burne of Prestwic
1490 Reg. Paisley 266.
Le holmme de Wardmedow
1494 Reg. Privy S. I. 6/1.
The holme callit Kirkeandris holme
1494 Acta Conc. 343/2.
The saidis landis … and the holmys of Dundonalde
1553 Lanark B. Rec. 25.
Ane bait … in Clydis Holm wyth hous and yardis
1582 Edinb. Test. X. 324.
Ane merkland in the mylnholme & halholme with the pertinentis
1594 Acts IV. 90/1.
The merkland of the holmes of Annand callit the Blewberrielandis
1603 Lanark B. Rec. 113.
To cast na kynd of dovattis on … the said holme anist the fuird
1623 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 196.
Ane gret abuse in … delving in uther mens links and holmis
(b) 1690 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 499 (30 Apr.).]
[The Nether Holem of Dellquherne, ... Roger McTurke in Upare Holem
(c) 1528 Cal. Chart. (Suppl.) MS. (Reg. H.).
Begynand at the cartar myre … quhill thai cum to the baeyt howme
16.. Hist. Kennedy 47.
Cum doun heir in the houm, and brek ane trie

2. In Orkney and Shetland: An islet. 1535 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 110.
Insulam de Sanda et Stronsay cum le holmis earundem
1594 Ib. 217.
Landing upone thair holmes and out-iyles
1596 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek 45.
The landis, ylis, holmis, skerreis and vtheris … befoir specifeit
1602 Shetl. Sheriff Ct. 49 b.
Ane gibbett to be placeit in ilk greit holme or yle
1617 Kirkwall Sheriff Ct. 9.
That nae man hunt … nor shutt in vther menis linkis nor holmes
c1650-1700 Descr. Zetland 18.
The place of their meeting being the holm beneath the manse of Tingwall
a1688 Wallace Orkney 92.
Holm, a little isle for the most part desart and only employed for pasturage
Ib. 11.

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"Holm n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2024 <>



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