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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.

Hour, Howr, n. Also: our(e, houre, houer, -ir, howre, hower, howyr, hor(e, hoore, hure. [ME. howre, houre (14th c.), hore (a 1300), oure, ure (a 1225), OF. ure, ore, later hure, hore, (h)eure, AF. houre.]

1. The space of one hour. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 276.
Langare than ane howr
c1420 Wynt. v. 5290.
Sevyn howrys … he bade tharein
c1475 Wall. ix. 1630.
This hour … thow mycht haiff beyn away; Wntymys thow art
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 650.
Thair bodeis wes beryit baith in ane hour
a1500 Rauf C. 828.
Thay maid ane lang battail … .Ane hour of the day
1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 425.
Thai salbe … put in the goif, thair to stand xxiiij howris
a1500 Bk. Chess 2002.
Of ane howris tyme impediment
1513 Doug. iii. viii. 13.
Or the speyre his howris rollit richt Sa far about that it was scars mydnycht
1528 Douglas Corr. 136.
The Kyngis grace durst nocht remane half ane houir
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 15.
The space of ane hore and half
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 114.
He desyrit all … to avoyd the toun within sex horis
1665 Lauder Journal 72.
About a halfe hower after he looked to it
attrib. 1657 Edinb. Test. LXIX. 14.
Ane houre knok, ane lantrane

2. A time of day. 1456 Hay II. 122/24.
Quhill it be houre to dyne
c1500 Fyve Bestes 222.
Sone come the tyme that he [sc. the cock] suld say his voce; The houre ȝeid oure
Ib. 225.
‘Ȝour hour is gone,Quhy syng ȝe nocht … ?’
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6054.
It is twa houris efter the sone rysing
a1578 Pitsc. I. 365/9.
The marieage was solemnizett … at the houre of ten befor [none]
1611-57 Mure Dido & Æn. ii. 909.
Thow knows his graciows howres, … Thow knows his times, most fitt with him to deale
1661 Black Sc. Witches 45.
The quhilk day Jonet Paistoun … sent for the minister betwixt houris in the efternoone

b. Hour of caus : see Caus(e n. 5 b.

3. A definite time in general; an appointed time; an occasion. Also in various phr. a1400 Leg. S. i. 705.
In that howre God hopnyt thar ewyn [= eyes]
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1518.
Quho may leid … That so wikked a tratour He may spair in ony hour
c1450-2 Howlat 864.
Thai wald Natur bespeike … To discend that samyn hour
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 172.
Wysmen gud hour in spekin bidis
a1500 Henr. Pract. Med. 89.
Luk quhen ȝe gadder thir gressis … That it be in ane gude oure
c1500 Rowll Cursing 12.
Blak be thair hour, blak be thair pairt
1520 Thanes of Cawdor 134.
Quhat tym or howyr God sendis thame ony barnys that thae sal baptys the barn
1528 Lynd. Dreme 25.
To this houre [I] hes keipit my lawtie
a1568 Scott xi. 33.
Get ȝe ane goldin hour to glak thame
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 478.
Vtheris … That wyll do justice at all houris
c1600 Montg. Suppl., Misc. P. v. 11.
Sene the our that I was borne [etc.]

4. pl. The canonical hours; the services said at these times. Also sing., and transf.For further examples. see Evinsang n. (a). a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 796.
Martyne ymange confessoris Has wtes, with al hourys
c1420 Wynt. vii. 1212.
He held in hys devotyowne The howrys all off relygyowne
1496 Misc. Spald. C. V. 32.
To singe … mes[i]s, matutinis. evinsangis, … and ale other houris and diuine seruice
1501 Treas. Acc. II. 62.
Quhen tha began to sing prime and houris
1531 Bell. Boece II. 287.
The houris & matynis of the blissit virgyne Mary to be said dayly
sing. 1491 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 256.
That nane halde talk in the queyre in tyme of the hour
transf. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 10.
Full angellik thir birdis sang thair houris

5. In stating the time of day. a. In singular, with ordinal numeral. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 55.
Fra the cok craw To the fyfte our of the day

b. In plur., with cardinal, expressing the number of hours since midnight or noon; = ‘o'clock’. 1427 Acts II. 16/1.
Ilk Monunday, ilk Weddynis day [etc.] … fra ten houris to twa efter none
1442 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 6.
That the saidis yettis be … oppinit be fyve houris in the morning
1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 60.
Thar to reman quhile vij houris efter none and nocht to be lousit … quhile the said hour
c 1540 Aberd. B. Rec. (MS.) XVI (J).
Ordanit to stand in the gowis quhill sax houris at ewin
1570 Peebles B. Rec. 324.
The stepill and knok to be ordourlie … kepit … and to regne xij houris, vj houris. and courfyre nychtlie
1607 Kinghorn Kirk S. 9.
George Gray … came to hir hows at ten howrs at ewin
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 50.
To ring the touns commoun bell … at fyve houres in the morneIng, and nyn houres at even … and also ilk Thursday at twa houres efternoon
1681 Colvil Whig's Supplic. i. 34.
If he at Dover through them glance He sees what hours it is in France

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"Hour n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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