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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.

Ker, Kar, a. Also: kerr, kere. [Gael. cearr wrong, awkward; left (hand); left-handed; EIr. cerr. Cf. also Car.Cf. also: With a cast of the carhonde in a cantelle he strikes; a 1400 (c 1450) Awntyrs Arth. (S.T.S.) 613 (I).]

a. Left (hand). b. Left, left-hand (arm, side). c. Kerhand, = left-handed (person).(a) 1327 Exch. R. I. 70.
Henrico dicto kerhand
1456 Hay II. 124/6.
Syne eftir, dispone thé to slepe a lytill, nere be … ane houre apon thy rycht side, and syne efter … turn thé apon thy kerr side, … for the ker side is kindely caldare na the rycht [etc.]
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 445 (S.T.S.).
The visdome of the wisman is in his rycht hand and the foly of the ful in his kere hand
1578 Digest Justiciary Proc. I. 78.
Hurting and wounding of him in his rycht hand leg and ker arme
1597 Skene Verb. S. (Ed. 2) s.v. Hebdomas.
Vpon his richt hand was set the secound idoll Odhen, … ; upon the ker and wrang side was placed the thrid idole Frigga
1600 Reg. Privy C. VI. 94.
[They] mutilat him in the ker hand of tua fingeris
(b) 1490 Irland Mir. fol. 219 b.
The gait on the kar hand was fair and plesand in the begynnyng
1549 Compl. 115/9.
He resauit the vryting in his kar hand
a1586 Lindsay MS. 32.
Thair entre is on the rycht syde and thair ische is on the kar syde

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



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