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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mens(e, Mence, n. [Later Sc. var. of Mensk n. with -s for -sk as in As n.1 and v., Bus n., Mers n.1: also north. e.m.E. mence (1683). In the mod. dial. only Sc. and north. Eng.] Honour, credit. ?1438 Alex. i. 547.
The kingis mense
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii. 701.
This Boos gat on Ruth Obed with mence
Id. Seven S. 5483.
The taill teller than tynes mence for gredynes
1567 Sempill Sat. P. viii. 10.
War ȝour richt reknit to the croun It mycht be laid with litill mens
1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 46.
The mence and credite of our trusty cousing the Lord Hunsdon
a1689 Cleland 109.
For as it [sc. the Test] stands it hath no mence, It being contrarie common sense

b. The credit of hospitality, the reputation of being hospitable. (In proverbs in antithesis to meat = food.)To have one's meat and one's mense baith, in the mod. dial. said when one's hospitality has been refused, so that one has the credit of hospitality without incurring any expenditure of food. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 608.
Meat is good but mense [MS. mens] is better
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 836.
I have my meate and my mense baith
1661 Lett. Kennedy to Lauderdale i. a1689 Cleland 44.
Yet they lost both their meat and mense

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"Mens n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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