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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.

Mid(d)il(l, Mid(d)le, a. Also: -ile, -el(l, midl, myd(d)il(l, -yl(l, -el(e; myd(d)le; med(d)il(l, -yll, medle, meidle. Superl. midilest, mydlest, -ast, myddillest. [ME. mid(d)el(l, myd(d)el(l, medull, etc., superl. midleste, medlyste, middelest, etc., OE. middel, superl. midlest.In earlier ME. and OE. chiefly superl.: for the only Sc. occurrences of this see sense 3.]

1. Designating the central member of a group or central part of a whole.a. In place-names. b. In other uses.a. 1119–24 Liber Calchou 3.
1226 Reg. Dunferm. 135.
c 1320 Reg. Great S. (1814) 8/1.
Terras de … Midilkeuill
1359 Exch. R. I. 579.
Ester Cullenachy, Myddilcullenachy … Westercullynnochy
1430 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 264, 265.
Medil, Medyll Badfothel
1457 Exch. R. VI. 344.
Terrarum de Uver, Middil et Nethir Lochdougan
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 89 b.
In middill Ynde maior
1506 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 276.
Mydyl Petfodellis
1566–7 Reg. Privy S. V. ii. 316/1. 1589 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 24 Aug.
The teind schauis of middilthrid-part of Durne
c 1630 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 150.
Midell Lorne wherein Dunolih stands
1634 Reg. Great S. 46/1. 1641 Acts V. (1817) 386/2.b. (a) a1384 Fordun i. 124.
Midilanglorum rex Peada
1424 Douglas Chart. 58.
Wardane off the middill and west marchis off Scotland foirnent Ingland
1456 14th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. iii. 10.
Wardene of the est and myddyll merchis
1491 Acta Aud. 155/2.
The occupatioun … of the middilthrid parte of the saidis landis
1494 Prot. Bk. J. Young (S.R.S.) 156.
Gave [sasine … of the] myddill mansione [of John Hunter's tenement]
1501 Ib. 262. 1513 Doug. ix. i. 67.
Turnus thar duke rewlys the myddill ost
1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 68.
Betuex the gestis of the myddill chalmeris
1571 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 396.
The midle field fauld lying at the north west part of the Baikey ley
a1578 Pitsc. I. 73/19.
The earle … was in the midell gaird
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI 236.
The east marches, … the mydle marches
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 31.
[The] myddill pleuch of the schaddou half lands
1609 Acts IV. 436/2.
The mydele schyres of this ile heirtofoir callit the bordouris
c1650 Spalding II. 12.
Concerning the borderis and middili-marches
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 128.
The governor with the mayn and midl battell haveing fled
1683 Ellon Presb. 226.
Ane chimne of stak and ryce, and midle wall of stak and rice
(b) 1410 Reg. Great S. (1814) 244/1.
Excepta terra arabili de le medilschot
1525 Acts II. 297/1.
Lieutenant of the est and medle merchis
1552 Reg. Privy S. IV. 281/1.
The meddill marchis

c. Situated at the middle or midway. c1400 Troy-bk. i. 502.
A myddle scheryng in the way Of a cercle that turnys in heven

d. Middil day, the middle of the day, midday. 1600-1610 Melvill 569.
At twelve and ane of the clock in the middel day

2. In the middle time, in the meantime. Cf. Mid a. 3 and Mid time n. b. Taking place meanwhile, interim. 1570-3 Bann. Trans. 23.
In the middle tyme the Quene of Englandes lettres were directed … to be sent to Scottland
1629 Cramond Ch. Ordiquhill 6.
In the midletyme, at the request of the brethren, he condiscendit that [etc.]
b. 1637 Johnston Diary (1911) 268.
Any midle study that I took, and but at starts, was for the service book

c. Middle waist. = Middil(l n. 1599 Reg. Privy C. VI. 22.
He … knit ane lang corde about his middle waist

3. a. The second in age of three sons or daughters. superl. c1420 Wynt. vii. 188.
Till Willame Rede he gave Ingland … For he hys sowne wes mydlest [C. myddillest]
Ib. viii. 1245.
The mydlast
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 178.
Giff thre breder be … borne … & the midilest broder haf land

b. The second of three sizes, qualities or ages; middle-sized, medium, middle, moderate. Also superl.(1) 1464 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 163.
A gret garnat, iiij midile garnatis … ij litil garnatis
1507 Dunferm. B. Rec. 163.
Ane sprus comptir of the myddill bynd
15.. Aberd. B. Rec. MS. XX (J).
The baillies decernit him to pay ane myddill lax
1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 176. 1631 Banff Ann. I. 67.
The toune war forceit … to borrowe … his midil shoit boit
1663 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 187.
Ane great pot, meidle pot and ane lytle pot
(2) 1609 Edinb. Test. XLV. 127.
xviii elnes middill hardin
1647 Ib. LXIII. 244 b.
lxxxxj elnes middell tueill … xxxix elnes of the best sort of tueill
(3) a1500 Henr. Orph. 349 (Ch. & M.).
The first [death] is in the tendir yong barnage, The secund dede is in the medill [Asl. myddle, B. middill] age, The thrid is in grete elde
1674 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 1 april.
Of horses 4 quherof 3 verie old and the fourth of ane midle age
(4) 1482 Edinb. Chart. 169.
superl. The anchorage of ilk grete schip singill or doubill forcastellit xiii s. iiii d. The secundare x s. The mydlest vi s. viii d. The caumferis v s.

4. fig. Intermediate, midway. 1490 Irland Mir. in Innes Rev. VI. 92.
A persoune may cum to a realme be … successioune … [or] be … eleccioune … The thrid way is mydel betuix thir twa

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"Midil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Feb 2024 <>



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