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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.

Milȝ(e)o(u)n, Milȝioun, Millio(u)n(e, Mulȝeo(u)n, num. Also: mylȝ(e)o(u)n(e, millȝeoun, millioin, milleoun, myl(l)yon, myllioun. [ME. milion (1362), mil(l)ioun, e.m.E. millyon, myllyon, F. million (1359 in Hatz.-Darm.).]

1. n. A million, a huge number (of anything).Plur. with or without inflexion.(1) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1354.
The cheriottis with thair ryche aray Off men ane millioun riche mycht haue maid
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1292 (Asl.).
A milȝoun [Harl. millȝeoun, Arund. mulȝeoun] of mirthis mundiale
a1568 Bann. MS. 274 a/473.
Mony a millioin Off luvaris trew
a1500 K. Hart 42.
Thir folk … Quhilk nummerit ane milȝon and weill mo
(2) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 83/5.
Mony thousand and mylȝeoune of pepil
(3) 1611-57 Mure Early Misc. Poems xiv. 12.
Contrarie fortoun … Metamorphos'd his thowsands in milleounes of lyce

b. adj. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1238.
Of thousand mylȝeoun ȝeris the slyding

2. A huge amount (of gold, also, treasure).(1) c1475 Wall. iv. 142.
Thai had leuir haif seyne him … Than of cler gold a fyne mylȝone and mor
1540 Lynd. Sat. 288.
Milȝeoun, milȝioun
15.. Clar. iv. 222.
He … gave to them of gold ane millioune
(b) c1475 Wall. (1570) vii. 1280.
Thocht he him gaif ane mulȝeoun of gold weil met
(2) c1475 Wall. x. 464.
Worth fer mair meid … Na v mylȝon off fynest gold so round
1535 Stewart 12462. 1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 69.
With fiftie thousand millioun of tresour
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5317.
Ane thousand millioun of reid gold
(b) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus 225.
Ten mulȝeoun
(3) c1420 Wynt. viii. 7114.
Gret sowmys of mone As of gold mylyonys thre
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1350.
The chapletis that on thair helmis war Passit milȝeonis of gold and stanis fare
1535 Stewart 5847.
Mulȝeonis of gold thai haif aneuch to spend

3. Elliptical: A million units of money, a huge sum of money, a ‘fortune’.(1) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 351 (B).
Ȝe wald … spend on hir ane milȝeoun [Ch. millioun] Hir luve til obtene
c1552 Id. Mon. 353.(2) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4560.
One treassoure Off gold and syluer, by mesoure … Weill fyue and twentye myllioun
1563-72 Ferg. Tracts ii.
Pope John … left behind him … some sayth 25 mylȝeon

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"Milȝon num.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Feb 2024 <>



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