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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.

Mis, n. Also: miss(e, mys(e, mysse. [ME. (Ancr. R.) and e.m.E. mis, mys, misse, mysse: ? f. mis- prefix, e.g. in Misdo v., and cf. MLG., MDu. misse mistake, error.]

1. Wrong-doing, wickedness; sin, guilt. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 669.
For myse or for quhat cause he Sa to dede suld put be
Ib. iii. 208. c1450-2 Howlat 719.
Haile moder of our Maker and medicyn of mys
a1500 Henr. III. 157/35.
Man, for thy mis ask mercy
a1500 Bernardus 162.
An aulde woman that is Licherus and wyl not lef hir mys
c1500-c1512 Dunb. ix. 147. 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 653. Arundel MS. 260/18.
To forgif thi crucifyaris alhaill Thair mis aind thair mysdeid
1567 G. Ball. 191. 1570 Sat. P. xiv. 73.
Quhair thair was mys he gart remorde
c1590 J. Stewart II. 209 § 39.
False cursit serpent, cause of all our mis

b. An instance of wrong-doing; a misdeed, sin, wrong. ?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 115.
Gif thow knawis nocht thy meikle mis The suth in proverb spokin is
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 455.
Remittyng my trespas and euery mys, Throu prayer of Thy mother, queyn of blys
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxv. 25.
Let never thy innemeis wit thy mis
Ib. clxx. 10.
A martyr but a mis

2. a. To do (wirk, commit, etc.) mis, also a, sic, the, that, this, etc., mis.To do wrong, to sin, err; also, to do so in a particular instance or in a specific respect, to commit a particular sin.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 134.
For thi-selfe Goddis angel is, And to cum her thu doys myse
Ib. 328.
To greve God and do evir myse
Ib. xxi. 429.
That neuir dyd with hyre body myse
Ib. xxii. 109.
A[s] mane that mykil mys had wrocht
1456 Hay I. 173/23.
Suppos he escape, he dois na mys
1458 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 325.
Suppose the saide shirefe wald graunt he had done mys
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 258.
Thus, do thai mys, thai have the wyt
c1475 Wall. xi. 1363. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1309 (Bann.).
The pure is pelit, the lord may do no mis
a1500 K. Hart 609.
Ȝe did greit mis, fayr Conscience, be ȝour leif
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xliii. 13. 1513 Doug. xiii. vii. 68.
Wyrkaris of sa gret trespas and mys
Ib. ix. Prol. 9. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 4626.
Ȝe suld haue thocht on this … quhen ȝe committit mis
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 171.
For quhen woman wald do sic myse With man
Ib. xl. 354.
This mys
c1420 Wynt. i. 1665.
For ony mys [C. mysse] that he had dwne
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2670 (Bann.).
Quha did the mis lat thame sustene the pane
c1475 Wall. iv. 746.
To do so foull a mys
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 711.
The King … bad him ga and do sik misse na mair
a1500 Lanc. 1886.
Of euery king that wirkith sich o mys
Ib. 1924.
When thei do well or quhen thei do o mis
Ib. 1935. a1500 Bk. Chess 139.
For had my husband said or done a mys My pane [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4466. Ib. 3497.

b. In phrases with amend, mend, mak mendis, remede, etc.: = To redress, or atone for, wrong-doing or sin; to mend one's evil ways. a1400 Leg. S. iv. 278.
That thu ma ȝete thi mys remed
Ib. v. 441.
To de … As Criste did, al oure myse to mend
Ib. vii. 534. Ib. xxxii. 519. 1461 Liber Plusc. I. 388.
Think on thi selfe and all thi mys amend
a1500 Henr. III. 163/49. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 223.
Herefor in tyme for our mys mendis mak
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxiv. 48. c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche iii.
Now in tyme of mys amend ȝow
1540 Id. Sat. 1190 (Ch.).
I counsall ȝow this misse t'amend
1567 G. Ball. 27. 1570 Sat. P. xvii. 36.
Gif that he tuik sum pynis That mys to mend
? 1570 Ib. xx. 191.
Gar mend the mis committit is And I na mair sall flyte
1598 Melvill Propine 104. 1603 Philotus cxli.
Father sa far I did offend, That I may not my mis amend
1600-1610 Melvill 217.
That yie pres with speidie repentance till amend this miserable mis
plur. a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxx. 125.
To … monis thaim thair missis till amend
a1605 Montg. Son. xxxv. 1. 1600-1610 Melvill 175.
To travell till amend all thir misses
a1650 Row 164.
To amend his awin misses

3. To do (also, to say), wrong, injury or harm againis, to or till another or const. dative pron.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxiv. 471.
& quhene ony mys did thé til, Thu tholyt with debonare wil
Ib. xxvii. 594.
That neuire myse did tham in ony thing
Ib. xxviii. 650. Ib. xl. 521.
[He] askit pardone … Of the myse that he had wrocht Aganis hyme
14.. Acts I. ii/2.
That thai self doo na wrang to ger our men doo thaim ony myse
c1420 Wynt. iii. 825. 1456 Hay I. 124/29.
That thai do na mys in that agaynis thair king
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 784. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 4897.
He did me greit mis
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 524.
He flat no sad mys ony man till

b. (To make, or to take, amends for) a wrong or injury. c1475 Wall. iv. 64.
Off this gret mys I sall amendis hawe
Ib. vii. 104.
Let nocht tharfor tak redres off this mys
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 97.
Bot thow mend hym that mys … Thow sall rew in thi ruse

c. To think na mis, to think no harm, to regard as of no consequence. It makis na mis, it is regarded or treated as of no consequence, it is thought nothing of. c1420 Wynt. vii. 1268.
And the barne that thowcht na mys Come and abowt the hals Donalde he tuk
?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 142.
Off sextie thousand we thocht no mis At Bannokeburne discomfist was
a1568 Scott i. 75.
It maid na mis quhat madinnis thai miscareit On fasting dayis

4. A mistake or error.(1) c1475 Wall. ii. 352.
Be war that yhe with mys deyme nocht my taille
Ib. vii. 120.
My witt vnabill is To runsik sic for dreid I say off mys
a1568 Scott xxxiv. 147.
And quhair I mak a mis My mynd salbe to meis ȝow
c1590 J. Stewart II. 71/33.
Quhan he vith proper gillit pen correct All mis sall mend
1603 Philotus cxxxvi.
Auld fuill, the feind resaue the misse; Ȝe trowit to get ane burd of blisse
(2) 1581 Sat. P. xliv. 114.
Tyme requyris amendement of missis
c1616 Hume Orthog. 2.
To mend the misses that ignorant custom hath bred
1676 Row in Blair Autob. 131.
All misses were mended, and all wants supplied by the covenant

b. But mis, without mistake; ? with care, rightly; undoubtedly, certainly, indeed. Cf. ME. verse wid-oute, withowten mis(se (a 1250–c 1450). — a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 291.
Your mycht and your maieste mesure but mys
a1500 Sir Eger 1223.
And costlie jewels als but mis

c. A fault or flaw. — c1590 Fowler I. 40/98.
These hawe I lost for to conserwe my fayith but stane or mis

5. ? Escape. c1615 Chron. Kings 119.
Sum war conwick, and sum had hoip of miss

6. A mis(e, ane mis, is also written for Amis adv. —G. Ball. 83, Wall. (1570) v. 623, 1619 Thanes of Cawdor 251.

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"Mis n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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