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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.

Muld(e, Muild, n.1 Also: muyld, mwld, mwild, and Meild. [North. ME. mulde (a 1400–50), late ME. moold(e (c 1400), returning to a variant, with early vowel-lengthening, of OE. molde Mold n.1 Also in the mod. dial. as muild, moold, mield, etc. Cf. also Mould and Mule.]

1. Broken up soil, loose soil, particles or lumps of earth. a. plur. 1535 Stewart 26890.
That ilk man said he rakkit nocht of gold No moir that tyme than muldis of the mold
1612 Jurid. Rev. X. 468.
The muldis of the dyk

b. sing.Stane and muild, muild and stane, in Orkney and Shetland, = erd and stane, Erd(e n. 3 c.(1) 1547–8 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 118.
Possessioun … gevin be stane and muyld eftir the vse … of the cuntre
1585 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek MS. 22 b.
1596 Sc. Hist. Rev. XX. 80.
(2) 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 190.
James Og is indytit … to have taine nyne lokis of muild fra the said Alexander his rig and cassine on his avine
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 97.
Twa leispund butter stollin … and that he had placeit of the butter, stanis, muild and ware in steid thairof

2. The earth of a grave or graveyard. Chiefly plur.In muld, in the grave.In the earlier quots. perh. mereiy contextual use of 1.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii. 572.
Harald Bastard and Willame Rede, That now in mwld [W. muld, C. molde] ar lyand dede
(2) 1535 Stewart 36128.
Syne suddantlie the deid corpis in tha flang; And syne kest on the muldis on the clay
1533 Boece xi. v. 413 b.
The Kingis corps was tane vp and with clene muldis and small lynnyng in ane cere claith involuit
1574 Edinb. Test. III. 247.
I … ordanis my body to be buryit in Sanct Micheallis muldis in Glenluce
1623 Ib. LII. 55 b.
His bodie … to be buriet in the muldis with the deid

b. Passing into: Earth as the remains of a buried corpse. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 378.
To stanch the storme with haly muld is thou loste … Thou sailit to get a dowcare for to dreg it: It lyis closit in a clout on Seland cost
1513 Doug. iv. viii. 38.
Say … I neuer … ȝyt his fader Anchises graf schent; I nothir the muldis nor banys tharof rent
1562-3 Winȝet II. 27/22. Ib. 81/4.
That thai schaik vp in the wound with thare cursit handis the memory of euery haly man, as it war the muildis of thame now laid on sleip

c. Graveyard earth or the remains of buried corpses, used in witchcraft. Also sing.plur. 1590 Cal. Sc. P. X. 465.
That sche did put inchantit powder or muilds maid of the dryit joints of deid bodeis in ane clout under som wemens bed feit
1591 Crim. Trials I. ii. 237.
Convict for putting of mwildis or powder maid of menis joyntis and memberis … vnder Ewphame McCalȝanis bed
Ib. 251, 252.sing. 1631 Strathbogie Presb. 5 (see Modewarp n. 1 c).

d. Mulde-meyt, lit. ‘grave-food’, appar. = food sacrificed over a dead person's grave or to him as a funeral offering. — 1513 Doug. v. ii. 118.
The colis het Vndir the spetis swakkis, to royst in threyt The raw spaldis ordanyt for the mulde meyt

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"Muld n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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