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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ner, Nar, adv. (and quasi-prep.). Also: nerr; narr, nare, nair. compar. also Nerrar. superl. Nerrest. [ME. and e.m.E. nerr(e (Cursor M.), narre (Cursor M.), e.m.E. nar(e, ON. nærre compar. adv.: cf. also Ner a. and Nere adv.2]The (a) form is chiefly early.The compar. tends to pass into the positive, and these are not always at first distinguishable.

1. compar. Nearer, closer. a. absol. Also nar and nar, nearer and nearer. b. Const. to or till. c. prep.a. (1) 1375 Barb. vii. 439 (E).
Ȝow aucht to schame … to schute at me apon fer Bot had ȝe hardyment to cum ner [C. nere] [etc.]
1596 Dalr. II. 437/22.
Quhen the Inglismen vnderstude that thae trinches was … ouer far frome the vther syde of the campe [they began] to put the trinche ner, to place a camp mekle nerr
(b) a1400 Leg. S. ix. 78.
Fore-thi prais he cum na nare [: ware (= worse)]
?1438 Alex. i. 1630.
He thocht for to assailȝe nar [: of far]
1573 Sempill Sat. P. xxxix. 160.
Quhen all wes done, we had not bene the nar
(2) 1375 Barb. vi. 88 (E).
He … herd as it war A hundis questionyng on fer That ay come till him ner and ner
Ib. iii. 606; etc. 1513 Doug. viii. ii. 60.
Schynand scheldis … ay cumand nar and nar [: far]
b. c1420 Wynt. viii. 5523 (C).]
[The mone that rynnys nere [W. neire] Til ws than dois the son befere
c1590 Fowler I. 152/14.
They drawe my deathe more nerr to their declyne
c. a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 263.
Quhilk for his thift micht clim na nar the heuin
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i. 58.
[I] Buir me richt coy … To se gif thay wald ony nar me draw
a1568 Bann. MS. 244 a/23.
The nar the fyre I go The grittar is my heit
1596 Dalr. II. 193/22.
The Erle of Surrie … minted nocht to cum an inche ner vs
Ib. 207/2.

2. positive. a. To, at or within a short distance, close. ?1438 Alex. ii. 4864.
For his defence durst nane cum ner [: fer]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2160 (Ch.).
The uolf … caist ane cumpas about the cadgear far Syne straucht him in the gait or he come nair
1513 Doug. x. xii. 74.
Nar [: far]
1535 Stewart 31828. Ib. 16547.
Had nocht Alpynus in the tyme been nar
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1852. 15.. Clar. i. 474.
His steid he reinȝeit and raid nar [: ware]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6628. 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii. 62.
Ȝe cum ouir nar [: skar]
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxviii. 69.
My luif is far & not found nar
c1590 Fowler I. 93/204.
That brawe renoun … which far and nar thow hes me wun … Dois pleis me muche
Ib. 169/4.
1581-1623 James VI Poems II. 94/7.
Ib. 124/47. 1604 Craig i. 40.
Here where the pest approacheth vs so narr

b. Const. to (unto) the person or thing approached or that is close by (in place or time).(1) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i. 516.
Sclander and schame euer to it drawis nar
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl. 91.
I purpois schortly now for to cum nar Vnto the but quhair chiefly I wald be
a1578 Pitsc. I. 92/15.
Schir Patrick … spurred his hors bot he was cheissit nar to Edinburghe or thay left him
(2) 1581 Burne Disput. 26.
All ancient vrytters … being mair nar to Christ and His disciples nor ȝe

c. prep. Close to, within a little of. a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 282.
Seand the dragone cum thaim nare [: ware]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxx. 10.
I lap thairfra and neuir wald cum nar it
1535 Stewart 25560.
That euerie man richt mony tre suld bring About the hous syne nar the wallis fling
a1578 Pitsc. II. 122/8.
1593 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 82.
Spulȝeing of … bestiall … being committit to ewous and nar this burgh
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xlvii. 88.
If he thé heght, or slielie drau thé nar, [etc.]
c1650 Spalding II. 347.

d. To ryde nar: to assail or attack (another) closely; to go into the attack, to make a more or less venturesome attempt at something, to venture. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 116.
Thow art fleyit for ane luik, bot I sall ryd nar thé
Id. Misc. P. xxxvi. 53.
My curage prikis me to ryd nar, Thoght Fortun be my fo

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"Ner adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2023 <>



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