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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Old(e, Ould(e, a. (n.) Also: oild, olld, oled, -od, owl(l)d. [ME. oold(e (Wyclif), hold(e, wold(e, ole (Prompt. Parv.), ME. and e.m.E. old(e (c 1200, Layamon), e.m.E. ould(e (1530), owld, taking the place of Ald a.]But perh. some or all of the earliest examples of this form are to be attributed to editorial miscopying or misprinting.

Old. = Ald a. in its various senses. (The) old, also = elder, in contradistinction to younger: see also Lard n.1 3 a, Lady n. 4, etc. The old goodman, the Devil: see Gud(e)man n. 1 a.(1) 1375 Barb. x. 746 (C).
As old men sayis
a1500 Colk. Sow iii. 149.
My beledame old Gurgunnald
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Strix, an olde hagge, a witche
1633 Sc. Ant. I. 93.
Oled Mester Anglea
1675 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.).
Ten olld sheep
absol. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1376 (C).
Both old & yhing
(b) 1549 Sel. MSS. Q. Mary 53.
I shall ware these ould bones of myne
1570 Leslie 222. c1590 Fowler I. 80/81. Ib. 81/112.
Ould, harie, lothesom, crooked age
1608 Highland P. III. 114.
Seing my ould aige dayle crepis on
1604-9 Grahame Anat. Hum. 41 b.
To nurisch their parents when they are oulde
1674 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 4 May.
Ane ould naige
(2) a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 94.
Ane decreit of removeing obtained contra old Bandein … could not prejudge the ejectione in prejudice of young Bandein
1657 Misc. Hist. Soc. VII. 24.
The owlld larde
1677 Brodie Diary 383.
The old Ladi Colvil
(3) 1646 Strathbogie Presb. 71.
Being accused of sorcerie in alloting and giuing over some land to the old goodman (as they call it), denyed the same and … promised to manure said land
(4) 1666 Wemyss Corr. 127.
When you are both a hunder yirs olod
absol. 1677 Thanes of Cawdor 334.
My 3 yeir old cowes, my 2 yeir olds and my year olds
(5) 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 15.
Gif the ould bloud, innocentlie shed, wilbe so covered with new bloud
1602 Colville Paraenese Ep. 4.
My … ould acquentance
1623 Argyll Rentals MS. 9 Sept.
An old and native tenant
c1650 Spalding I. 69.
Not being of the old blood of the toun
1663 Misc. Hist. Soc.V. 163.
That he is an old malignant I leik him all the better
1666 Laing MSS. I. 354.
2 of the oild cumpanes of my Loird Lithgois regement
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 228.
George Reid old provast and Walter Borthwick old dean of gild
(6) 1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 24.
The laying and stelyng of the ould cawel
1612 Ib. 340.
Aucht feit new glas and tene of ould glas
1657 Galloway P. 28 Dec.
10 bolls old meat
1657 Hibbert P. No. 19.
It [sc. beer] will not be malt for itts old & small
1675 Cramond Kirk S. II. 5 Dec.
The velvet mortcloath, because worn something olde, to pay [etc.]
(7) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 578 (C).
In old tyme
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 19.
In old prouerbe we sing
1570 Leslie 17.
Remembring on oulde injureis, he [etc.]
1588 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 50.
His majesties guid health … continewis in the ould mainer
c1590 Fowler I. 55/213.
It is so ancient, so vniuersall ould that [etc.]
1663 Brown Suppl. Dict. Decis. II. 316.
Of the old met and meesure of Duns
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 474.
The old kitchin Latin
1674 Cunningham Diary 36.
Of old debt [2s./8d.]
1669 Jus Populi 442.
Why then did you chant over the old song againe to make yourself ridiculous?
1677 Rothesay B. Rec. 351.
According to old use and wont
1693 Sage Fundam. Chart. Presb. (1695) Pref.
The good old cause
(8) a 1685 Sempill P. lxxvii.
Should old acquaintance be forgot … On old longsyne
c1680 McWard Serm. Cup of Cold Water 27.(9) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1054.
Of one ould tour
1447 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 244.
Sanct Peteris hospitale of old Aberdene [infra ald Aberdon]
c 1536–7 Rec. Earld. Orkney 222.
Be all right meiths merchis old and dewydit [etc.]
c1590 Fowler I. 397/27.
(10) c1630 Scot Narr. 14.
In March 1571 (or, according to the old accompt, 1570)
c 1630 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 158.
Ten merkland of old rentall
1671 McWard True Nonconf. 125.
The old dispensation
(11) 1627 Rep. Parishes 2.
They payed off owld [etc.]
c1650-1700 Descr. Zetland 23.
The broughs … were of old great places of refuge
(12) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2374.
This Acastrus was ȝit liffand, For he for old scantlie mycht stand
(13) comb. ?a1648 Polemo-Mid. 35.
1665 Gunn Cross Kirk, Peebles 191.
An old-faced warlock's get

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"Old adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2024 <>



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