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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.

Partan, -ane, n. Also: pert- and -on, -en, -ine, -ein; pertian. [Gael. partan, Ir. partón, portán. In the mod. dial., chiefly Sc. and north. Ir., but also (once, 1790) recorded in the north. Eng. dial.] A crab.(1) (a) c1420 Wynt. i. 813.
Wormys [in the Ganges] … Lyk to partanys her ar thai
1549 Compl. 159/26.
Be cause the ȝong partan vald nocht gang euyn furtht bot rather sche ȝeid crukit bakuart and on syd
a1568 Bann. MS. 156 a/29.
The partane with hir mony feit Scho spred the mvk on feild
1579 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 578. c1590 Fowler II. 193/29. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Cancer, a parten or canker
1640 Baillie I. 272.
Some three dish of creevishes like little partans
1676 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 285.
1683 Coll. Aberd. & B. 100 (see Crab n. 1). 1691 Foulis Acc. Bk. 134.
For 4 partans 0.8.0.
16.. Sempill P. 69/62.
And there will be partans and buckies
16.. Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. III. 191.
[At Dumfries] partons
1701 Brand Orkney & Shetl. 21.
There are also many … partens and mussels [taken]
(b) 1428 Ayr B. Acc. in Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXI. 143.
To men to pertians xiiij d.
1512 Household Bk. Jas. IV 12 b.
For pertanis & pranys iii d.
(2) 1591 St. A. B. Ct. 23 Oct.
Wisching nether fre nor salt watter to beir me abone and that crabbis and partonis sould bige in my bowallis
1618 Trial Isobel Inch 3.
Thir words of imprecation … God let neither sea nor salt wattir bear the said Johnne Dein above but that the partans eat him in the bottom of the sea
1662 Highland P. III. 5.
At the back of Arran … I helped you … quhich if I had not done ye had gone to parteins and become lost

b. comb. in partane-ta, a crab's claw. — 15.. Sym & Bruder 26.
Sanct James schellis … As pretty as ony pertane ta
a1568 Bann. MS. 114 b/57.
I coniure thé … With ten partane tais

c. As a place name element. — 1582 St. A. Kirk S. 483.
Sche hed to do with Patrik … sindry times … and spetialie amangis the craigis at the partane sey

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"Partan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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