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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Seldin, Sendill, adv. Also: seldine, -ing, -yn(e, -en, -om(e, seildin(e, -yn, -om(e, seyldyn, seeldome, sildowm, saldin, sendle, senedill, seindil(l, -ell, -l(e, seyndil(l, sindil(l, -ell, -all, -le, syndill, s(e)inle. [ME and e.m.E. seldenn (Orm), seldum (c1220), seldom (Rolle), selden (Gower), seelden (c1430), ceeldam (c1440), seeldem (c1449), seldome (1483), syldon (1538), OE seldan, seldum, the latter appar. altered by analogy with, e.g., hwilum Quhilum adj., but in Sc. prob. a late Anglicisation. Cf. Seld adv.]The sendill, etc. forms are appar. metathetic in origin and are common in Scots from c1520.

A. adv. Seldom, rarely, infrequently.Also const. richt, verie, ouir, bot, nocht seldin, etc. and seldin or nevir (nocht), nevir or seldin.Editorial sem- is prob. erron. for sein-, to which it has been emended here.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xviii 465.
[Sa] that I Frely mycht serwe to lychery, & seldyne spane for my fud
a1400 Leg. S. xxix 5.
Men cesis seldine for to syne
a1400 Leg. S. xxxv 20, etc. c1420 Ratis R. 1073.
c1420 Wynt. viii 5319.
I trow it has bene seldyn sene That [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. v 281.
Seldyn [C. seyldyn, W. seilding]
14.. Burgh Laws c. 30 (A).
The amerciament … sall nocht excede viii s. … & that seldyn salbe tane
1456 Hay I 212/20.
Men redis seldyn in stories a nacioun of sudane aventurous begynnyng till have had sa honourable and lang enduring
1456 Hay II 56/7.
Ire and invye … quhilkis cummys seldyn, bot that pryde be in thair falouschip
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 210.
1494 Loutfut MS 132a.
And seldin [Lindsay MS seindill] is a man slane with ane ege strake suppois it be giffin with gret fors
a1497, 15.. Gray MS vi 10 (see (b) below). 1515 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 46.
I spek by tyme for a dum man gettis seldin land
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rom. v 7.
Seldin [Wy., P. vnnethis]
(b) ?1438 Alex. ii 1386.
c1460 Regim. Princ. 254 (Marchm.). c1475 Wall. ix 964.
So fair assay I haiff bot seildyn seyn
c1475 Wall. ii 301.
Seildyn [1570 seindill, 1594 seildin]
c1475 Wall. viii 18.
a1500 K. Hart 142. a1500 Bk. Chess 362.
For quhy seildin is to se A cruell man vncrewelly to de
a1497, 15.. Gray MS vi 9.
Thi sone will seildin for thé say The salter, seldin that we see
1522 Grant Burgh Schools 55.
Nevir the les hic and iste ar seildin tane relatiuis and is seilden demonstratiue
1533 Bell. Livy I 32/3.
For amang sa mony ȝeris and batellis following (sa seildin [B. seyndill] was the glore of that honoure) twa spulȝeis of vincust pepill … alanerlie war offerit in the … tempill
(c) 1549 Lamb Resonyng 33/23.
Saldin wes it sene befoir that ane Scottis kyng had in mariage a dochtir of Ingland
(d) 1558-66 Knox II 69.
And for assurance thairof, he send his awin palȝeounis, sic as seldome befoir had bene sene in Scotland
1602 Colville Paraenese Ep. 69.
In France … vhar the prentars vse seldome theis lettres
(e) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 30.
[He] ludgeit as he did seildom afoir quhair [etc.]
1570 Reg. Morton I 51.
Seildome hes bene sene that gentilvemenis geir … suld be thus trublit and stayit for thair huisbandis dettis
1571 Cal. Sc. P. IV 69.
Cuthbert Reid, I mervel yow cum so seildome to the gatte
c1590 Fowler I 77/18.
Trew and solide glore is seildome sene appeir
c1590 Fowler II 133/37.
Sic deathes ar not much to be thought vpon be a prence, becaus they fall out bot seildome
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 231/281.
The uauering uynde quhich seeldome any settling takkis
(f) 1618 Annandale Corr. 278.
He whois growndis hath sildowm bein settillid by imagenarey contemplatiowns
(g) ?a1450 Florimond 21. 1531 Bell. Boece I lvi.
Thay had sendill flesche in thair campis, bot gif it war won be pray of ennimes
1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 166.
Ane vther gift I leif him als condigne, Sleuth with ignorance, sendill for to preche
a1568 Bann. MS 225b/12.
Oft sys I syche for hir saik and sendill I sing
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 325.
Fasterinsevin wes sendill sene fall on this day efter Candilmes day, and it sall not abill be sene in our dayes
1585 Reg. Privy C. IV 39.
Sic unnaturall forme of doing … hes sendle bene sene
c1610 Melville Mem. 355.
It hes bene sendle sean in any contre, sa many gret alterations to be maid, as hes bene in Scotland laitly
(h) a1568 Mersar Bann. MS 213a/8.
Quhair thow luvis se thow be senedill sene
(i) 1456 Acts II 45/2.
On the west bordoure the wynter dois seyndill skaithe
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 287.
Now in the court seindell he gois
1531 Bell. Boece I 223.
Seindil [M. seyndill]
1535 Stewart 51634.
[He was] Seindill [ed. semdill] in the kirk and richt oft in the bordell
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 30. a1568 Bann. MS 144b/53.
1584 Cal. Sc. P. VII 174.
Being seakly and inclynit to quyetnes of mynd I was seindle [ed. semdle] in court
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 70/23.
That your first or hinmest word in the lyne, exceid not twa or thre syllabis at the maist, vsing thrie als seindill as ye can
1598 Elgin Rec. II 65.
It is thocht a greivous fault and seindill the lyik euir wes committed in this congregatioun
1602 Reg. Privy C. VI 370.
The lyk of quhilk barbarous and beistlie crueltie … has seindle [ed. semdle] bene hard of
1603 Philotus 42. 1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 31.
The suters skew'd their wyly-coats, And seindle gave him less nor groats
(j) 1522 Mar & Kellie MSS 12.
That he pas [to the Park] bot sindill thidder, … and in right fair and soft wedder
1531 Bell. Boece II 278.
1531 Vaus (1531) 4.
And aduert thir thre ar syndill tane personaliter in the fyrst and secund personis
1581 Acts III 254/2.
Our said souerane and his predicessouris haif had sindill resort thairto [sc. to Orkney]
1594 Maxwell Mem. II 26.
1596 Dalr. I 45/14.
A certane herb verie rare and sindle to be found
1612 Reg. Privy C. IX 390.
His majestie hes not bene in use to grant ony of thame bot sometymes, and that verie sindle, in materis of thift
1616 Haddington Corr. 134.
Hir maiestie … sindill dressis, and keipis her bedchalmer and a solitair lyff maist part
proverb. 1531 Bell. Boece I xxv.
As the proverbe sayis, sendill ar men of gret glutonie sene have lang dayis
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 240.
Drink and drouth comes sindle together
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 553.
Kame sindle [ed. single, MS seldome] kame sair
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1346.
Seindle growis there fog on a flittand stane
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1347, etc.compar. c1420 Wynt. iv 1921.
Quhat the oys is seldynyare [C. seldenare, W. soleynare] It hapnys all the cruellare
(b) 1549 Lamb Resonyng 35/1.
Bot seir sindlare wes it sene that the heretrice of Scotland marijt sick ane kyng of Ingland
1587-99 Hume 87/257.
All the faithfull feels it not alike, bot some ofter, some sindillar
(2) 1490 Irland Mir. III 153/4.
Wertuus eleccioun war euir kepit … that richt seldin couth be obseruit in sa gret a mater
(b) 1531 Bell. Boece II 20.
He … come bot sendill in thair cumpanyis
1535 Stewart 1576.
Sic propirteis pertenis to ane king, Quhilk in ane barne rycht seindell [ed. semdell] ȝe se ring
1535 Stewart 12355.
Rycht seindill lang scho [sc. Fortune] standis in ane stait
1549 Compl. 130/34.
1573 Cath. Tr. 7/15.
Sum doctours of the Catholik kirk, bot with greit humilitie and modestie, and verray seindill, suay that [etc.]
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 82.
Expedient it is that the warden … remane upoun his charge and verray seindill [ed. semdill] be furth of that cuntrie
1587 Acts III 458/2.
The punisment of vther offensis … left to the justice airis that verie senedill haldis and thairthrow ar becumin contemptable
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 79/13.
Ȝe man … be war of wryting any thing of materis of commoun weill … (except … of manifest treuth opinly knawin, ȝit nochtwithstanding vsing it very seindil)
1590 Logie Par. Hist. 26.
He exercesis disciplein ouir seindill
c1590 Fowler II 85/36.
This general reule and maxime … that very sendle suffereth exception
1596 Dalr. I 30/28.
Be falshed … and treasone of ennimies nocht seindle hes it bene takne
1600-1610 Melvill 18.
As our father haid leaser, quhilk was bot verie seindle
1613 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 105.
How evill the nyghtbors of this burg ar furnishat of lang waponis … throwcht over seindill using thairof
(3) 1451 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V ii 127.
And thai haue herd seildin or neuer sic materis declarit
a1500 Bk. Chess 949.
And quhar discord amang knychtis restis Seildyn or nocht the victor with thaim lestis
(b) 1531 Bell. Boece II 373.
Sendill or nevir ar the Scottis vincust be Inglismen
1531 Vaus (1531) 4.
Thai gouerne syndill or neuir the accusatiue cais behynd thame
c1566 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 94.
Thir things can nocht now be rememberit because ther ar sindrie peces of money contenit in the saidis actis quhilkis in our tyme hes seindle [ed. semdle] or never bene sene
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. I 22.
The office of prouestre of the burcht and cietie of Glasgow has newir or seyndill bene separatit … fra the baillierie of our baronie foirsaid
1576 Orkney Oppress. 51.
Quhilk [acquittance] seindill or never is ressavit be the laird
1588 King Cat. fol. 142.
Thay quha ar intangled with sic sinnes, other neuer or seindl and that hardlie obteines the grace of God
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 217.
The ane was alwayis in sik suspicioun with the uther, … that almaist sendle or never did thay meit in amitie
1638 Johnston Diary I 340.
Gods wonderful dealing with us … and our conscionabil remarquing and acknouledging of it never or seinle goes togither

b. comb. With quare, quhen, tymis: Seldom, rarely at any time (? place).Seildin-quare may simply represent a nonce-variant of seldin-quhan, to provide a suitable rhyme for ar.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxix 343.
For ded & pouerte seldine quhen Has frend
?1438 Alex. ii 3702.
Sic ane chekker that neuer ar Was sene ane better seildin quare [F. onques mieudres ne fu]
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1813 (Bann.).
His pray full seindill tymes will he mis
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 396 (W).
Besides that sendill [L. sindall, Wr. seindle] tymes thou seis That every currage keipis the keyis Of knawledge be his belt
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. i 15.
Als, seindle tymis luck foloues long delayis
1644 Baillie II 191.
Only the Saturday [we are] free, and that for Sunday's preaching, when sinle times any of us does vacke

B. adj. Infrequent, occasional, rare. 1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 165.
Taye rynnis rycht profounde with seyndill furdis
1581 Burne Disput. 189b.
Ane change from seyndil suering to oppin … and vsual periurie

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"Seldin adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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