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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Blese, Bleis(e, n. Also: bles, bleys(se, blease. [Northern ME. blese (Cursor M.), late OE. blese, bleose, obscurely related to OE. blase, blæse, blaze.]

1. A blaze; a bright flame or fire. Freq. a blese of fire. (Cf. fire-blese.)(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 723.
A blese of fyre as brynstane bla
c1420 Wynt. vii. 233.
Tha saw … A bles of fyre lemand lycht
1513 Doug. i. iv. 36.
Quhil al in flambe the bles of fyre vpbradis
Ib. xiii. x. 12.
Ane huge bleys of flambis
1596 Dalr. II. 387/20.
Than was seine a bleis of fyre, and a comete
1689 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 436.
Makeing signes some tymes by the lighted candles, sometymes by bleises of fyre
(2) 1375 Barb. iv. 129 (E); Ib. 138.
The fyr owt syne in blesis brast
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 810; Ib. iii. 61.
Thai gert Rowme bryn vpe in a bles
c1420 Wynt. v. 3119.
The comete … is a starne wyth blesys schyre
c1475 Wall. x. 876.
Crawfurd on loft thair saill brynt in a bles
1513 Doug. vii. i. 109.
Hir gay clething … Gan … birn vp in a bles
Ib. xiii. iv. 65; etc.
The bald flammys and brym blesys stowt
1531 Bell. Boece I. 243.
Thay ran al togidder in ane gret bleis
1535 Stewart 56278.
He brint the toun sone efter in ane bleis
fig. 1533 Boece ii. i. 58.
We sall … kendill ane bleis of debate and discorde
1596 Dalr. II. 151/14; Ib. 412/19.
This fyrie bleis … quhilk was lyke to kendle the hail realme

2. A blazing brand or torch; a bonfire or beacon fire. c1420 Wynt. iii. 243.
Thai wyld bestys … throucht thai feldys rane, Wytht thai blesys
Ib. v. 4879.
Wyth blesis lycht and gret tortys
c1475 Wall. vii. 424.
In euir ilk nuk thai festnyt blesis bald
1513 Doug. iv. x. 89.
The feirful brandis and blesys of hait fyre
Ib. v. xi. 85.
Hir rycht hand rasyt, the blesys in to cast
1535 Stewart 10482.
Sa mony bleises … Of pik and tar, of brintstone and of lynt
Ib. 24519.
Full mony fagald … Birnand in fyre, and mony bleis withall
1544 Ayr Common Good Acc. (MS).
Ane turs of heddir to mak ane bleis vpoun the hillis
1579 Acts III. 147/2.
Slayers of reid fische … be bleisis, casting of wandis [etc.]
1595 Crim. Trials II. 331.
Sum with bleasis, quha brunt him … in the back and brest
1596 Dalr. I. 10/14.
Thir Mersemen … kendle bleises in tour heidis or heicher places
Ib. II. 380/5.
Scho commandet to kendle fyres and bleises throuch al tounes in sygne of blythnes to all

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



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