Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Spane, v. Also: also spaine, spayn, spen, spean(e. P.p. also spant, spendit. [North. ME and e.m.E. spane (Cursor M.), spayn (Cath. Angl.). Cf. OF espanir (Godefroy), MDu. and MLG spanen, spenen. Ultim. related to OE spana, MDu., MLG spene a teat.] tr.

1. To wean (a child, animal), also const. fra (milk, the mother). Also fig., in fig. context and proverb.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 42/54.
Quod scho, Tak me by the hand … My strummill stirk ȝit new to spane
1562 Kinnaird Farm Bk. fol. 15.
Item of the sukleris that was spant and tain vp iiij
1552 Prot. Bk. Sir A. Gaw 24.
Quhen the lammis ar spanit … [they are] to be tane fra the ground … incontinent or ellis vythin 14 dais efter the spaning
1595 Cal. Sc. P. XI 624.
1621 Elgin Rec. II 166.
The session grantis quarterly xxx s. to sustein ane puir bairne quhais mother deit … to be payit quhill the bairne be spanit
1634 Johnston Diary I 213.
God straive to allure me, ane impatient, murmuring, passionat, distrustful, undaunted heifer under his crosses quherby he straive to spaine me
1675 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 428.
(b) 1570 Kinnaird Farm Bk. fol. 58.
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Depello, to put away, to speane, ‘lacte depellere’
1600-1610 Melvill 16.
I haid an evill-inclyned woman to my nuris; therefter speaned and put in a cottar hous
1610 Edinb. Test. XLVI 173.
I leif to hir to be givin hir quhen the bairne salbe spendit
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 119/6.
In vaine wase milke my meate a yeare & maire In vaine therafter wase I speand alace
a1699 Skene Agric. MS.
They will milk the kow although the calf be not speaned
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1613.
Ye may spain hir soon sho wil suck tuyse
(2) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1337 (Asl.).
And as the moder fra mylk spanand [Harl. spaynand] hir child
(3) c1594 Monro W. Isles in Misc. Scot. II 144.
The Lambes ile, wherein all the lambes … uses to be fed and spained fra the ȝowes
(4) fig. 1679 Mount Moriah: a Sermon Preached at Carrick 1679 2.
Its just with God to send now a famine, and spean us a season
1587-99 Hume 87/261.
Thinke not that thou art sufficientlie mortified, and speaned from the world
1633 Johnston Diary I 116.
God by the bitter aloes of crosses ordinarly taketh the pains to spaine the affections of his auin from the world
1675 Fraser Memoirs in Sel. Biog. II 122.
It was a mean to make me live by faith, and to spean me from sense

b. In extended use: To take (a child) from the care of someone it is fond of. 1600-1610 Melvill 252.
[In the boat] ther was … a souldier's wyff of Berwik wha haid a desyre to com with the bern in Scotland, and whom I could nocht refuse … because … the bern was sa browdin upon hir, that without danger he could nocht be speaned from hir

2. a. To stop (a person or persons) fra doing something for or in a specified period, as a punishment. 1529 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 5.
For … the thrid falt to … spane thame fra the operatione [sc. brewing ale] for yer and day
1529 Edinb. B. Rec. II 13.
The prouest [etc.] … dischargis the said William and spanis him his wyf and seruandis fra … selling of wyld foulis [etc.] … in tyme to cum
1529 Edinb. B. Rec. II 17.
Quhar he [sc. the provost] findis ony breking of the said statute thai salbe spanit and put fra ony brewing or tapping of aill quhill [etc.]
1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 159.
For the thrid falt to be spaynit frome all topping and selling of aill in tyme cuming

b. To be deprived of the membership of one's craft incorporation. Also const. fra. 1530–1 Edinb. B. Rec. II 45.
Quhilk of thaim that brekis to be spanit the occupatione
1531 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 50.
Thay ordane he be spanyt the occupatioun of the baxter craft for all the dayis of his lyf
1557 Edinb. B. Rec. III 6.
The secund falt to be spanyt fra the libertie of thair said craft for yeir and day

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: