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

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

Spanȝe, Spane, n. Also: Spanȝie, -ȝee, -ȝhe, -yhe, -y(i)e, Spangȝe, -yie, Spaneȝe, Spainȝ(i)e, -y(i)e, Spaing(ȝ)e, Spaynȝe, -yhe, Spayngȝie, Spaigneȝe, Spenȝ(e, Spenȝie, -ȝei, Speneȝee, (Sponiȝie), Spain(e, Spayne, Spaigne. [ME and e.m.E. Spaine (c1205), Spayne (1297), Spaigne (Mannyng), Spayne (1486), AF Espayne, Espaigne, late L. Spānia. Cf. OE Ispania.]

A. noun. Spain.Also proverb.(a) 1375 Barb. iii 688.
Gret stremys … als peralous and mar … As … The … strait off Marrok into Spanȝe
a1400 Leg. S. iv 256. 1434–5 Reg. St. A. 419.
Domino David de Spanyhe
1488 Treas. Acc. I 97.
To Lyon harrot and Snawdon to pas in France and Spaneȝe
1492 Myll Spect. 295/13.
It is wyrttyn in the corniklis of Spanȝe that [etc.]
c1515 Asl. MS I 323/25.
Julius Cesar subdewit to Rome Fraunce Spanȝe Brettane and the west partis
1506 Treas. Acc. III 50.
Ane cote of the fasoun of Spanȝee
1531 Bell. Boece I 5.
Fornens Spanye, to the north, wes ane ile [etc.]
1536 Treas. Acc. VIII 156.
Coft fra the purs of Spanȝe iij tiers quhit wyne
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4575.
The princis of Allmanȝie, Spanȝie [Ch. Spainȝe], Flanderis, and Italie This present ȝeir ar all on flocht
1549 Compl. 15/15.
I hef beene excersit in the veyris baytht in Ytalie ande in Spangȝe
1561 Reg. Privy C. I 177.
Clerkis billis and utheris writingis … all writtin in the language of Spangȝie; and being schippit for the maist part in name of Spangȝeartis and indwellaris of Spanȝe
1566 Sel. MSS Q. Mary 172.
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 8.
[In 1450] enterit sic pestilence in Asia & occupeit Illirica … and Spanȝe mony ȝeris
(b) 1456 Hay I 16/13.
1456 Hay I 107/27.
Ȝit is thare sindry othir realmes that obeyis nocht to the emperoure, as France, Spaigneȝe [etc.]
1456 Hay I 139/3.
The King of Spaynȝeis men
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 193/14 (M) (see b below).
1610 Hist. Carnegies 345.
(c) c1420 Wynt. iii 1050.
The kynryk off Spayne [C. Spanȝhe]
c1420 Wynt. iii 1042.
Thare wes regnand a mychty kyng, That had all Spayne in governyng
1456 Hay I 138/17.
The King of Spaigne
a1500 Colk. Sow i 325.
Than all assemblit with a gamyn … Sum countirfutit the gyis of Spane
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 53.
1531 Bell. Boece I viii.
Thoucht thow had France and Italie also, Spane, Inglande, Pole, with othir realmes mo, … Thy pissant kingdome is nocht worth ane stro
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 291.
He [sc. the Lord] shewed them … that he would not remove neither for the Pope nor Spain's pleasure
1594 Reg. Privy C. VI 195.
[A ship … was] directit toward Spayne, laidnit … with knappald [etc.]
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Asturco, a jennat of Spaine
1596 Dalr. II 13/23.
He returnis now to Scotland frome Hierusalem be Spane
1639 Baillie I 217.
Nothing what England, Spaine, France, Holland, could afford, was there laicking on their fields
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 635.
He bigs castels in Spaine

b. Fleis of Spenȝie, appar. a venereal disease, ? = Spanȝe pockis. Cf. Spanȝe fle, 6 b below. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 193/14.
He that … is forfairn with the fleis of Spenȝie [M. Spainȝe]

B. attrib. 1. = Spanis adj. and n. 1.(a) 1465–6 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i p. 572 (29 Jan.).
The mayster of the Spanȝe barge
c1500 Crying of Play 69.
Scho fischit all the Spanȝe seis With hir sark lape befor hir theis
1518 Treas. Acc. V 163. 1533 Boece 9.
How the Spanȝe prestis inducit Scottis to adoracioun of ane god
(b) c1420 Wynt. ii 817.
Syne in to [the] Spaynyhe [C. Spanȝhe] se He hapnyd to cum wytht his menyhe
a1500 Bk. Chess 743.
15.. Clar. i 1459 (see Spanis adj. and n. 1 (c)).
1588 Cal. Sc. P. IX 624.
Personis … of the Spayngȝie navie … haif maid schipwrak upoun the coist of Ireland

2. = Spanis adj. and n. 2. a. Of things in general.(1) 1496 Treas. Acc. I 282.
Spanȝe irne
1529 Treas. Acc. V 372.
Spanȝe irne to mak pikkis and mattokis
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 112.
Spanye irne
1540 Treas. Acc. VII 352, etc.
Spanȝe irne … to be slottis, bandis, ringis [etc.] … for the artalȝery
1571 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 452.
For ane stane of Spanȝe yrin to the towng of the gryt bell
c1575 Balfour Pract. 88.
Of the Custumis … Sax score endis of Spanȝie irne is ane last
(b) 1494 Treas. Acc. I 250.
(2) 1512 Treas. Acc. IV 420.
For ane bred of fyne Spanȝe buche ix li.
1535–6 Treas. Acc. VI 277.
To be ane coit … ane ȝallow Spanȝe skyn … xx s.
1539 Treas. Acc. VII 173.
Twa pair of butis in Spanȝe skynnis
1551 Treas. Acc. X 29.
Spanȝe skynnis … to cover ane sadill
1566 Treas. Acc. XI 510.
x Spanȝe skynnis of marikyn to be … cottis witht slevis
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII 364.
Tua dossoun of blak Spanȝe cat skynnis
1565 Hay Fleming The Reformation in Scotland (1910) 611.
1565 Hay Fleming The Reformation in Scotland (1910) 611.
(3) 1533 Treas. Acc. VI 87.
Ane quarter Spanȝe freis
1538–9 Treas. Acc. VII 134, etc.
1566 Treas. Acc. XI 500.
iij elnis of Spanȝe taffeteis to lyne … the samyn
1566 Treas. Acc. XI 503.
Ane elne … of reid Spanȝe taffeteis to lyne the said collet
1570 Treas. Acc. XII 230.
Thre quarteris and ane half of Spainyie taiffitieis
(4) 1515 Yester Wr. 119.
Spanȝe ducet
1562 Dumfries B. Ct. fol. 120.
i Spanȝe riale
1574 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 21.
Siluer … of the fynnes of the Spanye ryall
1582–3 Reg. Privy C. III 559.
1583 Crail B. Ct. MS 23 April.
(5) 1583 Edinb. Test. XII 55b.
Thrie Spanȝe bowheis of gold
1582–3 Elgin Rec. I 169.
Tua Spainȝe beidis
(b) 1618 Bk. Dunvegan I 117.
Twa paperis full of Sponiȝie neidelis

b. As part of a plant, etc. name. Also absol. ? Spanish cane. 1535 Stewart 58487.
In at the windo with ane spanȝe reid Of hir pap scho leit the milk in pas, Quhairwith ane lang tyme he sustenit was
1541 Treas. Acc. VII 498.
For the baring and carting of iiijcxlviij pikkis of Spanȝe esche
1597 Crim. Trials II 29.
Scho leirnit of Janet Stewart to tak rawff Spainȝie seid, and steip it amang quyte wyne, and gif it to drink, for the fawing-evill
absol. 1672 Aberd. Trades 300.
That no freeman presume in any tyme hereafter to buy any spanȝie privately or publicly … but they sall acquant the deacon of the calling therewith
1672 Aberd. Trades 300.
It being lawfully provided that ilk reedmaker is to have as much spanȝie as serves to mak reeds for the use of the calling and no more

c. = Spanis adj. and n. 2 a, chiefly of a cloak.(1) 1527 Treas. Acc. V 303.
iij ellis iij quarteris paryis blak to be the king ane Spanȝe cloik
1537 Treas. Acc. VI 344.
For making of ane Spaneȝe cloik begaryit with velvet iiij s.
1565 Treas. Acc. XI 443.
Foure elnis of serge of Florence to be ane Spanȝe cloke
(b) 1539 Treas. Acc. VII 193.
Frenche blak, to be him ane Spenȝe cloik to his mariage
1567 Nugae Scoticae 13.
(c) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 88.
His Spainȝe cloik was of the holine hew: Betakinnit ȝouth
(2) 1552–3 Treas. Acc. X 164.
Taffateis … to lyne ane Spanȝe felt hat

3. Spanish in style. 1511 Treas. Acc. IV 197.
v½ elnis skerlet to be the King ane cloik of the Spanȝee fassone
1562 Treas. Acc. XI 230.
Ane elne ij quarteris of blak welvet to be ane bodie to ane goune in the Spanȝe fassone

4. Spanȝie pockis, appar. a venereal disease, ? syphilis. Cf. Spanis adj. 3 and Spanȝe fle below. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 105/30.
Sum fra the bordell wald nocht byd Quhill that thai gatt the Spanȝie [R. Spaneȝe] pockis

5. Spanȝe fle. a. Cantharides, a rubefacient and diuretic; appar. used as an aphrodisiac or love potion. Also personified. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 2693.
Quhat thay [sc. women] wald haue, that thing thay will not want, … giue thame the Spanȝe fleis That may serue weill sic ane vnsonsie sanct
1601 Trial David Roy 2.
He maid ane drink of Spenȝie fleis, callit … cantarides
1601 Dalyell Darker Superst. 206.
He wald gif thé sum Spanyie fleis, callit cantarides, quhilk gif thow suld move the said Elizabeth to drynk of, it vald mak hir out of all questione to grene after thé
personified 15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 87.
Quha coniurit the littill gaste, sa ȝe Nane bot the littill Spenȝie fle, That with hir wit and ingyne Gart the gaist leif agane And syne mareid the gaist the fle

b. A disease of some sort, = Spanȝe pockis. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 308 (T).
The feveris, the totteris with the Spenȝie fleis, The doyt, and the dysmell, indifferentlie delt

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"Spanȝe n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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