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. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Swine, Swyn(e, n. Also: swien, swynne, swyin, suine, suyn(e, swyan, swoyne, sweyn(e, sueyn(e, suen, suane, swn, syen(e, sowin, sovyne, (swin-). Pl. also sownis. [ME and e.m.E. swin (c1200), suine (Cursor M.), swyn (Manning), swyne (Chaucer), swine (1562), OE swín.]Swn, sowin and sovyne may represent strong plural forms of sow, although no such forms are recorded under Sow n.1

1. A pig; also, in Doug., a wild boar.Mill swine, a pig fattened at a mill. For further examples see Miln n. 1 c (6).Also in place-names. c1200 Reg. Episc. Glasg. I 89.
Aput swhynhope
1230 Paisley Reg. in Barrow Anglo-Norman Era App. C. 200.
1231 Acts I *77/2.
Villa[m] … de Swynfaud [Coldingham]
1258 Reg. Episc. Glasg. I 165.
Willelmo de Swineford
1265 Reg. Paisley in Orig. Par. I 69.
1279–1285 Liber Melros in Orig. Par. I 425.
12… Reg. St. A. 389.
12… Reg. St. A. 389.
1359 Rot. Sc. 834/2.
In Swynesheved in com' de Rokesburgh
sing. 14.. Acts I 52/2.
That the mid strem aw to be fre sa mekil as a swyn of iij ȝer elde wel fed is of lenth sua that nother the gronȝie na the tayl may wyn till ony side
14.. Acts I 324/2.
Of x swyn the Kyng sal haf the best swyn and the forster a hog [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 905.
The gukit gait, the selie scheip, the swyne
1493 Acta Conc. I 316/2.
A swyn price x s.
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) vi 85.
War I a dog and he a swyne … Bot I suld ger that lurdane quhryne
1513 Doug. viii i 55.
A mekill swyne, … of cullour quhite
1513 Doug. x xii 53.
The bustuus swyne … Grasland hys tuskis with astern fyry eyn
1524–5 Stirling B. Rec. I 21.
1531 Bell. Boece II 164.
Ane swine that eitis hir grisis sal be stanit to deid and hir flesche forbodin
1549 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 436.
Payand heirfor ȝeirlie … ane mart ane mutoun thrid of ane fed swyn [etc.]
1559 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 184.
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 160/39.
Ane swyne that is fat is caus of his awin deid
1575–6 Glasgow B. Rec. (MC) 52.
Johne Browne in Drygaitt, hes ane suine gangand on the gait
1598 Stirling Ant. III 310.
1605 Dundonald Par. Rec. 78.
Adame Gray … accused of … slaying … of ane svyne
1612 Orkney & Zetl. Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 9 Dec.
For the pryce of a dry swyne
1626 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II 181.
10 li. for ane fat swyne
1661 Soc. Ant. 254.
She did sie Johne Tailȝeor sometymes in the shape of a todde and sometimes in the shape of a swyn
1662 Crim. Trials III 612.
possess. 1596 Elgin Rec. II 45.
Scho maid the same [sc. plaster] of swynis sawine, rossat, walx [etc.] and layd the same to the barne to stay hir barne uncassin
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Creffera.
Hara porcorum, ane cruife, or ane swines cruif, quhilk in sum auld buikes is called ane stye
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 14 May.
The cure scho wseit wes onlye be wasching him with south running watter, smeiring him ower with swynis seame
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 19 May.
1624 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 137.
Ȝe layed by the lap of the claithes, and lut hir sie besyd ȝow, … ane great bag lyk ane swynes bledder
1629 Justiciary Cases I 106.
Haifing consauet ane deidlie haitrent aganis umquhile Patrik Brysone for cutting of hir swyne's tedder
1632 Brechin Test. V 56.
Halff staine wecht of suynis seame pryce iij lib. iiij s.
pl. a1400 Leg. S. xxix 319.
He … al his bestiale sleu … Assis, mulis, schepe & swyne
14.. Acts I 37/2.
It is nocht leyfull til ony burges … to halde swyne in the burgh bot gif he hafe a kepar folowand thaim in the feylde
14.. Acts I 364/2.
Giff swyn wortis ane other mannis medow the lorde of tha suyn is haldin to fil all tha wortis with quhet
1457 Montrose Baillie Ct. 8a.
That all swyne be ringit onder the pain off xii d.
a1500 Colk. Sow i 118.
So soir the silly pig quhrynit Quhill all the swyn thairabout Ruschit furth in a rout
a1500 Colk. Sow i 133.
For to say the verite, Luvand beistis swyne be
1490–1 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 58.
Quhaireuir he fyndis any swyne … that he tak of euery sow to his fie iiij d.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark v 11.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 10.
1533 Gau 104/17.
As the suine trampis the precious peirlis onder thair feit sua [etc.]
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4339. 1542 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 111.
That all … persouns haifand ony cruvis for swyne at thair stairis and sydewallis fornent the hie streitt or in commoun venellis … remoue the samyn
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4109.
To be drownit I had rather be led: Or ly with swyne, or I lay be his syde
1582 Burntisland B. Ct. 1 May.
The hie streittis and passagis off this burght ar wirtit and holkit wp be filthie swyne
c1590 Fraser Wigtown 392.
Mr Williame … said that [we] … callit in the townes suyne into the beir
1597–8 Edinb. B. Rec. V 211.
That na myssellet swyne, blawin swyne [etc.] … be fund in the flesche merkatts
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 340.
Draff is good anough for suyne
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 59b.
Gif any man brings to the market corrupt swine or salmond to be sauld, they … salbe send to the lipper folk
1615 O'Dell Hist. Geog. Shetl. (1939) 54.
That guid nichtbourhead be keipit amangst nichtbouris in ilk parochin in … putting of thair swyne to the hill befoir [15 April]
1682 Musselburgh 127.
1685 Dunlop P. III 17.
(b) 1514 Wigtown B. Ct. 38b.
1552 Banff Ann. I 30.
That Johne Forsyth … suld pay iii firlottes bere for thair sueyne for the eittin of Petre Grantis corne
1578 Inverness Rec. I 261.
Sweyne … quha hes destroyt … four beddis ingyeonis
1597 Stirling Palace Larder Bk. MS.
1650–9 Milne-Home MSS 102.
(c) 1652 Honours Scotl. 120.
Nessesers … sick as fishis and some salmond and some of ther mill suane
(d) 1519–20 Stirling B. Rec. I 2.
Na persoun … sall haild ony syen wtwith … housses
1521 Stirling B. Rec. I 9.
(e) 1530 Wigtown B. Ct. 229a.
Wrangus slayne to him of xiii geys with his sovyne thir tua ȝeiris
1560 Stirling B. Rec. I 72.
(f) 1560 Stirling B. Rec. I 72.
That na … persoun … put ony bestiall or gudis within the Brighaucht bot thai that ar nychtbouris allanerly, and that na nychtbour put in ony sownis bot ane

b. In comparisons with pejorative connotations (cf. 2 below). c1475 Wall. vi 658.
The Scottis all as swyne lyis droukyn thar
c1500 Fyve Bestes 214.
Quhen thai war full of mychti ale & wyne Thai gat to rest and slepis as ony swyne
1513 Doug. ix v 28.
The Rutilianys, … Lyggis sowpit, fordoverit, drunk as swyne
1535 Stewart 32941.
Into the streit tha la stickit like swyne
1535 Stewart 33264.
Mony ȝoung lord … sleipand lyke ane swyne
1536 Lynd. Answ. Flyting 58.
Wald God the lady that luffit ȝow best Had sene ȝow thair ly swetterand lyke twa swyne
1567 G. Ball. 105.
Iabell and Amon, als fat as ony swyne Quhilk can not do, bot drink, sing, iouk & beck
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 856 (Wr.).
So, by that consequence of thine, Or syllogisme said like a swine, A kow may learne thee laire
1650 Brechin Presb. 48.
[She said] that ther wer som lying on ther bed, and goeing up and down the town lyk swyn, who might have been in prison as weill as shee

c. The species. 1456 Hay II 96/11.
To sett thy hert fra all inclynacioun of company of women, the quhilk is bot a nature bestiale … belangand and approprit to the swyne
1513 Doug. xi v 37.
Bustuus bowkis of the byrsyt swyne, Our feildis all byreft from euery hyne

d. The carcase of a pig, as meat; pig-meat, pork. 14.. Burgh Laws c. 74 (B).
He sal sel gude flesche dede and nowt and swyne
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 489.
xl reistit swyne of the kingis
1597 Household Bks. Jas. VI and Anne 30 April.
Ane syd of ane swyne
1644 Lochwinnoch Par. 172.
j dussane henis, with half a swyne, or iijli thair foir
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 77.
Puddings … that we call sauses, which they make most usualy of suine

e. attrib. and comb.Swine-ruting (worting), the action of a pig in digging with its snout for food; also, an instance of this. Cf. Rute v.2 and Ruting vbl. n.2Swyne-poikis, chickenpox.Swyne-taill, ? a handle or grip shaped like a pig's tail.For swyne (swynis) saim, see Saim n. (3).(1) 1559 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 361.
Ane half swyne hoggis to salt
1570 Canongate Ct. Bk. 232.
To content and pay to Jonet Jaksoun … xliis vjd of the price of ane swyne hog
1592 Edinb. Test. XXV 2.
Tua swyne galtis and tua hoggis price of the pece xx s.
1607 Edinb. Test. XLIII 184.
Ane sow and twa swyne hogis at xxvi s. viij d.
(2) 1524–5 Prestwick B. Rec. 51.
The wrangus cwting of his suyne hochtys
a1568 Jok & Jynny 69.
Ane brydill, ane girth, and ane swyne bledder
1616 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 27.
Fund in his houss swyne bones, scheip bones and swynes birse
(3) 1538 Treas. Acc. VII 43.
Gevin for ane grete coffer coverit witht swyne leddir
(4) 1681 Acts VIII 355/1.
All butcher-flesh, as beeff, veal, mutton, lamb, and swineflesh
(5) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 4.
The … oppression committed by Lord Robert Stuart, … in making ane law in swyne roitting, whilk will extend to the sum of fifteen hundreth dollars in ane year
1576 Orkney Oppress. 46.
The haill parochin, callit ane scathald, payit for the unlaw of swyne worting, callit Swyne ruting
1576 Orkney Oppress. 46.
And giff na man compleins upon swyne ruting it aucht not to be tane up be way of granderie
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 52.
Nicole Scott for swyne ruittingis xl s.
(6) 1680 Fawside Coal Compt 66.
For the suine lybinge [6 s. 8 d.]
(7) 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 101b.
Thai … hes maid of the kirkis … scheipfauldis, suyne styis, stabillis, [etc.]
1587 Carmichael Etym. 16.
A swine stie
(8) 1563–4 Old Dundee I 102.
That na persons pretend to have ony swine trows at their doors
(9) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 130.
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 765 (H).
Swyne keeper, landleeper, tuird steipar
(10) 1533 Boece 403.
Ane creature baitht maill and femell, … swyne hedit
(11) a1605 Montg. Flyt. 324 (T).
Thy swyne poikis, the poistrume, and pisching with pane
(12) a1568 Jok & Jynny 28.
Ane milk syth with ane swyne taill

2. fig. Applied pejoratively to a person. Also attrib. 1559–60 St. A. Kirk S. 11.
That lecherous swyne the Byschop of Rome quhai hais rutet up the Lordis vyneyard
a1605 Montg. Sonn. iii 6.
God in his justice dou na mair digest Syk sinfull suyn
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxx 42.
Lat me nocht sleip in sleuth, In stinkand sty with Sathanis sinfull suyne
attrib. c1663 Elgin Rec. in Buchan Cl. XI 34.
[A brewster called the ale-taster] a fool swoyne carl

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

"Swine n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: