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

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

Temp(t, v. Also: tempe. Pres. t. also temptise. P.p. also tempet, temted. [ME and e.m.E. tempt (a1225), tempte (Rolle), temt (1340-70), OF tempter, tenter, L. temptāre.] tr.

1. To entice, induce, provoke (a person) to wrongdoing or to commit sin. Also absol.pres. c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 75.
The tothir temptacioune that the Deuill tempis a man with, is dispare
c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 164.
The fyft temptacioune that the Deuill tempys a man in is in his warldly gudis
1490 Irland Mir. I 53/15.
Quhen we ourecum the flesch, than cummys the jnnemy of hell to tempe and jnwade us
1490 Irland Mir. II 5/29.
Sa has the innemy mony diuers wais … to trouble and temp & desaue ws
1490 Irland Mir. II 7/28.
The … innemeis of hell tempand Adam and induceand him to syn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 170/83.
Devillis … tempand folk with wayis sle
1551 Hamilton Cat. 266.
Thair is temptatioun quhairby the devil, the flesch and the warld tempis man and woman quhilk is alwayis … provocatioun to vice and sin
1619 Garden Elphinstoun 2367.
The wracks and woes of warre … Sould mak us slaw to temp
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1138.
Thochtis vane … temptis thame no moir
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 532.
Termygantis temptise thé
p.t. 1490 Irland Mir. I 86/22.
The auld … jnnemy tempit our progenitouris in the thing that was nocht euil of the propire natur
1533 Gau 44/2.
He tempit Adam and Eua to brak the command of God
p.p. 1456 Hay II 13/28.
A man is … mare enclynit tobe tempit to vice na is the womman
1490 Irland Mir. I 53/5.
A persoune is tempit be his flesche and sensualite
1490 Irland Mir. I 54/19.
Thai that was neuir tempit of the syn of the flesch
a1538 Abell 87a.
& thé be tempit of desire of … office or dignate
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6734.
That wife was … be apperance temptit with the deuill
1565 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 20.
God sufferit me to fall and to be tempet
(b) 1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 116.
A man … that could be content with sick a disch, could not readily be temted with all their gold
absol. a1400 Leg. S. xxii 697.
The feynd … ay wil besy be To tempt

b. To attempt to draw (a person) into contradiction. Only in Nisbet. = OED Tempt v. 4 b. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xvi 1.
The Phariseis and the Saduceis com to Him, temptand and prayit Him to schaw thame a takin fra heuen
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xxii 35.
Ane of thame, a techer of the law, askit Jesu, tempand Him [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 10.
He … ansuerithe the scribe that tempit Him and (by the exampill of the Samaritanne) schewithe quha is ani manns nechboure

c. To encourage or persuade (someone) to do something. Also with clause object. a1538 Abell 94b.
King Edwerd … tempit Robert Brus manlie man gife he wald resaif Scotland with that conditioun at he suld sweir fidelite to him
1612 Highland P. III 122.
The fauour granted to him … may move vther brokin men to stand out till thay get the lyke condicions and perhaps tempt some who stand alreddie bund to the peace to lope furth whill thay obteane the lyke … immunitie

2. To put (a person, his character, faith, etc.) to the test, to try, test, prove (a person or thing). Also absol. c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 207.
God … tholys ws nocht to be tempyt forthir than we ma agane-stand
a1500 Henr. Abbay Walk 20.
Job wox peur and Thoby blynd, Baith temptit with aduersitie
a1500 Seven S. 1425.
Auld men … ar full cruell … Ȝit tempe him anys or thow begyn To luf or set thé for that syn
1490 Irland Mir. 52/16.
The fader of hevin tempit Abrahame of his obediens
a1538 Abell 123a.
To be tempit in the faith … thare is mekill merit to win
1551 Hamilton Cat. 22.
Thair is temptatioun quhairby God tempis man and that is alwayis gud
1551 Hamilton Cat. 265.
In haly scripture, this word tempe, is als mekil to say, as to tak experience or preif of ony thing
1551 Hamilton Cat. 266.
Sa was Abraham, Job and Tobias … tempit of God … As the fyire preiffis and shawis the layme vessellis … sa temptatioun of troubil preiffis and schawis just men
1559 Knox VI 66.
We have tempted the Duke by all meanes possible but as yit of him have no certaintie
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4154.
In ane maner ȝe sall ȝour husband preif Him for to temp
1611-57 Mure Sonn. iii 6.
To try my treuth and temp my loyall loue
absol. a1538 Abell 27a.
He inducit his modir to carnaill admyxtioun and that to tempt & see gife that authorite befor said wes trew in his modir for sche mysknew him

b. To test, try or provoke God. 1456 Hay I 256/26.
All thing that men temptis God throu is condampnyt be theologye
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. iv 7.
Thou sal nocht temp thi Lord God
1533 Gau 12/21.
Thay sine alsua aganis this command that tempis God

c. To test or provoke fate. 1535 Stewart 52726.
Greit folie war, In plane battell to temp fortoun so far

3. To try, attempt (to do something). 1558-66 Knox II 408.
To destroy sick … as profes the Evangell of Jesus Christ within this realme, quhilk … thai haif tempit to do be force
1594 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxxv.
The said Jhone sall do his vtter and exact diligens to serche and sik out and … to tempt trye and find out the sam

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



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