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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Tere, Teir, Tear(e, Tichwr, -er, n. Also: teyr, teair, teer, tair, tychir, -er, teicher. Pl. also terris, techrys. [ME and e.m.E. tear(e (c1200), tær(e (Orm), ter (a1240), tier(e (a1300), tere (Cursor M.), terris (pl., 1422), teere (Prompt. Parv.), tear (1584), OE téar, ONorthumb. tehr, ON tár.]

1. A tear, usu. indicating sorrow or mourning. Also wale of teris, vale of tears. Also in combs. tear-eyed, tears-strick. Chiefly pl.In sing. chiefly with pl. reference as mony (a) tere, nocht a tere.sing. a1400 Leg. S. vii 327.
Gret he nocht a tere
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1141.
The king … Grat mony salt tere
?a1500 Remembr. Passion 645.
And laid him, with mony salt teir, In our Ladyis bosum
1513 Doug. xiii iv 23.
With habundans of mony trigland teyr Wetand thar brestis
1535 Stewart 32950.
War neuir ane left … To greit ane teir for all the laiffis deid
a1568 Wedderburn in Bann. MS 260b/52.
Ane fenȝeit teir scho wald thrist fra hir e
1587 Carmichael Etym. 4.
Lacryma, a teare
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 211.
And sould newir latt ane teir fall fra thair ene
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xvii 6.
My tragedie wald cost ȝou mony a teir
comb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 174.
A tear eyed mayden was ay ters griedy
pl. (1) 1375 Barb. iii 519 (C).
Wemen … can wet Thair chekys, quhen thaim list, with teris
a1400 Leg. S. v 448.
He gret sar for his mysded, And fel done to Sancte Johnnys fete, And vith his teris can thame vete
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 4.
The kyng … in-to full mony Of weete teres ryght sorowfully Brest out
1456 Hay I 237/5.
Gude lyf and vertuous governance quhilkis ar callit the armouris of justice, with prayeris in teris, and in greting for the synnis of the warld
a1500 Henr. Orph. 150.
The bludy teres sprang out of his eyne, Thar was na solace mycht his sobbing ces
a1500 Seven S. 1410.
Scho grat and leit the teris fall
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 20/147.
I sall … weipe teris for my mys
1513 Doug. ii xi 2.
With murnyng and salt teris
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 217.
But teris, with eyn dry
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiv 168.
(c) ?1438 Alex. i 749.
1460 Hay Alex. 2229.
King Philip leit doun teiris fall
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 10/99.
And soir contritioun, bathit in teiris, My visage all in watter drownit
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xii 17.
(d) ?1438 Alex. i 243.
He sichit, and the tearis than For piete our his chekis ran
a1578 Pitsc. I 104/30.
The earleis curage being sum part recoverit againe dryit the teairis frome his eieis
1634 Johnston Diary I 233.
Heirafter I got tears my alone
(e) c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark ix 23.
1588 King Cat. 166.
(f) 1535 Stewart 2492.
The clamorous cry with cruell tairis cald
c1590 J. Stewart 262 § 248.
I sall vip all tairis from thair eine
(g) 1513 Doug. iv xii 5.
With chekis freklyt and al of tychirris [Sm. tichwris, Ruddim. teris; L. maculisque trementis] bysprent
comb. 1625 Fugitive Poetry II v 4/2.
One tears-strick blind, another wrings his hands
(2) 1554 Misc. Bann. C. III 65.
Brevitie of tymis maneris and of men in this wale of teiris

b. fig. or in fig. context. With reference to dew, water droplets or streams of water. Cf. 2 below. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 17.
Hir cristall teris I saw hyng on the flouris
1590 Burel Pilgr. ii 128.
As hils humectat ar with dew, Avroras teirs for to renew Quhilk Tytan dois distell
1609 Garden Garden 92.
Thy Bogie-valley … laments thy absence … her watrie eies shee wrings, While spaits of tears, that from those fontains springs The valies low, like furious floods o're flowes

c. Teris of the ee, a colour in heraldry. 1494 Loutfut MS 138b.
Othir colouris as lacrimes that is the teris of the ee

2. transf. A drop of water, sweat or blood. Cf. b above. 1513 Doug. ii iii 54.
All hir membris bittir terys swet
1513 Doug. xiii Prol. 26.
At euery pilis poynt and cornys croppis The techrys [Ruddim. teicheris] stude as lemand beryall droppis
1598 Melvill Propine 77.
Into the garden greene he fought that agonie: with tychers of the bloudie sweate distilling
1637 Justiciary Cases II 341.
His left airme and schoulder was in the hyde thairof riflet with sum ticheris of bluid wistnet and dry upone his airme

3. A (heraldic) representation of a tear used to symbolise mourning in the decoration of a funeral pall.Translating Fr. larmes.The 1561 example probably refers to a bed decked in mourning for the death of Francis II, the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. 1625 Balfour Her. Tracts 104.
[A pall of black welvett deckt with l'armes and scutcheons and ciphers
1633 Balfour Her. Tracts 110.]
The corps caried under a fair parte of black veluet deckt with armes, l'armes and cipres of sattin
1561 Inv. Q. Mary 30.
Of beddis maid in broderié … Ane bed of crammosie veluot enriched with phenixes of gold and teares … Item ane bed of blak veluot enrichit with armes and spheris
1635 Balfour Her. Tracts 114.
The corpes caried under a fair pale of black weluett adorned with teares of satin
1637 Balfour Her. Tracts 129.
The corpes caried in a litter … Wnder a fair pale of blacke weluet, adorned with lozinges ciphers, gumpheons and tears
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 350.
Ane accounpt dew be Thomas Dalyell of Bins for his father's funerall … For sifers and tears for the paill

b. attrib. With buttounis, ? buttons shaped like teardrops. 1641 Edinb. Test. LIX 269b.
Fyve pair tear buttounes

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



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