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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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Thol(e, Thoil(l, v. Also: thoile, thoyle, thoyll, thoale, tholl. P.t. and p.p. also thoilitt, thowthillit. [ME and e.m.E. þole (c1175), thole (Cursor M.), tholl (15th c.), OE þolian, ON þola.]

1. tr. To be subjected to or afflicted with (some evil); to be forced to undergo; to suffer. Also absol. Also fig.pres. 1375 Barb. iv 207.
For I wend neuer to thole the payne Off deid till I … The burch off Jerusalem had tane
a1400 Leg. S. vii 485.
a1500 Seven S. 1016.
Thai suld … thar thole schame for thair trespas
1590 Burel Pilgr. i 174.
The fumart and the fittret … About the trie ruts … did thole mony thud
(b) 1375 Barb. iv 659 (C).
Bot feill anoyis thoill ȝhe sall
c1420 Wynt. i 1616 (C).
He gert bestis vndyr ȝok Thoil [R., W. Thole] broddis sare and mony knok
c1475 Wall. viii 1028.
Gud men mon thoill off harlottis scorn in wer
1550 Perth Hammermen 75.
Ony saidlaris that sellis ony of this geir bot with thair furnist saddills sall thoill ane dint of the haill craft
p.t. 1375 Barb. i 567.
Quharfor syne he tholyt ded
1375 Barb. vi 179 title (H).
How Tydeus slew forty nine men, And the lieutenant tholde shame & paine
1490 Irland Mir. I 104/22.
This haly lady tholit hungyre, thrist, heit, cauld, seknes and deid
1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxx 190.
Siclyke King Dauid thoillit pane and greif
p.p. 1375 Barb. iii 555.
The noy the trawaill and the payne That he had tholyt
c1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Me that has tholyte sa mikylle iniure so lang & nane amendis gottyn
1442–3 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V ii 690.
Thar salbe chosin four descreite persounis … of men that has tholit skath
1580 Cath. Tr. 42/13.
Sen swa mony papes of Rome hes tholed and suffered martyrdome for the Euangell
1604-31 Craig i 9.
Thou … has … Thoyld many storme by day
absol. a1400 Leg. S. i 128.
This Petir … has no kin dowt To thole for Criste as vnderlowte
a1400 Leg. S. ii 485.
Bot Criste tholit [L. passus est] of fre will The aucht kalente of Aprill
(b) a1400 Leg. S. ii 186.
Nero, wit thu That schorte tyme I sall tholl now, Bot lestely I sall luf sine With my lord Jhesu
fig. c1500 Crying of Play 55.
Quhen scho wes crabit the son tholit clips
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 14.
For and I flyt sum sege for schame sould sink, The se sould birn the mone sould thoill ecclippis
1604-31 Craig v 27.
By which the statelie starres themselues misfortune tholes
(b) c1590 Fowler I 262/5.
I drink indeid but yet my senses thoales A sore conflict

b. In legal contexts, of being subject to or suffering arrest, indictment, trial, judgment, sentencing or punishment. Also absol.For further examples see Assise n. 1 (a), Brefe n. 1 (b), Dome n. 3, Jugement n. 1, Law n.1 4 a (4). a1400 Leg. S. ii 982.
And quhen that he brocht was to Rome, Befor Nero to thole doume
1425–6 Acts II 9/2.
The king … forbiddis that ony man … that indictis ane vthir for ony accioun be apon his assise that sall thole the law vndir the payne of x li. to the king
14.. Burgh Laws c. 73 (B).
Scho sal … thole the lauch of the toune that is to say be put on the cukstule
14.. Burgh Laws c. 87 (B).
Naman sal mak ane ath [etc.] … that is wyth in elde bot his kepare that kepis hym sal answar for hym & thole dome eftyr the oyse of the burgh
14.. Acts I 6/2.
a1500 Henr. Fab. 969.
For dreddour that he suld thoill arreist
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 440.
And at the last thy self sall thole the lawe
1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. (SHS) 19.
He … sayis it [sc. the cow] is testit gere & awcht nocht to tholl law
1533 Boece 186b.
King Evene … tholit condigne punycioun for his demeritis
1535 Stewart 34062.
That no secular suld haif power to caw Ane preist or clerk befoir him to thole law
1544 Treas. Acc. VIII 283.
Tymmar to be ane gallous … For towis to the men that tholit deid thair
1564 St. A. Kirk S. 222.
Quhar the said Jonat wald thoyll deid for hyr offence according to the law
1565–6 Edinb. Old Acc. I 502.
For candill the xx day of Februar quhen Androw Armestrang thoilitt ane assys
1579 Cal. Sc. P. V 337.
1606 Crim. Trials II 504.
Being to thoill the tryall of the law, knew perfytlie that thair was no saifty for him
a1651 Calderwood VIII 240.
Sir Robert Stepiltoun tholled law … for that which he did against the Bishop of Yorke
absol. c1500 Justiciary Rec. I 155.
To bring all wikkit bowchuris … to be jugeit and thole condinglie according to the lawis
1570 Sat. P. x 422.
And with greit schame ȝe sall thoil for this tressoun
1596 Dalr. I 121/21.
The wyfe sal nocht thol for the offence of her housband

2. To endure voluntarily; to put up with, tolerate; to bear patiently. Also with clause or infin. as object., absol. and intr. Also proverb.(1) 1375 Barb. xiv 211.
[They] Schot apon thaim sa sturdely That thai mycht thole no mar the fycht
a1400 Leg. S. i 408.
I will thole Petir nomare, Bot I sall ger myn angelis tak Of hym reuengeance
?1438 Alex. i 1541.
Nane micht thole his sword of steill
c1400 Troy-bk. i 565.
Owthir ane tholis God of nature, Or ellis … The mekile engyne shall lowsit be Of all this warld
c1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
The qwhilk skathis our lege lorde the kynge and his liegis has paciently tholyte
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 67.
Thai aw neuer the les to thole releffis to be tane & other seruice to thaim [sc. their lords] for thai landis to doo
1513 Doug. iii viii 71.
Sen the sammyn four futtit bestis eik Beyn oft vsyt … To draw the cart and thoil brydill and renȝe
1557 Inverness Rec. I 16.
With mone oder iniurius vordis, quhilkis I wald nocht thoyll for the sowme of ane hundreth pundis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1111.
He turnit his heid, and wald not thole hir kis
1567 G. Ball. 33.
Quha is ane sone, and will not pacientlie His father thole
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 36.
Therefore quhere the word was tolerable before, now it ought not to be tolerable in ony way; it aught not to be suffered. And, out of question, gif we had [etc.] … we wald not have tholled this word of the masse, let be the very action of it, to be sa rife in this countrey
1597 Melvill 432.
Into thy youthe, rejose to tholl the whupe
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xiv 6.
I thole, not thanks thame, Sir, who servd me so
1679 J. Welsh Alarm to Impenitent (1710) 14.
O! saith the poor man, is there no mercy, I dow not thole that fire
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 619.
Meikle mon a good heart tholl
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii 340.
He tholit thar one for to hynge Vnastrenȝet bot of fre will
?1438 Alex. ii 9570.
Now mon thow thole … That another by hir ly
c1420 Wynt. ix 2506.
The Scottis … it plesand thocht … To thole quhat Gode wald send
c1460 Regim. Princ. 7 (Marchm.).
Bot quhen thai [sc. the harp strings] ar discordand … Thair wil na man tak plesance in that play, Thai mycht weil thole the menstrale war away
a1500 Bk. Chess 65.
That … may nocht thole for to correkkit be
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 10/95.
Jesus … tholit to be crucifyid
1560 Rolland Seven S. 32.
The commoun weill caus thay war ay agane Thairin thairfoir thay wald not thole remane
(3) absol. c1475 Wall. ii 34.
He bar a sasteing in a boustous poille, On his braid bak of ony wald he thoile Bot for a grot als fast as he mycht draw
c1475 Wall. viii 663.
Wallace tholyt and leit thaim say thair will
1621-40 Melville Commonpl. Bk. 40.
Tholl and thow sall get thi desyre
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 331.
He that tholes overcomes
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1517.
Thoile weil is gude for burning
(4) intr. 1533 Gau 14/21.
Thay that bannis or wil notht heir thaime na thoil of thaime

b. To manage, be capable of doing (something). 1425–6 Acts II 9/1.
That all merchandis of the realme passande oure the see … bring hame as he may gudly thole eftir the quantite of his merchandice harnes & armouris [etc.]

3. Of a thing: a. To stand up to, withstand, endure. b. To undergo (a process), esp. to thole fire and water, (of grain) to be subjected to steeping in water and firing in a kiln prior to grinding.a. ?1438 Alex. i 2691.
The speir … micht nocht thole the staluart straik
a1500 Henr. Garmont 23.
Hir mantill [should be] of humilitie, To tholl bayth wind and weit
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 118/2.
Frutfull Nilus, that no bankes can thole
a1689 Cleland 36.
Put on new shoes of Turkie leather, As good as e're tholl'd wind or weather
1685-8 Renwick Serm. 496.
How unconstant … is he to lippen to! like a loose tooth, or foot out of joint, that dow thole nothing
b. 1563 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 209.
For it is no mervall, bot ane man sall beleve that thing rather quhilk hes oft tymes tholit tryal of scriptures
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 42.
He abstractit nane of his cornis [etc.] … fra the persewars miln that was subiect thairto in onywayis or that thollit fyre and watter within the ground
1624 Urie Baron Ct. 55.
All cornes that thoill fyir and watter within the grund sall pas to the mylne
1604-31 Craig v 31.
Yee swelling seas, with waltering waues that roll, … They eb, they flow, and changing, courses tholl
1638 Adamson Muses Thr. I viii.
Yet could not the author be induced to let it [sc. his book] thole the press till the importunity of many learned men urged him unto it
1678 Fountainhall Decis. I 25.
By Abbotshall's infeftments, all that tholes fire and water within Kirkaldie is thirled to his mill

4. To allow, permit (a person (to) do something or something to happen). Also reflex. Also with infinitive alone as object. Also absol. or ellipt. b. With a, chiefly non-material, thing as subject.(1) a1400 Leg. S. ii 690.
a1400 Leg. S. xvi 866.
He prayt God … That He wald … Thole hyme haf acces to that place
a1400 Leg. S. xxxix 151.
Thar-for wil I thol na way That my goddis ȝe mare myssay
14.. Acts I 334/2.
For meyd thai tholis ane in anotheris roume grynde
1449–50 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 370.
That nane of yhou … mak distrublans … or lattyng … tyll ony of our liegis cummand or gangand to the said mercat of Glasgu with … gudis to sell or by bot thol thaim to cum … by and sell frely and pesabli
1456 Hay I 262/15.
And ony of the tothir witnes will appelle him … he is tholit tharto
1456–70 Acts XII 27/1.
Thynkand it onkyndle tyll thole ane nominatioun of lardschipe of sic ane man
1473 Edinb. B. Rec. I 27.
He sall mak ane peis of sufficient wark … or he be thoillit to be feyit
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1306.
The iugis … ar so blindit with affectioun … thay thoill the richt go doun
1513 Doug. vi xiv 99.
Fabyus, cum neir, Thole me na mar be irkyt ȝou tobehald
1531 St. P. Henry VIII IV 592.
We sall nocht thoil … cause or suspitioun of unkindnes to ryse betuix us
1547–8 Edinb. Guild Ct. 23 March.
Katherine Hutoun and William (Ȝoull) hir spous to thole & suffir Jonet … to haue enteres in the clos
1551 Banff Ann. I 29.
That na kaigaoris be thowthillit by ony fische
1560–1 Craven Ch. in Orkney II 6.
I cloisset my kirk dorris, and hes thoilet na mes to be said thairin sensynne
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV 121.
c1590 Fowler I 185/14.
Ȝe will thoale me to ancour in your heaven
reflex. 1490 Irland Mir. I 136/32.
Quhen ȝe thol ȝou to be twichit, grapit and schaw ȝou familiar, ȝe are ourcummyne
1558-66 Knox I 416.
In caise ye thoill yourself to be enchantit with fair promeissis
(2) 1559 St. A. Kirk S. 6.
He ressavit hir to buyrding in his hows, nevertheles tholeit and gaif place to Williame to repair oppinlie to his hows
a1561 Norvell Meroure 8a.
By this reason, we shulde thole euery where, The wolfe, the fox, the wod and bousteous bere To kill
1567 G. Ball. 195.
Preistis, thole to preiche, Sen ȝe ȝour self can preiche na thing
(3) absol. or ellipt. a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 395.
Thane, tholand God, [L. permittente Deo] hyre he can saile With felone feuere & gret trawale
b. 1375 Barb. xviii 532 (C).
Ȝour strinth, ȝour vorschip, and ȝour mycht Vald nocht thoill [E. lat] ȝow escheve the ficht
1456 Hay I 258/4.
Here speris the doctour, in how mony syndry casis law tholis vageing of bataill
15.. Clar. iii 1278.
Thocht fortoun wald not tholl it to be thus
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. iv 8.
Quhy thoild my mothers bouels me to breath?
a1605 Montg. Sonn. vi 11.
Quhat justice sauld! vhat pilling of the pure! … God is not sleipand, thoght He tholde, be sure

5. intr. To be patient, bide one's time. 1375 Barb. ix 28.
I sall thole a quhile & se On quhat wys that thai pruwe thar mycht

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"Thol v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2024 <>



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