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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Twelf mon(e)th, Tuelf moneth, n. Also: twelffe-, twelv(e-, twel-, twal(l-, tuel-, tual-, tuol- and -mon(e)the, -moneth(t, -munthe, -mond, -mont, -mund, tholmont, -mond, tho(w)mond, tolmonth, -mo(u)nt, -mond(e, -mound, -mowth, towmont, -mo(u)nd, -month, -mant, tomont, tellmound, -moth, telmont. [ME and e.m.E. tweolf moneð (Ancr. R.), twelfmoneþ (c1275), tuelmoneth (Cursor M.), tolmont (1535), twelmonyth (1421), twelvemonth (1572), OE twelf and mónád, ON tólfmánuðr.]

1. A period of twelve months, a year. Also in clauses in legal documents as a twelf moneth and a day.(1) 1375 Barb. xi 4 (C).
Schir Philip … tald the king … How he [a] tuelf moneth [E. a xij moneth] all hale Had … Till reskew Strewilling
14.. Acts I 27/2.
Quha sum evir will breu thrw the twelf moneth aw to geyf the aldirman in the yhere iiij d.
1474 Treas. Acc. I 63.
For schone … and butis, fra Michelmes wes a tuelf moneth to the xxiiij day of Nouember last bipast
1478 Binns P. 6.
The indenturis maid … fra the fest of Witsonday last … till the fest of Witsonday cum a tuelfmund thaireftir
1661 Baillie III 448.
1684 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. 3 Ser. XXXVI 162.
Mary Mcmillan … depones she hes not been in the church this twelvmonth but twice
(b) 1431 Ayr & W. Coll. I 228.
That na gyld breder sal for a tholmont sell na fres hydis to na man
1521 Wigtown B. Ct. 125b.
For hir scaith in Lentren was a tholmond
(c) 1478–9 Acta Conc. I 24/2.
For a ȝere next efter the fest of Witsonday next tocum that is to say quhil Witsonday cum a twelmonth
1600-1610 Melvill 43.
Twall monethe
1647 Cramond Ch. Rathven 16.
Mr. John Innes (this twalmonths bygon schoolmaster at Rathven)
1653 Wemyss Corr. 98.
1653 Wemyss Corr. 98.
(d) 1581 St. A. Kirk S. 456.
He hes hed carnall daill with the said Cristene sen the dait of the said act, and within this tolmonth last wes
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 85.
I sall giwe breid to my bairnis this towmound
1597 Elgin Rec. II 53.
Alexander Gadderar confessit that he haid bein dyuers tymes in Maister John Innes compayne within this tolmound
1605 Inverurie B. Ct. 24 July.
The haill inhabitantis … ar decernit … to … pey bak again to John Johnsone the sowme of twantie fyiff pundis 8 s. money … vpone the towmond caus ilk persone for his awin pairt pro rata
1633 Johnston Diary I 6.
Schoe was bot ane weak, silly, seakly creature, and so could not be maried this tomont
(2) 14.. Acts I 13/2.
Gif ony man slais an othir mannis hund … he sal wak apon that mannis myddin for a tuelf moneth and a day
14.. Acts I 22/2.
Of landis haldyn a twelf moneth and a day
1460 Ayr B. Ct. 165 (12 July).
That al thai suld forswere the town for a twelmoneth & aday
14.. Quon. Attach. c. 7.
He sal tyn his court for a tuelmoneth & a day

2. Qualifying a date, day, etc. a. A year before the date mentioned. b. A year from the date mentioned.a. 1497 Prestwick B. Rec. 34.
Jonet Adame accusit in court that wrangwisly Rob Riche held fra hir iijd. sen Pasch a thowmond, & ijd. sen Fastinnys evin for aile resauit fra hir
1499 Edinb. Hammermen 25b.
For wechin of the westmentis … & lynnyn clathis pertenyng to the alter sen this tym tuolmonth iiij s.
1586 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 464.
Wissand that the pest wer in the town as it wes this tyme tolmowth
b. 1497 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 134.
The … balȝeis [etc.] … chesit Thomas Leslie & Robert of Cullane … tile vys & excerce the saide office this instant ȝer & grantit to pay thame v merkis of the common gudis this tyme tuelf monetht
1553–4 Dundee B. Ct. II 281a (17 Jan.).
Betuix the date heir of & this day twelfmont
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 36.
I traist to God ye salbe fayne to steale fra that supper [sc. the sacrament] and dennar, or this day tolmonth
1572 Perth Hammermen 95.
1573 Prot. Bk. T. Lindsay 56a.
1586 St. A. Kirk S. 565.
To pay … for the barnis buird quhill this day tolmonth
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 112.
1602 Dundee Shipping P. 76.
The said Willyem Llindsay band him befor the noters of Lleisborne the same tayme tell moth to … dellaywer the frei monnay
1603 Murray Early B. Organ. II 260.
That na aill be brewin within the said burght … quhill this tyme telmont darer nor vvj d. ilk pynt
1604 Irving Dumbartonsh. II App. 300.
1613 Ellon Presb. 93.
He suld caus the best of us to rew it befoir that day towmound
1678 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 30 Sept.
Quhilk persones … are ordained to meit this day … for choysing of the magistrats quhill this tyme twelffe moneth

3. Twelfmonth ald, an animal which is twelve months old, a yearling. Chiefly attrib.'The colts, when a year old, are called tomontals, a provincial contraction for twelve-month-old.' David Ure The History of Rutherglen and East-Kilbride (1793) 51 n. 1498 Acta Conc. II 213.
Ane bull, twa nolt, … foure twelfmondaulds, five calffis
1499 Acta Conc. II 337.
ij nolt of twa yere old, foure twelfmonth aldis
1576 Edinb. Test. IV 214b.
Thrie tolmont auldis
attrib. 1521 Wigtown B. Ct. 111a.
The wrangus haldin fra hir of a half a thomond ald gelt
c1564 Glasgow Test. II 12a.
Ane tolmont auld stirk price thairof xxviij s.
1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I 4b.
Thre tuolmont auld quyis … ane towmont auld fille
1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I 13b.
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII 6a.
Foure quoyis & thrie stottis tolmont auld outgane, gangand in tua ȝeir auld
1589 Edinb. Test. XXI 93a.
Ane tolmonde auld fillie
1596 Dalr. I 20/9.
Hunting dogs … of quhilkes the first kynde is gretter than ane tuelfmoneth alde calfe
1643 Dumfries Test. I 123a.
A towmant old foole worth viij merkis

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"Twelf Month n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Nov 2022 <>



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