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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
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Tym(m)er, Tymbyr, Tim(m)er, n.1 Also: tymmyr(e, -ir, -ar, tymyre, -ir, -er, timor, timmier, thymmar, thimmer, tymbir, -er, timbar, timb(b)er, timbeir, tijmber, temyr, -ir, -er, tember, tumber. [ME and e.m.E. timber (c1200), tymber (Manning), timbir (c1400), tembre (1442), OE timber, Du. dial. timmer.]

1. a. Wood used in construction, the building of houses, ships, etc. b. Wood as a substance, the material of which objects are made.Also with a qualifier specifying the use to which the timber is put, or const. of timmer.Knox II 67 may belong in 3.a., b. (1) a1400 Leg. S. xxii 536.
Fyrst the wal [of the church] gerrit amend, & the tymyre syne he fende; & ymange vthyre was a tre Quhare-of a balk mad suld be
14.. Acts I 337/2.
Thai mak the sadillis of grene tymmer quhair thai aw to be maid of widderit and dry
1462 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 19.
The wittuallis that cumis in and the tymmer at the port of Leith
1482 Edinb. Chart. 169.
Of the hundreth tymmir, grete, smal burdis or dalis xvi d.
1496 Treas. Acc. I 321.
Tymmyre for gun paraling
1497–8 Treas. Acc. I 378 (see Intymmer n.).
1508 Reg. Soltre 162.
For the mending of the ouer kirk … with skeilyhe and tymmar within
1512 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 109.
He sall big a mylne hous of new tymmyr
1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 42.
xxiiij drauchtis aikin tymmer of the sentreis for wall plaitis of ane eische for the kingis grace letacamp bed
1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. I 357.
Upon up putting of ane bekin … ane greit tre [pr. thre] of akyne tymmer to be the said bekin
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 64.
1558-66 Knox II 67.
Sum … cast staneis … sum brocht tymmer and uther impedimentis of wecht … quhilk … thay threw … upoun oure men
1574–5 Reg. Privy C. II 431.
Of the schippis cumand fra Norroway … ladynnit with tymmer; of every hundrith geistis, ane; of every hundrith rauchteris, ane; of every hundrith corbettis ane … wanscot … daillis … and siclyke of every sort of tymmer
1575 Paterson Ayr & Wigton II 507.
The said Byble … bunde in paist or tymmer
a1578 Pitsc. I 336/4.
Ane faire palice of greine tymmer wond witht birkis
1586–7 Dundee Treas. Acc.
Timor to mend the wyndes in the stepill
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 540.
Good and serviceable timmer for masts and raes
(b) 1560 Edinb. Old Acc. II 95.
Thymmar … for xxxviij corbellis
1560 Edinb. Old Acc. II 96.
(c) c1420 Wynt. vi 1964.
A gret hows for to mak … Tymbyr thare-till to drawe and stane Off Fyfe and off Angws he
1425 Liber Melros II 545.
For the caryage of tymbyr to the byggyn of the house of Dryburgh
1534 Treas. Acc. VI 225.
For rauchteris, tymbir, irne werk, and werkmanschip for eking of the listis
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 369.
For beiring all the louse timber to Elphingstounes tower
1647 J. Hope Diary (1919) 137.
The buying of some wood … all oaken timbber
1675 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 27.
[As much] timbeir grit and small [as will repair the houses]
1678 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 173.
[The said tenants … are to] lay to the howse sufficient timbar to mak upe the house conform to the walis that is standing
(d) c1475 Wall. vii 985.
With erd and stayne thai fillit dykis fast, Flaikis thai laid on temyr lang and wicht; A rowme passage to the wallis thaim dycht
1498 Halyb. 250.
2 throwis … Item for temer and pakyn ilk stek, 6 s.
1523 Stirling B. Rec. I 18.
Temyr to the queir of the kirk
1535 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 124.
iiixx pece temyr of xviii futtis of lentht
1569 Lanark B. Rec. 45.
To Thome Tuodall for the temer to the tua portis, viiij merkis
1589–1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 54b.
For saueing of temer to the peges nos iii lib. 8 s.
(e) 1611 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 333.
(2) 1505–6 Treas. Acc. III 87.
For the schip tymir, lx li.
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 219.
vi elnis corbel tymmer
1568 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 297.
5000 arrow tymmer
(3) 14.. Acts I 305/2.
A hundreth burdis of tymmer
1541 Treas. Acc. VII 472.
For making of ane pale of tymmer within the park of Falkland
1549–50 Ayr Common Good Acc.
Ane keple of timber
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 35.
In the quhilk gardin I have sein fyve scoir torris of tymber, about the knottis of the flouris; ilk ane twa cubite of hicht, haveand tua knoppis on the heid
1563 Montgomery Mem. 197.
Four skelffis of tymer in the litill brais of the syde wall
1576 Edinb. Test. IV 250.
Ane kyst of esche tymmer, ane ark of aik tymmer
1578 Inv. Wardrobe 238.
Ane creill with sum bulyettis of tymmer
1585 9th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 193/1.
Ane hingand chanler of tymmer
1593 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 395.
Ane trevis of tymer … to keip the deiddis bonnis in ordour
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Timbria.
Swa mony [skins] as is inclused within twa broddes of timmer
1598 Treas. Acc. MS 111b.
Ane cloiser of tymmer to set before the chimnay
1636 Edinb. Test. LVII 327b.
Ane pik of jew tymber
1684 Symson Descr. Galloway 43.
The stales, for so they term the frame of timber

2. Applied to the wood of growing or newly felled (large) trees, chiefly viewed as a resource; trees collectively. b. A tree.Once with a qualifier specifying use (cf. 1 (2)).There is considerable overlap with sense 1.(1) c1475 Wall. ix 829.
Off hewyn temyr … he gert thaim tak Syllys of ayk and a stark barres mak
1496 Treas. Acc. I 319.
To Johne Maware to pas to Clidisdale to the woddis to wale tymmyr for the artailȝerj
1502 Treas. Acc. II 345.
To ger fell tymir to the payling of the park
1507 Grey Friars II 259.
The hewing and carying of tymmer furth of divers woddis to the kingis schippis
1511 Treas. Acc. IV 330.
To pas to the wod of Cawdar to fell tymmer
1517 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II 12.
Erle of Levenax … till haif frelie assignit … the treis tymmer and wod quhatsumevir pertenyng to our tour of Galston
1536 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 166.
Ane preif … anent the vay takin of the tymmer of his faderis tenement and uther growand wod
1560 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 357.
For sewin dayis labour in the vid cuttand xviij pece of grit tymmer and squaring of thame
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 279.
The woddis and growand tymber within this realme
1566 (1583–4) Reg. Great S. 209/1.
Lie fallin tymmer de silva de Clene
1575–6 Reg. Privy C. II 501.
To bring … wod and tymmer doun the said water of Lochnes
1577 Fam. Rose 269.
That the laird … put in the merche stanes … quhar tymer growis
1581 Acc. Repair Doune in Moray Mun. Box 1, No. 300.
Sax score treis of the best tymmer of the wod of Down
1584 Acts III 369/2.
To cut and carie away all wod and timmer out of his forrestis nixt adiacent to the mynes being faillit … and seruing for na vther vse bot for fyire
14.. Acts (1597) ii 151.
That quhatsumever person … sall happen to cut onie timmer or greene-wood within his hienes woodds or parks [etc.]
(2) 1503 Treas. Acc. II 282.
To the sawaris of the schip tymir in the wod
b. 1638 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 555.
It is not unlawful to love and delight in Christ's apples, … but when they come clean from the timber … then [etc.]

3. The wooden parts of a building, etc.; the wood of which parts of a building, etc. are constructed. Also pl. 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 182.
It is wel lefful to the samyn man thai housis to remuf & the tymer of thaim to ber quhar sa euer him likis
c1475 Wall. viii 1042.
Houssis and wod is her enewch … Quha hewis best off this forest lat se. Pow houssis doun … The auld temyr will ger the greyn byrn weill
1494 Treas. Acc. I 251.
To store and hewe the tymmyr of the brokyne schype
1513 Crim. Trials I i 90.
[Certain] tymmer [of two houses, with the windows and doors thereof]
1531 Bell. Boece I xlix.
Ane schip … becaus hir timmer … failyeit … was brokin down
1563 Dumfries B. Ct. 22 April.
The tymmer of ane bed rapit to iij .
1563 Reg. Cupar A. II 280.
For keping of the tymmer of the kirk and stepill
1587 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 25 April.
With sillis baikis & ruiffis, that thai haif to carie the tymmir of samony with thame at the flitting
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 4.
To place everie man with his pairt of the timmer of the ruife of the hous
1611 Brechin Test. II 122.
The tymmer of tua lytill houssis with doris & dor cheikis
1612 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 326.
For beging up of the euter yet and helping of the tember of it
1633 Aberd. Council Lett. I 386.
To withstand the alteration of the tymber of the cruiffes to be wyder nor thay ar at the present
1641 Hibbert P. No. 11.
That wrack timber that wes in Quhalsay
c1650 Spalding I 341.
Androw Hamptoun, … violentlie spolȝeit Williame Scottis hous in Abirdein … of daillis, gestis, and vther fyn tymber
pl. 1586 Montrose Baillie Ct. 4b (18 Aug.).
Ondertaking of the dispositione of ane of the timmiers of ane Dutche schipe … condescendit to the rouping thairof

b. ? A means of transporting goods made of wood. 1456 Acts II 47/1.
That pur commonys ar … opprest be the … schirefis … takande distresis of thar gudis of litill quantite quhilk thai bring on … thar bakkis … in lik maner of kerris sleddis ande small tymer

4. Wood used as fuel. 1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 19.
Fyre made of fir or akin tymmer ar maist lowable
1558-66 Knox I 17.
In the myddest of some coallis, some tymmer and other mater appointed for the fyre
1605 Montgomery Mem. 248.
Gifin to the man that gef me cols and temir to my chamber, ij s.

5. attrib. and comb. a. attrib. Made or consisting of wood, wooden. Also tymmerheil maker, cf. b below and Hele n.1 3. 1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 59.
The tymmer wallis for the rondis in the tour abone the batilling
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII 107.
Ane tymmerhous occupiit be Johnne Drummond
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 287.
For aucht dallis and thre rauchteris to the greit tymmer yet at the abbay
1563 Dumfries B. Ct. 201.
Tymmyr bedds
1575 Edinb. Test. III 363.
Sex cais of tymber cames price of the cais x s.
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Lignile, a timmer house
1600 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 380.
Thre tymbir bassingis
1601 Chron. Perth 9.
The tymer bridge of Tay
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 42.
To thrie wrichtis for dountaking of the tua tymber houssis quhilk served his majestie in Glasgow and laying up the tymber thairof to keip
1627 Dumbarton B. Rec. 14.
Tymmer runges, and stoppis, and siklyke
1634 Edinb. Test. LVI 224.
Ane tymber bed of aik
c1639 Sc. Lore I 163.
Makeing of tymber windowes for the kitching
1641 Glasgow Trades House 215.
For setting vp ane tumber lumb in the vent in the laich hous in the hospitall
1645 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 197.
Ane outred pistolat with ane timber stock
1649 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 781.
Four dison of peuter trunshers … Sex dison of timber trunshers
c1650 Spalding I 18.
The tymber passage and lofting of the chalmer
c1650 Spalding I 290.
Ane tymber meir, quhairvpone runnaget knaves … sould ryde
1653 Ellon Par. 142.
Another [wine puncheon for] … making 1000 timber nailes for the north syd [of the kirk] 20 s.
1661 Buccleuch Mun. II 313.
Ane black ibone mirrour glase, with a timber caise therto
1668 Alyth Par. Ch. 101.
Given to a poor man having a timer leg—3 sh.
1680 Blackness Customs 9b.
Eight tijmber or wand chairs
1683–4 Stirling B. Rec. II 324.
Timber deallis and trees for makeing ingynes for breaking the yce
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 368.
In the hen house … Several timber nests
1687 Edinb. B. Rec. XI 203.
To keep in each wynde … ane large close timber coup for the receiveing of ashes and sweepings
1628 Glasgow Burgesses 72.
Black, A, tymmerheil maker

b. With heilit (Hele n.1) and maid work (Made ppl. adj. 1). 1640 Aberd. B. Rec. III 250.
That wemens shoes, timber heilit, of the best sort, be sold at tuantie sex penneis the inshe
1640 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 120.
The tymber maid worke
1660 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 309.
Ane paire of timber heild schoes

c. comb. With the variety of tree. 1621 Barcaldine Inv.
Ane tymer fir dour … bund with bandis and ane tymer slott
1667 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 143.
To buy sufficient timber aik for managing of the samyn hous and … to draw the samyn timber theirto

d. comb. With holf (Houf(f n.1 2) or busse (bush), apparently a storage place (? originally or chiefly for timber); lair (Lair n.1 5); mercat (Mercat n.1 1 c); rovme (Roum n. 2 (2) q.v.); ȝaird (Ȝard(e n.).The change from holf to bush is perhaps explicable as a misreading of the MS. 1599 Edinb. B. Rec. V 259.
In respect of the wynter seasone and short day, thai discharge all forder working at the wark of the tymmer holf in Leyth
1609 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 57.
Gevis licence to Edward Macmath, merchant, to big … ane schip in the plaice alreddy appoyntet to him in the tymber holff of Leyth
1616 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 137.
Grantis libertie to Johnne Byris [etc.] … to big ane or tua fauldis in the tymber hoffe of Leith for keiping thair collis thairin
a1651 Calderwood VII 242.
The water came in with violence beside the bulwarke in a place called the timber-holfe, where the timber lay, and caried some of the timber and manie lasts of hering lying there to the sea
1645 S. Leith Rec. 61/1.
Francis Wilkie to go to the timber busse and take dealls affe any stacke
1658 Edinb. B. Rec. IX 111.
[A committee] to visite the timber houfe of Leith and make divisioun theirof in parcells that the samen may be sett for profite quhilk hitherto hes bein improfitable and for that effect to agrie with Johne Milne for bigging up of the slowse [etc.]
1679 Edinb. B. Rec. X 362.
The petition given in be Robert Milne … master masson [etc.] … that he had given doun the soume of [etc.] … for the building of the ston wall about the timber hoof
1679 Edinb. B. Rec. X 370.
Restand to him be Robert Milne master masson the pryce of … stanes furnished to the timber bush
1686 Edinb. B. Rec. XI 188.
Strangers that were in use to bring loadings of Norroway timber to Leith doe carrie the most part therof to Fisherraw … in respect of the great duties that is exacted from them for the shore dewes and duties of the timber bush at Leith
1637 Aberd. B. Rec. III 115.
The timber laires on the southsyid of the Castell Hill
1477 Edinb. Chart. 141.
The wod and tymmer merket fra Dalrimpill yarde to the Grey freris
1600 Reg. Great S. 377/2.
Lie tymber et tymber market
1620 Edinb. Test. L 280b.
Standing in my tymber ȝaird … of daillis [etc.]

e. With layeing and working. 1612 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 326.
For the tember working x lib.
1684 Fawside Coal Compt 127.
The expenses at the timber layeing £60 6 s.

f. With graith (Graith n. 1) and table (Tabil(l n. 11 b, q.v.). 1633 Edinb. Test. LVI 203b.
The haill tymber and tymber graith in the haghous

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"Tymer n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2022 <>



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