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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
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Point, Poynt, n.2. Also: poynth; pynt; and Pant. [ME and e.m.E. point (a 1330), poyn(c)t(e, F. pointe pointed end (c 1150), charge or attack (1155–c 1310), med. L. puncta point of knife, shoe or foot, promontory, attack, L. puncta action of piercing, the piercing part of anything, pointed extremity, ppl. noun (fem.) f. pungere v.: cf. Punct n.2, also Point n.1Cf. also med. L. (Latham) punctum, -us, point of sword, etc. (1172), lace (1387), passage of arms in tournament (1409).]

1. a. A sharp end of a weapon, tool, etc., for piercing, scratching, etc.Also the point or tip of a finger.(1) 1375 Barb. xi 565.
And all the speris poyntis out
?1438 Alex. ii 3223, etc. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2848. 1456 Hay II 45/6.
The scharp hard stelin poynt of the spere hede
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1569.
In at the sicht the speris point he bare
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 109.
Nocht sa mekill … as to set doun a prene poynt
1513 Doug. v vi 50.
The bukkil claspyt with a iemmys poynt
Ib. vii viii 70.
With a burdon of ane lang stif tre, The poynt scharpit
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 24.
[31] poyntis of pikkis sharpying pris of the punt i obolus
1563 Edinb. B. Deeds 82 b.
With his sword drawin, haifand it be the point
1565 Reg. Privy C. I 333.
That na marchand that byis his meit in the marcat turse it hame … on his knyff point
a1568 Bann. MS. 221 a/47.
Quhois grundin point vnto my hairt did wryt In to my mynd [etc.]
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 97 (T).
With the poynt of ane kie weill brunt on thy browis
1608 Glasgow B. Rec. I 293.
And vpone his kneyis to delyver the dager be the point to the said baillie
(2) 1533 Bell. Livy I 50/4.
Thare handis to be cled oure all partis except the poynt of thare fingeris

b. In some instances, ? a synecdoche for the whole weapon or instrument. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 708.
Throw platis of polist steill thair poyntis can pase
1494 Loutfut MS. 132 a.
Stokand with a poynt is litil laubour
1513 Doug. ix xiii 38.
And he [a lion] … Seand the scharp poyntis, recullys bakwart
a1568 Balnaves Bann. MS. 138 b/22.
Fra tyme ȝe stank in to the bank And dry poynt puttis in [M. omits in] play Ȝe tyne the thank

c. A point of the compass. 1602 Colville Paraenese 17.
To knou the … pointes of compas, babord and sterbord, lof and lie

2. Anything salient or tapering, as a pointed hill or tapering piece of land or the tapering summit of a tree; a prominence, tip or apex; a promontory or cape. 1524 Hist. Pluscardyn 238.
To ane poynt nuke or hillake on the southsyd of the said mos
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. iii 680.
[The cypress] that growis to ane narrow poynt
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 85.
For feir of the horrible brak of seais that is on the outwart side of the point quhair that bow is
c 1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 509.
Dungisbie head … the most nordern poynt in Scotland

3. A ‘point’, ‘a tagged lace or cord of twisted yarn, silk or leather’ (OED).Also attrib. with -horn and -tape, and in Point-lace.Used to attach hose to the doublet, for lacing a bodice, tying shoes, joining together separate items of equipment, etc.Chiefly in plur.For further examples, see Horning vbl. n. 1, Hornit adj. 3, Ledder n.2 1 b, Letherin adj., etc., also the indexes to the various vols. of Treas. Acc.plur. (a) 1474 Edinb. B. Rec. I 29.
Quha that beis fundin … brekand schepe skinnis on the ryme sidis outher for poyntis or for gait leddir, or at sellis the samin poyntis [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2071 (Ch.).
Thair sall na pedder, for purs, [etc.] … Nor ȝit for poyntis pyke ȝour pellet fra me
1490 Treas. Acc. I 149.
For iijxx iiij dussane of poyntis to thir saim hoyse, price of the dussane vj d.
1495–6 Ib. 262.
viij vnce of silk to be grete poyntis to the bardis … v dosane of grete hempin poyntis to the kingis harnes … v dosane of grete lethrin poyntis
1503 Edinb. Hammermen 44 b (see Hernes n. attrib.). 1507 Treas. Acc. III 403.
iij dosane pointis to the quenes chariot
Ib. 415.
For ane pair schone pointis and ane belt to the Franch boy
Ib. IV 14 (see Cord n. 1). 1512 Ib. 204.
For rubanis and poyntis to the kingis bonettis
1533 Ib. VI 180.
For ane dosane poyntis to knyt the burrit pair hois foirsaid at the kne
1538 Ib. VII 87.
Inglis silkin poyntis
1539 Ib. 155.
For ane laise and harnes poyntis to it [a doublet] and the jurnay ij s.
1541 Ib. VIII 42.
For Lundyne pointis to the saidis hois vj s.
1549 Ib. IX 359.
Tannye silkin pointtis
1552 Ib. X 80 (see Corslet(t n. 1). 1562 Ib. XI 191.
Quhite pointis of pasmentis
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 243.
The prowest … lowsit dovne his poyntis and gave him his vages vpon his bare buttockis with a brydle
1582 Edinb. Test. XI 275.
Thrie dosane of caddes pointis
1584 Cal. Sc. P. VII 167.
Lett him bring bot glowes or pointis or ony such litill geir
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 398.
Lowsing his poyntis he laid it furth
1586 Treas. Acc. MS 59 b.
Stark silkin points to hald doun the covering to the girdis
1592 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 284.
xl d. for ane pair gluiffis and xxx d. for ane dussin poyntis
1592 Acts III 579/1.
The transporting … off … hudderonis and kid skynnis … sua … that … nane can be haid for making of parchement, pointis, stringis [etc.]
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (S.T.S.) 8/20 (see Knit v. 1 d). 1603 Crim. Trials II 422.
For cureing of … Johnne Crystie … in putting of thre silk poyntis … about his waist
1605 Edinb. Test. XL 186 (see Laceand ppl. adj.). 1607 Dundee B. Laws 412. 1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 324. 1627 Orkney & Shetl. Test. I 170.
Thrie dossone leasis and tua dossone pointis
1630 Edinb. B. Rec. VII 84. 1638 Bk. Pasquils 56.
From … Poynts tangling heir, poynts tangling ther … Almighty God deliver us
1638 Rep. Elphinstone Mun. 26.
Ane blak satyne doublet … uith silk poyntes about the waist
1647 Edinb. Test. LXIII 223.
Threttie dussane of threid poynts … xv lib.
1661 Acts VII 253/1.(b) 1522 Treas. Acc. V 193.
For thre dosane of poynthis … vj s.
(c) 1603 Montgomery Mem. 247.
For ane dusson of silk pyntis to my vardingell ii s.
1672 Banff Ann. II 48.
Challenged … for louseing of the pynts off his shoes and breaches
sing. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Ligula, ligamen, ligamentum, a point or linggell
attrib. 1605 Edinb. Test. XL 35.
Sevin point horneis of siluer estimat to v s. ourheid
1679 Sc. Ant. IX 108.
Payd my point tape

b. ? A (? pendant) piece of personal jewellery, ? an aiglet or ornamental ‘point’ (as sense 3 above). 1488 Treas. Acc. I 81.
In a trouch … within the said box, a point maid of perle contenand xxv perle with hornis of gold

4. A feat of arms, a warlike exploit; a military venture; an attack, encounter.Only in early verse. 1375 Barb. viii 517.
Quhar he had mony harde assay And mony fair poynt of wer befell
Ib. ix 631.
This wes a richt fair poynt, perfay
Ib. x 341.
Quhar he full mony a iuperdye And fair poyntis off cheuelry Preuit
Ib. xvi 499.
I can als tell ȝow othir twa Poyntis that weill eschevit weir With fifty men
Ib. 492, 503, 523. ?1438 Alex. i 1576.
The dukis stewart … That at tua pointis ane lytill are Had greuit gretly his menȝe
Ib. 2220.
A point than peirtly can thai ma, And sarely thare fais socht
Ib. 3045.
Mony fare point [F. Maint poindre bien empris] … Fele syis that day recouerit hes he
Ib. ii 3410.
Thame that I will this poynt [F. ceste aätie] sall ma
Ib. i 1112, 3087. c1420 Wynt. viii 2570.
And als for oure [W. ȝour] lemmanys luwe Off pres yhit a poynt we [W. A poynt ȝit in this pres ȝe] pruwe

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"Point n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2022 <>



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