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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

S(c)haw, n.1 Also: s(c)hawe, s(c)hau, sha; sheau; (saw(e, scawe). Pl. also schais. [ME and e.m.E. shawe (a1300), also in earlier use as a place-name element, OE sc(e)aga.]

1. A small wood; a copse; a grove (in Doug., usu. one sacred to a deity); a thicket.In early use as a territorial designation; passing into the surname Schaw.See also myr tre schaw Myr tre and wode schaw.Also attrib. with land and wode.(1) c1284 Reg. Paisley 65.
Johanne de Schau
1296 Ragman's Roll Lanarksh.
Fergus del Schawe
1331 Exch. R. I 380.
De Hugone del Schawe
13.. Liber Melros II 454.
Jacobo de la Schaw
1409–10 Ib. 534.
Jacobo de le Schaw
1461 Liber Plusc. 278.
Ricardo de Schav
(2) 1375 Barb. iii 479.
Thai … huntyt lang … And soucht schawys and setis set
Ib. v 591. ?1438 Alex. i 2058.
c1420 Wynt. viii 5988.
Qwhen he sawe Thai knychtis swa cum in till a schawe [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 419.
Ane lyttill fra this … vedowis hows Ane thornie schaw thair wes
Ib. 1621.
Syne throw the schaw my iourney hamewart tuke
Ib. 547 (see the note to Ripe v.1 2).
Rype schaw
Id. Orph. 96.
In a schawe … A bustuos herd … Kepand his bestis, lay wnder a bus
c1475 Wall. iii 68.
And in a schaw … Thai lugyt thaim
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1151.
The schaw dinnit agane For birdis sang
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 144/104.
The king of beistis mak I thé And the chief protector in woddis and schawis
1513 Doug. iii x 49.
In schawys ald, … Hallowyt to Dyane or ȝit to Jupiter
Ib. viii vi 89.
Ȝon schaw, on this woddy hillis top That skowgit is with mony buskis crop
Ib. ix iii 20.
Thys [sc. a fir wood] was … my hallowit schaw, Quhar that the Phrygianys maid me sacrifice
Ib. xi xiv 40.
The dern blissyt schaw
1533 Boece 190.
Ane schaw quhare … the wolfis resortit
1535 Stewart 57051.
The schawis trymlit all and schuke
15.. Lichtoun Dreme 41 (B).
Sittand on Ȝule evin in ane fresch grene sha [ed. schaw] Rostand straberries
a1585 Maitl. Q. 223/17.
I vewit the feildis baith daill & schaw
1595 Bamff Chart. 144.
Ane litill wode or schaw callit the Reidheuch
1596 Dalr. I 15/28.
Paslay quhilke is situat amang cnowis, grene woodis, schawis, and forrest fair
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xli 3.
Nou shroudis the shauis, Throu Natur anone
1622-6 Bisset II 51/29.
Greit woddis or schawes of [aikin] grene growand tries
1652 Edinb. Test. LXVI 95.
Subscrivit be me at the wickit schaw
(3) c1475 Wall. viii 935.
In Aperill amang the schawis scheyn Quhen the paithment was cled in tendyr greyn
1513 Doug. v Prol. 2. 1535 Stewart 19368.
Symmer … with his schawes schene
Ib. 21311.
In symmer syne, quhen euerie schaw wes schene
a1568 Bann. MS 218a/4. 1596 Dalr. I 17/24.
Amang fair forrests and schawis schene
1604-31 Craig v 34.
Throgh sheene shawes & donke dailes
(4) 1524–5 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 75.
That the lard of the shawe suld paye to Jok Thomesone xvii d. for his pund
1585–6 Liber Scon App. 226.
The schaw and wod callit Cuthill Wod
1623 Reg. Episc. Morav. App. 427.
With the privilege of keiping of the wod, schaw or forrest of Spynie
a1585 Maitl. Q. 217/28.
The birdis bruit … Is maid in Tempe schaw
(5) a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 302/34.
Ilkane of thame hes ane to name, Will of the lais, Hab of the schais [Maitl. Q. schawis]
attrib. 1543–4 Prestwick B. Rec. 59.
At na thyng pertenand Prestwik schau land … suld be callyt in the court of the burght
1566–7 Reg. Privy S. V ii 327/2.
The landis of Letter Bennachty with the litill schawwod thairof

b. In pl., common in charters, etc., in lists itemising the pertinents of an estate. 1461 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 362.
The forsaide landys … with wodis parkis schawys [etc.]
1500 Reg. Great S. 543/1.
Piscationes lacuum unacum silvis et lucis, viz. le Schawis, pertinentibus dictis terris
1504 Aberd. Journal N. & Q. II 205.
All the woddis, boggis and schawis of his landis
1507 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 219.
Cum le glennys siluis et lucis videlicet le schawis
1513 Reg. Great S. 845/2.
Cum le glennys, silvis et virgultis viz. le schawis
1537 Liber Dryburgh 283. 1559 Exch. R. XIX 450. 1564–5 Rec. Earld. Orkney 279.
The saidis landis, … with houssis, … bromes, woddis, cuthillis, schawis, treis
1587 Acts III 431/2.
All and sindrie landis … milnis multuris woddis schawes parkis [etc.]
1595–6 Exch. R. XXIII 375. c1605 Elphinstone Chart. 147.
The wod and forrest … with the boiges, blaires, medowis, schawis, tour, maner plaice [etc.]
1615 Red Bk. Grandtully I 50. 1653 Retours I Inq. Spec. Elgin et Forres (95).
With the salmound fishingis of … Lossie, the croft of Darnoway, the forrest, park and sheaues therof

2. In place-names. a. As the second element of a place-name. b. Defined by a place-name. a1240 Liber Calchou 149.
1214–49 Liber Melros I 265.
Williemo de Crennescawe
1265 Reg. Paisley 309.
Et totam terram de Drumley et de Swynschawis
1294 Ib. 94.
1315–21 Reg. Great S. 10/1.
1348 Misc. Spald. C. V 245.
Ad boscum de Polynfeyghschaw
1371 Reg. Great S. 162/2.
De terris de Haukschawys … infra vicecomitatum de Peblys
13.. Reg. Neubotle 22.
1440 Reg. Dunferm. 301.
David Stewart militem dominum de Hertschaw
1454–5 Liber Melros II 578.
Gaitschaw et cliftoncot
1457 Exch. R. VI 339.
Terrarum de Hareschawe, … de Foulschawe, … de Bowartschawe
1490 Reg. Paisley 265.
Per fossam terrarum de Oxschawsid usque ad silvam de Oxschaw
1501 Treas. Acc. II 117.
Johne Murray of Hingandschaw
1540 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 113.
1548 Ex. Processes Borthwick v. Hume.
The landis of Trottynschaw, Birecleuch and Handax Wod
b. a1200 Crown Office Writs (Reg. H.) No. 5 in G. W. S. Barrow The Kingdom of the Scots (1973) 260.
[The whole] scawe [of Sorbie]
1316 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 43.
Vsque le schawes del Alton de Fyntreff
c1475 Wall. vi 640.
He with the ost to Dawis schaw [1570 Dauidschaw] can far
1517 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 37.
[His two rigs] of the ladyis schaw
1543–4 Prestwick B. Rec. 59.
The land of Prestwik schau

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"Shaw n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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