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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Cas(e, Cais, n.1 Also: casse, caise, cays, ceas; kais(e, kaisse, kays, keis(e, kes. [ME. case, cas (caas), OF. cas, L. cāsus. See also Cace n.1]

1. That which befalls or happens; a chance, hap, or accident; an occurrence, event, or affair.(a) 1375 Barb. iii. 592.
The Erle off the Leuenax was, I can nocht tell ȝow throw quhat cas, Lewyt behynd
c1420 Wynt. ii. 47.
Quhen that scho herd off this cas
Ib. iv. 32.
He peryst was … Throw hard tempest and swdane cas
Ib. 2098.
Othir casis hapnyd sone
1456 Hay I. 64/36.
Quhilk the cas befell of the cruell tresoun of Julius Cesar
Ib. 135/31.
Be cas of fortune the knycht is tane prisonare
c1450-2 Howlat 235.
Confes cleir can I nocht, nor kyth all the cas
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 209.
Ane vthir [day] efter cumys faire, Quhill were, quhill better, as cumys the cas
c1475 Wall. vii. 1251.
Assumptioun day off Marye fell this cas
1513 Doug. i. i. 52.
Juno … musyng on thir casis nyce
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii. 1004.
He … Be suddane case deyd at Kyngorne
1431 Reg. Great S. 44/2.
Gif … the said Kirktoun cummys nocht to sa mekyll [value] throuch distroblaunce or falland case
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1028.
Thair of gromys wes glaid … Lovit Criste of that case
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxix. 106.
Howsoeuer with me chancis the case
(c) c1450-2 Howlat 71.
Is nane bot dame Natur, … Till accuss of this caise
a1500 Henr. Orph. 110.
Seand this cais Proserpyne maid hir bovne
1533 Boece ii. vii. 71.
The wemen of Novant that diligentlie beheld all the cais how it happynnyt

b. With pronouns: One's hap, fortune, or plight. 1375 Barb. iii. 638.
The erle tauld him all his cas; How he was chasyt on the se [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. iii. 16.
As now my cas is happynyd here
Ib. v. 5571.
The Empryoure … mad hym bowne For hys cas wyth devotyowne
1461 Liber Plusc. 387.
Ye wait nocht how son your cas ma cum
c1475 Wall. i. 263.
He tald his modyr of his sodane cas
1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 222.
Allace thy dolorus cays and hard myschance
1572 Sat. P. xxx. 33.
Gif that our Lords wald craib for ony cais
1600-1610 Melvill 276.
Thar was na honest … man … bot meined his ceas

2. In the phrases be, in, of, on, or throw cas, by chance. (See also Per cas.)(1) 1375 Barb. ii. 24; Ib. x. 694.
He tauld hys brodyr … how he chapyt wes throw cas
1402 Reg. Panmure II. 184.
The quhilk thrw case falȝeand
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1185.
He his eyne anoyntit with it throu cais
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 249.
Syne eftir hapnyt of case … He come til a nothir citte
Ib. xxxvi. 576.
Of case come thare Twa monkis
c1420 Wynt. iii. 506.
Off cas it fell rycht sua
Ib. iv. 665; etc.
In hys ost he deyd off cas
1441 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 7.
Giff it hapenis of case me or ony of myn ayris to make ony clame
1469 Acts II. 95.
Becaus sic reuersionis may of case be tynt
a1500 Henr. Fab. 803 (B).
Off cais he fand his faderis caryon
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 125 b.
Gif of cais thou argew that [etc.]
(3) a1400 Leg. S. x. 42; Ib. xxv. 288.
He … come one case til a citte
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1946.
Ane … uolf, that leuit vpon cais On bestiall
c1550 Rolland C. Venus i. 692.
In argument, I and that gentill man, Fell heir on case
Ib. ii. 578.
He blent about of chance, And sa on case he saw ane proper tour
(4) c1475 Wall. iv. 521.
Scho tauld … Till hir son quhat hapnyt was be cas
c1550 Rolland C. Venus ii. 814.
Gif this fyir hapnis to de in case

3. A (real, alleged, or supposed) state of things; a situation; a matter for consideration. 1375 Barb. i. 52.
Othir sum nyt all that cas, And said [etc.]
Ib. 563.
The Cwmyn raid to the king Off Ingland, & tald all this cas
c1420 Wynt. viii. 276.
To the Unywersyte Off Parys the cas all thus wrat he
Ib. 384.
He … set the case all swykfully
1456 Hay I. 256/6.
All the cas that law levis [= allows] gage of bataill in
Ib. 285/2.
Thai wate quhat casis ar in the lawis condampnyt
Ib. 299/9.
As the cas requeris
c1450-2 Howlat 235.
Confes cleir can I nocht, nor kyth all the cas
1464 Peebles B. Rec. 150.
Gyf the cas be thai met sic gudis of sudante
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 195.
Is nocht this a nyce cais
Ib. 484.
Thus is the cais endit Of the penny that wes spendit
a1500 Bk. Chess 600.
Alsone as the caise thai vnderstand, Thai ȝeid to feild
1523 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 215.
Sen this cais standis baith for the common weill and common profeit of our mylles
1560 Rolland Seven S. i. 733.
This is the case I haif to ȝow to mene
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 22.
Ciuile weir dois sa trouble that cais

b. To put or set a case, to suppose. 1456 Hay 138/22.
As we wald set the cas, that the King of Fraunce has were with the Almaynis
Ib. 193/8.
As thus, put the cas that the Duk of Savoye [etc.]

4. In (or into) this or that cas, in thir casis, etc.(a, b) a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 557.
I … in that case nane wald spare
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1455.
Ane impediment Dowtous to fall in to swylk cas
1456 Hay I. 111/4.
In thir casis … the Pape may discern [etc.]
Ib. 138/19.
The quhilk … has send him socouris in syk lyke cas
c1450-2 Howlat 108.
I am netherit ane owll … Withoutin caus or cryme kend in this case
a1540 Freiris Berw. 205.
Into this case … how sall I me beir
(c) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 798.
Tak nocht yone keyne knight to countir in this hard cais
a1500 Bk. Chess 438.
In this caise thir birdis dois nocht so
1519 Dunferm. B. Rec. 205.
Gif it sall happyn … , than and in that cais [etc.]
1525 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 224.
As vse is in sic caissis
1532 Reg. Cupar A. I. 316.
Submittand ws … in that cays … to my lord Archibischop of Sanctandrois jurisdictioun
1558-66 Knox II. 77.
Gif it beis thocht expedient … , than and in that caise [etc.]
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 57.
In thys caise I most neidis praefer [etc.]
1638 Elphinstone Mun. 26.
Conforme to the saidis lordis daylie practik in sic caissis
(d) 1490 Acta Aud. 142/1.
In that kais it sal be lachefule to the said partiis [etc.]
1537 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 413.
In that kaise or in ony sicklyck keise … the prophetis of … the foirsaid tenment [etc.]
1683 Haddington Mem. II. 195.
His grandfather … wha was for my faither in all kesses

b. In cas, in case, in cais (that), in the event that.(a, b) 1385 Rotuli Sc. II. 73/2.
In cas thay may noght let it
1398 Liber Melros 489.
In cas that defaute be of the paymentez
c1420 Wynt. vi. 127.
In cas it mycht fall
1456 Hay I. 106/30.
In cas that he wald move weris
c1450-2 Howlat 71.
Is nane bot dame Natur … Till accuse … , in case that I de
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 329/8.
To absolȝe man fra syn in case he fall
(c) 1542 Reg. Privy S. II. 690/1.
In cais the said Johne retreit nocht the rolment of court
1564 Peebles B. Rec. 294.
In cais the neburis do nocht the same
1576 Reg. Privy C. II. 551.
In caise thay wer in the samyn dangeare
1623 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 385.
In cais the said windo hes decayit be storm of weather
1689 Siege Edinb. Castle 16.
In caise he sould be attacqued by the rable
(d) c 1536 Rec. Earld. Orkney 223.
In kais it sall happin [etc.]
1537 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 413.
In kes the said bernis … be absent
1545 Thanes of Cawdor 168.
In keis … , that athir of the saidis parteis … happyn to faill to utheris
1557 Inverness B. Rec. I. 5.
In kays the same be nocht payit
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 6.
In kais … oney tennent wald appone thameselffis to transgress this act

c. In (the) cas of, in the event of. 1482 Edinb. Chart. 155.
In the cais of promocion of the said reuerend fadir
1546 Montgomery Mem. 140.
In cays of neid or honest repare
1558-66 Knox II. 147.
I confes myself most worthie to be ejected … in cais of my stubburnnes

5. A state or condition. c1420 Wynt. v. 43.
Quhill thai ware in to that cas
Ib. viii. 616.
That in lyk cas the matere yhwde Off the kynrik off Scotland
1558-66 Knox II. 172.
Youre realme is in na uther caise … than all uther realmes … ar
1567 G. Ball. 184.
Scotland was neuer in harder case
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 46.
Thinking him self in werse caise than he belevit
Ib. 58.
So capitane Cocburne is in better case than you

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



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