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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Chawmer, Chaumer, n. Also: chawmir, -yr(e, -ar; chaumir. [ME. chawmere (rare), variant of chamer Chamer n. Latterly displaced by Chalmer.]

1. A chamber, a room.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 414.
[The] chawmyre of Olympyas, That house of bathine callit was
a1400 Leg. S. xxxv. 47.
Til a chawmir scho hym lede Mair priue, with a costlyk bede
c1420 Wynt. iv. 2355.
As he in tyll his chawmyr lay In tyll his bed
Ib. vii. 3000.
This Schyre Williame … her to chawmyre led; And in hys awyne chawmyre yhed till his bed
1424 Acts II. 6/1.
In all burowis townys … that thar be ordanyt hostilaris … haifande stabillis and chawmeris to ridaris and gangaris
c1475 Wall. ii. 279.
In thar chawmyr thai kepyt him that tide
Ib. iv. 215.
Bathe clos, chawmer, and hall
1489 Treas. Acc. I. 129.
To Rob Kyttok of the chawmer, to by him claythis
1498 Acta Conc. II. 137.
Ane chawmer of the bakland of the sade … tenement
1512 Treas. Acc. IV. 458.
Im dur naill for the chawmeris of the greit schip
1513 Doug. ii. x. 187.
That I behald, within my chawmyr secrete, Myne enemys
Ib. iv. vii. 60.
Vp thai hyr hynt and to hyr chawmyr bayr
1520 Antiq. Aberd & B. IV. 414.
I pray your Lordschip … gif me your leif to cast part of petis … for myn awne chawmer
1533 Boece vi. ii. 188 b.
Quhen he come to the king, he was had to ane secrete chawmer
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 336.
Thane the matron takine can ma, That gert hyr men of chaumir ga
1456 Hay I. 175/32.
Nouthir to play at ches, na tableis, in tavernis, in hallis, na chaumeris
c1475 Wall. iii. 422.
In chaumeris sone thair residence thai maid
1490 Irland I. 99/33.
His gret chaumer of rest … was this haly lady & virgin
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 392.
Duelbere … has in hell for thé a chaumir dicht
1513 Reg. Privy S. I. 379/1.
Throu suddand fire that hapnit in his hall and chaumer … the lettrez … war distroit

2. A chamber for loading a gun. 1456 Acts II. 45/2.
It is thocht spedful … to haif twa chawmerys with the remanent of the graith that efferis tharto
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 296.
To the man that maid the chavmir to the brassin gun
1498 Acta Conc. II. 193.
The wrangus … withhalding of … nyne gonnys gret and small with thare chawmaris

3. Attrib. with boy, dure, play. c1420 Wynt. viii. 6918 (C).
Withe hym … broucht he nane Withe outtyne a chawmir boy allayne
Ib. iii. 58.
A key thai gat, And opnyt the chawmer dure withe that
1480 Acta Conc. 49/1.
Sir Johne of Culquhone … vschare in the tyme of oure souerane lordis chawmer durre
c1420 Wynt. ii. 66 (C).
Off chawmyr play scho was neuir sad
Ib. 1352.
Hir stewart … On hir gat in chawmyr play A barn

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"Chawmer n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2024 <>



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