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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Day, n.1 Also: daye, dai, da; pl. dayis, dais. [ME. day(e, dai(e, early dæi, OE. dæᵹ. Cf. Daw n.1]

1. Day in contrast to night; the time of daylight. 1375 Barb. vii. 507.
Fra Carleill all on nychtis ryde, And in covert on dayis byde
a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 256.
That hal That bricht wes … As the son on dais licht
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1187.
That never yhit … Sa lang a day wes sene beforne
1456 Hay I. 289/24.
He suld byde in Rome bot a day and ane nycht
c1450-2 Howlat 40.
Be pryme of the day
Ib. 580.
It suld ws occupy all day
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2011.
Quhat euer ȝe charge, on nichtis or on dayis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe .
Ryght as the stern of day begouth to schyne
1513 Doug. i. xi. 106.
In somyr quhy sa lang is the day
Ib. vii. Prol. 14.
Tha schort days that clerkis clepe brumaill
1535 Stewart 2689.
Into ver, quhen that the da grew lang
15.. Clar. ii. 189.
It was neir awcht houris in the day
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1085.
He … raid that day, and all the nicht
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10390.
The time of day drew neir all bownit to dine
c1568 Lauder Minor P. iii. 90.
Rycht as the daye is tryit be the lycht
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlviii. 10.
Serve thy god all that thow may In the beginning of the day
fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 412.
Now done is my dolly night, my day is vpsprungin

b. In the phrase (baith) day and nicht. (See also Nicht n.) ?1438 Alex. ii. 2082.
Of eld it is the richt For to be crabed day and nicht
Ib. 3198.
To work his will baith day and nicht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. l. 42.
He said he was ane licherus bull, That croynd bayth day and nycht
1535 Stewart 58455.
This governor … da and nycht richt bissie wes [etc.]
1570 Sat. P. xx. 16.
Thair bruit is blawin Abrode baith day and nycht
1573 Ib. xxxix. 93.
For ordinance thay dung at day and nycht

2. The day as displacing night; daylight, dawn. 1375 Barb. xii. 404.
Thai had befor the day Briggit the pollis
Ib. xv. 131.
Als soyne as the day wox cleir
a1400 Leg. S. xl. 1009.
One the morne at dais lycht
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 374.
That ilk nyght Before that anny day dew lyght
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3438.
It nychtyd fast: and thai Thowcht till abyd thare to the day
?1438 Alex. ii. 562.
Tomorne quhan I se the day
Ib. 582.
To-morne quhan day can rys
a1500 Henr. Fab. 66.
Ane cok … Flew furth … sone be day
c1475 Wall. ix. 1630.
It is scantly day
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 227.
I cast on him a crabbit E, quhen cleir day is cummyn
1535 Stewart 10462.
Scho maid ane carmusche lang befoir the day
Ib. 44148.
In the morning … be the da wes licht
15.. Clar. ii. 655.
It wilbe day alsweith
1633 Orkney Bp. Ct. MS. 87.
He … cairyit the watter to his fatheris hous to wash his sister betuix day and sunn, as the forme is

3. A day as a division of time. a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 966.
Quhethyre a ȝere hale ore a day Was by-passit, he cuth nocht say
1433 Rec. Earld. Orkney 329.
As uthir burgeses dois in yeris or cotidiane dais
1448 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 17.
He sal haue euery dai v schellingis
1469 Acts II. 97.
The court of Parliament … nedis nocht to be continuit fra day to day
c1475 Wall. i. 271.
This passit our, quhill diuers dayis war gane
1494 Treas. Acc. I. 245.
George of Corntone, v s. on the day; Riche Torre, alsmekyll on the day
1513 Doug. vii. xiii. 106.
The folkis … That hard furris had telit mony a da
1535 Stewart 8466.
With countering … euerilk da
Ib. 30004.
Onis of the da for to refreschit be
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxi. 40.
We … neuer hes ane mirrie day

b. In the phrase day be day. 1513 Doug. iii. vi. 2.
Thus drave we our in solace day be day
1535 Stewart 6622.
Ay da be da puttand thame in beleue To gif battell
Ib. 42025.
Ilk da be da his murning wes the moir
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 31.
Thare ioye … [is] euer schorter daye be daye
1589 Dundee B. Laws 522.
Heffing respect to the gryt hurt … cruippin in day be day of lait

4. A day as a point of time or date, more or less definitely specified. (See also The-day, To-day.)(a) a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 1446.
Ilk ȝere solempnyt fest … Thai mad one that day scho deyt
1437 Reg. Dunferm. 286.
The comon sele … [is] to put, dai & plas be-for said
1456 Hay I. 269/14.
Quha has the better … on the first day [of the combat]
1465 Wemyss Chart. 88.
The dai of the resait of the said sowme
c1475 Wall. i. 433.
This day for me, in faith, he beis nocht socht
1482 Edinb. Chart. 146.
All the said soumes … that war payit … at siclike times and dais
1507 Ib. 192.
To begyn and hald the dais ande placis forsaid yerlie
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 806.
Swa on ane day the dayis watchis tua Come [etc.]
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3900.
From this day furth
Ib. 4095.
Sen this day fyuetene hundreth ȝeir
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9294.
This day aucht dayis the battell suld be done
(b) 1488 Treas. Acc. I. 102.
The same da, to Androw Wod [etc.]
1489 Ib. 106.
Gevin in awmus that da
1497 Dunferm. B. Rec. 75.
The quhilk da Vilyem Symsone ves maide burges
1535 Stewart 32006.
To compeir … At da and place quhat tyme that he suld call
Ib. 53361.
Mony schip that da faillit the mast

b. With exact specification of date. 1399 Holyrood Chart. 112.
The xxv. dai of Nouembir the yhere of oure lorde [etc.]
1405 James of Douglas Letter to Henry IV in Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 59.
Wyrtyn at Eddynburghe … the xxvi day of Julij
1424 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 97.
The twonty day of Averyl
1481 Ib. II. 329.
The secunde dai of Maii
1489 Treas. Acc. I. 123.
On Thurisda the xxij da of October
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 215/8.
The xx day of September Allane Stewart was slane
c 1525 Wemyss Corr. 67.
Writyn … the xxviij da of September
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 10.
Thair may be gevin sum vacans on to the first day of October

c. In the names of special days, as haly day, Uphaly day, Yule day, etc., q.v.

d. A special or appointed day, esp. for the hearing of a legal action.Also with defining term, as day of dome, jugement, law marche, redres, trew(is): see these words. c1420 Wynt. viii. 4472.
At Tarbart he wes qwhille Haldand dayis wyth Jhone off Ile
1471 Acta Aud. 16/1.
Johne of Vgstoun has … grantit day to the said Johne of Halkerstoun for the payment
1483 Ib. *115/1.
The lordis ordanis that summondis be gevin apon him to a lauchefull day
1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. 16.
He hes desyrit ane day to caw his varand

5. A particular time or period. Freq. in pl. a1400 Leg. S. i. 300.
Sanct Petir in tha daise … wes prechand
Ib. xliii. 280.
Thai … neuire ware sene to this day
c1420 Wynt. ii. 374.
That lawch is kepyt to this day
Ib. viii. 2245.
The Cwmynys in tha dayis [etc.]
c1475 Wall. ix. 232.
Wallace … The best is callyt this day beltyt with brand
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xvi. 49.
Ar mony sic now in thir dayis
1535 Stewart 37092.
The landis of Erroll, … The quhilk his airis brukis ȝit this da
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 20.
In vulgar toung he bure the bell that day

b. Now on dayis, at the present time. 1456 Hay I. 112/26.
All sik maner of namys … ar left now on dayes
Ib. 241/8.
Now on dais
1513 Doug. v. vii. 58.
The dasyt bluid now on dayis Walxis dolf

6. A day or (usually) days as a space of time. a1400 Leg. S. i. 203.
He that fourty dayis lay dede
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 22.
All hys golde … That he gadrede hath mony day
c1460 Wisd. Solomon 745.
Leid thi lyf with thaim that the louis for the day of the vnstedfast lyf
a1500 Seven S. 173.
He mycht dum sevyn dayis be
1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 303/1.
For all the dais and termez that thai sall happin to be in the kingis handis
1533 Bell. Livy II. 48/9.
He was fer rvn in ȝeris, and few dayis vnspendit of his live
a1578 Pitsc. I. 22/1.
He requestit the gowernour … to gif him twa dayis trewis

b. In the phrase (all) the dayis of (his, etc.) life, etc. 1476 Exch. R. VIII. 344 n.
Yerli for all the dais of hir life fourty schillingis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 421.
As with manis daill I had done for dayis of my lif
1526 Reg. Privy S. I. 518/2.
Ane lettre of tak … for all the dais of nyne ȝeris
1541 Ib. II. 595/2.
Makand him ane of oure soverane lordis masouris for all the dayis of his life

7. Usu. pl. With possessive pronoun: A person's lifetime; the time at which one lives or flourishes. 1375 Barb. x. 699.
Ilke man for to sauf his lif, And furth his dayis for to drif
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 491.
Of astrologye … Scho was maist wise in-to hyr dais
c1420 Wynt. iii. 677.
In hys dayis That scisim fel
Ib. v. 777.
Thai war til Sancte Petyr ay Helparis in his lattyr day
1448 Acts I. 350/2.
In blak Archibald of Douglas days
a1500 Henr. III. 121/30.
Bot now my dayis ar all ourdrewin and done
c1500-c1512 Dunb. ix. 110.
In ydilnes my dayis haif I spent
Ib. lx. 10.
Off wrangis … That nobillis in thar dayis indures
1549 Compl. 3/28.
The verteouse verkis dune be ȝour antecessours in oure dais
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvi. 23.
As wes the custome in our eldaris dayis

8. In phrases with dayis, as dayis darling, lamp, lenth, scheit, wark. a1500 Henr. Fab. 489.
Ȝone wes owr drowrie, and our dayis darling
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 248.
Quhen his grace cumis to fair Sterlyng, Thair sall he se ane dayis derlyng
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxviii. 74.
As the dayis lamp dois lout
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clvii. 56.
Pure commounis can never obtene Ane dayis lenthe with him to speik
1586 Treas. Acc. MS. 85.
Sex elnis of poldavie canves to be ane dayes scheit to the soir hors
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2712.
God thank thee, Doctour, for thy dayis wark
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. 13.
Foure schilling Scottis to each man for ane dayes wark

9. Attrib. with rising, set, setting, sky, spring, star, wach. ?1438 Alex. ii. 3962.
Weill arlyat the day rising
1643 Dalyell Superst. 459.
That same night, befoir day sett, the said William Ockilsetters wyf fell deadlie seik
1643 Misc. Abbotsf. C. I. 173.
Quher the samen [stanes] continwit till about day-setting
1535 Stewart 10495. Ib. 56872.
Ane litill efter that the da sky brak
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1760 (W).
It wes airly in the mornyng, Or the sone rais, befor the dayspring
c1500-c1512 Dunb. x. 3.
Now is rissin the bricht day ster
1513 Doug. xiii. Prol. 156.
I … Saw gentill Jubar schynand. the day star
1568 Lanark B. Rec. 41.
The daye wach till enter at the rising of the sone

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"Day n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2022 <>



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