Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
MENYIE, n., v. Also menye; meng(i)e, mengyie; menzie, -y; menji(e); meing(y)ie, meinzie; maingie; ¶maingeh, mingie; manzy. [′mɛŋi, ′mɛnji, †′mɛɲi].
I. n. ‡1. The persons comprising a household, a family, a particular set of people. Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.
Lnk. 1710 Minutes J.P.s (S.H.S.) 95:
It is provyded . . . that none hold more [victuall] than will sustain themselves and their meinzie till neu corn. Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 42:
If the laird slights the lady his menyie will be ready. ne.Sc. 1893 W. Gregor Dunbar's Wks. (S.T.S.) III. 164:
It is still used in Banffshire = a number, and pronounced maingeh (ng nasal); also by way of contempt to a family or a particular set of people, as “She's mairriet in amon a queer maingeh”. Sc. 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ iii. xlv. 155:
A man's faes are they o' his ain menyie.
†2. A retinue, a band of followers (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); a following of armed men (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis). Also fig. In n.Eng. dial.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 25:
What gars thee look sae big and bluff? Is't an attending Menzie? Abd. 1737 W. Meston Poet. Wks. (1802) 71:
With this rare menzie coming o'er, He reached peaceful Saturn's shore. Sc. 1792 Geordie in
Child Ballads No. 209 A. v.:
And she has mountit her gude grey steed, Her menzie a' gaed wi' her. Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter x.:
The musicians were engaged in the same joyous revel as the menyie of old Sir Thom o' Lyne. Slk. 1830 Hogg Tales (1874) 440:
But had I kend half an hour ago what I ken now you an' a' your menzies should never hae taen Aidie Scott alive. Ayr. 1835 Galt in Tait's Mag. (Jan.) 130:
The Dyeuke's flunkies and menzie. Abd. 1875 G. Macdonald Malcolm II. xix.:
He had gien orders till's menyie to be aff afore the mornin' brak.
3. Of persons or animals: a crowd in gen., a multitude, a host, a throng or swarm (Dmf. 1825 Jam.; Mry.1 1925; ne.Sc., Edb. 1962). Also in Eng. dial. In 1822 quot. the rhyme is an eye-rhyme.
Sc. 1726 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 176:
Five hundred flaes, a fendy flock; And are not thae a wakrife menzie? Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax (1754) 14:
Then as he did the auld man leave Amon' sae fierce a menzie. Kcb. 1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun 38:
Three loud huzzas the menyie gaed. Edb. 1822 R. Wilson Poems x.:
Alack-a-day! the menseless menzy Ere now has jeer'd a chield to frenzy. Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
Wi' a' this mengyie o' shirras, and lawvyers, an' constables. Bnff. 1929 Banffshire Jnl. (1 Oct.) 2:
Man, I wis like a wull craiter in yon menjie o' wimmen.
4. A large number of objects (Sc. 1808 Jam.), a heterogeneous collection, a mixture, medley, a confusion. Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 143:
For mony a menzie of destructive ills. Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 257:
Wi' menji [? a menyie o] feathers in her hat, Silk stockings and siller sheen. Ags. 1896 Barrie Margaret Ogilvy iv.:
You get no common beef at clubs, there is a manzy of different things all sauced up to be unlike themsels. Bnff. 1918 M. Symon Wir Roup 1:
An' sic a menge! Cairns o' this, An' cairns o' that, nae mous!
†5. A noisy festive gathering, a party. Hence combs. menye-cogs, -singers, see quots.
Ork. 1885 W. T. Dennison Peace's Almanac 126:
The drinking cogs at a feast were divided into two kinds, the “menye-cogs” and the “cogilt-cogs”, the first were passed through and drunk from by all the company; the second were confined to their respective cogilts. The “menye-cogs” were distinguished from the others by having every alternate stave made of dark wood, so that the vessel had a variegated appearance. . . . The “menye-cogs” were the guid-man's cog, the priest's cog, and the bride's cog. e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rhymes 211:
Your menzies, “balls”, and a' that. Ork. 1905 W. T. Dennison Ork. Weddings 33:
There were in Orkney so late as the first half of the eighteenth century men called “menye-singers”, whose profession it was to sing ballads on public occasions.
†II. v. 1. To mix confusedly, to crowd (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 111, maingie; Ayr. 1880 Jam. m(a)ingie).
2. Of ripening grain: to become mixed in colour (Fif. 1825 Jam., meingyie). Cf. Ming, v., 3.[O.Sc. menȝ(h)e, an armed troop, 1375, a retinue, 1438, menzie, a multitude, 1528; O.Fr. meyné, mesniee, a household, Lat. *mansionatia, from mansio, a dwelling, a house.]
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"Menyie n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/menyie>
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