A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
Barne, Bairn, Bern, n. Also: baren, -in, -ein; bairne, bayrn(e, bairen, -in, baern(e; berne, bearn(e, beirn, beirin. [ME. barne, barn (barin), bern, bearn, OE. bearn, ON. barn.]
1. A child as a person's offspring; one's son or daughter. Barnes barne, a grandchild. Tounis barne: see Toun n.
(a) Wynt. iv. 2060 (thai slwe thare barnys).
Hay I. 146/6 (to pas hame to his wyf and barnis); 200/12 (the fader has his barnis under his power).
1474 Misc. Spald. C. V. 23 (five barnys of William Rolland).
1479 Reg. Cupar A. I. 230 (for himself, his wyf and barnys).
Seven S. 5 (he had no barne bot ane).
Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 402 (I buskit vp my barnis).
Doug. xi. iv. 101 (onto my child and barn).
Stewart 49775 (mony come with wyffe and barne).
Lynd. Meldrum 307 (my barne, I counsell thé … ).
1557 7th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 724/2 (all my barnis that ar noder mareit nor benefytit).
Q. Kennedy Tractive 132 (thy wyfe, thy barnis, thy houshald).
1579 Edinb. Test. VII. 220 b (euery ane of my barnes barnes).
1590 Crim. Trials I. 186 (the casting of hir awin barne in ane coilheuch).
a 1608 Foulis Acc. Bk. xliv (the natiuities of my fader and off his bareins).
1620 Grant Chart. 320 (to dispone the same to thair barneis).
(b) Compl. 123/31 (to me & wyf and bayrns).
Lynd. Mon. 3995 (thay slew thare propir bairnis).
1562 Reg. Morton I. 10 (sum aysyer way to prowyid ȝour bayrnis).
1581 Stirling Ant. IV. 30 (ane bairne of Alexr. Shortts).
1601 Conv. Burghs II. 119 (for transporting of thaimselffis, thair wyffis, bayrnis, … ).
1636 Misc. Spald. C. V. 226 (to the lairds bairnes in Aberdein).
1664 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 213 (witnesses to any of ther bairnes).
(c) Bann. MS. 137 b/17 (my berne hes of hir awin ane gus … ).
1572 Fam. Rose 261 (iniurie to his wyf, beirinis and famely).
1615 Sutherland Corr. 121 (seing my bearnis ar learning to play).
1639 Misc. Hist. Soc. I. 111 (to my best berne, your suitt heart).
1662 Highland P. III. 9 (a bearne of Donald McKerdie).
b. pl. in figurative or extended use.
Wynt. v. 4663 (Bellyallys barnys).
Hay I. 6/16 (the barnis of Israel).
Gau 40/10 (abone al Adamis bairnis).
Lynd. Mon. 561 (all the bairnis of Israell).
James VI Ess. 53 (the docile bairns of knawledge).
2. A child as conceived or born.
(a) Wynt. i. 1528 (the barnys that scho eftyre bare); v. 593 (he bade wytht barne thai suld hym ma).
Hay I. 295/24 (as moder bringis furth the barne).
Wisd. Sol. 615 (the ded barne, that neuer was borne quyk).
Bann. Memor. 174 (shoe was neuer so trubled with no barne that euer shoe bair).
1584 St. A. Kirk S. 519 (Agnes is with barne to Jhone).
Dalr. I. 29/18 (women with barne).
(b) Hay II. 150/28 (that nycht was borne a bairne).
1559 St. A. Kirk S. 24 (sche confessis that sche hais borne ane bayrne).
Pitsc. I. 56 (scho pairtit witht ane deid bairne).
1606 Edinb. Test. XLII. 218 (seing scho is with bairne).
(c) 1584 Coll. Aberd. & B. 630 (the berne his wyf was with than).
3. A child or infant; a very young boy or girl.
(a) Leg. S. v. 67 (wiffis and barnys folowit hyr); xii. 427 (in lyknes of a litil barne).
Acts I. 44/2 (he sall chasty hir as a barne wythin eylde).
Wynt. iv. 1598 (barnys off yhowthad); v. 1495 (quhen barnys suld confermyt be); vi. 1073 (men, barnys, and women).
Hay I. 231/9 (the were was begonnyn or I was a barne); 297/7 (thes lands of quhilk the king is a barne).
Doug. K. Hart 656 (barnis ȝoung suld lerne at auld mennis sculis).
1567 Sat. P. iii. 211 (in poetrie I traist ȝow be na barne).
Dalr. II. 278/24 (women, barnes, and citisenis).
1615 Lanark B. Rec. 125 (ane sow eat ane barin in creddill).
Spalding I. 3 (thair younge cheif wes bot ane barne).
(b) Nisbet Mark vii. 22 (that the bairnis be fillet first).
Gau 8/31 (as the guid bairne dois his fader).
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 354 (the south kirk dur quhair the bairnis ar babtist).
Bann. Memor. 281 (thingis devysed to fray bairnes).
Montg. Ch. & Slae 407 (brunt bairn with fyre the danger dreidis).
1630 Haddington Corr. 169 (a lyflie lyk baern).
1633 Peebles B. Rec. 372 (the parentis of these bairnes).
1664 Kirkcudbright Min. Bk. 204 (to play lyke bairnes at belliblinde).
(c) Leg. S. xxviii. 614 (weman & bernis fele).
1580 Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 465 (baptizeth bearnes privately).
Maitl. F. clxx. 108 (he begat the baldest beirnis).
Montg. Misc. P. xxix. 14 (a burning darte that bearne buir).
Melvill 459 (for getting of the bern's name).
1602 Elphinstone Mem. 167 (to my lady and to all the bearnis).
b. A figure of a child.
A credel and thre barnis maid of claith; c 1530 Soc. Ant. II. 349.
4. A child at school or in a choir; a schoolboy or chorister.
(a) Donate than … hys libell wrate That now barnys oysys to lere; Wynt. v. 3379.
The inquest fand that … qwha that pwt ony barnys tyll hym [to school] swld pay hym a yerris pament; 1466 Peebles B. Rec. 155.
That Sir Patrick Mawchlyn rud preist suld haif four li. xs. for findyn of the barnis and buikis in the queir in the ȝeir; 1535 Soc. Ant. II. 402.
To the barnis of the quere in spur sylver; 1545 Treas. Acc. VIII. 411.
To repair and vpbig the Sang Scule … sua that the barnis may enter thairto and inhabit the samyn; 1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 192.
To provide him ane chalmer … to teche his barneis in that redis and writting Ynglis; 1555 Peebles B. Rec. 214.
The presentatioune of maister Blais Lowreyis barnes [= pupils]; 1600 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 214.
Provyding the barnes be susteanit within the college; Ib.
(b) The bairnis of thys college sal heir na other lessons bot thair regentis; Buch. Wr. 8.
Diligent awaiting and instructing of the bairns in literature and manners … and mutually the bairns duty towards him as their master; 1632 Row p. xli.
(c) Sir Wilȝame maister of the sang schuyll … sall cause sex bernis of the queir … to conueyne at ane alter; 1537 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 412.
Patrick Dowglas … gave out a pension to a bearn to hold him at the School; 1575 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 342.
6. In possessive (sing. or pl.) barnis, as barnis bell, brod, burde, etc. Also Barnis part.
To the prestis of Lythqow for a barnis bwrd; 1491 Treas. Acc. I. 180.
Barnis quhissillis; 1575 Edinb. Test. III. 384.
Tua dosane of set bairnis bowis; Ib. IV. 2.
Ane dosane of barnes muches; 1578 Ib. VI. 331.
Ane wob of barnis hosing; 1581 Ib. IX. 129 b.
Thrie dissone of barnis brodis; 1586 Ib. XV. 236.
Tua bairnes pannis; 1594 Ib. XXVII. 299.
Crepundia, bairnes plagues; Duncan Appendix.
Beidis … and bairnes plaigis; 1620 Edinb. Test. L. 314.
Ane dosone of bairnis bellis; 1622 Ib. LI. 153.
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"Barne n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Jan 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/dost2236>
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