Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
DEAS, DEECE, Dees(e), Dais, n.1 Also deis, dease, dess, d(a)ice, dies, dias. [dis, des, dɛs]
1. A wooden seat or settle (ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore N.-E. Scot. 185, dies; Abd. 1891 T. Mair Arn and His Wife 74, deece), which could also be used as a table (Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 22, deis; Bch. 1897 J. Forrest in Trans. Bch. Field Club IV. 79, dees), or as a bed. Formerly a common article of furniture in country kitchens. Known to Bnff.2 and Abd. correspondents (deece), Lnk.3 1940.
Mry. 1806 R. Jamieson Pop. Ballads I. 213–214:
An old oaken deas, which was so contrived as to serve for a sittee; at meal times the back was turned over, rested upon the arms, and became a table; and at night the seat was raised up and displayed a commodious bed. Abd. 1916 A. Gibson Under the Cruisie 12:
The well scrubbed “dease” now white as snow. w.Abd. c.1810 W. D. Geddes (ed.) Mem. of J. Geddes (1899) 68:
A spacious kitchen, in which there was a high bench called a “dais,” occupying a whole side of the big ha'.
2. “A log used as a seat, and placed against the gable of a cottage at the back of the fire, that is where a ‘round about' fire was used. If the fireplace was against the gable there was of course no room for a dais” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.).
3. A stone or turf seat placed outside a cottage, either at the door or at the gable of the house; “a raised place or seat” (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., dess). Also in n.Eng. dial.
Abd. 1922 A. Buchan in Swatches 17:
She liket to ha'e Gran'feyther . . . takin' the sin o' the dees at the door. m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood x.:
Another was Rab Prentice, the herd of the home hirsel, who sat on the turf deas at the cottage-end with his crutch beside him. Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems I. 116:
The daice, the porch of ancient days, Sae nicely trellis'd oure. Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 322:
Two brothers . . . were one day . . . resting on one of the stone seats called diases, which used to be in front of every house in the Main Street of Whithorn.
†4. A church pew (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., dess; n.Sc. 1806 R. Jamieson Pop. Ballads I. 29).
Sc. 1828 Willie's Fatal Visit in Ballads (ed. Child) No. 255, xvii.:
And on ilka seat o' Mary's kirk, O Willie she hang a share; Even abeen his love Meggie's dice, Hang's head and yellow hair.
5. Phrs.: †(1) chamber of deas, dais, etc., the best room in the house, either the parlour or best bedroom; (2) to haud doon the deese, to take a rest.
(1) Sc. 1731 Swift Mem. Capt. J. Creichton in Works (ed. Scott 1814) X. 156:
The chamber where he lay was called the chamber of Deese, which is the name given to a room where the laird lies when he comes to a tenant's house. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xxiv.:
You must go instantly to bed, my Lord . . . let the housekeeper make ready the chamber of dais. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xxvi.:
Rings and ear-rings to the boot of a' that — they are a' in the chamber of deas. (2) Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 40:
She disna aft haud doon the deese, she's at it ear' an' late.
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"Deas n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Mar 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/deas_n1>
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