Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DEBAR, v., n.

1. v. To exclude formally from the Communion Table those guilty of certain sins (see 1882 quot.). Also fig. Vbl.n. debarring. Sc. 1709  W. Steuart Collect. and Obs. Ch. Scot. 138:
The Minister and Session having . . . debarr'd Persons from the Lord's Table . . . this Doctrinal debarring may scarr such from partaking.
Sc. 1823  Scots Mag. (Aug.) 164:
Farley [a clergyman] . . . went to work like a man, or rather like a madman, debarring from that table.
Sc. 1874  A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 191:
In “fencing” the tables, what was called the Debarring was always lengthened and minute.
Lnk. 1813  G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 39:
Satan's a Deacon at debarring sin An weel it sets his gab.

Hence debarrance, debarration, such formal exclusion. Sc. 1862  J. MacFarlane Life G. Lawson ii.:
It is doubtful if these “debarrances” (another name for this peculiar service) ever kept away one who had determined to communicate.
Sc. 1882  G. W. Sprott Worship Ch. Scot. iii.:
This address came to be popularly known as the Fencing of the Table . . . its most prominent feature came to be a series of debarrations beginning thus: “I debar from the Table of the Lord” such and such a class.

2. n. In pl. = debarrance, above. Bwk. c.1830  R. Gibson Old Bwksh. Town (1905) 195:
At sacramental times . . . on the Sabbath he would preach the introductory sermon, then the action sermon, fence the tables — “the debars” — serve five or more tables with an address before and after each, followed by another sermon.

[O.Sc. has debar, 1656.]

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"Debar v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2018 <>



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