Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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 18 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/menyie>

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