DSL - DOST Woman, Weman, n. Also: womane, -ann, -en, -in, -une, voman(e, womman, woeman, wowman, wemane, -en, veyman, -en, weoman. Pl. wemen(e, -an(e, -enn(e, -eine, vemen(e, uemen, weimen, ueimen, weeman, -en, weymen, -an, weamen, weomen, women(e, vomen, womenn-, wommen, woomen, woemen, wimen, wymmen. [ME and e.m.E. weomon (c1175), wimman (c1200), wummon (Ancr. R.), womman (c1275), woman (Cursor M.), vomman (c1400); pl. wimmen (c1290), wimen, wemmen, women (all Cursor M.), wemen (Destr. Troy), OE wífmon(n, -man(n, pl. wífmen(n.]
1. A woman, a female, adult human being. Also characterised or identified by various prep. phrases or clauses. Also in collocation with
(1) sing. We send a woman him to spy; Barb. vii 542. Efter the custum of the contree ony womman may be juge in hir awin lordschippis; Hay I 252/25. That the woman errit and was desauit in the speking of the serpent; Irland Mir. I 63/23. Now e may know quhat kin a woman am I; Rolland Seven S. 3344. This woman for her beutie ... was callit the fair Madne of Galoway; Dalr. II 63/18. Jhone oung, father in law to the woman; 1619 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 89 (24 Feb.). Any servand ... quha is cled with ane womin in marriage; 1628 Dundee B. Laws 526. Ane reseruation of lyfrent in favours of a woman; Hope Major Pract. I 207. The picture of a woman in a ... gold frame; 1683 Inv. in Donibristle Mun. (Earl of Moray's MSS) 10 (9-10 May). The land-lord laid hold upon the woman ... and forced her to [etc.]; Sinclair Satan's Inv. World 205.
(b) Scho that thare was munk ... lath ware hyr that ony man Suld wit be pruf scho ware weman; Leg. S. xxx 590.
(c) Being demanded if he was maryed vpon this woeman [etc.]; 1660 Rothesay Par. Rec. 34.
pl. Vemene; Leg. S. x 347. A-beoufe al wemen blist thou be; Leg. S. xviii 814. Wemane; Leg. S. xix 468. The wemen told, by Corsby ... Off Wallace eschaipe; Wall. ii 421. On the left syid quhair that the wemen faucht; Stewart 12734. For brankin of tua wemen, xviii d.; 1561 Edinb. Old Acc. I 347. The scripture makis na mentioun that thair was ony wemen at the commwnioun in the latter supper; Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 159/31. Not be twa wemen Judith and Hester, bot be the pretious blude of the immaculat lamb; Winet I 29/9. As to Salamone ... Wemen causit nocht his ydolatre; Weddirburne in Bann. MS 242a/202. Wemeine; Maitl. F. 433/1. Sen than be wemen douchtie deidis were done; 1570 Sempill in Sat. P. xii 100. Such styncken pryde of wemen as was sein at that parliament, was never sein befoir in Scotland; Knox II 381.
(b) My blast of the trumpet against the regiment of weimen is approved of all the godlie; 1570 Misc. Bann. C. I 42. To twa weimen for making the ludging cleine agen; 1631 Buccleuch Household Bk. 29 Oct.
(c) In all women thowe blyssyd be; Wynt. i 916. He hatit women sa odious That he wald neuer ly with nane; Seven S. 1188.
(2) sing. To ane woman with the grantgore; 1497 Treas. Acc. I 356. The womann off Samaria; Nisbet I 12. Na woman of sprit wald make choise of sic a man that was lyker a woman than a man for he wes very lusty, berdles and lady facit; Melville Mem. 120.
pl. The wemen off his cuntre Come for to fech him hame; Barb. ii 534. Wemen with babis on thair breist; 1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxxviii 43. To surpas all wemen of her kynde; Fowler I 148/11. Pitsc. II 9/25 (see (4) below). Weemen ... off the bangstar Amasone kinde; 1615 Lett. Eccl. Affairs II 433.
(3) sing. That woman ... that Eve we call; Wynt. i 83. A woman that is fair Is nocht happin gude; Bann. MS 135a/19. Ane woman keipit in cage Is ane ewill tressour; Maitl. F. 160/28. To the woman that keeped Robine Hood wall; 1664 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp in Misc. Maitl. C. II 521.
pl. To wemen that brocht butir to the king ... ix s.; 1501 Treas. Acc. II 119. Wemen sic as me [sc. Venus]; Doug. Pal. Hon. 982. Sax wemen quhilk represented a silent comedie; Fowler II 189/6. Wemen that keipis houssis be thame selfis, nocht wedowis and on mariit; 1595 St. A. Kirk S. 806. As to the rest of the weimen quha ar in handis, he knawis no thing; 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 145. The wemen that hanted with Quen Mary; Melville Mem. 83. For sax burding of fog ... to the wemen that caryit it; 1614 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 348.
(b) The thre women that is hys arris; 1456 Peebles B. Rec. I 113. Twa women lykast ... God never wrocht; Seven S. 2446.
(c) Woemen quha had vowet chastitie; Dalr. I 290/11.
(4) sing. The neyst cummyn off the seid Man or woman suld succeid; Barb. i 64. In all apport scho prowyt man Suppos in fourme scho wes woman; Wynt. ii 78. Thare suld na womman be juge of thing that pertenis to mannis jugement; Hay I 252/4. I sall nocht thole ... na man nor eit woman ... to [etc.]; 1466 Reg. Dunferm. 356. Tha call me Deid, ... Calland all man and woman to thair beirs; Henr. Deth & Man 19.
(b) That man or wemane, ... that is fundin thrise ... a fechtar [etc.]; 1470 Prestwick B. Rec. 16. Euirilk man suld laubour ... & weman rychtsua to put away syn; Irland Mir. III 73/15. Man, veymen, and chaylde; 1545 Douglas Corr. 155. Veyman; 1545 Douglas Corr. 158.
pl. Wemene; Leg. S. ii 530. A-lefyne thousand of men, Foroute barnys ore weman; Leg. S. vi 436. Socrates said that wemen ar the nettis of kawcht men ... Secundus ... sayes, that wemen is ... the hevyest byrding that man may haif; Myll Spect. 274/17, 21. We wemen We set us all fra the syght to syle men of treuth; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 448. Wemenn; Nisbet I 7. Christ commwnicate to the tuelf apostlis ... and e communicate till all men and wemen of the congregatioun indifferentlie; Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 159/29. Not onlie men, but weeman and childrene; Bann. Trans. 393. Sche saw twelf persounes, aucht wemene and four men; 1576 Crim. Trials I ii 52. Thatt no wemen nor maydis draw ony wyne or aill, bott to be done by men and boyis; 1608 Conv. Burghs II 253. That no inhabitant ... should invite ... more persones to be witnesses to any of ther bairnes bot four men, and four weemen at most; 1664 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 213.
(b) A pestilens ... Bathe men, and barnys, and women [W. wemen] It sparyd noucht for to kille; Wynt. viii 6439.
(c) The honest men and weomen of the towne; Pitsc. II 9/25. At a purpose dance whereat men and weomen talke secreitlie the queene choosed Chattelat; Calderwood II 211.
b. With allusion to qualities, characteristics, duties or objects particular to or viewed as particular to women.
Specif. (1) the sort of behaviour allowed to or expected of women; (2) (usu. deprecatory) of women as objects of male sexual attention; (3) child bearing; (4) attending on childbirth; (5) things made for women.
[FAINT] adj., [FLOUR] n. 4, [LICHT] adj.1 10 b, [MERCHET] n. for further examples.
(1) Gretyng Cummys to men for mysliking ... Bot it be wemen that can wet Thair chekys quhen-euer thaim list with teris; Barb. iii 518. A woman suld ... be Nocht lowd of lauchtir na of langage crous; Gud Wyf & D. 11. Tell neuer thi counsall to wemen for thai can kepe nain; Myll Spect. 275/28. A woman is no battall wrycht; Bk. Chess 2069. A woman aw to follow hir husband; Bk. Chess 2071. The wyssys ... than, for feir, By woman and the matronys dowblet wer; Mor grew the dreid the narrar drew dangar; Doug. viii ix 32. He that judgeth it a monstre in nature that a woman shall exercise weapons, must judge it to be a monstre of monstres that a woman shalbe exalted above a hole realme; 1558 Knox IV 383. How mony wayis that wemen haue ... to dissaue, ane innocent Into hir net; Rolland Seven S. 1182. Knawin of wemen the facultie That thay are nocht constant; Pitsc. I 10/18. Weomen; Pitsc. I 158/14. Fortoun is of the nature of wemen, which must be beaten and spurred to do thé reason; Fowler II 160/1. Uemen are the frailest sexe; James VI Basil. Doron 134/10. Wemen being heretrices ... gif they forfair ... their bodies in fornication ... sall be disheritted; Skene Reg. Maj. i 38b.
(2) In wemen mekill comfort lyis; Barb. ii 551. He gat witting ... Throw wemen [C. vomen] that he wyth wald play; Barb. v 544. Hay II 64/21 (see [KEM] v. 1). He suld nocht have na dale with wommen in that tyme; Hay II 135/9. Abstene thé fra sic delectatioun of wemen that thow callis luf; Myll Spect. 276/27. He has bene waistit apone wemen; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 178. Archibald Thomson ... nevir to hant in suspitious maner with hir nor na uthe[r] woman; 1600 St. A. Kirk S. 923.
(3) A woman ... That hyr child-ill ... has tane; Barb. xvi 275. Women with child ... gaderyt wp ... [Arrowes]; Barb. xvii 820. Ymang birthis that weman bare; Leg. S. xxxvi 175. Sall cry Allace, that wemen thame bure; Dunb. (OUP) 183/73. Schw hayd na payne ... in hir birth as al oder vemen hes; Gau 39/9. Quhen ony woman, beand accusit of ony crime, alledgis hirself to be with bairn [etc.]; Balfour Pract. 550. Ueimen; 1649 Wemyss Chart. II 232.
(4) I suspecting her to be with child, offered to bring in weemen to her; 1650 Brechin Presb. 51.
(5) Lettrones ... for wemen to work on; Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 297. Gloves for weyman; 1626 Edinb. Test. LIII 338.
c. With adjectival modification. Also as the second element of a compound.
[ALD] adj. 1, [COMMOUN] adj. 4, [GENTIL] [WOMAN] n., [GRESMAN] n., [HONEST] adj. 1, 1 b, [HYRE-WOMAN] n., [ILL] adj. 1, [INGLIS] adj. 1, [IRISCH(E] adj. 1, [KINNISWOMAN] n., [MARYIT] ppl. adj., [NOBILL-WOMAN] n., [SCOTTIS-WOMAN] n. for further examples.
sing. Thow garris thi awne sone de For wordis of a fals woman; Seven S. 501. To ane pure honest womane; 1511-12 Treas. Acc. IV 182. Merlyne ... wes borne of ane nobill women of Briton; Abell 43a. This wikkit wemen; Abell 71b. Sa that sche will return ... and be ane gud Scottis weman; 1515 Acta Conc. MS XXVII 71. Ilk onfre man or wowman; 1575-6 Lanark B. Rec. 71. A poor womune; 1662 Highland P. III 20. My Laidy Graham is a very cuning weoman; 1681 Red Bk. Menteith II 203. To Agnes Massie, litle woeman, viii lib.; 1685 Brechin Test. VII 127.
pl. Now, worthie wemen, in this ballet schort, Maid for our worschip and instructioun; Henr. Test. Cress. 610. Mercy becumys all men & specily gentylwemen; Doug. Pal. Hon. 982 (L) marg. Thay ar so humill ... All mercyfull wemen thair eirandis grantis; Dunb. (OUP) 200/55. The Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. title. Wemenne; 1539 Treas. Acc. VII 197. Al the fayr ande best lyik ong vemen; Compl. 11/23. The Hebrew wemen; Fowler I 303.
(b) My wyfe and twa gentill women wyth hir wyth sic houshald as afferis; 1438 Reg. St. A. 430. How the commoun women of Rome war revist be Sabynis; Bell. Livy I 159.
(c) Wymmen; Nisbet Luke xxiii 29. The good religius wimen did rise up ... and flang ... ther stoulles; 1638 Wemyss in Sc. Diaries 122.
(d) Young woomen ... drinking in ale houses; 1671 Kingarth Par. Rec. 69.
d. In (explicit or implicit) contrast with
[LADY] n. 1 or 3, a female of lesser rank.
Knychtis and sqwyeris ... prelatis ... Ladyis, madynnis and weman alle ... Husbandis ... that wynnis the corne [etc.]; Wynt. ix 2799. Sen the realme ... is gretumly puryt throu sumptuos clething bath of men and wemen ... that na man within burghe ... weir clathis of silk [etc.] ... and at thai mak ther wifis and dochteris in lik maner ... and as to thar gownys that na woman weir mertrikis [etc.] ... and in lik maner without the burowis of wther pur gentillmen and thar wifis; 1456-7 Acts II 49/2.
2. In generic use: The female human being.
That vomane suld luf hire husband; Leg. S. x 352. Cryst ... deneit of voman to be borne; Leg. S. xvi 3. Man is of hyar nature and condicioun, and mare noble na the womman is; Hay I 251/30. God ... quhen he iunyt the woman with the man; Irland Mir. III 96/25.
3. With possess. adj. or noun (phrase). a. A female servant. b. A wife or lover.
a., b. The chalans of a woman of Newin Chepmanis; 1432 Ayr B. Ct. 16 June. For the vrangvis ... strykkyn of his woman; 1503-4 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 127. William Torreis woman and Barbara Pattoun for casting snaw ballis; 1601 Elgin Rec. II 88. Four eir reings ... gifin at nevyeires day to my Lady Haringtouns vemen; 1603 Montgomery Mem. 248 (see
[ER(E] n. 4). Jonat Smyth, Adam Clarkis woman; 1605 Dundonald Par. Rec. 90. x lib. for the intertenment of his woman the tyme of the plague; 1611 Brechin Test. III 155. Amongst thy [sc. Korath's sons] weemen, honored most By thee, kings' daughters stand; Mure Psalmes xlv 9. Given at Mr. David Falconer's woman's brithell; 1671 Lauder Jrnl. 244. Being reproved by the petitioners woman they did beat her; 1675 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. IV 392. The majestratis with the ministeris women ... ane chopeing of wine; 1676 Irvine Mun. II 274. To my wife's woman as part of her fie, £1 10 s.; 1677 Cunningham Diary 90. Fynes Margaret Robiesone ... for abuseing my Lord Mortouns woman; 1684 Peebles B. Rec. II 115.
4. attrib. and possess. a. Of, belonging to, for the use of, appropriate or suitable for a woman. b. With designations of occupations or types of person. Also woman lowpar, ? a woman without connections or status or ? in objective use, one who goes from woman to woman (cf.
[LOWPAR] n.) or ? a fornicator (cf. [LOWP] v. 2 (3)). c. Of a place: Inhabited by women. d. Of a school: Run by women, ? = [SCULE] n.1 1 e, q.v. for further examples. e. Of parts, etc. of a woman's body. f. Of descent or descendants: In the female line, from a woman.
a. attrib. (1) Ane woman sadill; 1505 Treas. Acc. III 159. xix wemen schetis; 1546 Aberd. B. Rec. I 236. The haill wemen saittis fixit within the kirk; 1598 St. A. Kirk S. 864.
(2) His ... coit On womanwayis weill toyit abowt his west; Bann. MS 64b/25.
possess. (1) Deuoydyde him ... of the womannys weid; Wall. iv 791. A womanis haik price x s.; 1488-9 Acta Conc. I 106/2. Ane womanis gowne; 1540 Acta Conc. & Sess. MS XIV 75b. xxij pair of wemennis knyfis; 1574 Edinb. Test. III 143. Wemenis sadillis; 1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 329. Thay disguiset thame selffis in weamenis apparell; 1623 Crim. Trials III 548.
(2) Men suld considyr That womenis honore is tendyr & slyddir; Thewis Gud Women 8. Now e may ken sic wemens properteis Quhat mercy, grace, or gude deid thay wil grant [etc.] ... Than sall thay mak to ow ane thousand leis; Rolland Seven S. 2687. Womennis; Abell 75a (see [LIKNES] n. 1). Airschip geir, barnispairt and wemennis thrid; Bisset II 92/10. A lasse ... to have the just and equall half of the womans wages, and no more; Edinb. Justices Peace 408.
b. (1) Women sangstaris; Wisd. Sol. (STS) 78. All women mettaris of mell within the burgh; 1529 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 102. To use the ... testimonie of wemen-husies and bairdis; 1600 Reg. Privy C. VI 171. That schools be set up in ... the landwart of this paroche ... and that men or women teachers be sought and provided thereto; 1647 Dunferm. Ann. in J. M. Beale Fife Schools 48. The best man huick sall have ... in tyme of harvest £5 ... the best woman huick £3; 1657 Cramond Cullen Ann. 47.
(2) A ong man ... witles A pure man spendar getles A auld man trechour trewthles A woman lowpar landles ... sall nevir ane of thir do weill; Bann. MS 147a/14.
c. attrib. Ane land callit the vemen land quhar thair is na man nor na man dar byd oure ane eire; Prester John 311b.
possess. Ane ile, callit in Erishe Ellan Naban, that is the Woemens ile; Monro W. Isles (1884) 33.
d. attrib. [Without prejudice to the] weemen schollis [of Perth]; 1623 Grant Burgh Schools 133.
possess. Those that hes thair bairnes at vomen's schooles be delt with for putting thair bairnes to the gramer schools; 1650 Pittenweem Kirk S. 14 May in J. M. Beale Fife Schools 49. 1651 Burnett Fam. P. (see [MAN] n. 7).
e. attrib. That na personne by gers ... cumand to the mercatt wpoun hors bakis or weymen bakis; 1599 Glasgow B. Rec. I 197. Hingers for womene ears; 1655 Edinb. Test. LXVIII 170b.
possess. His hair was lang lyke wemens; Pitsc. I 301/12. In abstracking of ... wemennis milk; 1590 Crim. Trials I ii 208.
f. attrib. We ar cummyn ... of the woman syd [Misc. Bann. C. III 36, wommannis syde] callit Scota; Asl. MS I 186/2.
possess. Misc. Bann. C. III 36 (see attrib. above). Dalr. I 88/11 (see [RACE] n. 2).