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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ȝem(e, v. Also: ȝheyme, ȝime, ȝym. P.t. also ȝimmit. P.p. also yemit, yhemit, yhem(m)yt. [ME and e.m.E. ȝeme (c1175), yeme (Cursor M.), ȝem (c1400), ȝyme (c1450), OE ᵹíeman, ON geyma.] tr.

1. To take care of, look after; to have charge of; to guard, protect (a thing) from harm or loss. Also ellipt. and absol. b. To hold in custody, keep in confinement.pres. 1375 Barb. xiii 230 (C).
Ȝhemen, swanys and poveraill That in the parc ȝheyme vittale War left
c1420 Ratis R. 1495.
[Kings] Rycht as thai luf, or as thai dem, Ourtyrwand baith thai haf to ȝem
14.. Burgh Laws c. 25 (A).
Gif his lord war in the kingis castell to ȝem [B. kepe] it
a1500 Lanc. 664.
No langer that I ȝeme My crowne my septure nor my dyademe … If that I mak … resydens In to o place langar than o nycht
a1500 Rauf C. 641.
My laid war I laith to lois … Se that thow leis thame not bot ȝeme thame full ȝair
1513 Doug. iii ix 97.
Polyphemus, ȝymmand his beystis rouch
a1568 Broun in Bann. MS I p. 37/82.
Ȝe men of kirk that cure hes tane Off saulis for to ȝeme [Bann. MS 52a/82, wetsche] and keip
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Ȝemsel.
For ȝeme … is to obserue and keepe, as quhen in time of singular battell they quha standes by and behaldes ar commanded to keepe & ȝeme the time of the derenȝie their weapons fra the handes of the appealer and defendour
(b) 1513 Doug. vii viii 23.
Tyrrheus … was fee master and gyde Of studis, flokkis, bowis and heirdis wide, As storour to the kyng dyd kepe and ȝym [Sm. ȝime]
ellipt. ?1438 Alex. ii 6012.
He said, ‘I sall assaill Emynedus and win Ferrand’ … Than luich the king and said ‘parde, Schir duke, now haue ȝe for to ȝeme [F. garder] Gif ȝe na keip him [etc.]'
absol. c1420 Wynt. v 183 (W).
As Joseph passit and Mary, A lyoune ȝemyt [R. thaim kepyd, C. thaim kepit] be the way
p.t. 1375 Barb. xi 118.
He had for-owtyn … men of fute [and small rangale] That ȝemyt harnays & wittaile
c1450-2 Howlat 132 (A).
The pape commandit … to wryte in all landis Be the said secretar that the sele ȝemyt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 12/39.
The feild is win, ourcumin is the fo, Dispulit of the tresur that he ȝemit
p.p. 1375 Barb. viii 493.
Quhen he had ȝemyt [1571 kepyt] a ȝer … The … castell off Douglas That to kepe sa peralus was
?1438 Alex. ii 3643.
I grantit ȝow my lufe … And I of ȝouris als sesit is, Ȝit haue I ȝemit it hidder tillis
a1500 K. Hart 676.
Knaw thy freynd for-be thy fa, Gif thow will haue thy cuntre all weill ȝemit
b. a1400 Leg. S. x 217.
Laydy, ger thire wechis ȝeme [L. custodire], That makis thame goddis to seme
14.. Burgh Laws c. 47 (A).
Giff ony burges be arestyt for ony trespas & may nocht fynde borows the burges of the toune sal ȝem him in his awne propyr hous in bandis xv dais
14.. Burgh Laws c. 47 (A).
He salbe remuffyt … & lede to the bedal hous … & thar he salbe ȝemyt of the chalangeor
14.. Burgh Laws c. 64 (B).
Giff he be tane on nycht … he salbe ȝemyt with his chalangeour & with the wardanis of the toune
(b) 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 749.
And Juno eik as for a kow gart keip The fair Yo that lang was wobegone. Argus hir ȝimmit [L. ȝymmyt] that ene had mony one

2. To keep, observe, adhere to (conditions, laws, etc.). b. To reserve (a case) to the appropriate court. 1389 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 16.
And til there thyngys al & syndry lelily & fermly to be fulfyllyt & yhemyt [Wemyss Chart 24, yhemmyt] [etc.]
1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 49.
To the mar sekyrnes of the qwhilk thyngis fermly to be yhemyt & haldyne I haf svorne abodily athe
1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 60.
At al this before nemmit be yemit and kepit in forme and effect [etc.]
14.. Burgh Laws c. 107 (A).
All the lawis ande al the rychtwisnes ande customes efter thar power thai sal ȝem
1425 Raine N. Durham App. 105.
14.. Acts I 11/2.
The kyng biddis that conabil and leil man-herbery be ȝemyt [L. quod … conveniens et legalis hospitalitas custodiatur]
14.. Acts I 43/2.
All the lawys … thai sal ȝeme and mantene
b. 1312 Facs. Nat. MSS II xix.
[If disputes … be more serious and belonging to the lordship, they ought to] be yemit [L. reservari] [to the court of the abbot, and there justly determined]
14.. Acts I 22/2.
Playntis … that fallis to the kyngis croune sall be enrollyt and yhemyt to the cummyng of the iustyce

3. To take away, carry (something) off. a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi 742.
A man … Dalf vpe his graf … & bar away that gud … To quham Sancte Johnn apperit … & sad … 'For that thu has don Til hyme sa gret iniquite To ȝeme [L. tangere] that lypnit wes to me [etc.]'

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"Ȝem v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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