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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ȝo(u)ng, Ȝung, Ȝing, adj. and n. Also: ȝonge, y(h)ong(e, ȝoing, ȝounge, ȝhoung, y(h)oung, younge, ȝowng(e, y(h)owng(e, ȝunge, y(h)ung, ȝ(h)ing(e, y(h)ing, ȝyng(e, ȝhyng, yhyng, ȝeing. [ME and e.m.E. ȝung (Orm), ȝe(o)nge (Layamon), ȝinge (c1250), ȝong (c1290), yong, yung, ying (all Cursor M.), yhyng (?1402), ȝoyng (c1420), young (1517), OE ᵹeong, ᵹung, iung, Northumb. ᵹing, MDu. jonc.]

A. 1. Of a person: Young, in the earlier part of life. a. predic.(a) 1375 Barb. viii 454.
He wes baith ȝong [C. ȝoung] stoute & felloun
a1400 Leg. S. xix 447.
Twa demycelis, that ȝonge ware
(b) 15.. Dunb. App. x 17.
Fair lufsum lady … Art thow plesand, lusty, ȝoing and fair
(c) 1375 Barb. xii 322 (C).
His air … his land sall weild, All be he neuir so ȝhoung of eild
c1420 Wynt. viii 4127.
The Stwart off Scotland than Roberd, That then wes yhowng (forowtyn were Off elde he passyd noucht sewyntene yhere)
1627 Brechin Test. IV 273.
1662 Lamont Diary 153.
This yowng gentelman had ane halt in his goeing
(d) a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 64.
a1568 Bann. MS 263b/33.
Quhen I was ȝung I luvit parramouris
(e) 1375 Barb. xx 142.
Ȝing [C. ȝyng]
a1500 Lanc. 2866.
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 306.
The curat of our kirk that knew me full ȝing
1570 Sat. P. xvii 188.
Of ȝeiris thocht he be ȝing

b. attrib. With many terms for men or women. See also Damisel n. (c), Fallow n. 4, Folk n. 1 b, Fule n. 1 (f), Galland n.1, Gentil man n. 1 (b), Hussy n. 3, Lad n. 3, Lady n. 3, Maidin n. 1, Person(e n. 1 b, Wench n., Woman n. 1 c. for further examples. See also Ȝ(o)ung man n. Also proverb. and transf. of a part of the body.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 342.
The ȝung laydy
c1420 Wynt. ii 1424.
c1420 Wynt. vi 476.
A woman yhong till eyld growand
c1515 Asl. MS I 3/22.
Ȝoung folk in thair strenth ȝouthhed & wantones
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 200/50.
Thair cumis ȝung monkis … And in the courte thair hait flesche dantis
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 153.
A brutale appetyte makis ȝong fulis forvay
1533 Gau 3/20.
1549 Compl. 3/7.
Ȝour only ȝong dochter, our nobil princes and rychteous heretour of Scotland
1549 Compl. 29/30.
That the Lord sal gyf to Jherusalem … ȝong kyngis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2312.
To hir ȝoung lufe scho went quhair that he lay
1565 St. A. Kirk S. 234.
I beand bot ane yong woman … wes compellit [etc.]
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Eclogues vi 14.
Pueri, ȝoung fellowis
1596 Dalr. II 152/18.
He an alde aget man, to marie sa ȝoung a damosel
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 100/7.
Choose aulde experimentid captaines & young abill soldatis
(b) c1420 Wynt. ii 394.
Benjamin, thaire brodyre yhing
c1420 Wynt. viii 79.
Margret cald, that madyn yhyng, The dowchtyr douchtyr off oure kyng
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 203.
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 154.
Virgyns ying
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 194.
Ȝyng virgynys and fair damcyellis
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxiv 2.
Sueit thing, bening and ȝing, of ȝeiris grene
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1706) 277.
Lear young, lear fair
transf. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 271.
I recommend to you prayer and watching over the sins of your youth for I know that missive letters go between the devil and young blood

c. Of children or infants. Also transf., of a part of the body of an infant, in fig. context. See also Barne n. 3, Child n. 1, Infant n., Innocent adj. and n. 2 b. c1475 Wall. i 166.
King Herodis part thai playit in to Scotland, Off ȝong childer that thai befor thaim fand
1535 Stewart 44650.
Hir ȝoung sone Johnne in his creddill that lay
1616 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 83.
Scho had … smoirit in hir drunkines hir awin young bairne
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II 619.
Ane yowng infant … sitting on the nurish kne
transf. 1535 Stewart 29345.
Thi greit subtillitie … and preching wnplane Hes bene the caus thi laubour wes in vane. Ane ȝoung stomack … wald be fed with ȝoung and tender fude And speciallie with sueit milk

d. With personal names, identifying an individual, sometimes merely as young, sometimes in contradistinction to an older person of the same name. Also transf. of a bird.(a) c1420 Wynt. viii 3491.
The Erle off Murrave, yhoung Thomas
c1475 Wall. ii 167.
Lefand as now a chiftane had we nane … bot ȝong Wallace alane
1500 Reg. Privy S. I 84/1.
Robert Elwald callit Ȝong Ridar
1532 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 128.
Yong [MS ȝong] Wolle Carnes, servand to Jok Hog
1533 Bell. Livy I 101/20.
Quhen Aruns Terquyne and the eldest Tullia war deceissit, ȝoung Terquyne and this feirs Tullia war maryit
c1550 Lynd. Test. Meldrum 208.
My lord Lindesay … Maister Patrik, with ȝoung Normond, ȝour brother
1558 Treas. Acc. X 414.
To play at the cartis witht the Erle of Huntlie and ȝoung Lethingtoun
1567 G. Ball. 51.
O my deir hart, ȝung Jesus sweit, Prepair thy creddill in my spreit
a1578 Pitsc. I 68/27.
The Inglischemen … mairieit this ȝoung King Henrie the Sext wpoun the Dwike of Loranis doughter
(b) ?1438 Alex. ii 2237.
Dam Ydeas the ȝing
c1420 Wynt. ii 419.
Primotheus yhing, Off Caucasus baythe lorde and kyng
1513 Doug. xi ii 24.
Amyd the quhilkis … thai laid this Pallas ȝyng
(c) 15.. Clar. v 1016.
Donas the ȝeing
transf. a1500 Colk. Sow iii 94.
Hir … hen callit Lady Pekle-pes And ȝoung Cokrell hir lord and lemman wes

e. With titles, chiefly const. def. art., esp. of a place or family, also specif. with la(i)rd (Lard n.1 3), the heir-apparent of a landowner, also in the later dial. (SND Young adj. 1 (3).)(1) a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 300.
Archbald Dumbar betrasd the hous of Hailis Becaus the ȝung lord had Dumbar to keip
1587 Edinb. Test. XVII 244.
Awand to me … be the ȝounge laird
1590 Digest Justiciary Proc. M 17.
The said ȝownge laird
1611 Reg. Panmure I xciv.
Alexander Maule, then beine yonge lard and eldest sone to the said Sir Thomas
c1650 Spalding I 3, 4.
Efter the death … of Angouss McIntoshe … his kyn … beginis [etc.] … And thairwith considering thair younge cheif the laird of McIntoshe wes bot a barne who … micht not be anssuerabill for their misdeidis … thay therefoir … throw infancie of there young cheif … resoluis [etc.]
(2) 1496–7 Acta Conc. II 47.
Alexander Gordoun, the yong lard of Lochinver
1507 Treas. Acc. IV 69.
James Stewart, ȝong lard of Ardgowan
1526 Reg. Privy S. I 521/2.
William Fleming ȝoung lard of Baruchane
1549 Treas. Acc. IX 307.
To ane barboure that mendit the ȝong maistres of Sympillis cheik
1565 Bk. Univ. Kirk I 58.
The kirk … in Carrick … is now givin be her hienes to the ȝong laird of Skeldoun
1641 Baillie I 371.
The altercation of … David Dagleish and the young constable of Dundie

f. Having the characteristics of youth; youthful in terms of health, etc. a1500 Henr. Praise of Age 6.
For tobe yong [Makc. ȝowng, B. ȝung] I wald not … The more of age the nerar hevynnis blis
c1515 Asl. MS I 169/3.
A well … quhilk is callit the well of ȝouthhed for he that drinkis of that well is maid ȝoung and hele of all seiknes

g. Of food: Suitable for an infant.1535 Stewart 29346 (see c transf. above).

h. transf. Of persons in respect of their age, ȝeris or estait.(a) 1491–2 Acta Conc. I 211/2.
Comperit Huchoune Makcanrik of ȝoung age and … besoucht my lordis to gif him curatouris to pley for him
1492 Myll Spect. 283/5.
King Eolus quhilk had a dochter … being in hir ȝung age
1513 Acta Conc. MS XXVI 24.
That the persoun of the … king of Scotland be surelie keipit now in his yong age
1513 Doug. x vi 66.
Lychas … was sa chancy in hys ȝong estait That [etc.]
1584 Acts III 347/1.
The trublous tymis bypast of his ȝung aige
(b) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 213/47.
Our nobill king Quhen that he was of ȝeiris ȝing
a1568 Bann. MS 54a/64.
In to my ȝeiris grene and ȝing
1570 Sat. P. xiv 27.
In to my tender yeiris ȝing

i. transf. Of a person in respect of learning or advice, or of learning, advice, etc. itself: (As) of a young, inexperienced or immature person; inexperienced, immature; unpractised; not long begun.(a) c1420 Ratis R. 1240.
Bot now thoucht ȝouthed in his eild Sa wrangwysly hir werkis weild For resone than is ȝong & wak
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 7.
Enditing in his faire Latyne tong … Quhich to declare my scole is ouer ȝong
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 568.
The falt is ȝowris, sir king … For and with ȝow gude counsal war ay cheif [etc.] … in vane al thing he [sc. the king] wrocht And how the cuntrie throw him was misfarne Throw ȝong counsel and wrocht ay as a barne
1562-3 Winȝet I 101/16.
Men in this vocatioun … suld nocht be ȝoung of leirning
a1578 Pitsc. I 284/16.
Thinkand gif he had raxit ony langer but correctioun … that he wald owercome the haill contrie and that be ȝoung consall that he had obtenitt him
1622-6 Bisset I 18/24.
Into my vulgare and maternall tung I pas na limitis thought my lair be ȝung
(b) 1535 Stewart 33076.
Als[o] with him ane counsall had so ȝing, Quhilk had no knawledge mair no had ane kow, But eit and drink, and fill the bellie fow

2. a. Of an animal: Not fully grown, immature. Also proverb. b. Of an animal with regard to its flesh as food: Not old, hence, by implication, not tough, tender, excellent as food. c. Of flesh as food: Deriving from a young animal.a. 1471 Acta Aud. 16/1.
Thre ȝung nolt
1474 Acta Aud. 36/1.
Oxin & ky & yhonge betis
a1500 Bk. Chess 671.
Thai tuke the flesche of a ȝong hors … & laid it on thair cors [etc.]
1533 Carnwath Baron Ct. (SHS) 161, 162.
That he withhald fra him … the sowme of xiij merkis that he vas awand him and ane ȝowng ox or xiiij s. of seluir the said Jhone … grantit … xiiij s. for the ȝowng ox
1537 St. P. Henry VIII V 126.
He saw ane ȝoung lyoun in Flandris, and wald have coft the samyn to his grace
1585–6 Forres B. Ct. 31 Jan.
Ane ȝowng bow [= bull]
1596 Dalr. I 61/14.
Wormes of quhilkes sum war ȝit greine & ȝoung bot vthiris ar seine with thair memberis hail & in due forme
1617 Montgomery Mem. 279.
For foddering sex ȝoung gudis
1641 Acts V (1817) 594/2.
Two ȝong staiges
1643 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 174.
Ane ȝoung quoyak calfe
proverb. 1535 Stewart 36542.
It hes bene said … The ȝoung cok leiris as the ald cok craw
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 68.
As the old cocke crawes, the young cock leares
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1460.
The young guse to the old can say, see the last at Lammas day
b. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 113/25.
This lame wes ȝung and tender
1567 G. Ball. 175.
Ȝung and tender lambis
1582 Edinb. Test. XI 311.
Of ȝoung new libbit capones xx price of the pece xxx d.
1597 Household Bks. Jas. VI and Anne 29 March.
Ane ȝoung hair
(b) 1513 Doug. xiii vi 223.
Tydy ȝyng [Sm. ȝing, Ruddim. ȝoung] oxin steik thai … And in the funerall fyris did thame cast
c. 1558 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 358.
Ane quarter yung beif ix s.

3. Of plants: Young, not fully grown or matured; soft, tender; vulnerable to damage. Also fig. and transf.(a) c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 22.
The rosis yong new spreding of thair knopis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1529.
The gairdnar … leit the ȝoung tre stand still
1562-3 Winȝet I 45/13.
The tender burgeounis of the ȝong wynis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 159/16.
Ane tre is eith bowit quhen that it is ȝoung
1578 Inverness Rec. I 261.
Four beddis young plantis
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 352.
Na maner of … persones … mak murburne … bot … upone grass only, saiffand hedder and young wood
1622 Misc. Spald. C. V 222.
Within the hainings off the lairds haill young woods
(b) 1513 Doug. xii Prol. 132.
The verdour ȝyng
15.. Clar. iv 1614.
The tender rosie blumis ȝeing
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 58 (W).
The tender tuistis ȝing
fig. a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxii 1.
Ȝong tender plante! in spring tym of ȝour ȝeirs
transf. 1513 Doug. viii iii 149.
My grene ȝouth that tyme with pilis ȝyng First cled my chyn, or berd begouth to spryng

4. Of the sun: Early in the morning. 1513 Doug. xii Prol. 96.
Blisfull blossummys … Submittis thar hedis in the ȝong sonnys salfgard

B. absol. or ellipt., also absol. as noun. 1. Of persons. a. Auld and (or) ȝing, ȝong and (nor) ald, everyone. See Ald adj. and n. 1 b for further examples. b. A young woman.a. ?1438 Alex. ii 2708.
Nane of his sonnes, nouther ȝong nor ald
c1420 Wynt. vi 1569.
1535 Stewart 2491.
Greit harme it wes … till heir The sorrowfull sound that tyme of ȝoung and ald
1657 Balfour Ann. IV 360.
The kings maiestie … healte 100 persons of the kings eiuell, younge and olde
(b) a1400 Leg. S. x 120.
All that harde hyme, ȝald or ȝynge, Had wondyre
a1400 Leg. S. xvii 10.
a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 1169.
?1438 Alex. ii 7454.
Baith auld and ȝing Ressauit him full richely
1535 Stewart 1409.
In all that schip chapit nather ald nor ȝing
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i 275.
It is the spreit that quyknis auld and ȝing
b. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 5/13.
Haile, ȝhyng benyng fresche flurising

2. Of animals: a. Young, immature animals. b. Offspring, progeny.a. c1420 Wynt. i 219.
The brukyd bestys … He gert depart fra quhyt … The yhownge [W. ȝoung] he partyde fra the awlde
b. 1596 Dalr. I 123/11.
Gif a sou eit his ȝoung, stane him

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"Ȝong adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2023 <>



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