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

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About this entry:
First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

A, indef. art. [Early ME. a, unstressed form of ā: see A,num. In later use commonly replaced by Ane.]

a. Before consonants. (See also Devil, Fende.) 1375 Barb. iii. 195.
A man
Ib. i. 289.
A sone, … a litill page
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 863–4.
A martyre, … a thousand
1424 Acts II. 4/2.
A gait, a gymer or a dynmont
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3551.
At a fest
1456 Hay I. 234/3.
[He] hid him in a busk
c1475 Wall. viii. 1736.
A warians
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 215/6.
Scotland was a kinrik
1513 Doug. ix. viii. 114.
A clos volt
1562-3 Winȝet I. 4/12.
For a tyme
1596 Dalr. I. 138/7.
To beir a croune
Ib. 138/30.
A bald battel
1600-1610 Melvill 18.
A ballet sett out in print against ministers

b. Before vowels. a1400 Leg. S. ix. 136.
A vnwemmyt virgine
Ib. xxx. 148.
Sic a ydiot
1484 Misc. Bann. C. II. 38.
A oracyon
1513 Reg. Privy S. I. 377/1.
A abell persoun
a1578 Pitsc. I. 158/23.
A euill end
1615 Melrose P. 215.
A yle
1617 Lett. to Jas. VI 306.
A afald mynd
1624 Southesk MSS. 15.
A occasione
1632 Montgomery Mem. 291.
A othir ring
1669–70 Irvine Mun. II. 267.
Half a onc[e] of tobacco
1682 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 315.
A eight dayes

c. With numbers (other than score, hundred, etc.). 1513 Doug. ix. ii. 36.
A twenty chosyn men
1570 Leslie 227.
A xxx [= thretty] saill of men of war
1600-1610 Melvill 79.
About a twa and twentie … yeirs
1604 Elgin Rec. II. 120.
Sonday come a fyveten days
1619 Garden Elphinston 1584.
A sextie saills of warre
1620 Crim. Trials III. 486.
A fourtene ȝeir syne
1639 Baillie I. 237.
Onc[e] a thre or four year

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"A indef. art.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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