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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).

Age, Aige, n. Also ag, aage, aghe; ayge, aig; adge, aidge; ege, eage, edge, eig; hage. [ME. age, aege (c 1325), etc., OF. aage, eage, F. âge.]

1. Length of life or existence.(a) c1420 Wynt. viii. 1821 (off allkyn state, off allkyn age). 1456 Hay I. 53/10 (of xxviij ȝeris of age); 141/2 (efter thyne age). c1475 Wall. i. 208 (ner twenty ȝer of age). a1500 Doug. K. Hart 281 (bot ȝoung of age); 1513 Æn. i. xi. 23 (mony of the sam age). 1581 Lanark B. Rec. 82 (of the adge of xxxiiii yeris). 1585 Maitl. F. clxxxi (of the aage of four scour ȝeiris). 1636 Sutherland Corr. 165 (fortein yeiris of adge). 1673 Corshill Baron Ct. 111 (of the adge of twentie tuo years).(b) 1531 Bell. Boece I. 36 (feblit be lang aige). 1549 Compl. 30/9 (bot aucht ȝeir of aige). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 23/11 (that maist flurissand part of my aige). a1578 Pitsc. I. 13/13 (nocht past sex ȝeir of aige).(c) a1568 Bann. MS. 22 b (the moir of ege, the nerrer hevynis blis). 1581 Sat. P. xliv. 320 (in all ȝour eage and lyf).

2. A stage in life necessary for, or appropriate to, some purpose or function.a. With defining term or phrase.c1400 Troy-bk. i. 393 (of age maryit to be). c1460 Thewis Gud W. 291 (to norys thaim to perfyt age). 1502 Chart. (Reg. H.) No. 642 (nocht of lauchful aghe). 1506 Lennox Mun. 179 (perfyte ag of mariag). 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 36 (not in aige to help thame selffis). a1570-86 Maitl. M. Fol. xcvii. 97 (of age to regnne). 1596 Frasers of Philorth 250 (hir perfyitt aidge off tuentie ane ȝeiris compleitt).

b. Without qualification; freq. = legal age of maturity.1440 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 192 (to be kepit to the kingis behuve and age). 1456 Hay II. 151/35 (quhen the barne was cummyn till age). 1549 Compl. 33/10 (he to be neureist til his aige). 1578 Reg. Privy C. III. 113 (growand to the gretar perfectioun of aig). 1690 Ann. Banff II. 175 (such children as ar come to aige).

3. Any distinct period or stage of life. (See also les age, s.v. Les a.)c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2406 (L. had brocht him wp of tender age). 1456 Hay I. 231/22 (I am passit date of resonable age); 264/13 (a man past grete age). 1492 Acta Conc. 213/1 (of ȝong age and vnder tutory). 1549 Compl. 29/36 (nocht entrit in the aige of puberte). 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 14 (studentis of gretar age). 1570 Leslie 12 (of tendir aidge). 1593 Maxwell Mem. I. 168 (my auld eage). 1646 Glasgow B. Rec. 95 (in regard of his old edge).

4. The state or fact of being old or elderly; advanced or old age.1456 Hay I. 42/7 (ane hundreth men of age); 195/23 (men of age passit lx ȝere). a1500 Henr. III. 171/27 (age is obstynate). a1500 Seven S. 121 (I am of age). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvii. 5 (now cumis aige quhair ȝewth hes bene). 1513 Doug. ii. vii. 132 (for age H. waik and febill was); vi. vi. 82 (onweldy Age). 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 58 (age, forgetfulness and disease). 1606 Highland P. III. 88 (my aige and puir estait). 1616 Misc. Spald. C. II. 158 (beand of good eage and infirm). 1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 257 (infirm throg aig).

5. A period of time; an epoch.c1515 Asl. MS. I. 299/20 (the vij dayis and vij agis); 316/27 (in this age). 1505 Conv. Burghs I. 541 (throw all aigeis to cum). a1538 Abell 6* a.
Hage fyrst hendit in Noy
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1948 (in to the secunde aige); 5281 (in sex ageis). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 7/20 (in the lait aige). 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 284 (in all aidges and tymes). 1581 Cath. Tract. 74 (contenuit vnto oure eage). 1602 Colville Parænese 137 (in aages narrest Crist). a1605 Birrel Diary 36 (nevir in aney aidge befoir). 1641 Acts V. 503/1 (in preseeding aiges).

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"Age n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Oct 2022 <>



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