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

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

Be. v.1 [ME. be, ben, OE. béon.] intr. To be.

A. Illustration of forms.The normal forms are confused and augmented in various ways. The more notable instances are the following: (1) The use of is for am, art, are, when the personal pronoun does not immediately precede, and similarly of wes, was, for the plural were, ware. (2) The extension of the indicative forms beis and war(e to the subjunctive. (3) The adoption by the poets of English forms, as bene for are (and erroneously for is), werren, warryn for were, ware, be or ybe for the p.p. bene, and conversely bene for the infin. be.In early texts, is, wes, and was frequently rhyme with words having long vowels, e.g. is with prys (Barb. i. 240), wys (Ib. 265); wes with lese (Troy-bk. i. 590), pece (Ib. ii. 44), was with cas (= case; Barb. i. 563), grace (Ib. iii. 233), etc. This does not imply actual lengthening in these forms.

I. 1. Inf. be, bee, bie, bei; bene, beene, beyn. [Northern ME. be (bi, by), midl. and southern ben(e, been, beon, OE. béon (ONhb. bían).](a) a 1350 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. xix (be yemit). 1375 Barb. v. 300 (wald bundin till him be). a1400 Leg. S. i. 1 (Peter of ‘petra’ may be tane). 1409 Exch. R. IV. p. ccxi (sal suffir to be done). c1420 Wynt. vii. 1167 (Malcolme gert he be traweland). c1420 Ratis R. 693 (it hapnis oft in mycht to bee). a1500 Bk. Chess 484 (the sapiens that suld be in a quene). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyting 63 (in brybrie ay to be). 1535 Stewart 12408 (that is, or was, or be sall). a1568 Scott xviii. 14 (sall I nevir mirry be). c1590 J. Stewart 52/147 (invisebill to bie). 1649 Wemyss Chart. 231 (quhaitt sall bei doune with my clothes). 1653 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 226 (to bie baptized by him).(b) c1420 Wynt. ix. 3103 (all wertuouslike to bene in were). c1475 Wall. xi. 1116 (thow mon bene set in feyr). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 39 (that suld thair bute bene). 1493 Acta Aud. 180/2 (because he maid nocht D. Quhithed bene contentit). a1500 Bk. Chess 529 (chaist in hir persone to bene). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii. 80 (he went agane to bene bespewit). a1540 Freiris Berw. 389 (quhat may this bene?). a1649 Drummond I. 18/7 (why should I beene a partner of the light?).

2. Pres. Indic. a. be, bee, = am, art, is, are. [ME. be, beo, OE. béo. 1st person sing.]1375 Barb. i. 615 (how that I sympill be!). c1420 Ratis R. 714 (quhen eild and deses cumyne bee). 1513 Doug. i. Prol. 232 (quhilk mony mylis syndry be); viii. Prol. 120 (quhat bern be thou?). a1540 Freiris Berw. 237 (quha be this?).

b. beis, beys, beies, bes, beas, bis, = is, art, are, shall be. Chiefly in subordinate clauses after gif, quhen, that, etc. [Northern ME. bes, bese, beis, midl. and southern beth, etc., OE. bið 3rd sing., and béoð pl.](1) 1375 Barb. xix. 300 (it beis nocht swa). a1400 Leg. S. l. 220 (thu beis a thrill). c1450 Cr. Deyng 257 (he beis sauit). c1420 Ratis R. 1419 (Iugment beis al forȝet). a1500 Henr. Fab. 2460 (werryit beis all my scheip). c1475 Wall. i. 433 (this day he beis nocht socht). a1500 Seven S. 960 (this sample beis on ȝow sene). a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 560 (of blis thow beis ay baire). 1535 Stewart 17580 (the feild this da beis ouris). 1581 Colville Lett. 3 (the King and the Duke beis gossops). 1633 Maxwell Mem. II. 242 (the kingis maiestie beis al day in Seitowne).(2) 1375 Barb. x. 576 (gif it beis neid). 1399 Melville Chart. 15 (gif the landis beis distroyit). 1405 Lennox Mun. 57 (to be payd gyff it beis askyt). 1420 Red Bk. Menteith I. 261 (if it sa beies). c1420 Wynt. viii. 901 (gyff he beis swa). c1460 Consail Wys Man 15 (with ill men gif that thou beis). 1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 241/1 (gif ony catall beis apprehendit … ). 1513 Doug. i. ix. 43 (gif euer reward beis get). 1541 Conv. Burghs I. 555 (for the falȝe gyf ony beis). 1549 Compl. 97/23 (gif sa beis that … ). 1556 Inverness B. Rec. I. 2 (gyf the sayd Thom beys fundyn … ). 1577 Conv. Burghs I. 50 (gif the haill beis ingottin). 1617 Elgin Rec. II. 152 (gif he beis found absent). 1638 Kirkcaldy Presb. 125 (if need bes). 1643 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 2 (if his commissioun beis alterit).(3) a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 833 (quhen al beis done). 1428 Liber Aberbr. 58 (as lang as the abbot beis at his innys). ?1438 Alex. ii. 2066 (quha beis heir, lufe him behouis). 1454–5 Edinb. Chart. 79 (als oft as the said ryllik beis borne). 1482 Fam. Rose 147 (till ressave the castell quhen it beys takyn). 1483 Acta Aud. *123/1 (samekle as beis nocht deliuerit). 1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 241/2 (all catall that beyis apprehendit thairin). 1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 27 (als sone as the samyn beis knawin). c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1413 (quhen I heir that thow beis deid). 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 13 (quha beis nocht fund hable salbe deposit). 1574 Prot. Bk. G. Fyiff 7 b (quhow often it beis redemit). 1588 Glenartney Doc. (ane or ma as neid beis). 1614 Crim. Trials III. 296 (quhat conditioun beis promeist ȝow). 1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 52 (quhosoever beis absent). 1656 Marischal Coll. Rec. I. 215 (howsoone I and my forsaidis beis desyrit).

c. bene, bein(e, beyn(e, byne. = are, is, am. [Midland ME. bene, beene, ben, OE. béon, 3rd pl. subj.](1) pl. c1450-2 Howlat 426 (that bene cot armouris of eild). c1475 Wall. xi. 83 (parteis beyn met). a1500 Bk. Chess 625 (hir barnis quhat so euir thai bene). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxi. 20 (cursouris that in silk beine trappit). 1513 Doug. i. iv. 70 (not ignorant bene we); viii. 80 (quhou beyn sic thewis sufferit?). 1531 Bell. Boece I. 271 (quhare mony kingis bene beryit). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1756 (to quhom al thingis bene present). 1570 Sat. P. xii. 186 (sum thair bene waittis on the Quene). a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxv. 1 (quhy bene ȝe so long on sleep?).(2) sing. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 624 (sic is the douchter as the moder beyne); 847 (he bene a gudlye knycht). c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 77 (Cleo, that help of makaris bene); lxxxix. 3 (the lustyest one alyve that byne). 1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 44 (quhar thar beyn na parage). 15.. Clar. i. 1347 (quhair Clariodus beine ȝit). 1536 Lynd. Answ. Flyting 6 (I quhilk bene so detractit). c1552 Id. Mon. 5266 (to God allone the day bene knawin). a1585 Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. xxx. 18 (the brichtest thing that euer creat bein). 1604-31 Craig i. 11 (thy folde bene broke).

3. Pres. subj. be, bee, bie. [ME. be, bie, beo, OE. béo sing., béon pl.] Also beis, etc. (see 2 b).1375 Barb. x. 576 E (and it be ned). c1420 Ratis R. 739 (a clerk gif that thow be). c1475 Wall. x. 514 (or that ilk tyme be went). a1500 Rauf C. 56 (and it be nocht swa); 626 (gif thair be sic ane). 1483 Acta Aud. *115/1 (that summondis be gevin apon him). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxix. 25 (quhill that hir glas be run). 1526 Stirling B. Rec. I. 27 (that na muttoun … be blawin). c1550 Lynd. Meldrum (be thow ane knicht, cum furth to me). a1568 Scott iv. 97 (gif this bie).

4. Imperative sing. be; pl. beis. (See also Beid.) [ME. sing. be, beo, OE. béo; northern pl. bes(e, beys, midl. and southern beth(e, beoth, OE. béoð. Douglas has beis as a singular.](1) sing. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 957 (be sikyr and dred nocht). 1395 Menzies Chart. MS. (be it knawyn tyl al). 1426 Reg. Great S. 11/1 (be it kend tel al men). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 465 (hutit be the halok lase). c1500 Rowll Cursing (blak be thair hour). 1556 Lauder Off. Kings 489 (be wer and mend).(2) pl. a1400 Leg. S. vi. 326 (beis baptiste but delay); xxvii. 1521 (beis nocht irk). c1420 Wynt. viii. 6569 (beis off gud confurd). 1513 Doug. i. vi. 44 (beis to ws happy and kynd); xiii. ii. 78 (beys glaid).

5. Pres. pple. beand(e, beaund; being(e, beyng(e, beying, been. [Northern ME. beand, midl. and southern beende, beonde (and being), OE. béonde.](a) 1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 138* (nane beand present bot we thre). a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi. 192 (he beand god). c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1081 (scho in-to lyf beand). 1405 Lennox Mun. 58 (the indenturis beande of na valow). 1456 Hay I. 202/30 (he beand redy to geve the sacrament). 1478 Misc. Spald. C. V. 26 (beand gadderit in the tolbuthe). 1491 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 326 (twa tercis beand defalkyt). 1500 Fraser P. (beaund personaly present). 1513 Doug. iv. xii. 76 (thou beand thus heir schent). 1540 Edinb. Chart. 212 (the pley beand dependand). 1554 Reg. Cupar A. II. 113 (beand reddy thairto at all tymmes). 1570 Leslie 45 (the thre estatis beand gadderit). 1615 Black Bk. Taymouth 52 (the laird of Laweris beand bot taxsman). 1622-6 Bisset I. 7/6 (the peopill beand trubled be the Germanis).(b) 1493 Acta Conc. 292/2 (Lord Hay being apon the seruing of a breif). c1515 Asl. MS. I. 253/17 (the gret Charllis beyng king of Fraunce). 1551 Reg. Cupar A. II. 71 (it beyng sufficientlie previn). 1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 359 (beying in number xxxij stoks). 1570 Leslie 171 (the Lord Seytoun beynge appointit hes keipar).(c)1640 Lithgow Poet. Rem. 248 (the folk been fled).Ib. 249 (twelve alone that kept at home, been sicklie).

6. Past pple. bene (ben), bein(e, beyn(e, bean, beene; be, poet. y-be, = been. [ME. ben, bene, and be (y-be), late OE. ᵹebéon.](a) 1375 Barb. iv. 741 E (he had bene fals); xiii. 49 (it had bene hard). a1400 Leg. S. i. 393 (al wend Goddis son that he had ben). c1420 Wynt. ii. 456 (all the folk had nere bene drownyt). 1490 Irland Mir. I. 9/10 (auld storiis that has bene verifiit). a1500 Seven S. 1048 (togidder fane thai wald haf bene). c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxviii. 20 (so is this warld and ay hes bene). 1567 G. Ball. 36 (I haif bene to bauld). a1578 Pitsc. I. 56/1 (as they had ben settand tinchellis). 1587-99 Hume v. 134 (I haue beene seik). 1650 Inverurie 313 (if they have bene absent).(b) Brus iv. 741 C (he had beyn fals); xiii. 49 (it had beyne hard). c1475 Wall. i. 6 (it has beyne seyne); ix. 1630 (thow mycht haiff beyn away). 1513 Doug. i. iv. 23 (as it ane hows had beyn). 1515 Douglas Corr. 69 (and ocht hes beyne doyne). 1533 Gau 69/32 (thair haid na creaturs beine sa miserabil). 1559 St. A. Kirk S. 13 (we confess that we haif beyne sweir). a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxi. 1 (the blythnes that hes bein). 1596 Dalr. I. 114/32 (to haue beine brocht). 1611-57 Mure I. 5/74 (he [that] hes bein dumbe). 1643 Strathbogie Presb. 43 (tuo commissiones that he had bein vpon).(c) 1513 Doug. ii. i. 7 (as it had be for prosper returnyng); ix. vi. 67 (ful happy had he be gif … ); xi. i. 73 (quhilk had tofor ybe squyer … ). 1533 Bell. Livy I. 23/5 (as beistis had be cumin).

b. Ellipt. = have been. ?1438 Alex. i. 93.
The oist micht weill refreschit bene
c1475 Wall. xi. 1377 (it suld beyn at his will). a1500 Henr. Fab. 961 (for dreddour that he suld bene arreist). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvii. 80 (he went againe to bene bespewit). 15.. Christis K. 138 B (he wend it bene for auld done feid). 1560 Rolland Seven S. 72/11 (ȝe wald bene seik the morne).

II. 7. Pres. Indic. (1) am, ame, amm; is; (2) art(e; ar; is; (3) is, ys, his; es; -is, -s; (4) pl. are, ar, arr(e, air, er(e, is. [ME. sing. 1 am (ONhb. am, OE. eam, eom), 2 art (OE. eart), 3 is, ys (OE. is, ys). northern es (ON. es); pl. ar(e, aren (ONhb. aron, arun, OMerc. earun), northern er, ere (ON. eru).]Voiceless s in is is indicated by rhymes with such words as blis, mis, i-wis.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 618 (quhill that I am in aynd). a1400 Leg. S. ii. 1001 (I ame verray Iow); xxxii. 297 (I am cummyne here). c1460 Wisd. Sol. 386 (how I ame maid so hye). 1525 Douglas Corr. 97 (I ame rycht sure). a1578 Pitsc. I. 35/30 (I ame the more offendit). 1587-99 Hume 79 (to nain I am addettit).c1420 Wynt. i. Prol. 79 (I … wylfull is my det to pay). ?1438 Alex. ii. 2073 (I to say is richt ioyous); 3641 (I of ȝouris sesit is). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xix. 23 (I … In my hairt is prowd and hie). 1525 Douglas Corr. 104 (I was and is reddy). 1560 Rolland Seven S. 300/6 (sa lang as I on lyfe is lestand here).(2) a1400 Leg. S. i. 13 (thu art Petir); vii. 691 (vnhappy sone arte thu). c1450-2 Howlat 481 (and thow deid art). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 957 (as thow art God verray). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xc. 70 (quhen thow art ald). a1500 Peblis to Play 116 (thow art our blunt). c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1374 (thow art forlorne). 1601 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 184 (thou art onder wraik). 1610 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 49 (ar thow takin af thai bonnat?).a1400 Leg. S. vi. 565 (thu, that kynge & mychtty is). c1420 Wynt. v. 3698 (off swylk serwandys as thow is). 1609 Garden Garden 79 (for all thy wealth, thou's miserable).(3) 1375 Barb. xvi. 534 (quhar lestand loving is). a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 369.
This treutht, at his hyd
1385 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS. 410/1 (thys Tewysday that nw ys). c1450-2 Howlat 70 (is nane bot dame Natur … ). a1500 Henr. III. 171/27.
Youth his [B. is] but raddour
c1500-c1512 Dunb. liii. 19 (waes me; he is bedirtin). 1560 Rolland Seven S. Rdr. 12 (to bring but its ill thats not thair ben). a1568 Bann. MS. 221 b/12 (bot weilis me); 17 (weillis). 1567 G. Ball. 70 (lufe his fulfilling of the law). 1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 80 (the proverb is). a1578 Pitsc. I. 133/24.
How mekill his wosdome commendit
1656 Lanark Presb. 100 (quhen its filled up).(4) pl. 1375 Barb. i. 1 (storys to rede ar delitabill); iv. 705 (thair bemys strekit air); vii. 243 (al that traualand ere). a1400 Leg. S. vi. 342 (fele palace are in hewine). 1401 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 382 (thir arr the sortis that arr). 1440 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 192 (als ferre as thai arre of force). c1475 Wall. i. 308 (our kyne ar slayne). 1488 Stirlings of Keir 263 (that ar to say). 1533 Gau 3/7 (of thir bukis thir ar the gretest). c 1535 Lennox Mun. 347 (I parsayf ȝe air in gud heill). 1567 Sat. P. v. 64 (ȝe ar to blame). 1611-57 Mure Misc. P. ii. 21 (ye wonders now ar present).1375 Barb. iii. 317 (we … is ay in sic trawailling). c1420 Wynt. v. 3933 (quhat yhe haue bene and is to be). c1450 Cr. Deyng 3/83 (als mony as thare is dropis in the sey). a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxxiv. 7 (sweit is thay birdis). a1598 Ferg. Prov. 24 (bannoks is better nor na kin bread). 1603 Philotus clvi. (auld men is twyse bairnis).

8. Past Indic. a. sing. wes (ves, vesz), wese, wis; was (vas, uas), wase, wace. [ME. wes, was (OE. wæs, wes, ON. *was).]Voiceless s in wes, was, is indicated by rhymes with -nes, dres, or pas, gras.(a) 1375 Barb. xi. 38 (that wes vnwisly done); xvii. 450 (quhen evynsang tym ves neir). a1400 Leg. S. i. 142 (he that ded wese). 1398 Acts I. 212/2 (in Auril that last wes). 1471 Acta Aud. 20/2 (quhare he wes in his bed). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 2 (neir as midnicht wes past). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1273 (quhat wes the cause). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 43/5 (sa wes Matthias ordenatit). 1569 Sat. P. x. 21 (I wes agast). 1622-6 Bisset II. 317/14 (Mathew wes beheided). c1650 Spalding II. 34 (the king wes said to be … ).(b) 1375 Barb. i. 630 (as forspokin was). a1400 Leg. S. i. 248 (quhen Petir cumyn wase); iii. 234 (that cité that nere set uas by); vi. 362 (quhen that doune vas). c1420 Wynt. ii. 1056 (that slaare off hys fadyre wace). c1450-2 Howlat 30 (heilfull it was). c1450 Cr. Deyng 3/67 (he was na synar). a1500 Seven S. 1772 (quhen it was day). c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 104 (as was the gyse). 1567 G. Ball. 200 (is, was, nor salbe none). a1578 Pitsc. I. 15 (he vas estemed the grettest man).

b. pl. were (vere), wer, weir, werren; ware (vare), wair, wayr, war (var), wor, warryn. Also wes, was. [ME. were, weren (OE. wǽron, wéron), and ware, waren (ON. *wáru).](a) 1375 Barb. ii. 321 (quhen that his folk assemblyt wer). a1400 Leg. S. xi. 8 (sene thai brethir were); xvi. 188 (Goddis word thai sawand vere). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 368 (fra court cum thay weir); 471 (gramest that wer). 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 402 (thay werren sa expert). a1500 Peblis to Play 49 (quhen thai wer our the wald). c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1291 (sum wer slane). a1578 Pitsc. I. 17/19 (quhair the cofferis wer imbarcatt).(b) 1375 Barb. ii. 346 (on athir syd war thai yhar). a1400 Leg. S. i. 191 (he send twa at worthy ware). c1420 Wynt. viii. 6278 (all that slayne war thare … a thowsand ware). 1483 Acta Conc. II. Introd. 111 (thai var utherwais retourit). 1513 Doug. xiii. Prol. 48 (clos warryn all). c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 247 (suete war the vapouris). 1549 Compl. 39 (robeen and the vran var hamely in vyntir). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 15/22 (ȝe ware callit Schire Iohne). 1585 James VI Ess. 35 (all thwm that ware their builders). a1605 Montg. Misc. P. iii. 79 (they war not bleat). 1669 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 254 (they ware of intentione).(c) c 1350 Facsimiles Nat. MSS. II. 14 (was wont. = L. solebant). 1375 Barb. iv. 94 (sum ves slane). c1460 Wisd. Sol. 378 (al thingis that was wnder the sone). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 134 (birdis that bright wes of ble); 464 (grundin ganyeis thair wase). a1500 Rauf C. 131 (quhair brandis was bricht). a1500 Doug. K. Hart 169 (the bernis wes basit of the sicht). 1562-3 Winȝet I. 3/20 (mair effrayit than we and thay wes). a1578 Pitsc. I. 47 (the landis that was wntaillȝied). 1603 Moysie 13 (the erles wes agaitward).

9. Past subj. wer, weir; war (var), ware, uaire. [ME. were, ware, northern war (OE. wǽre). pl. also weren, etc. (OE. wǽren).](a) 1375 Barb. i. 3 (storys that suthfast wer); Ib. 44. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 492 (that ilk might wit quhat he weir). 1536 Lynd. Answ. Flyting 15 (wer I ane poeit); 61 (it wer ane pyne). 1567 G. Ball. 33 (thocht thow to graue wer gone).(b) 1375 Barb. i. 201 (gyff ony thar-at war wrath); xvi. 650 (war him weill or war him wa). 1390 Coldingham Priory 60 (as we wold that he ware). a1400 Leg. S. xii. 70 (gyf thu myn awne ware). 1456 Hay I. 214/12 (ellis war it litill of valure). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 154 (it war wrang to be knawin). 1513 Doug. i. iii. 26 (as it war wode). 1567 G. Ball. 59 (full wo war me). a1578 Pitsc. I. 3 (as hevin and hell var nathing bot ane fabill). 1580-92 James VI Lusus R. 36 (if sho uaire but faire). 1671 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 270 (untill they ware fitt).

B. Special uses.

1. To have as followers. esp. in fighting. 1375 Barb. vii. 521.
Thai war sex quhar he wes ane
Ib. xv. 363.
Quhen thai saw he wes so quhoyne
Ib. xvi. 360.
He wes neir ten thousand men
1456 Hay I. 54/5.
He ... come on with sic power as he mycht be
a1500 Lanc. 1109.
Galyot was o pasing multitude
Ib. 2535.
Whar he befor was one, than vas he two
1535 Stewart 25164.
Fiftie thousand … Of Britis bald he wes that samin da
Ib. 25584.
That tyme he wes ouir few
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3140.
Semeramis the Quene, Quhilk for one man wes aye fyftene
1559 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 266.
I culd haif beyn twyse als mony
1581 Bann. Memor. 320.
Gif I had bene ane hundreth, and he his alone

2. The infin. be (without to) before past participles, esp. after here, mak, se. 1375 Barb. vi. 494.
I herd neuir mencione be made
Ib. vii. 461.
That saw his fallowis swa … be slayne
a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 937.
Gyf it hapnyt [her to] se Hyr sonis cors vpe castine be
?1438 Alex. i. 2782.
Quhan that he saw thame chargit be
a1500 Henr. Bl. Serk 1.
This hindir ȝeir I hard be tald
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 158.
Sa tratourlike [he] maid him be draw
Id. Æn. xii. xiv. 114.
As I haue hard be tald
1556 Lauder Off. Kings .
To minister, and cause ministrat be Justice
Ib. 502.
God … Hes hecht on thé avengit be

3. In the past indic. was, introducing a past date. 1483 Acta Aud. *121/1.
Sen Witsonday was a ȝere bigain
1594 Paisley B. Rec. 158.
At Beltane wes ane yeir
1607 Kinghorn Kirk S. 9.
Upon Sunday was auchte nichtis
1644 Baillie II. 213.
Since the beginning of July was a year

4. To serve as material for (a garment, etc.). 1473 Treas. Acc. I. 15.
For ij elne of sating … to be a doublat to the king
1497 Ib. 366.
For iiij elne of russait to be ane goune to Ranald Roy
1542 Ib. VIII. 88.
Deliverit … vij unicorne wecht … gold of mynd, to be twa dusane buttonis
1562 Ib. XI. 180.
xxij elnis of Franche blak to be thame clokis
1615–6 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 566.
Thornis to be the allay hedge

5. To lat or let be (let alone): see Lat v., Let v.

6. In the pres. pple. preceding another pres. pple. 1623 Peebles Gleanings 17.
Margaret ... being doing her necessar adois
James Bullo being ryding. . to Dallatho
1632 Maxwell Mem. II. 218.
The King of Suedin beine leading on his oune ermie

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