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

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Beste, Beist, n. Also: best, beyst, beest, beast(e. Pl. bestis, beistis (etc.); bese, bes; beast. [ME. best(e, beest(e, OF. beste, L. bestia.] Examples of the reduced plural, surviving in Sc. dial. as beass, are: — Folow thai bese [i.e. oxen], till thai blyne; Leg. S. iv. 324.
My bed sall be … with mony bustuos bes; Henr. Orph. 161.
Any of thair beast in the said wood; 1669 Forbes Baron Ct. 277.

1. An animal, esp. a wild animal. (See Wild a.) (a) As beste he vald … sla and ete al that had lyfe; Leg. S. xvii. 35.
The best … brast in twa; Ib. xxviii. 422.
Name till bestis Adame gawe; Wynt. i. 87.
Swylk a best wes nevyr made; Ib. ii. 1246.
The folk … lyvit apon the raw fruytis as bestis; Hay I. 38/20.
Bathe beste, foule, and fisch; Ib. 78/12.
Blynd as brutale best irresonable; Contempl. Sinn. 1171.
Quhar of mankynd is maid, … Quharof bestis; Doug. i. xi. 98.
Part ar … etine with feish and bestis; Gau 65/31.
As a brutall best [: degest. test]; Scott xxxi. 19.
(b) No beist of reif; Fyve Bestes 398.
Euery beist on grond Desiris rest; Doug. iii. iii. 1.
As brutell beistis takand appetyte; Stewart 33195.
Ve suld nocht say that ane man is ane beyst; Compl. 17/25.
Ane monstrous beist lyk ane wolff; Pitsc. II. 222/9.
A beist of meruellous audacite and suiftnes; Dalr. I. 20/14.

2. Any of the animals usually kept as farming stock; a horse, ox, etc. (a) Gyf thir bestis be of ony fre haldand man; Acts I. 304/2.
The brukyd bestys and the wayre; Wynt. i. 217.
The knychtis ar nouthir ordanyt to labour cornis … na to kepe bestis othir na hors; Hay I. 114/3.
All qwyk bestis, ky, oxon, nocht to be brocht in the tovne; 1477 Edinb. Chart. 141.
Helenus than … The ȝong bestis slew in sacryfys; Doug. iii. vi. 32.
The fyrst apprehendar to have iiij d. for ilk time ony best beis fundin; 1551 Ann. Banff I. 28.
[To] shew him the best, the mark, and the mans name; 1615 Kirkwall Sheriff Ct. 5.
(b) Polyphemus, ȝymmand his beystis rouch; Doug. iii. ix. 97.
Thy nichtburs … beist; Gau 11/5.
Pasturyng to the beystis of the tenentis; 1551 Reg. Cupar A. II. 70.
Thre ȝoung beistis of twa ȝeir auld; 1570 Edinb. Test. I. 76.
Na ky, sterks, nor utheris beists except hors; 1595 Paisley B. Rec. 162.
Fauldis quhairin beistis war keipit; Spalding I. 81.
(c) Ony wrest of man or beast; 1616 Dalyell Superst. 118.
Thrie tedderit beasts, ayther kye, oxen, or stirks; 1637 Elgin Rec. I. 257.
Some of the beastis they hoched; 1671 Wodrow MSS. 4to XXXVIII. No. 7.
She heard the beasts mak din; 1694 Lanark Presb. 118.

3. A skin of a fur-bearing animal. Item … xxiiij bestis of grece to lyne a typpat to the King; 1473 Treas. Acc. I. 17.
For tagging, grathing and bukkilling of the wild bestis; 1508 Ib. IV. 129.
xij new armyn bestis; 1513 Ib. 426.

4. An ignorant, brutal, or cruel person. Ane benefice quha wald gyue sic ane beste; Kennedy Flyt. 505.
Mair beist was he that bure it not in his breist; 1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii. 202.
O cruell, fals, dissaitful, bludie beistis; Maitl. Q. lxii. 129.
This priest, or beist, doth weir a fylthy fame; Mure I. 56/13.

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"Beste n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Oct 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/beste>

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