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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.

Boist, Boyst, n. Also: bost, bouste, booste. [ME. boiste, boyste, OF. boiste (F. boîte) . See also Buist.]

1. A small box, used for containing ointment, spices, confects, etc.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 294.
Scho has brocht A boyst of oyle
1490 Irland Mir. I. 145/26.
As the balme or precius wnȝement, als lang as it is includit in the boist makis na gret sauour, but eftir the boist be opynnit [etc.]
Ib. MS. 167 b.
The sacramentis are the boistis contenand the hevinly liquor
1493 Acta Conc. 284/1.
A spise boist of siluer
1506 Treas. Acc. III. 342.
Ane boyst of confectis
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 7.
Haill, boist of balme
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matt. xxvi. 7.
A woman that had a boist [Wycl. box] of alabastre of precious onyement
1539 Treas. Acc. VII. 184.
Ane boist of annet comfeit
1581 Misc. Spald. C. V. 53.
Four boistis of confectiounis succur
1590 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 331.
xij boistis scrochertis and confectis
1608 Wedderburn Compt Bk. 115.
I propynit the Laird of Kynnard ... with my tren trunscheouris and boyst
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 111.
A bouste of precius vngument
Ib. xxxi. 290.
He … gert bryng oyle … & in a bost it gef hyr sone
1629 Boyd Last B. 195.
What is it that hath his stomacke into a booste, and his eyes into his pocket? It is ... an olde man fedde with booste confections
a1651 Calderwood II. 33.
Keeping of bread in boxes or boostes

2. A box or receptacle for other uses, e.g. a cuppingbox, an alms box, a burial urn. (See quots.) c 1420 Liber Calchou 450.
Be thu ventosyd on the thé with a boyst
Ib. 451.
Be ventosyt betwex the schulderis with boystis
1451 Acts II. 40/2.
That the master of the moné sal ansuere for al gold and siluer that salbe strikyn … & put it in his boist
1525 Treas. Acc. V. 254.
Item, to the blak freris boyst, gevin xiiij s.
1531 M. Works Acc. II. 5.
Ane grete bund plait & boist to ane of the forsaid lychtis
1533 Boece III. xx. 121.
Romanis placit the powder of his body in ane vrne or boist within the tempill
1540 Treas. Acc. VII. 397.
Ane boist to keip hoistis in
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 356.
Ane boist … to keip the lettres that wes producit befoir the lords
1616 Wedderburn Compt Bk. 105.
My boyst of ben [= bone] for tobacco

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"Boist n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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