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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.

Chese, Cheis, v. Also: ches (sches), chece, cheise, cheys (e. P.t. (and p.p.) chesyd(e, (chesd), chesyt, cheseit, ches(s)it, -et, cheysyt, cheis(s)it, -et, -ed, cheissied. P.p. chosyn(e, -in(e, -en, chossyn, -in, -en, choisin, -en, choysen, choissin, -an; schosine, schois(s)in, schos(s)ing; chosyng, -ing, cho(u)ssing; cheisin, schessin, chesing, che(i)ssing. [ME. chese (schese), early ME. cheose, OE. céosan. Cf. Chuse v. The weak p.t. also occurs as chesid(e in ME. (14th c.).]

1. tr. To choose, select, take by preference.Sometimes with appositive predicate.(a) 1375 Barb. viii. 163.
The kyng … Raid for to see and ches the plas
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 684.
Thar-for send he … to ches men that … Lyk war to be manly & wicht
1400 Maxwell Mem. I. 140.
Gyf the sayd Schyr Ion … had lefar chese the fyfty mark na the aventur of the land
c1420 Wynt. vii. 227.
Quhat lord thai suld ches to be kyng
1456 Hay I. 194/25.
He chesis quham he lufis best
Ib. 203/28.
He suld erar ches the dede na to leve God
c1460 Consail Wys Man 20.
God has gevyne ws in fre vyll, To ches the gud, and leif the ill
1466 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 396.
The said iugis … to ches sic lik personys vnsuspec of law
1488 Paisley B. Rec. 26.
Gif thir persons thinkis expedient to chese other twa persons to thaim, thai sal have leyffe to ches thaim
1513 Doug. i. vii. 16.
Sum chesis officeris the lawys for to kepe
1531 Bell. Boece I. 15.
Best is to chese ane amang us to have empire above the laif
1533 Gau 103/6.
Chesand hir to be the moder of his sone
1562-3 Winȝet I. 41/3.
Nocht chesing the preistis of the tribe of Leui according to Godis … command
a1578 Pitsc. I. 133/11.
To chese ane man … wyse and prudent of spreit
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii. 6679.
I sall cheys me als mony Off kyn and freyndis
1480 Thanes of Cawdor 438.
Tha sall cheys ane ourman
Brus i. 43.
The barnage … fayndyt fast To cheys a king
c1475 Wall. vii. 377.
Latt ws cheys v [= five] off this gud cumpanye
1494 Lennox Mun. 152.
[Thai] sal syt down … and cheis certane freyndis to evyn all the said debatis
1503 Treas. Acc. II. 282.
To Schir Alexander Makyson, to … cheis tymir for the schip
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 262/1.
Gife thai intend to cheis him provest this next ȝere to cum
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xli.
Be thair bot ane beist … that hes nocht gustit of this meit, the tod will cheis it
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 190.
At the tyme of Michaelmes vsit to cheis and elect the samyn [officeris]
a1568 Scott xii. 63.
Gif I … beis nocht trew, Cheis ȝe ane new
1570 Sat. P. xii. 183.
Gif he want grace to gyde that place, Cheis outher twa or thre
1579 Conv. Burghs I. 85.
The vther tovne sal have thair chois quhilk of the fyve men they will cheis to be ouerisman
1596 Dalr. I. 341/20.
Consulting amang thame, they cheis vi of the cheife nobilitie
Ib. II. 155/6.
Cheiseng a conuenient nycht for thair purpose
(b) c1420 Wynt. iv. 17.
Ane hundyr men he chesyde off eylde
Ib. viii. 6710.
He chesyt … xxx all-thir wichtast men That he couthe wail
1442 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 8.
The counsaile chesit Simon Blabre [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 42/9.
Romel … chesit a thousand men of armis
c1475 Wall. vi. 272.
The worthy Scottis … Chesit him for cheyff
Ib. x. 832.
Twa he chesd the top for to defend
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 246/23.
This Fergus chesit the red rampand lioun till his armes
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 178.
He has bene waistit apon wemen, or he me wif chesit
1531 Bell. Boece I. 10.
The Scottis … chesit certane capitanis to every tribe
1556 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 66.
The brether of the craft … chesset witht the haill woyt of the craft four quartermaisteris
1567 Sat. P. iv. 21.
Sho … hir bedfellow brycht Chesit me to be, & maid me ȝour King
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 76.
The lordis chesit the lordis of the articles as efter followis
(b) c1475 Wall. ix. 1233.
I grant, quoth he, and cheissit a messynger
1513 Doug. v. iii. 57.
By kuttis than … Thar place thai cheysyt
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 205.
[The] schireffis … cheisit Thomas Ferry in the office of clerkschip
1562-3 Winȝet II. 12/6.
As I cheisit this auctour first
1570 Sat. P. xxiii. 51.
The toun, … Cheissit thé to be thair prouest and thair mair
1581 Ib. xliii. 179.
They cheisit him regent in that rowme that waikit
1596 Dalr. I. 76/22.
On baith the handes new capitanes thay cheised
Ib. II. 348/18.
Our quene … for her curatouris cheisit … Henrie King of France [etc.]
(c) 1375 Barb. xx. 212.
I hald me richt weill payit, that ȝhe Has chosyn hym
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 962.
Thu ay-lestand ioy has chosine now
Ib. xii. 331.
Thar-for is to be chosyne ane Of thire men
c1420 Wynt. vi. 487.
Pape scho wes chosyn thare
Ib. vii. 1828.
Chosyn wes in till his stede Maystyr Ihon Scot
1456 Hay I. 85/35.
The thing suld be erest chosin, the quhilk is mare delytable
1468 Peebles B. Rec. 157.
The quhylk day was chosyn scwlmaster for a yeir Lowrans Jonson
1493 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 212.
The decret … off certane assysouris of perambulacione chosyn
1506 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II. 162.
Sex suorne men, thre chosine be me and wther thre men chosine be the said Johne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxi. 1.
We Lordis hes chosin a chiftane mervellus
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 15.
He salbe chosin be the hayl graduattis of the vniuersite
a1578 Pitsc. I. 60/3.
His father … was chossen governour of this realme
Ib. 306 marg.
How thair was foure lordis chossnit [text chossin] tutouris to the king
1591 Misc. Spald. C. II. 66.
The names of the elderis … electit and choissin be the kyrk … of Aberden
1620 Urie Baron Ct. 33.
[Four men] … electit, nominat, and chossin barlaw men within the barrouny
1651 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 214.
James Hammiltoune … is chosine balyee of the Gorballis
(b) 1471 Peebles B. Rec. 166.
The quhilk day is chossyng the doussan be the lection of court
1520 Ib. 51. 1555 Ib. 218.
Tua vesitouris to be maid and chosing perpetualie
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 59.
In tymis bygain the provest wes choussing ane owttounsman and na induollar
1581 Ib. 84.
Hie being chossing, hie may … refuis the samyn offece
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 1291.
The haly gast hes callit thé Of bischape to the dignite, That is schosine
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 59.
To haif ane provest schossing
1581 Ib. 85.
Thomas Hammyltoun schosing rent master for ane yeir
1600-1610 Melvill 27.
Mathew Stewart, … was schosine Regent
(d) 1489 Prestwick B. Rec. 32.
The quilk dai, Sande George and Cuthbert Myller ar chesing balȝeis
1540 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 170.
The haill toune consentit … that thair suld be certane nychtbouris schessin and suorne to sett a generall taxt
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 191.
To desist … fra vsing of the said office … quhill he be lauchfullie eleckit and chessing thairto
1571 Lanark B. Rec. 58.
Na persone awcht to be ellectet and chessing provest … bot only ane induellar
a1578 Pitsc. I. 38/29.
That sum prudent man … be cheissing of baitht the parties

b. With the adverbs furth, out, or up. c1420 Wynt. viii. 6328.
The Stwart off Scotland … Wes chosyn wpe and made Wardan
1456 Hay II. 82/2.
Thai suld ger ches up men of grete wysdome
1500 Acta Conc. MS. X. 68.
Gif ony ane of thaim happinis til be absent til cheis owt vther in thair steidis
1570 Leslie 35.
He cheisit furth 5000 weill horsit men
a1578 Pitsc. I. 155/13.
He cheissed out ten thowsand of the best of his airme

c. To form or make up by selection. 1428 Liber Melros 519.
I gert cheis a grete assys of twenty and fyve … persons
1443 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 269.
We riply avisit … gert chese up ane assise
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 113.
Than the balyeis chessit the qwest
1485 Ib. 30.
The saide justice … gert cheis ane inqueyst of thir persouns vndirwrittin
1550 Ib. 203.
Ane gret inquisitioun chosine and sworne befor the saidis baillies
1558 Rec. Earld. Orkney 109.
The assise choissan and admitit
1569 Reg. Privy C. II. 58.
[Ane] assise or assisis … to sufficient numer, to summond, varne, cheise and cause be sworne
a1578 Pitsc. I. 279/5.
Margarit … gart cheis ane gaird to be about the king hir sone
1591 Misc. Spald. C. II. 66.
The thred day of October … the ald consell chesitt the new
1596 Dalr. I. 145/15.
The king cheiset a chose of able persounis throuch the hail realme
1622-6 Bisset I. 300/6.
The awner sall gar cheis ane wirthy assyise

2. To elect or prefer to do something. 1375 Barb. ii. 519.
Thai chesyt tyttar with thaim to ta Angyr and payn, na be thaim fra
Ib. xiii. 307.
I cheis heir to byde and de Than till lif heir and schamfully fle
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1847.
And sum chesid errare to de Than thai walde fra thare fredum fle
Ib. v. 5796.
Wyth tha he chesyd hym to dwell
1456 Hay II. 5/10.
He … chesit to mak his habitacioun in a thik wod
a1500 Seven S. 234.
It was nocht with ȝour faderis age I chesit to mak my marriage
1551 Hamilton Cat. 30.
Eleazarus … chesit earar to thoile ane cruel deid than he wald transgress … the law
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 35.
Scho can not chese bot to persew thame

b. To elect or decide quha, quhethir, etc. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 506.
To caste … Cuttis ay be-twene twa & twa, & chese quha sal vthire sla
Ib. 514.
Iosaphus … Bad his falow … chece Quhethyre ware leware hyme [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. v. 5543.
The Trinyte Bade hym chese gyve that he Wald suffre in this warld [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 194/17.
He may ches him thare quham to him lykis erest to ga
Brus vi. 269 (E).
Cheysis [C. jugis] yhe, Quhethir that mar suld prysit be The king … or Thedeus
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 1071.
Cheis ȝow, … quhilk of ws brether heir sall haue [etc.]
1589 Prot. Bk. J. Borthuik 56.
Katherene … to cheis quhilk of thame scho lykit best to marie

3. intr. To make a choice. c1420 Wynt. vii. 56.
As thé think best, now ches thow thé
1456 Hay I. 29/33.
Sum thai manasit to sla, bot [= unless] thai chesit at thair plesaunce
c1475 Wall. ii. 143.
He could not cheys, sic curage so hym bar
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 208.
Hed I that plesand prevelege … To change & ay to cheise agane
1540 Acts III. 359.
Prouiding alvayis … that thai ma chanch [= change] or cheis as thai pleis
1567 G. Ball. 216.
Cheis weill, thairfor, leist ȝe do say Allace, allace!

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"Chese v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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