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

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Dere, Deir, a. Also: der, deire, deyr, deare, dair(e. Compar. derer, -ar(e, derrer, -ar(e, darrer. Superl. derest, -ast(e, deir(r)est, derrest(e, -ast, dar(r)est, dair(r)est. [ME. dere, der, OE. déore.]

1. Held in love or affection; beloved. (a) He callyt hyr der, hyr till dissaiff; Barb. iv. 268.
We ar … Of Goddis dere frendis chosine; Leg. S. ii. 1040.
This sammyne Mathew … God mad his chosine apostil dere; Ib. x. 24.
Our wele beluffet der squyar, Michel Ramsay; 1423 Reg. Great S. 30/2.
Tyll Phanwa, hys dochtyr dere, He tauld the cas; Wynt. iv. 405.
The wyff offt hatys … Hym that hyr husband haldis dere; Ib. v. 5102.
Our dere and weile beluffit brother of chapiter; 1439 Edinb. Chart. 64.
Till … Crist and his dere moder, the virgyn Mary; Hay I. 188/20.
Luffaris … That I held … derer be full mekill Ne him [etc.]; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 376.
Camillus … callit all his cousingis and dere freyndis … to his lugeing; Bell. Livy II. 196/3.
(b) Prey thi deire sone my gilt forgeue it me; Irland Mir. I. 168/31.
Twa husbandis haif I had, thai held me baith deir; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 270.
Saw ȝe walkand heir By aventur ony of my sisteris deyr? Doug. i. vi. 31.
The charge brocht by hys fader deir; Ib. v. xii. 150.
This is my deir sone in quhom I delit; Gau 29/16.
He trowit thay war his cussings deir; Clar. i. 1366.
We brocht him vp, as our deir sone and air; 1570 Sat. P. x. 31.
To thé quha was his tender seruand deir; Ib. xxiii. 12.
The … passioun of his deir sone Jesus Chryst; 1590 Edinb. Test. XXI. 361.
My will is, that my deir hairt shall be … soll execoutriks; 1642 Montgomery Mem. 294.
(c) For my daire nephoye, Iohne Innes; c 1646 Fam. Innes 237.
My humbel deutie to my dair kind motther; c 1685 Annandale Corr. 315.

b. Freq. in the superlative (derest, derrest, etc.). (a) Forthy that we haue gyffyne certane landis til our deirest nevo; 1437 Stirlings of Keir 214.
Oure derest eme Colin Cambell of Glenvrquhay; 1470 Breadalbane Coll. (Reg. H.).
I haf procurit … the sele of my deraste eme; 1475 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 453.
At the request of our derest cousignes the quene of Franns; 1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 269/1.
Now am I glaid … My deirrest nevoy that sie now I may; Clar. v. 2808.
(b) Hys doughtre derrest and hys ayre; Troy-bk. i. 381.
My derreste and beste beluffit bruthir in lauch; 1429 Wemyss Chart. 61.
I haf procuryt … the sele of my derrast freynd and eme; 1470 Liber Aberbr. 163.
His derrest kyn nocht wist of his remede; Wall. ii. 363.
Sa that he had no perfit rest … quhil the cummyn of his derrast spous; Irland Mir. I. 97/17.
Our derrest fader of gude mynd; 1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 407/2.
Oure soverane lord and his derrest cousing and tutour; 1517 Ib. 449/1.
Quhen diuers … war to his opinioun drawin, aganis his derrest eme he conspirit; Boece ii. iii. 60 b.
Our souerane ladyis derrest moder Mary; 1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 237.
Our derrest gudschir Matho erle of Levinax; 1571 Peebles B. Rec. 329.
Quene Margaret, … his maist derrest spous; Diurn. Occurr. 4.
(c) The Governour sall gife to his darrest cousin … halfe of the profittis; 1420 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 181.
The kingis chargit his lordis … His darrest brother as thair king to ken; Bk. Chess 1903.
Our dairrest cowsein and tutour, James Erle of Arren; 1549 Coll. Aberd. & B. 113.
Our souerane lord, with auise and consent of his darrest regant; 1562 Aberd. Eccles. Rec. ii.
The feirfull induring [v.r. murneing] of my darrest spous; Pitsc. I. 109/31.
To her maist speciall and darrest ayme the laird of Barinbarroch; 1587 Waus Corr. II. 395.
The Kingis maiesteis darrest suster the Quene of England; 1596 Crim. Trials I. 364.
Vhy God hes suffritt his darrest seruands to fall; Colville Parænese Cont. 5.
Vmquhill Queine Marie, our said souerane lords darrest guddame; 1626 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 252.

c. Used in addressing persons, the Deity, or Christ. (a) Der God, that is off hevyn king; Barb. ii. 144.
Pece be till ȝow, myn brether dere; Leg. S. i. 250.
Der Lord, thu art all; Ib. 723.
Der Ihesu, that of hewine is kynge; Ib. vi. 117.
Der and wel belufit brother, we haue syndry tymys writtyn to yhow; 1416 Douglas Chart. 234.
O der Wallace, … Thow most o neide in presoune till endur; Wall. ii. 207.
(b) Deyr frende, we chargis yhow … that yhe addres yhow [etc.]; Reg. Morton I. p. xlii.
Deyr cusyng, pray I thé [etc.]; Wall. i. 445.
Deir sone, … this war my haile entent; Ib. iii. 426.
Therfor, deire scistir, ȝe suld nocht be wraithe; Irland Mir. I. 110/1.
My deir bird, quhat alis thé; Seven S. 1965.
O deir Ihesu! that for me deit on tre; Dunb. ix. 142.
O ȝe my feris and deir frendis; Doug. i. iv. 70.
O thou my systir … , most leif and deir; Ib. x. xi. 4.
Deir freind, I pray apardoun me; Stewart 22845.
My deir brether, … Amend ȝour lyfe now; Lynd. Trag. Card. 302.
(c) The knycht … said till hir, My derrast may [etc.]; Seven S. 2474.
Adew, my deirest hairt; Scott xiii. 36.
Rycht … mychty prince, Oure darrest brother and cousing; Leslie 88.

2. Standing in relation to a person as one loved or highly valued. Also of things. (a) Sa blissit thu art to God & dere; Leg. S. xxviii. 677.
He wes man of gret honoure, & derreste to the emperoure; Ib. xxix. 639.
For the ordyr that he bare, Than othire he wes till hym derrare; Wynt. viii. 3238.
Ay halde thame … nerest and derest to thé; Hay II. 107/13.
For thou till hir was fer derer than gold; Wall. ii. 212.
His dog that is him dere; Seven S. 1428.
Naturalie oure sonnys and freyndis suld be to ws maist tendir and dere; Boece iv. xvi. 151 b.
Be cause that till our nychbour na … thing is darrar and mair precious thane is his awin … lyfe; Hamilton Cat. 84.
(b) The Grekis, to hir [sc. Juno] leif and deir; Doug. i. i. 40.
His lauchfull wyfe, sum tyme to him so deir; Stewart 24903.
Ane certane man … Had sonnis twa, till him full deir; G. Ball. 35.
Quhais … kin and freindis ar mar deir to me nor all the rest; Pitsc. I. 41/21.
His solitarines was to him deirer … than ony kingdome; Dalr. I. 239/10.

3. Highly valued; of great value or worth; precious. In verse freq. employed for alliteration. As for myn derrest thinge, I sall hym gyf ȝou; Leg. S. iii. 267.
Quhene that one the rud He offerit for ws his der blud; Ib. xiii. 96.
Braid burdis war … coveryt syne with clathis dere; Troy-bk. i. 373.
The quhilk buke the king lovit mekle, … and helde it rycht dere; Hay II. 10/35.
Dicht as a dyademe digne, deire to behold; Howlat 342.
It war tyrefull to tell … All thar deir armis; Ib. 421.
His basnet was bordourit … With stanis of beriall deir; Rauf C. 462.
Than pray we all … That he vs grant off his der lestand lowe [= love]; Wall. vi. 102.
Thus draif thai our that deir night, with danceis full noble; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 511.
This lady … crownit him with dyademe full deir; Ib. xlviii. 101.
Mychtie wyns and plesant meitis deir; Clar. iii. 1023.
I mervell … that ȝe … Hes brocht to ws sa mony denteis deir; Freiris Berw. 445.
The flouris baith delicate and deir; Montg. Ch. & Slae 34.

b. Of persons: Worthy, distinguished. With dukis and with digne lordis, darrest in dale; Howlat 281.
Geir falcounis … War deir dukis and digne; Ib. 320.
Butler is slayne, with douchty men and deyr; Wall. v. 491.
Dukis and digne lordis, douchty and deir; Gol. & Gaw. 9.
Sen ye ar … Demyt with the derrest, maist Doughty in deid; Ib. 805.

c. Carefully or strictly observed. The Pape Calixt in thai dayis Ordanyt, as the story sayis, The Catyrtens in dere fastyng; Wynt. v. 1783.

4. High in price or cost; expensive. Wictaill worth scant … Throu all the land, that fude was hapnyt der; Wall. iii. 13.
The land … wes our deir yerlie of maill extending to the sovm of fyve crounis; 1504 Dunferm. B. Rec. 145.
Anent bying of somer quhittingis, thai ar alse deir in this cuntre as in Disert; 1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 106.
Haldand opynyon deyr of a boryt beyn; Doug. iv. Prol. 155.
Get Simon wit, it wilbe deir doing; Freiris Berw. 365.
Meit grew at large, and vittaillis was not deir; Rolland Seven S. 8533.
Now skantlie in it may be sene Twelff gait glydis deir of a preine; Maitl. F. clxxviii. 56.
Thoght peirlis give pryce, and diamonds be deir; Montg. Son. xlix. 1.
So not onlie wes oure peitis deir, bot … the victuall also becam veray deir; Spalding I. 262.
Itt was a nightt bvriall, … and I hovp cannott be thovghtt deir, whan it coms only to a thovsand thritie avghtt povnd; 1690 Douglas Corr. 285.

b. In the comparative (derar, derrar, darrer, etc.) and superlative. (a) Na suld na man sell thame derror penyworthis na wont was to be in the contree; Hay I. 238/32.
That na man na woman sel derar ail na viij d. the gawlowne; 1500 Dunferm. B. Rec. 101.
That na broustar … sell ony derrar aill … na xvi d. the galloun; 1529 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 5.
That na derer ayill be sauld … na xii d. the gallone; 1541 Elgin Rec. I. 65.
(b) Thay tint at that preking Sum hors, sum weill darrar thing; Alex. i. 2298.
That na darrare aill be sauld … than for xvj d the galone; 1504 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 99.
That na maner of taverner … sell na darrer wyne … na for viij d. the pynt of claret; 1517 Ib. I. 172.
That na maner of flescheoures … sell ony darrer flesche … nor [etc.]; 1550 Ib. II. 148.
That thai sell na darrer malt … nor the nine firlettis … for tuelf pund; 1600 Ib. V. 274.
That na darrer aill be sauld nor xvj d. the poynt; 1603 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 32.
(c) This is the derrest best that I Saw euir yeit; Barb. xviii. 283 (E).
Thai sall nocht brew nor tap darrer aill … na for xx d. the gallowne, and ij s the derrest; 1523 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 217.

c. Of prices or charges: High in amount. Gif ony takkis on hand to bye this vitaile of derrere pryce na is bidden for it in the tolbuith; 1436 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 4.
Thai sell thar sonnis … Vnto ane mukrand carle for darest prys; Prestis of Peblis 305.
To by ony wynis … of ony derrer price nor xvij li. the toun of Bourdeoux wyne; 1552 Reg. Privy C. I. 129.
That na stabill fe be darrer nor ane hard heid the hors in the nycht; Aberd. B. Rec. (J).
That nane … ressaue the saidis plakkis and hardheidis … of ony derare avale and pryce nor is abone specifiit; 1574 Acts III. 92/2.
[At] the dairest pryceis that the … burdis sall happin to gif in this contrey at the tyme; 1582 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 138.

d. Marked by high prices of food. I haue bene pyling the bledis of the corne; I find it wilbe ane deir yeir; the bled of the corne growis withersones; and quhan it growis sonegates about, it wilbe ane gude chaip yeir; 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 96.
The … rental of my estatte … wes diminshed a little in the deir yeirs; 1633–7 Haddington Mem. II. 171.
It being ane deir yeir, shoe was prejudged in the soum of 4 lib. Scotts; 1674 Melrose Reg. Rec. II. 379.

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"Dere adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/dere_adj>



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