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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Herin(g, Heirin(g, n. Also: hery(i)ng, -ynn, -e(i)ne; heirring, heirinng, heyring; hear(r)ing, -ine.[ME. (north.) heirreng (1477), hering, OE. hǽring, héring. Cf. Haring and Herring.]

1. Herring; a herring. In pl., chiefly uninflected, as a collective.For further examples, see Grene a. 4 c, Saltit a., Rede Hering.a. sing. and coll. (a) 14.. Acts I. 22/2.
Salt and heryng … sall be salde in the schyp
1429 Exch. R. IV. 519.
Pro expensis factis circa confectionem unius laste allecum, que dicuntur syse herynn
1447 Dundee Chart. 24.
Of ilk last of beire, mele, hering, or of sic like thing … viij d.
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2022.
The fox the flewer of the fresche hering [v.r. heiring] feillis
1531 Bell. Boece I. xxxiii.
Gret plente and tak of herying
1540 Acts II. 375/2.
That ane bynd and mesour be maid for salmond, hering, and keling
1554–5 Ayr Common Good Acc.
For four rubbovris to tak herene to Ed[inburgh]
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 7.
Every man ane eg at the mailteth or ane heryng
1611 Conv. Burghs II. 327.
To bye ma hering nor fiftie thowsand hering in ane day
1656 Nicoll Diary 188.
The West sea hering … continewit fresche … almoist all winter
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II. 317/2.
Thair come in our firth ane scuill of heirinng
1584 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 343.
The heiring to be callour slayne, stif, cleir [etc.]
1594 Conv. Burghs I. 441.
Ilk last heyring fyve schillings
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 61.
Johne Hunter … grantit the gathering of grvnd heiring at the Trvne on the Saboth day
1611 Conv. Burghs II. 327.
All heyring to be mett thairwith
1625 Ritchie Churches S. Baldred 211.
Some boatis came in with heirin
(c) 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. 23 b.
Ane boit … quhilk … wes hurt in the careing of the said hearing
1609 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 72 b.
Thay … pairted thair hearine and fisches quhilk thay had gottin
1657 Lamont Diary 102.
Few or none hearing gotten
b. pl. c1590 Fowler II. 193/28.
All sortes of fisches, as hearinges, whytings [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset II. 249/10.
Twa veschellis befallis to tak heringis or makrellis
1636 Aberd. Council Lett. II. 56.
A merchand … bringing in hearings to a frie port
1656 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 579.
Payit for herenis and buttir
1658 Laing MSS. I. 309.
I intreat yow and your Lady will take in good part a teastting of our wastland hearrings

2. Attrib. with bark, net, oyllie; barrel, mett, trie.(1) 1498 Acta Conc. II. 220.
iij hering nettis
1540 Ib. MS. XIII. 183.
All … graith pertening to his said schip, … hering, hering nettis, [etc.]
1577 Edinb. Test. MS. VI. 67.
Tua barrellis of hering oyllie
1590 Ib. XXI. 193.
Four hering nettis, ane greitling and ane smalling
1619 Ritchie Churches S. Baldred 182.
Hering netis
c1650 Spalding II. 340.
The English pirat who had takin the hering bark
(2) 1428 Exch. R. IV. 433.
Pro … duabus lastis de hering barrellis salmonum
1592 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 72.
Twa haill heirring barrellis
1609 Conv. Burghs II. 284.
All cowperis sall mak thair hering barrellis ticht, stark, and sufficient treyis
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII. 107 b.
In the harrin barne … twa old rousing cadges with ane hering mett
1675 Dundee B. Laws 160.
All salmond or herin tries that goes abroad sall be all marked with the touns marking irone

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"Herin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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