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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Dusan(e, Dussan(e, n. Also: dus(s)ain(e, dwsan, dusand, duzan(e; dws-, dusen, duzen; dussen, -in. [Variant of Dosane, Dousane.]

1. A dozen. (Const. with or without of.)(a) 14.. Acts I. 306/2.
A dusane of pannys of battry … , a dusane of caldronys
1475 Reg. Cupar A. I. 224.
Payand to ws ȝerly … ij dusan of capoyns
1478 Acta Aud. 78/2.
A gret dusain of pewder veschiale
1489 Treas. Acc. I. 124.
For a dusane of aris to the bat
1503 Lanark B. Rec. 13.
For thre dusan and xj threif off heder to the belhous
1522 Reg. Cupar A. I. 303.
Thaj paiand … ȝerly to the place thre dusane of auld salmond fych and twa dusane of grils
1550 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 451.
Threttein dusane pultre
1562 Inv. Wardrobe 156.
Ten dusand of damaskit serviettis
1579 Ib. 278.
Sex duzane of buttonis
1593 Edinb. Test. XXV. 231 b.
Ane dusane refuis cairdis
1689 Rep. Menzies MSS. 25.
A serjant and a duzan of fellows with him
(b) 1473–4 Treas. Acc. I. 45.
Gevin to the boware … for v dussane of bowtis
1498 Acta Conc. II. 147.
Sex dussane of keling, thre dussane of capons
1507 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 76.
Thre par torchis, … and ij dussan assis of wax
1541 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) No. iv (Myller v. Huntar).
Ane dussane of elnis of quhite hosing claith
1562 Inverness B. Rec. I. 75.
Ane dussan annet scedis
1596 Brechin Test. I. 145.
Ane dussaine of kene foullis
1614 Reg. Great S. 375/2.
Fyiftie twa dussane laidis of coallis
1644 Baillie II. 201.
Yow have here … a dussan of the Anatomies, and two or three of the Ansuers
1651 Edinb. Test. LXV. 175.
Four dussane of breist buttounes
(c) 1544 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 20.
Tway dusen off caponis
ij dwsen off caponis
1596 Wemyss of Bogie MSS.
Aucht dussen hardin towellis
1623 Edinb. Test. LII. 21.
Tua dussin of serveittis
1661 Buccleuch Mun. II. 314.
Ane dussin old tin treunchers
1664 Carstairs Lett. 110.
Bid him send you a dussen … of good gowffeballs
1682 Turner Mem. 298.
I told him in my last I had a duzen of men
1697 Foulis Acc. Bk. 216.
For a duzen bukles for girds

2. The body of ordinary councillors in a burgh.Originally no doubt twelve in number, but in the earliest instance (1403) the duodene burgi are forty-five in number, and in 1416 thirty-two. In addition to the examples given below see also Dousan(e for evidence from the records of Peebles from 1459 to 1474. 1403 Edinb. B. Rec. 1.]
[Duodene burgi
1416 Ib. 2.
Aldermannus pro presenti anno, … dene of gild, … [32] of lie dusane
1442 Ib. 6.
In the Tolbuith be the dusane and the counsale of the town and be the haill deliuerance of thame, it is ordanit [etc.]
1456 Ib. 15.
The auld vse … was that … the dusane of the towne vsit to cheis the lytis of the officiaris of the burgh as thai now did
1457 Peebles B. Rec. 125.
[The pursemaster] to kyp the common gud in and deliuer it furth with consent of the balye and a sartan of the dussan
1467 Ib. 156.
The curt auysyt … that thai wald byd at the consell of the dwsan of the town
1479 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 36.
Quhair the prowest, the greitt dusane of the towne, and dyvers vther nichtbouris, … thinkis it speidfull [etc.]
1492 Ib. 64.
It is ordanit be the hale dusane of the town that gif ony of the dusane … cumis nocht betymes [etc.]

b. Dusane day, a day on which the town council met. 1492 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 65.
It is ordanit that ilk dusane day the commoun proffeitt be spoken of

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"Dusan n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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