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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.

Elder, Eldar, n. Also: pl. eldris, eldrys. [Northern ME. pl. elderes, southern eldren, OE. (Angl.) eldran, ældran, (WS.) yldran. Also e.m.E. sing. elder.]

l. pl. Forefathers, ancestors.(a) 1375 Barb. ii. 166.
All his eldris war douchty
Ib. iii. 223.
The armys, that thar eldrys bar
1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 380.
Considerand that he had mony mychty, wise and manly eldris befor him
c1420 Wynt. iii. 12.
Ask at thi fadyre, … And at thine eldrys, quhat thai can telle
1443 Highland P. II. 179.
In the beryng of the lioun in thair armys; … as thair eldris did befor
c1475 Wall. vi. 524.
For worschipe wyrk, and for our eldris rycht
1513 Doug. vii. i. 70.
Cummyn of hie parage, … Of eldris gret and riall anchestry
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xl. 4.
Sanct Niniane … Into mekil Bretane wes borne & his gud elderis hyme beforne
1454 Liber Coll. Glasg. 177.
A messe for the said Johne Steuartis saule, hys elderis saulys, and all Crystyn saulys
c1460 Wisd. Solomon 372.
Of thingis that was befor our days, in auld elderis tymis
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 315.
Thy elderis banis ilk nycht ryssis and rattillis
1513 Doug. iii. x. 74.
Within the fyrth … Thar lyis ane iland, quhilk our elderis callis Orthigia
1562-3 Winȝet II. 65/28.
Thow may se … the boundrodis of oure elderis translatit and changeit
1596 Dalr. I. 1/11.
Mony vthiris worthie and notable vertues, in quhilkes our eldris sumtyme florisched
1622-6 Bisset II. 44/12.
That King Mordoch … repaired many abbayis … distroyed afoir be the weiris of his elderis
(c) a1400 Leg. S. ix. 158.
Satane … ourcome hyme with slicht hid As he before our eldaris did
c1420 Wynt. viii. 2581.
Oure eldaris, quhill thai lyvyd, than Oure gret lyvyn till ws thai wan
1452 Maxwell Mem. 170.
His ald charter gevin of the eldaris and the forebearis of the foresaide Lorde Maxwale
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 453.
I think my fredome to hald, As my eldaris of ald Has done me beforne
1531 Bell. Boece I. 25.
That I micht … schaw to your eldaris the weil appering to thair posterite
1562-3 Winȝet I. 7/20.
Ȝour selfis … togidder with ȝour eldaris in the lait aige foresaid
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvi. 23.
As wes the custome in our eldaris dayis
1622-6 Bisset I. 50/12.
Howbeit ȝe dreid, that this new gyse of iudgement be above the auld custome of oure eldaris

2. A church elder.(a) 1560 Bk. Disc. 237.
The elderis and deaconis … must be under the same censure that is prescribit for the ministeris
1561 Peebles B. Rec. 275.
The elderis and decanis hes electit … Johne Allane to be thair minister
1591 Misc. Spald. C. II. 66.
The names of the elderis … electit and choissin be the kyrk … of Aberden
1603 Elgin Rec. II. 118.
The haill elderis to be present … to heir and lerne the catheceis
c1650 Spalding II. 46.
The bassein and breid wes liftit by ane elder
(b) 1559 St. A. Kirk S. 22.
The ministre, eldaris, and diacons, of the Christiane congregatioun … of Sanctandrois
1562-3 Winȝet I. 101/26.
Quhy inuent ȝe in ȝour kirk a new ordour of eldaris?
1581 Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 510.
The eldaris … and vtheris officiaris of the kirk, sic as … beddales, and keiparis of the kirkis
1601 Elgin Rec. II. 88.
James Vauis … ordenit to be beltit … in the sicht of sum Elgin eldaris

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"Elder n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Feb 2024 <>



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