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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.

Frenche, Frensche, a. and n. Also: Frensh(e, Frensch, French, Freinch, Frinche, Frynshe; Frenc(e, Frens, Freince. [ME. frensh(e, frensche, frenche, OE. frencisc. Cf. Franche a.]

1. Belonging to, brought from France; of French origin, etc. In various contexts.(1) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 229.
Translatit … out of the Frenche leid
1559 Reg. Privy S. MS. XXX. 5 b.
To reid the frenche toung
1635 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 80.
Licience … to teach ane Frensche schoole
1655 Fam. Innes 179.
I received a Freinch letter
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 6587 (E2).
Ane fair poinȝe Betuix Frenche and Inglismen
1538 Treas. Acc. VII. 90.
Ane coit to aue Frenche page
a1578 Pitsc. II. 164/21.
The Frinche captane
1592–3 Misc. Spald. C. V. 117.
To ane Frenche brodinster
(3) 1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 144.
xl elnis Frenche blak
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 342.
Frenche claith and silks
1590 Edinb. Test. XXI. 182.
His eldest frenche blak cloik
1596 Montgomery Mem. 236.
Sevin singill Frinsche scheittis
1599 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 202.
Certane Frenshe blak poyndit from her
1629 Dumfries Test. I a. 215.
Ane blak cloak of frynshe claithe
(4) 1538–9 M. Works Acc. VI. 24 b.
Verollis … to the gret & frensch quhelis
1539 Treas. Acc. VII. 205.
Ane sadill of the Frenche fassoun
1545 Douglas Corr. 153.
Thair is cummit in 2 Frenche schippis
1555–6 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 321.
Twa pund Frenche glew
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3667.
Ane ducat or … ane Frenche croun
1591 Thanes of Cawdor 206.
Ane point Frence wyne
1596 Fraser P. 228.
Ane Frenche bed
1627 Edinb. Test. LIV. 42 b.
Ten doson [pund] of frensche wald

2. absol. The French (people or persons). Also in pl. 1558-66 Knox II. 57.
The Frenche … began to distroy quhat thay could
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xvi. 64.
Scottis and Frenche now leif in vnitie
1596 Dalr. I. 187/4.
He was amrel of ane nauie contrare the Frenches and Saxounis

3. n. The French language. 1574 Treas. Acc. MS. 348.
1 dict[i]onar in Latene & Frence
a1578 Pitsc. I. 233/21.
Dyuerse langagis, that is to say, Latine, Frinche, … Inglische and Earische
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxvi (title).
Ane elagie translatit out of Frenche in English meter

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"Frenche adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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