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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.

God, n. Also: gode, goid; poss. and pl. godis, goddis. -ys. [ME. and OE. god.]

1. A divine being; a deity. a1400 Leg. S. viii. 10.
Of thare god gat thai nan answere
Ib. xi. 232.
Thir are goddis in fowrme of mene
Ib. xx. 226.
Quhy thoie ȝe thame oure godis tak?
c1420 Wynt. i. 1501.
Off batylle, wyne, wynd, and se, Thai feyhne that thir sulde goddys be
Ib. v. 4871.
Mars wes god callyt of bataille
?1438 Alex. i. 200.
Behald quhat-kin present That our goddis hes to vs sent
1456 Hay I. 28/10.
Tharfor is he callit a servand to fals goddis
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 324/18.
Saturn and Iubiter … goddis of the aire, … and Mars god of batell
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 490.
A monstir maid be god Mercurius
1513 Doug. ii. x. 110.
Terribil figuris apperis to my sycht Of gret goddis
1533 Boece iv. iii. 128 b.
I tak witnes to the goddis eterne that I inferrit na weris to Romanis
1567 G. Ball. 173.
Sum makis Goddis of stock and staine

2. God in the specific Christian sense. 1375 Barb. ii. 329.
God may rycht weill our werdis dele
Ib. iv. 515.
Syne lovit thai god of thair metyng
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 30.
How that men ma ensample ta For to serwe god
Ib. 112.
Als god gaff thame sic mycht
14.. Acts I. 375/2.
Be the law of Gode a heid for a heid
c1420 Ratis R. 641.
Sic dedis … stanch the vreth of god almycht
c1475 Wall. i. 178.
God abowyn has send ws sum ramede
1490 Irland Mir. I. 92/37.
The persoune that maid it behufit to be baithe god and man
1515 Fife Sheriff Ct. 15.
The quhilk thift the said Walter denyit & tuke hyme to gode … tharupone
1549 Compl. 2/27.
Nochtheles, gode of his diuyne bounte, heffand compassione of his pure pepil [etc.]
1570 Sat. P. xxiv. 60.
I hope in God … Of better freinds to se ane blyither sicht

b. In the possessive goddis, godis, with various nouns. (See also 3 b.) 1375 Barb. iv. 41.
Hyr dochtir, that … Wes coupillyt in-to goddis band With Walter
Ib. xx. 191.
On goddis fayis myne hert to bere
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 48.
Til scho consawit godis sone of hewyne
Ib. i. 291.
He can … arise Of goddis grace haile and fere
Ib. xxvii. 673.
To … preche godis word alquhare
c1420 Wynt. vi. 27.
For this fredwme wyth … Goddis helpe mak we defens
1456 Hay I. 229/23.
All seke man is goddis prisounare
Ib. 236/34.
Sen thai do goddis service
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 294.
Thai ar al cursyt be Godis law
1490 Irland Mir. I. 137/20.
On hir dependit the cummyn of Goddis sone
1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 21.
Ȝour trew seruandis [are but] sylly goddys apys
Ib. vi. Prol. 11.
O hald ȝour pace, ȝe verray goddis apis
1529 Stirling B. Rec. I. 37.
The next falt, the flecht to be eschet and delt to Goddis foulkis
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 22.
The … wphalding of Godis seruice at thar altar of Sanct Mark
a1540 Freiris Berw. 315 (B).
Heir is now annwch of Godis gud
1551–2 Ayr Common Good MS.
Item, for mending of goddis hous, iij s.
1562-3 Winȝet II. 5/25.
I hope to be admittit ane of Godis airmie

c. Christ. a1400 Leg. S. vi. 689.
Quhen he a fyngyr of his hand Had put depe in goddis syd
1389 Liber Melros 449.
At Edynburgh the xxvj day of Maij the yhere of god Mill.ccc iiijxx and nyne
c1420 Wynt. ii. 234.
Off quhome come oure suet Lady, Goddys modyr, myld Mary
1456 Hay I. 202/26.
A preste … berand Goddis body on him till a seke man
1572 Reg. Privy C. II. 160.
The plakkis … bering … the dait of the yeir of God 1557

3. a. In phrases emphasizing a request or entreaty, esp. for Godis sake. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 1003.
Thane com a pylgrime … to the ȝet, … For Goddis sak entre askand
Ib. xviii. 494.
Thar-for for godis are, Lewe now & sper at me nomare
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2731.
For Goddis aw, how durst thow tak on hand … To put him fra his tak
Ib. 2777.
Help ower, … For Goddis lufe
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 108.
For God saik hast the boy again
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 477.
Quha can do bettir, sa furth in Goddis name
a1540 Freiris Berw. 234.
Awalk for Goddis deid
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 64.
Oftymes he cryed for Godis saike to dispatche him
1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII. 233 b.
Ernestlie requeisting thame for goddis caus to execut … this hir lattre will

b. In the oaths be God, be Goddis blude, breid, etc. (Freq. referring to Christ.)(1) a1500 Seven S. 787.
Be god, a war chance fall sall ȝe
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2479.
And he persew, be god I sall not spair To follow him
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxii. 38.
He … swoir to hir be God, That [etc.]
a1500 Peblis to Play 122.
Be god, thow dar nocht dud
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 138.
Be greit God … That spuilȝie salbe full deir bocht
Ib. 324.
That I sall do, be God
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 915.
Be Goddis blud, he sayd, yhe sang
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1689 (B).
Be goddis wondis, fals tratour, thow sall die
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiv. 41 (M).
The fleschour sweiris be godis woundis
Ib. 46.
Be goddis blud, quod the tauernneir
a1500 Peblis to Play 188.
He swore be goddis cokkis and mannis bayth
a1540 Freiris Berw. 297 (M).
I will thame haif be goddis dignite
1540 Lynd. Sat. Procl. 230.
Ȝe reve, gudman, be goddis breid
Ib. 393.
Or ȝe tuik skaith, be God[i]s goun [B. crown], I leuer [etc.]
Ib. 991.
That sall I nocht, be God[i]s wounds
Ib. 1438.
That sall we do … be God[i]s passioun
c1550 Id. Meldrum 1259.
Be Goddis croce, I sall hir tak away perforce

c. Used as an exclamation. 1375 Barb. vi. 171.
A, deir God, quha had beyn by
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 265.
Hevinly god! said the heynd, how happynis this thing?

4. In verbal phrases expressing a wish, stating a condition, or qualifying a statement.See also the verbs assoilȝe, forbede, forbid, forȝelde, gif, will(and) and wate.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 360.
God help him, that all mychtis may
Ib. iv. 627.
God furthir vs in-till our fair
Ib. vi. 672.
God sauf thame for his gret mercy
c1450 Craft of Deyng 266.
He suld resaue thankfully the pane of ded, … as god grant ws all to do
a1500 Henr. Fab. 326.
In come Gib Hunter, our jolie cat, And bad god speid
Ib. 575.
Fair on, fals theif, God keip me fra thy feid
Ib. 724.
God ȝeild ȝow, Schir, for that text weill I knaw
1533 Boece vi. ii. 188.
God gif thé sorowe … with all thy decepciouns and fallace
15.. Clar. ii. 481.
God me save, Those beine the tydandis fainest I wald have
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 620.
God haue mercy on me
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2712.
God thank thee, doctour, for thy dayis wark
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 58.
Fair weal and god keip ȝou
1628 Fam. Innes 217.
In Elgin I hard of miscontentment amangis frendis. God mend it!
(2) 1375 Barb. i. 157.
Sa god me save, The kynryk ȝharn I nocht to have
Ib. v. 53.
Sa god me se That fyre wes neuir maid on for me
?1438 Alex. i. 280.
Sa god me saue, I sall se first the grete bargane Begin
Ib. ii. 93.
Of … thy brotheris deid I am sorrowfull, sa god me reid
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1002.
I can not spell, quod he, sa God me speid
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lvii. 22.
My sympilnes … Wait of na way, sa god me saiff
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 44.
I think, sa God me saiff, He suld haue place amang the laif
(3) c1420 Wynt. viii. 2565.
Gyve God will, ouris sall be this day
1416 Liber Melros 539.
We think, god grantand, to make finable accorde betwix thaim in this mater
c1475 Wall. iv. 766.
Will God, I sall eschape this tresoune fals
Ib. vi. 241.
The womannis dede, will God, thow sall der by
(4) 1492 Myll Spect. 294/10.
God knawys gyf thar be mony in thire tymes [etc.]
1573 Sat. P. xxxix. 343.
God knawis in Scotland quhat he had ado With baith the sydis, or he culd bring vs to
1586 Warrender P. MS. 175.
God knawis how farre it essayit my patience quhen I met with that man

b. With omission of the verb. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2113.
Than said the uolf, Now god nor that I hang
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiv. 77.
God … Nor ane stark widdy gar me gaip
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1325.
God nor my trewker mence ane tedder
1535 Stewart 39716.
The Thane of Caldar, schir, God ȝow gude morne

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"God n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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