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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.

Gud(e)sister, Guidsister, n. Also: gudesuster, gudsystyr, goodsister. [Gude a.]

1. A sister-in-law. 1515 Douglas Corr. 69.
That his gud systyr the Quenys grace be nocht therby mynyst in hyr autorite
1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 40 b.
Ȝe ar ane of the arbitratoris chosin betuix me and my gud sister
1574 Edinb. Test. III. 48.
I leve to … my gud sister … the schyre & cuscheonis & vther small insicht of the chalmer
1597 Ib. XXX. 170.
I leif to my guidsister … ane new bongrace
1632 Dundonald Par. Rec. 342.
Scho acceptis … hir mother and gudsister to be vssit as witnessis
1676 Lanark Presb. 112.
Scandalizing his goodsister, and mother, by calling them witch and witchgate

2. Used as a term of courtesy (cf. Gude a. 1 b).Chiefly used by Queen Mary in addressing, or referring to, Queen Elizabeth. 1515 Douglas Corr. 69.
To the effect that … our soverane lord [James V] be nocht hurt … , nor that his [sc. Henry VIII's] gud systyr [be] ocht therby mynyst in hyr autorite
1558-66 Knox II. 169.
The said Quene [of Scottis] maid answer: I thank the Quene, my gude-sister, for this gentle visitatioun
1565 Sutherland Corr. 7.
Your richt gud sister and cusignes, Marie R.
1566 Melville Corr. 4.
Mr. Randolphe, the quene our gude susteris seruand
1569 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 22.
Our gud friendis … remaning and avaiting in this our gud sisteris realme
Ib. 23.
Freindschip betuix our said gud sister and ws
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 166.
Nicolas Throgmorton, … ambassadore for the queine of England, hir majesties guidsister, being directed hither purposely to comfort hir vpoun hir said guidsisteris behalf

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"Gudsister n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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