A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)
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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
Ill, n. Also: il(e, ille, yll(e, hill, hyl(l. [ME. (chiefly north. and north midl.) yl(le, il(l (a 1300), absol. use of the adj.Like the adj. and adv., this was appar. often regarded as a variant or reduced form of the synonymous (but unrelated) Evill, Ivil(l.]
1. Moral evil, wickedness, wrong-doing. 1375 Barb. iv. 735.
That men, kyndly to ill giffin, … avay has driffin Thair ewill [C. ill] a1400 Leg. S. ii. 800.
In yll the tyrand had sic joy c1420 Wynt. v. 1033.
All the dedys … done throucht Domytyane … ware fundyn all off ylle a1500 Seven S. 2742.
Wikit woman, fulfillit of ill 1535 Stewart 3672.
The lustie ladeis … war so wild, wist nother of ill nor gude 1567 Sat. P. vii. 102.
Gif that a freind with fayis away war led Be wickit craft, syne tystit war till ill a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxx. 106.
Thocht the warld be haly set on yll
2. Wrong, mischief, or harm, done to or suffered by one. 1375 Barb. v. 100.
To wenge the angir and the ill That thai … had to thaim vrocht Ib. xii. 227. Ib. v. 216.
The Persy … went … his castell till Vithout distrowbilling or ill a1400 Leg. S. i. 505.
Myn master alswa me taucht For to do gud agan hyl Ib. ii. 582.
That man has done gret il ay To thame Ib. xl. 62.
With wemene wald he nocht conuerse Na of na man il reherse c1420 Wynt. viii. 4462.
Qwha till Haly Kyrk doys ille c1460 Wisd. Sol. 723.
Gret lordis ar quhilum hafand powar … & mar for thar ill na for thar gud 1535 Stewart 40565.
The Inglismen … In tyme to cum tha war quyte of his ill 1540 Lynd. Sat. 1392.
In faith I fand bot ill and war a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 91.
Sen that I neuer did ȝow ill It wer no skill ȝe did me skaith 1588 Misc. Spald. C. II. 61.
I him saifitt frome her ill
b. To take in ill, to take offence or be displeased at. For na(ne) ill, with no bad intention. To think yll, to be displeased or annoyed.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxx. 20.
Sweit confessor, thow tak it nocht in ill a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 133.
For God, sir, tak in none ill(2) a1500 Rauf C. 53.
‘Sa mot I thrife’, said the King, ‘I speir for nane ill’ c1475 Wall. iv. 373.
‘Schyr, I sper nocht for nane ille … ’ c1515 Asl. MS. I. 224/5.
Thai … said that thai come for na ill of him ne his childer(3) 1566-70 Buch. Comm. Virgil Georgics iv. 332.
Si piget te gloriæ meæ, gif ȝe think sa gryt yll
3. Misfortune or adversity. b. A misfortune, a calamity, a disaster. 1375 Barb. ii. 161.
He boune wes … To tak with him the gud and ill Ib. iii. 302.
His caus ȝeid fra ill to wer c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1606.
Thai Suld haue gret ill be mony way Or that thai come in thare cuntre c1420 Wynt. vi. 2054.
Fayre on thi waye, Owthire welle or ill as happyne may ?1438 Alex. ii. 2639.
Great ill fallis of villanes speik And gude of courtes c1460 Wisd. Sol. 714.
Quha sa dois biding, felis na ill eftire c1460 Consail Vys Man 91.
Gud cumpany gud men makis And of the ill oft men ill takis 1661 Forfar Witches in Reliq. Antiq. Sc. 134.
That hir mother cuist ill one Robert Dogb. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 788.
Quhair twa illis dois appeir Lat vs that tak quhairin lyis leist dangeir Ib. 9218. a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) 16.
Of twa ills choose the least Ib. 16 b.
Of ane ill comes many
4. A disease, sickness, illness.Common in the names of specific diseases, as Child-ill, Dede-ill, falland ill (Falland ppl. a. a), foul ill (Foul a 1 d), Land-ill, etc. 1375 Barb. ix. 61.
Till that thair capitane War couerit of his mekill ill a1400 Leg. S. vii. 577.
Full besyly can he spere Of his seknes the manere & of the cause als of the ile Ib. xx. 3.
Sere mene … To sancte Blase has devocione, Sume fore il of awne or bane Ib. xxviii. 10.
[The pearl] is vertuyse callyt alsa Agayne ane il callyt cardiaca ?1438 Alex. ii. 3551.
It was ane ill of ieloussy c1420 Ratis R. 181.
The lypir and the faland ill 1535 Stewart 36452.
The seiknes hecht the gentill mannis ill … causit him tak bed 1602 Dundonald Par. Rec. 7.
Scho … seithit kaill rwntis in watter for ane ill or sairnes scho had in hir head 1623 Crim. Trials II. 537.
Scho skaillit swm [water], quhilk scho rewis … , becaus that if oyne hed gone ower it, thay hed gottyn the ill 1659 Barty Hist. Dunblane 97.
Charme this man … for shotes and grippe, For all the ills that ever may be
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"Ill n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Dec 2023 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/ill_n>