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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.

Kame, n. Also: kaym(e, kamb(e, keam(e. [Var. of Came n. Cf. Kem n.]

1. A comb. a. In general use; esp., for a person's hair. Also attrib. with caise.Also with qualifying words, as bane (also bone), case, horn, ivor, timber kame: see these words.a. (a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii. 256.
The tormentouris … Tuk yrne kamys that bat sare
c 1450 Misc. Maitl. C. III. 198.
Tua kamis, ane evor and ane of tre
1504 Treas. Acc. II. 446.
For iiij kames to the King and ane cais to the samyn
1542 Acts & Decreets MS. I. 140 b.
Ane lokit cais of kamis, ane nycht courche
1567 Edinb. Test. I. 59 b.
Sex dosane of faldand kames
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 483 (T).
‘Quhair we clip’, quod the cwmmeris, ‘it cummeris na kame, For we have heght to Mahoun for hansell his hair’
1620 Edinb. Test. L. 281 b.
Nyne buist of falding kames
attrib. 1602 Treas. Acc. MS. 204 b.
Ane kame caise of grene veluote with the haill furnissing thairin iij li. x s.
1619 Crim. Trials III. 478.(b) 1579 Edinb. Test. VII. 276.
In his buith … ane gros of kaymes estimat to l s.
1584 Ib. XIV. 133 b.
Fyve caisis of kaymes coist xxiij sous
1606 Ib. XLII. 80.(c) 1585 Ib. XV. 26 b.
Tuelf caisis with ane kamb in thaim estimat to xviij s.
1589 Ib. XXI. 21 b.
Ane gros of kambes
(d) 1597 Bk. Rates 6 b.
Keamis the keis coverit with weluet iij li., single keamis with the keis, xxx s., the gros of keamis iij li., keamis of quhit wod the … gros xxx s.
1612 Halyb. 291.
Box peces for making of keames
Ib. 316.
Keames of horne for barberis the dozen, xii s.
1614 Rec. Earld. Orkney 382.
Send to the gudwyf with Barnie a keam xvj d.

b. A horse-comb. See also Hors came n. 1522 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 209.
Ane hors kame
1540 Maxwell Mem. 408.
[The Stable,] ane hors kaym
1593 Edinb. Test. XXV. 192 b.
Four dossone … hors mane kameis
1597 Bk. Rates MS. 6 b.
Hors keamis the dosane v s.
1600 Treas. Acc. MS. 71.
Furnissing of fyve horsis … maine kaymes, dichting kames [etc.]

2. A comb for teasing wool etc. before spinning or for dressing cloth; a carding-comb.See also Woll-kame. Possibly some of the quotations under sense 1a may refer to this kind of comb. — 1502 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 123.
The vrangvis withthaldin of … j par of kardis, j par of kamys
1619 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 199.
With … ane pres for pressing of the saidis stuffes … with the kaymes and all uther necesseris … for upsetting of the said wark
1623 Ib. 242.
To … pay to Johnne Gros … for his worklumes in Sanct Paullis work extending to … ane warping staick, tua kames for sayes, seven reidis, ane came for rasses …
1624 Ib. 259.
Tua pair fynning kaymes, thrie yrne keyis for the keames …

b. Attrib. and comb. with -stok (cf. Kaming-stok) and -maker. 1583 Brechin Test. I. 75 b.
Four kamis with the kame stok
1601 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 307.
To bring hame a kame maker, ane litster, ane press

3. The comb of a fowl. fig. a1605 Montg. Sonn. xvi. 8.
Houbeit my hap be ill, And kittle aneugh and clau me on the kame

4. A honey-comb. 1513 Doug. i. vii. 29 (R).
Quhen … thame [bees] list … in kames incluse thare hony clene

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



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