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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Langag(e, n. Also: langg-, laung-, landgage, langagh, -aig(e, -eg(e, -eig. [ME. (c 1290), e.m.E., and F. langage: cf. Language.]

1. A language: one of the classical or vernacular languages.Also, in early use, occas. as a collective without plur. inflection.(1) c1420 Wynt. i. 373.
Off langagis [W. langage] in Bretayne sere I fynd that sum tym fyff thare were
1456 Hay I. 222/30.
The quhilkis clerkis had all langagis, bathe Ebrew, Greic, and Latine
1490 Irland Mir. 164/14.
I haue maid this werk … in the commoune langage of this cuntre
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 382.
Latyn, That knawyn is maste perfite langage fyne
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 634.
To pronunce of wordis ten thousand In strange langage
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3209.
[The magpie] culd talk Latine, Hebrew and Greik, And quhen scho had thir langages perfite [etc.]
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 3.
The iugement of the maist ancient writaris … expressit in vulgar langage
1596 Dalr. I. 82/4.
The natiounis … thair kingdomes, and laungages
1622-6 Bisset II. 177/21.
Unspeikable maiestie that [no] tung or langaig can exprese
coll. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 308.
He cuth langage spek sere & vndirstanand tham rycht wele
c1420 Wynt. I. 1451 (W).
For diuersite of seire langage As to heire vncouth and sawage
Ib. 1472. c1515 Asl. MS. l. 323/21.
Interpretouris … of Hebrewe Grewe & Latyne and vtheris langage
1513 Doug. viii. xii. 120.
How feil kyndis seir Of tungis and of langage men mycht heir
(2) c1420 Wynt. i. 1478.
Qwhare before wes oysid nane Bot Hebrew langage [C. langagis] it allane
1549 Compl. 16/16.
I hef vsit domestic Scottis langage
1616 Sutherland Corr. 121.
Their minister … hawing the Iirrys langeg
1622-6 Bisset I. 6/32.
He … causid imprent the samin stemmattis … in Scottis, Latyne, … and Spanis langagis
(3) c1420 Wynt. vi. 934.
He wndyrstud … Off Grewe the langage
1456 Hay II. 74/12.
[He] fand … this buke … in langage of Greu, the quhilk he translatit … in the langage of Caldee, the quhilk was quhilom the langage of Grete Babiloyne
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 3.
This buke … Writtin in langage of Scottis natioun
1533 Bell. Livy II. 199/1.
[The] Rhetianis … haue tynt all the langage of Ethruschis
(4) c1420 Wynt. i. 42.
[To] bryng thame … Of Latyne in tyll ower langage
Ib. iv. 2530.
A denere comwnaly Is in oure langage a penny
Ib. viii. 1078.
Na langage cowth he spek … Bot hys awyn langage off Normawndy
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 266.
Your angel mouthis … Our rude langage has clere illumynate
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 185/11.
Gathelos efter quhom our langag is callit Galeig
1549 Compl. 16/19.
Translatours … that tuke greit pleseir to contrafait ther vlgare langage
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3206.
Ane bird … Quhilk we a py do call in our langage
1576 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek 1.
To be … instrucktit … in … the prettik of wreting als weill in our langage as vtheris
1622-6 Bisset I. 77/33.
Usand my awin maternall Scottis langaige or mother toung
(5) c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 2/16.
The caus of compilacioun of this werke in this langage

2. Language, in the generalized sense; speech, words. a1500 Bk. Chess 2074.
Quhen to the king chek in the feild is maid That is to saye in langage ‘Do me richt, Haue ȝe na reskew of sum vther knycht?’
1531 Bell. Boece I. 10.
The first ile … wes namit Ardgaell, fra Gathelus; quhilk now, be corruptioun of langaige, is callit Ardgyle
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 22 b.
Mercurius, the god of langage

3. The act of speaking or talking, discourse, talk; also an instance of this, a speech or statement, and plur.(1) 1456 Hay I. 210/19.
Off the quhilkis twa digniteis thare is grete langage maid in haly writt
Ib. II. 63/11.
Na that he be nocht … our blate that he have na langage … in tyme quhen it efferis
c1475 Wall. x. 449.
‘Langage off thé,’ the Bruce said, ‘I desyr’
a1500 Bk. Chess 327.
Richt gret langage to this clerk thai spak
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xli. 15.
Be nocht of langage quhair ȝe suld be still
Id. Tua Mar. W. 445.
At langage of lichory I leit as I war crabit
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 177/4.
To haue … secretnes and litill langage
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 94.
Without any Cristian salutatioun or forder langage [thou] spak thir wordis [etc.]
1600-1610 Melvill 325.
Insurging with graitter bauldnes and force of langage
16.. Hist. Kennedy 25.
The laird wes sa … seik, that he durst nocht wse mekill langage
1612 Crim. Trials III. 239.
[He] maist outrageouslie abuset him, baith with langaige and straikis
1622-6 Bisset I. 77/14.
I have nocht bene copious in langaige be far drevin … termes
(2) c1475 Wall. xi. 167.
Thai … hym dispysit in thar langage als
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1124.
Na way he lykit hir langage
1586 Maxwell Mem. II. 25.
To mak his langag guid be ane denyell for him selff
1627 Banff Ann. I. 57.
His daylie langag is ‘heiland theif’, ‘land lowper’
(3) c1508 Ch. & M. Pr. vi. b. 17.
The virgyne … Wnto the angel having this langage [etc.]
a1500 Bk. Chess 1907.
Unto this king this brother said … The forsaid langage
c1450-2 Howlat 249.
The Pape said to the Owle: ‘Propone thin appele, Thy lamentable langage, as lykis thé Best’
(4) plur. 1456 Hay II. 111/4.
Tak na hede to the langages of fulis
Ib. 155/5.
Evill provocaciounis and langagis that may engender … debate betuix ȝow
1459 Rep. Hist. MSS., Var. Coll. V. 82.
[He] is in marcyment … for the dyspytwys langagis that he spak of Florimunde of Meldrum
[He] is in the lordis wyl for … his buustuys langagis to the lordis tenandis
a1500 Bernardus 239.
Tha seruandys … the quhilk ar in thar langagis Thow felis flech

b. Manner of speaking or expression; wording, diction. Chiefly with qualifying words or expressions.As fair, evil, plain, ornat etc. langage.(1) 1456 Hay I. 18/23.
He drewe [him] with his fleching and fair langage … to trow in his opyniouns
Ib. II. 92/32.
Quhat preciouse vertu is in a king to speke bot lytill and wele mesurit langage
c1460 Consail Vys Man 287.
Oys fare langage in alkyne thinge, Harsk wordis generys myslovinge
a1500 Henr. Fab. 36 (Makc.).
In hamly langage & in termes ruyd Me nedis wryt
Id. Test. Cress. 86.
Quhat euer men … say In scornefull langage of thy brukkilnes
a1500 Colk. Sow Proh. 52.
Sen the sentence to feill is fantastike Lat the letter and langage be such like
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 218 b.
Ȝour daft & wykit langage, that ȝe haue spokin agane his … wisdome
Id. Asl. MS. I. 70/26.
Spekand evill langage … aganis thair gud fame
1513 Doug. ix. Prol. 25.
All lowus langage … lattand be
1526 Stirling B. Rec. I. 21.
Hus violent and impertinat langagh
a1568 Bann. MS. 79 a/26.
To karp langage that nane may vndirstand
1571 Bann. Trans. 185.
Ony persone … that hes by wryting, speich, or vtherwayis vsed sic vnhonest langaig of me as before is specifeit … hes … lyed in his throat
1600 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 108/6.
He playit with … werie meik landgage and countinance
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 82.
Quha nocht onlie disobeyit bot gaife unreverent langage
1622-6 Bisset I. 77/20.
Fictionis uttered be … maid up counterfait and fraising langaige
(2) c1500 Makc. MS. xiv. 20.
Be … curtas of langage
c1500 Fyve Bestes 357.
Richt sad of langage suld he be
a1487 Gud Wife & D. 14, 15.
A woman suld … litill of langage … be, … na of langage crous
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 13.
Luifsum ladies, of langage laureat
(3) 1535 Stewart 148.
For thocht thi langage be bayth rouche and rude, ȝit neuirtheles the sentence is richt gude
a1568 Bann. MS. 212 b/57.
Thy langege is to me intollerabill

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"Langag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2023 <>



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