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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mendis, n. Also: mendes, mends(e, mens(e. [ME. (Cursor M.) and e.m.E. mendes, aphetic f. amendes Amendis n. Also in the mod. Sc. and north. Eng. dial. as mends and mens(e.]

1. Satisfaction or compensation for wrong done, loss or injury inflicted; recompense, reparation, redress; atonement, expiation.Common with various verbs, as to ask or seik mendis, to get, haif or receive mendis, and to ma(k mendis. To pas mendis, (of a court) to award compensation. Be Godis mendis, by the redress granted by God. Also b. construed as a plur.(1) 1459 Peebles B. Rec. I. 133.
Of that fechtyng the mendis of hir sall be … at the wyllis of thir persounis
1490 Irland Mir. I. 47/20.
Our synnis ar our dettis … for the quhilk we aw to Him mendis & satisfaccioun
1519 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 152.
[Being ready] to her ony offer of mendis
1520–3 Old Dundee II.17. 1513 Doug. iii. ii. 158 (1553).
[Be quhat way we mycht assay] our mendis [Of this turbacioun]
a1568 Bann. MS. 50 b/55.
And thocht we faill our mendis acceptit is
1597 Skene Verb. S. (2 ed.) s.v. Galnes. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 305.
He that crabbes without cause should mease without mends [MS. a mendse]
Ib. No. 631.
Mends is worth misdeeds
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 84.
In nocht payment of thair corne mendis to William Bruce
1602 Ib. 3. 1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas i. 162.
No mends can expiat this hie offence
1617 Elgin Rec. II. 157. 1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i. xix. 15 (1699).
The unlaw to be ten pound and mends to the party conform to the skaith
(2) a1538 Abell 23 b.
For to ask mendis of the Romanis at did iniuris
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4854.
Quhairfoir scho wald at hir father seik mendis
c1590 Fowler I. 237/9.(3) c1475 Wall. iv. 47.
Thow gettis no mendis
Ib. vi. 911.
Our litill mendis we haiff
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 166.
None vther mendis thay get of me
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2735. 1573 Lanark B. Rec. 69.
And the partie to get mendis thairof
1596 Dalr. II. 131/21. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Enach. 1603 Dundonald Par. Rec. 30. 1631 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 60.
Many a black stroke received innocent Jesus, and He received no mends
(b) a1578 Pitsc. II. 147/3.
The quene … wowit to God scho sould haue mens and punische that deid crueillie
(4) 1535 Stewart 54657.
That he of him sic mendis suld gar tak
1570 Leslie 68.
Praying him to accept mendis for the injuris done
(5) 14.. Acts I. 30/2.
He that it [sc. a house] hyryt aw nocht to mak na mendis for it bot be hyre
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 223. Ib. 1095. a1500 Sir Eger 1685.
And what costs that ye do to tha, I shall it double and mends ma
1530 Lamont P. 39. 1531 Selkirk B. Ct. 153 (10 Oct.).
And quhar the falt is knawin to caus mendis to be maid
1528 Lynd. Dreme 877.
Quha may mak mendis of this myscheif
1549 Soc. Ant. XI. 92.
To mak conding mendis to his lordship for the said violent spulȝe
1567 G. Ball. 59.
Christ … for our fault the mendis maid
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 261. 1598 Melvill Propine 28.
The seruand dois amisse, the master makes the mends
1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 229. 1704 Collection Orig. Papers About the Scots Plot 27.
This is all the mends I can make
(6) 1578 Prot. Bk. J. Scott MS. 56 b.
We … dispens with the publict mendis quhilk vther wayis the said Mr Robert aucht to hawe maid befoir the haill vniuersitie
1624 Stirling Merch. Guild 44.(7) 1659 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 211 (29 July).
I charg yow this precept seine ye pas mendis comand and chairg the said James Mairteine to mak peyment [etc.]
(8) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 1908.
My self … Sall neuer eit quhill I reuengit be [etc.] … Bot wo allace this is na mendis to me
1566 St. A. Kirk S. 280.
Cristen allegis that wes na mendis to hyr for the falt he had mayd to hyr
(9) 1641 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 639.
And awowand be Godis mendis that he should … kill her
b. 14.. Acts I. 90*/1.
Nor ther sall nayn of thir mendis [sc. monetary recompenses for injury] wyth ony prayer be loussit na slakyt

2. By analysis of Amendis n. 1 as a or ane mendis. = prec. sense.(To get) a seing mends of another, to witness redress or revenge taken from him, to see oneself revenged on him.(1) 1549 Elgin Rec. I. 99.
Cristen Grant … sall pay the said Cristen Lang iii s. for ane mendis
1597 Skene Verb. S. (2 ed.) s.v. Enach.
Ane mendis or satisfaction for ane fault, crime or trespasse
1609 Garden Garden 93. 1619 Falkirk Par. Rec. I. 12. 1665 S. Ronaldshay 49.
Alas, will no body in the woreld tak a pairt of our woreld to help us to ane mends of them who is taking our world from us
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5778.
Euer mair ȝe promeis, me ane mendis, And as ȝe do, God and the warld it kendis
1567 Sempill Sat. P. xii. 163.
Is … Na man to seik ane mendis?
(3) 1535 Stewart 3765.
Quhill he ane mendis or ane vengeance haif
1594 Misc. Spald. C. II. 124. 1596 Dalr. II. 251/26.
To haue a mendes of our King be weiris
16.. Hist. Kennedy 23.
To gett him ane mendis of that wrang
1619 Elgin Rec. II. 161.
A mendis
1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 258. 1650 Maxwell Mem. I. 353.
Sayd she used to gett ane mendes of all them that miscalled her
1663 Sel. Biog. I. 139.
To get … ane mends of the devil
1685 Sinclair Satan's Invisible World 152.
A mends
1700 Minnigaff Par. Rec. 39.(4) 1596 Dalr. II. 364/20.
Scho tuik a mendis worthie of the offenderis
(5) ?1438 Alex. ii. 138.
Maid neuer ȝit … Sa fair ane mendis for sic ane thing
c1450-2 Howlat 72.
Bot quha sall mak me ane mendis [B. amendis] of hir worth a myte
1486 Bk. Carlaverock II. 447.
Ane mendis
1516 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 159.
To mak ane mendis to the toun
1523 Carnwath Baron Ct. MS. ii.
The said Dauid askit remeid & ane mendis to be maid to him
1535 Stewart 21002. Ib. 30633.
Ane mendis for to mak Of the greit falt thair fatheris maid befoir
1558 Waus Corr. 10.
Considering I haif nocht vrittin to ȝow thir mony days bygain bot now to mak ane mendis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2546. 1610 Misc. Spald. C. II. 95.
Ane mendis
1664 Pitcairn Spiritual Sacrifice 52.
A mends
b. (1) 14.. Quon. Attach. xxviii.
He aw to be inclamyt of his defalt & mak a resonabil mendis of the samyn
1456 Hay I. 245/15.
Men may find mony excusacioun that … ar bot a symple mendis or recompensacioun till syk a tynsale as of a grete lorde
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 11/7.
And off ane honerable mendis for his trespas
1522 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 66.
[To] mak ane condinge mendis to the said balȝeis
1551 Hamilton Cat. 223.
He hes … payit our ransome … makand ane full mendis for all our synnis
Ib. 44. 1559 Grant Chart. 283.
John Grant frendis … desyris ane bludy mendis
a1578 Pitsc. II. 147 n. 1.(b) a1578 Pitsc. II. 19/7.
He … promissit that he suld haue ane suffiecent mense of the Quene
(2) 1622 Elgin Rec. II. 172.
The said Grissall said, God iet me nevir die quhill I get a seing mends of them
1644 Dalyell Darker Superst. 35. 1661 Black Sc. Witches 40.
a1681 Welsh Churches Paradox 13.
God hath given his people a seing mends of them

3. ? As plur. Repairs. 1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 486.
For ij c. rauchtouris … to haf on burd for thair mendis

4. Cure, remedy, healing.Also fig. in negative contexts, = (no) remedy, (no) better course of action.(1) c1450-2 Howlat 29.
Mendis and medicyne for mennis all neidis
a1500 Sir Eger 409.
Your wounds they will … gell … But ye have mendis
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 156.
To seike folkis … Till all thai wald be mendis or medicyne
1624 Witch Trial in Misc. Abbotsf. C. I. 137.
The said Margaret … dwyned … and could get no mendis
(2) a1568 Moffett Bann. MS. 260 a/24.
And mvrn quhen thow no mendis may
? 1570 Sat. P. xxi. 103.
Thair is na mendis bot sweir [etc.]

5. Improvement or betterment (in moral character or fortune). a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 877.
Our mendis of lyf and pennans we resplate
a1568 Bann. MS. 158 a/50.
Thair is na mendis for that millegant he is sa wan thev[in]
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 683.
He is michtelie maried that misters na mends

b. An addition, supplement, or extra. To the mends, to boot, as an extra.(1) 1684 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 382 (23 May).
Ane considderable oak trie [lying near to the said parcel] as ane aiutarium and mendis to the bargaine
(2) 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix.
In making all place alike lawfull for buriall laire, they cast in the kirk as it were to the mends
1636 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 153
I will verily give my Lord Jesus a free discharge and beg Him pardon, to the mends

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"Mendis n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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