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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.

Mersk, n. Also: mersek, mercsh. [The Sc. form (also Mers n.1) corresp. to ME. mersch(e, mersh, etc., e.m.E. marsh, OE. męrse, merise a tract of low-lying alluvial land.Cf. also mod. south Eng. dial. mersk marsh.]

1. In early use in the place-name: the Berwickshire Merse. = Mers n.1 I.At first appar. as a plur. form only.(1) 12.. Liber Calchou 38.
Et per totum decanatum de Merskys
a 1300 Ib. 53.
1335 Reg. St. A. 31.
Decanatus de Merskis
1363 Rot. Sc. 877/2.
Infra les Merskes in Scotia
(2) 1366 Acts I. 500 red.
Plures ecciesie infrale Mersk
Preter decanatum de Mersk

2. a. In the north-east: Marshland; a marsh or bog. Also attrib. c 1440 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 247.
The mos and the mersk to Bishop Brynnes and the teleland to Ardgrane
1696 Cullen B. Rec. 77 (19 Sept.).
Muirs, mercshes. graisings
attrib. 1607 Inverurie B. Ct. 41.
Certain grewes viz. making of ȝerd middingis casting of mersk ȝeird forder nor thai aucht to haiff downe

b. In Wigtown. = Mers n.1 2. ? 1513 Wigtown B. Ct. 28 a.
The borow mersk
1521 Ib. 122 a.
In the achtand part of the borow mersk wyth ane half akyr lyand besyd [etc.]

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"Mersk n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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