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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Misty,-ie, a. Also: mistye, misté, mysty(e, -ie. [ME. misty, mysty, OE. mistiᵹ.]

1. Misty; clouded by, or consisting of, mist. a1500 Henr. Fab. 866 (Bann.).
Phebus with his bemys Consumit had the mysty cloudis gray
Id. Test. Cress. 18. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxix. 3.
With mystie vapouris, cluddis and skyis
1533 Boece iv. xi. 142b.
Ane catar generit of the cras and thik mysty aire
Ib. xi. iv. 411.
The are was … clowdy & mystye
1549 Compl. 140/5.
Ane mysty mornyng in symmyr
Ib. 59/12. a 1550 Misc. Spald. C. II. xxix.
When lo the nicht with mistie mantles spred Gan dark the day
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 155.
Synthea … ouer hir visage kest ane mistye vaill
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 44 (Wr.). 1674 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 206.
The weather being soe mistie

b. Resembling mist, cloudy. 1456 Hay I. 27/25.
Of the quhilk thare come out sik a mysty smoke of hidous reik
1513 Doug. iii. iii. 105.
Apon sik wys oncertanly we went Thre days wilsum throu the mysty streym

c. Covered in mist. 1513 Doug. iii. iv. 123.
Belyve the mysty toppys of Mont Lewcus Apperis

d. In fig. context. — a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 429.
In misty dirknes of warldlie warians

2. fig. a. Obscure, unclear, vague, difficult to understand, puzzling.c1420 Wynt. ii. 319 (C) (see Mistik a. 2). Ib. vii. 473 (C).
Qwhat signyfyide that mysty worde
1456 Hay I. 245/23.
The lawe sais tha in sik mysty aventuris is lytill remede
Ib. 284/25.
Clos bataill is rycht perilous and mysty to be jugit be ignoraunt men
1481 Acts II. 133/2.
Quhare the law that is made is vnclere & mysty
1482 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 35. 1490 Acta Conc. I. 148/1.
A instrument of the remitt of xl merkis quhilk … wes haldin obscure and miste to the lordis of consale
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 676.
Thir twa forsaid [judgements] … Quhilkis ar bot halflang, misty & secret
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 314/27.
Jhesus fulfillit & declarit all prophesis and misty scriptouris
1531 Bell. Boece I. xlix.
Maister Alexander Galloway … gevand his mind … to serche the verite of thir obscure and misty dowtis
1585–6 Montgomery Mem. 225.
Becaus it [the letter] is sumthing mistie and generall
1596 Dalr. I. 68/17, 18.
With mistie fables … they make mair darke and mistie than thay make cleir

b. Of the mind: Clouded, dim. 1513 Doug. i. Prol. 32.
My waverand wyt, my cunnyng febill at all, My mynd mysty

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"Misty adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2023 <>



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