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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Murther, Murder, v. Also: murthir, -ar, -ur, -o(u)r(e; murdar(e, murdre, mwrdir, murdour. P.t. and p.p. murtherit etc., murthred; murderit, etc., ymurderit, murdred, mwrdrith. [ME. murðre(n (Ancr. R.), morþre(n (1297), murthere(n (13–14th c.), morthere(n (14th c.), mordre(n (c 1330), murdre(n (14th c.), e.m.E. mourther (15th c.), murther, murder, OE. myrðrian, OF. mordrir, murdrir, murtrir, Anglo-Lat. murdrāre.] tr. To murder. = Murdris v.To kill unlawfully and deliberately; but chiefly with very strong reprobation, to kill in a heinous fashion, to butcher, or to kill (a group of people), to massacre.Also absol., to commit murder, and with adj. or adv. complement, and fig., to destroy.(1) c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 335.
Quhen he … lyke ane tyranne oppressit and murtheryt the pepill without cause
1513 Doug. x. viii. 143.
Quhou that the fyfty ȝong men, schame to se, War fowlly murthuryt on the first nycht
1525 St. A. Formulare I. 270.
The cruell tyrannis that slew and murthirit Cryistis haly servandis
1528 Misc. Spald. C. II. 83.
The saidis personis … hes rasit fire, slane and murtharit vj men and twa wemen
15.. Clar. iii. 1587. 1558-66 Knox I. 63. Ib. II. 91. 1567 Acts III. 27/2.
Tressonablie schamefullie and horriblie murthourit
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 521.
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 31.
Bringing with thame greit apparell of cordis to murther thame
Ib. 33.
Agains thame that hes murtherit ane king and sekis strangearis to murthour ane vther
Id. Indict. 40.
a1578 Pitsc. I. 79/28.
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 33. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Trucido, jugulo, to murther
1596 Dalr. I. 146/20. Ib. 177/28. 1600 Acts IV. 204/1.
The King cryit, I am murtherit
1611 Reg. Panmure I. xxix.
Brigandis quha for the money thay had hes murthered them
1613 Highland P. III. 127.
1617 Melrose P. 273.
Ministers being durked in Stirling, buried quick in Cliddisdaill, and murthoured in Galloway
1618 Crim. Trials III. 441.
James Stewart … darnet … thair to haif murthouret him
1627 Justiciary Cases I. 73.
1631 Ib. 170.
1631 Stirling's Royal Lett. II. 515.
To find out whither the chyld be murthred or not
(b) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1841.
Pallamydes Not slane in-to the battall wes Bot thiftuislie murdred
1456 Hay I. 295/12.
Thai waid murdre and sla bathe brothir and sister
Ib. II. 30/22.
Or slais his counsale and murderis thame
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 342.
Thus to murdour ws that ȝoldin ar
a1500 Quare Jel. 174.
Ofe his own hond ymurderit and yslawe
a1570-86 Dunb. Maitl. F. cxlviii. 10.
Haue mercie ladie bricht! Quhat haue I wrocht … That ȝe mwrdir me a sakles wicht
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.) 400.
Thay murderit in presoun Johne Astoun [etc.]
a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 66.
On Monday the viij day Februar 1591 yeris my Lord Murray was crwille mwrdrith … be George, my Lord Huntly
1600-1610 Melvill 421.
(2) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 24.
With hand reddy to murthour, mynd to dissaif
a1578 Pitsc. I. 66/1.
Schortlie it was so lesum to ane dependant wpoun ane Douglas to slay and murder
(3) 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 138.
Bot he be of the kyn of him that is murtherit ded
1572 Sat. P. xxxi. 37.
For innocents ar murtherit downe, Without remors, in land and towne
(4) 1600-1610 Melvill 421.
fig. Nocht contented to have murderit his body, presses yit to murder his guid fame

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"Murther v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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