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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Murtherar, Murth(o)ur-, Murthrar, Murderar, n. Also: -are, -er(e, murtherair, murthirar, -er, murthorar, -er; mwrderar, mourderar, murdiror, murdrer, morderer. [ME. and e.m.E. murtherer(e (Cursor M.), mortherer(e (14–15th c.), mord-, murderour (14–15th c.), murderer (16th c.), mordroure, moerdrer, murdrer(e (14–15th c.), moord(e)rare (15th c.), partly f. Murther n.1 and partly AF. mordreour, murdreour, -drere, agent n. f. mordrer, mordrir, Murther v.] A murderer. = Murther n.2, Murdrissar n.Also const. of the victim or victims and in King-murtherer, Man-murtherar.Also once appar. without, or with less, opprobrium, a slayer, one who kills (another).(a) a1400 Leg. S. xliii. 392.
Jubitere Ves the name of a murtherere & of a kyd houllore
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3204.
The lawche he gert thame suffyre thare As murthrarys off the kyngis men thai ware
Ib. iv. 1579.
Ib. vii. 88.
14.. Acts I. 347/2.
All … murtheraris of men outhir rychtwisly or vnrychtwisly sall nocht mak suyte oppinly
1456 Hay II. 29/7.
1527 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 377.
Ane of the murtheraris of vmquhile Alexander Seytoun
Ib. 573.
In … taking … of oure rebellis theiffis revaris sornaris and murtheraris
15.. Clar. iii. 594.
Fy on the murtherers! fy on the false trasoun!
1560 Knox II. 109. Bk. Disc. 231. 1567 Sat. P. ii. 2.
It is not aneuch the pure King is deid, Bot the mischant murtheraris occupand his steid
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 521.
The cheif murtherare being present
Ib. 545. 1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots 539.
1570 Sat. P. xx. 11.
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 22.
Quhair we wer altogidder estemit ane people murtherare of kingis
Ib. 33. 1570-3 Bann. Trans. 14.
That murtherer and knawin adultres called the quene
a1585 Maitl. Q. xvi. 10.
Ane murtherar of innocentis
1570 Leslie 150.
Ane publicque murthourar
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 317.
a1578 Pitsc. I. 15/13.
He … that was the grettest briggane, theiff or murtherar
Ib. 100/27.
The King was bot ane blodie murtherar of his awin bloode
Ib. 25/6.
Ib. 210/32.
Ib. 207/28. 1585 Rep. Sir R. Menzies MSS. 693.
1596 Dalr. I. 33/15. Ib. 122/12.
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. MS. 50.
Lawis … annent foirstallaris theiffis murthoraris
1612 Highland P. III. 122.
The most biudie and violent murthourar and oppressour of all that damned race
1648 Brechin Presb. 6.
George Black, murtherer, … confessing the abominable sin of murther, began his repentance
c1650 Spalding I. 205.
As ane renegat lymmar, bloodschedder and murtherar
(b) (c 1580) Alex. ii. 9611.
Thow that lufit theuis and murderers And hated all trew bachlers
1456 Hay II. 29/37.
Gif a knycht mysgovernis him in syk kynde that he be outhir thef or traytour revare or murderar
1490 Irland Mir. II. 142/19.
Sone eftir the euill murderaris and briggantis tuk thame and put thame to deid
1494 Loutfut MS. 7 b.
Traitouris fals reportouris and wnlele murdreris
c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 329. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5726. 1567 Sat. P. vii. 170 (see Murther n.1 1 c (2)).
Murderers of kingis

a1578 Pitsc. I. 48/23. 1582–3 Perth B. Ct. 9 Feb.
To vnderly the lawis for the samin as ane plane murderar
a1586 Lindsay MS. 16 b.
1603 Inverness Rec. II. 17.
All except murdiroris, revers, oppressors [etc.]
1606 Stewart Mem. 119.
Mordereres of the vmquhill Johne Stewart

b. Hyperbolically and fig. — 1558-66 Knox I. 62.
Those murtheraris the Gray Frearis
Ib. 334.
Baith traytouris to the treuth … and murtheraris of us
Ib. II. 398.
A bischope that … feidis not the flock … is boith a theif and a murderare

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"Murtherar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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