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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.

Native, Natif, a. and n. Also: natyve, -yive, -eve, -iwe; natife, -iff, -yf(f, -eiff. [ME. and e.m.E. natyf (Chaucer), -if, native (11432–50), -yve, F. natif (14th c.), L. nātīvus.]

1. Native man, native bond, bond native, a bondman or bond tenant; latterly, a ‘kindly tenant’, chiefly native man, native tenant, and freq. coupled with kindly, = Kindly a. 5.

b. Native man, servant, A person's servant, dependant or tenant of long standing or from birth, one born to his service. Also const. till (the chief or landlord).Like nativus n. (see sense 7), common, as nativi homines pl., in the early Latin documents.(1) 1161–2 Regesta I. 230.
[In cuiuscumque terra aut potestate abbas de Sancta Cruce inuenire poterit natiuos homines terre sue aut fugitiuos suos
1163–4 Ib. 264.] 14.. Acts I. 387/2.
Gif thi natiff man or thi bonde haf fylit thi land with guld
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 43.
Of bondis natif & fugitif clamand to fredom … quhen ony askis ane other in bondagis as his natif bond
Ib. c. 45. 1564 Reg. Privy C. I. 304.
Quhairby the said David is in the rowme of him the auld kyndlie native possesour thairof
1569 Thanes of Cawdor 175.
[He] sall do to thame in all sorttis as ane noble cheif and gud maister acht and suld do to his natif trew perpetuall and considderit seruandis
1579 Acts III. 166/1.
To be als far and straitlie bund to the kyndlie & natiue tennentis of the ground as ony vther nobilman within this realme
1579 Reg. Privy C. III. 133.
And hes utterlie baneist him, his native men and tennentis, out of thair awin rowmes
1583 Ib. 592.
To quhom the compliner aucht to succeid as maist native and kyndlie tennent thairto
1612 Coll. Rebus Alban. 206. 1615 Misc. Hist. Soc. IV. 282.
[That Dougall's ancestors had been] native men and servandis [to Ronald's and had] bene under thair manrent tuitioun and defence thir mony … ȝeiris bigane
1623 Argyll Rentals 9 Sept.
[Charles McEachin] an old man and native tenant
(2) c1475 Wall. x. 169.
Bot at thai men, was natyff till Stwart, Principaill off But, tuk hardement in hart

2. Of persons. a. Native of or to a place. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 2118.
The king hes callit to counsell Philotes … Becaus that he was natyve of the place
1576 Compl. Zetl. 28 b.
Diuers of his seruandis … quhilk ar not native nor induelland men of our cuntrie
c1615 Chron. Kings 93.
That the Frainschmen being in Scotland suld be estemeitt as nateiff to the cuntrie

b. Belonging by birth or origin to a particular nation.(1) c1475 Wall. viii. 547.
Be caus I am a natyff Scottis man
(2) 1533 Boece ix. xii. 319 b.
Baldrede, ane Scott native, doctor to Pichtis
Ib. xiii. viii. 515.
Sanct Dominyk ane Hispanȝeart native

c. Native man, a fellow countryman. Native peple, fellow-countrymen, compatriots. c1475 Wall. viii. 241.
Byschope Beik full sodeynly thai se; And Robert Bruce, contrar his natiff men
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xix. 5.
I wylcum thé Hame to thy native peple and cuntre

d. Native till (a quality or the like), having it by birth or inheritance. 1456 Hay II. 69/6.
Nobleis … ar oblist naturaly to honour of noblesse and knychthede be the vertu of gentrise that thai ar natyf till

3. a. Qualifying a term of relationship = by kinship. 1513 Doug. iii. v. 125.
Hys awyn natyve frendis knew in hy
1531 Bell. Boece II. 138.
We wil haif na les … luf to it, than the barn hes to his native moder
1549 Compl. 3/14.
The nobil princis … of France, quhilkis ar ȝour natiue frendis of consanguinite ande affinite
a1578 Pitsc. I. 390/15.
His awin natiue cousing and freind

b. Related by birth or kinship, of kin, to another. 1580 Waus Corr. I. 226.
Becaus he is sa natyue to your wyfe and to me

4. (A nation's) native-born, true-born, rightful (sovereign, etc.). 1560 Rolland Seven S. 520.
Was neuer man that had dominioun Of this impire but nobill natiue kingis
Ib. 729.
It is ane plaigue perrelous … Ane realme to be destitute of ane natiue air
1561 Inv. Q. Mary lxxiii.
Welcome, oure souueraine, welcome, oure natyue quene
1567 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lv.
To the euident dangeir … of our native princes lyff
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 181. a1578 Pitsc. I. 119/17.
Uniust baith aganis God and his natiwe prince
1695 Sage Wks. I. 268.
She assisted the Scottish subjects against their native sovereign (her jealoused competitrix)

5. a. Of lands: Belonging to one by hereditary or prescriptive right.Cf. sense 1 and Kindly a. 5 d. 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 47.
For we think greit lak to gang fra our native rowmes quhilk my husband and his surname hes brukit thir thre or four hundreth yeris
1568 Acts III. 45/1.
The comone people … hes bene removit frome thair natiue and kyndlie stedingis
1578 Ib. 113/1.
Thay … maist vnkindlie set the said compleneris native rowmes over thair heidis to the said … Erll of Huntlie

b. Native, belonging to one by birth or origin.(1) 1513 Doug. vii. ii. 38 (C).
Al hail our natyve goddis, weil ȝe be!
(2) Devot. P. xxvii.
I purpose to alledge no sentence in the same in our vulgare speche … all though oure grosse natyue langage … can not agree in all poyntes with the perfeccyon of Latyn
1660 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 448.
He resolves to tak wp ane schoole heir for teaching of theis … sciences in the vulgar native tongue
(3) 1531 Bell. Boece I. 5.
It [the marble ‘chair’] maid every land quhair it wes found native to Scottis
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 157.
For that name [sc. Simon] … was a kindly native name to the Frasers

c. Of a country, city, place, etc.: Of one's birth or origin.Very common in Douglas.For further instances see Kind a. 1.(a) a1538 Abell 37 b.
Far fra thare natife land
1549 Compl. 86/34.
The iust defens of ȝour natyf cuntre
Ib. 90/32. 1630 Red. Bk. Menteith II. 33.
My ancient natife kingdome
(b) 1513 Doug. iii. ii. 72.
The ile of Crete … The native land of Jupiter maist hie
Ib. x. i. i 33.
Had not bene bettir thame in thar natyve hauld Have syttyn still
Ib. xi. iii. 63; etc.
Ontill our natyve bundis and cite
1533 Boece i. viii. 53 b.
Vtheris of Pichtis blude … quhilkis war flemit thair native realme
1549 Compl. 73/2.
Loue of ȝour natiue cuntre
1562-3 Winȝet I. 64.
Eiectit fra thair iust possessionis and native citeis
1565 Cal. Sc. P. II. 240.
[Restored to] rowmis and natyive cuntreyth
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 523.
As we … luffis the honour of oure native cuntre
a1570-86 Maitland (see sense 2 c).a1578 Pitsc. I. 107/18. 1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Patria, a natiue countrey
c1590 Fowler I. 95/341.
It dois me greif my natiwe soyle and birth place is so bas
1594 Crim. Trials I. ii. 338.

d. Belonging to the native inhabitants of a country. e. Home-produced, indigenous (goods). 1629 Conv. Burghs III. 291.
Thair native ships that went thither
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 352.
The native commodities ar bot few quhairwith trade may be interteined

6. Inborn, innate, inherent, natural.Also transf., that arises inherently or naturally out of something.(1) 1567 G. Ball. 16.
Our natiue sin in Adame to expell
1568 Lyndesay Pref.
Quhairfoir the natiue grace and first mynd of the wryter is oftentymes peruertit
To reduce … thame to the natiue integritie and first mening of the wryter
a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 205.
What native and natural sympathy is called for betwixt a minister and his flock
Id. Commandments 46.
Quakerisme … introducing, at least having a native tendency to introduce, old paganism and barbarity
(2) a1658 Durham Commandments 2.
By holding forth the native duties required in every commandment
Id. Clavis Cantici 301.
This … is the very natiue element of it
Ib. 306.
To the blacknesse of a raven because that is native black
1687 Shields [A] Hind Let Loose 423.
A conqueror … is not a blessing, but a judgment, his native end being not peace, but fire and sword

b. Natural to one. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 268/33.
It was native to him … to persew the pepill with all humanite & kyndenes he mycht

c. ? Pertaining to birth or generation. a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 139.
A tree in the springtime doth send forth her buds from the native season of the year, its having influence thereupon

d. ? That is given as a basis or starting-point, that already exists in a given form. a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 740.
And it is clear not only by the native context and series, which is not to be interrupted
Ib. 749.
From the native series and order laid down

7. noun. a. A lord's bond tenant or bondman. = sense 1.Chiefly as a translation of med. L. nativus. 14.. Acts I. 324 red; etc.]
[De animalibus burgensium et natiuorum
1381 Douglas Chart. 29.
Witht courtes eschetez seruicez of fretenantez and natyves
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 15.
Except he … be his liege (bondman) or natiue (borne man) or dwelland vpon his land
1622-6 Bisset II. 32/9.
All his … landis of … with all natyves of the saidis landis

b. A lord's bondman or tenant of long standing or from birth; one born his tenant or to his service; also, one native to a particular Highland district.Cf. senses 1 b and 2. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. . 90 b.
Some are born bond-men, or natiues of their gudsher and grandsher, quhom the lord may challenge to be his naturall natiues
1667 Highland P. II. 9.
Being informed that he haunted coaves in Kenlochu and that the natives were sending him provision secretlie
Ib. 12.
When his natives heard of his good success they flocked to him from all airts so that within a quarter of a year he was master of all his estate
Everie one that entered (except the natives) gott his head chopped off

c. One born in or indigenous to a country. c1650 Spalding II. 80. Ib. 81.
The Irischis … begin to luk about them and to brak louss, cheiflie the papistis and natiues of the land
1697 Glasgow B. Rec. IV. 253.
All persones whatsomever, natives, strangers or inhabitants

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"Native adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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