Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Pagan(e, n. and a. Also: pai-, pay- and -gain, -gayn, -gen, -gon. [L. pāgānus a rustic, also (in Christian apologists) a heathen. Cf. late ME. pagane n. (a 1450, once, rendering L. pāgānus) and e.m.E. pagan a. (1550) and n. (1593). Cf. also Payan(e n. and a., and Panian.Appar. chiefly Sc. till the late 16th c.]

A. noun. A pagan: a heathen, infidel, or idolater.Also possess. with lay and wys.(1) a1400 Leg. S. i. 337.
Paul … prechit Cristis law … To paganis
c1420 Wynt. v. 669.
Ib. ii. 137. 1456 Hay I. 298/34.
Paganis that we call uncristyn men and wist of na Cristyndome
1490 Irland Mir. II. 90/1.
Gif the pagane or innemy of the faith sais [etc.]
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 198/23.
The paganis of Horsus and of Ingest … conquest ȝow halely
1531 Bell. Boece II. 50.
Thay … usit the cursit ritis of paganis, aberand fra the Cristin faith
1549 Compl. 3/2. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 255.
Geve thi grace to Turkis, Sarracenis, paganis and Jewis … to laif thair errour
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5389.
Thay … leif nocht lyke to Christianis But more lyke Turkis and to paganis
1597 Skene Verb. S. (1599) s.v. Hebdomas.
The auld Gotthes being paganis … did honour and worship … idols
?1672 M. Bruce Sermon in Edinb. Tolbooth 5.
(b) a1400 Leg. S. viii. 6.
Payganis that war dwelland thare [etc.]
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 251/457.
To him quho hath redeimed us nou from creuall paigainis thralle
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 2545.
He mad on the paganys wys Till ydolys fals hys sacryfyis
Ib. 3412 (see Lay n.1 b).

b. As a term of abuse. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 525 (Ch. & M.).
Sarazene, symonyte, provit pagane pronunciate [etc.]
1611-57 Mure Sonnets xi. 10.
A Turk but treuth, a pagane for a preist

B. adj. Pagan; heathen, not Christian.(1) c1515 Asl. MS. I. 187/10.
As thai war counsalit be thar pagane goddis
1513 Doug. x. Prol. 159.
I compt not of thir paygane goddis a fudder
(2) 1513 Doug. v. ii. 71 (1553).
1533 Boece ii. xiv. 89 b.
The king … did funerall sacrifice … conforme to the pagane rite
(3) 1549 Compl. 4/11.
The … pagan princis quhilkis impeschit hym
(4) 1549 Compl. 32/19.
The pagan philosophours held mony vane opinions

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: