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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).

Passag(e, n.1 Also: -aig(e, -adge, -eg; pasag(e; pasis. [ME. and e.m.E. passage (c 1290), -adge (1582), F. passage, pasage f. passer Pas v., med. L. passagium a way or path (c 1260), and cf. med. L. passuagium a ferry, mill-lade, crossing, expedition overseas, etc.]Also Out-passage n.

1. The act or fact of passing, in the usual senses of Pas v.; movement (through or across a space or area). b. A particular instance of any of these; a journey; a voyage. c. Travel, in general; travelling.In passage, on the way, en route.Also attrib. and comb.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxv. 172.
[They] A kyrk mad in a place ner by … & … Distrenȝeyt al that passag mad
c1490 Irland Als. MS. 49/18.
Quhen the persone passis to pray … the angell novmeris the gait and passage that he makis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7387.
This being done to schip thay mak passage
(2) 1388 Douglas Chart. 32.
Leif to pas … wyth ovtyn ony impediment in thair passag
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 3038.
And gaif him all the apparele That to his passage nedis hale
c1466-80 Letter from Lord Hamilton.
I haf ordande hym … to se in his passage quheder he may best furder therto in Inglande or in ȝour lande
1473 Treas. Acc. I. 43.
To Johnne Broune lutare, at his passage oure sey
a1500 Bk. Chess 270.
This ȝoung man set his passage thaim betwene
1501 Treas. Acc. II. 31. 1523 Ib. V. 230.
At thare passaig to the campt … for thare expensis
1531 Ib. 434. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 232/11.
Gif Appius desirit thame to haisty thare passage [etc.]
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 103.
Quhowm fray I rasawit ane [writing] schawand off his gud passag
1555–6 Ib. 407.
As to your gracis passage at this tyme throw mos and myr
1590 Welwod 65.
Giff ane passinger be nocht able to pay his passage [etc.]
1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 299.
The said comon vagon or coatch in hir frequent and constant passadge [between Edinburgh and Leith]
(3) c1420 Wynt. vii. 2310.
Swa wes he lettyd wyth that wage That hale wes lettyt [ed. put by] that passage [C. passagis]
Ib. 3074. Ib. viii. 83.
To this passage thai ordanyd then … gret men
a1500 Seven S. 156.
To se by sternis … Quhat of that passage suld befall
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 140.
Eschew tharfor this passage dangerus
a1578 Pitsc. I. 84/16.
The King of Scottland was grittumlie commovit throw this passage in Ingland
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Iter, a passage
1596 Dalr. I. 21/10.
And beȝonde the water thay finȝie a dwble passage that in treding of the fute thay [the pursuers] may be deceiued
1513 Doug. iii. Prol. 3.
4) Cynthia … Rewlare of passage and ways mony one
1531 Bell. Boece I. xviii.
The erd is now mair frequent in pepil … and the passage in al cuntreis mair knawin
1532 Mill Mediæv. Plays 249.
The ordour & passag in the procession on Corpus Cristis Day
1534 Bamff Chart. 65.
Fra that north as ane rod lyes in passage to Ardorny
1563 Reg. Cupar A. II. 281.
For the queinis maiesteis expensis in passage throucht Athoil from the huntis to Inuerness
1622-6 Bisset II. 203/14.
Gathelus … with dangerous passaige sailled throw the straittis
1644 Cuningham Journal 89.
I gott a convenient occasion of passage in one of the … ships
a1689 Cleland 22.
[The] beer … got bad passage at his hasse
1607–8 Misc. Spald. C. V. 82.
5) attrib. and comb. To Androw Graye masone for bigging up ane passage dure fra the colledge to the Gray Freris kirk
1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 299.
Ane lairge passadge wagon or coatch to … carie passingers betwixt Edinburgh and Leith

d. A military or naval expedition. 1456 Hay I. 185/16.
All harmes and scathis that suld be done … for caus of the said passage
1495 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 57.
Licence … to reman at hame fra the passage in Ingland
1498 Acta Conc. II. 250. 1502 Treas. Acc. II. 144.
With warnyng for the passage in Denmark

e.Transmission (between persons etc.). — c1550-c1580 Art of Music 6.
For passaig of the sangis to and fro quhilk ar prikit eftir the consuetud of dywers nationis

f. Extent or stretch of time or space. Only lang or long passage, prolonged time, long distance. a1500 Lanc. 2469.
The long dirk pasag of the vinter
1531 Bell. Boece I. xix.
This ile is extendit be lang passage fra the south-south-eist to the north-nor-west
Ib. xxx.
The watter of Clyde … sine discendis with lang passage to the south

g. A temporary alteration in the rhythm of a piece of music brought about by syncopation. — c1550-c1580 Art of Music 23 b.
Sincopa … is ane passaig of ane semebrewe or ane mynnym be the middis of tua thrie four fyve or sax mair noittis

2. Departure (from a place; also, from this life to the next).(1) 1375 Barb. iv. 563.
Swa that we may haff vittering Of our passage or our duelling
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2020.
Sone eftir his passage Sche tuke one Egistus in deid
Ib. 3035.
And he gaif him till At this passage … Richt riche giftis
Ib. 2308. 1456 Hay I. 177/30.
He aw to be haldin free of passage alswele as of his come
a1500 Henr. Fab. 306 (Bann.). 1510 Reg. Privy S. I. 317/1.
Fra the day of his passage furth of the realme
(2) c1450 Cr. Deyng i.
The passage of this vrechit warlde the quhilk is callit dede
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 396.
The tyme of the passag of his saul out of the body

3. a. The means or opportunity of passing a certain way, a cleared road. b. Leave or right to pass a certain way.Also in plur.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii. 1858.
Us wourthis … with swordis win vs passage
1433 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 390.
The takyng doun of the hous … aboue your venale because of passage
1456 Hay I. 186/11. 1457 Stirlings of Keir 231.
Wyth fre entray and passage to the saide landis
1501 Chart. Coupar A. II. 103.
In vsing and broiking of thare commone gaitis passage and repassage throw the said mure
1507–8 Reg. Privy S. I. 239/1.
Makand the sade strete agane for the passage of the said burgh als weill as it wes of before
1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 395.
With passage convenient of saxten fwit of breid with the said battaling owr the water and ryver of Dee
1533 Boece xv. iii. 579.
The Erle of Marche … with his hoist … grathing passage oure the stankis
1533 Bell. Livy I. 17/29.
That na men mycht haue passage to the streme
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 13. 1545 Ib. 150.
That schipis may haif passaig without ony gret skayth
a1578 Pitsc. II. 89/28.
That I sall mak eassie passage to ȝone castell and mak the hiest stone the leuchest
1595 Douglas Bequest fol. 85.
To … haiff … passaig and carriadg of the said fevall to his said rovme
1615 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 97. 1632 Cullen B. Ct. MS. 27 Apr.
The said get is stayt … and na passage thairfra
1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 307.
The way … is … so stoped that there is scarce any passadge
(2) 1456 Hay I. 184/33.
Gif a prince aw to refus a passage throu his contre till ane othir prince
1498 Acta Conc. II. 245.
The … comunite of Cowper aucht til haf the usit passage with cartis and wanys to cum and gang
1580 Dundee Chart. No. 71.
Quhairby thair salbe ane suir passage alsueill for pepill as for schippis
1640 Anal. Scot. I. 383.
The general & committie sent two letteris desyring a frie passadge
(3) plur. 1456 Hay II. 94/23.
It efferis to the king to … mak seure passagis to merchandis and travaillouris
1500 Carnegie Lett. 523.
Thar beand ane sufficient goyll in the said dame for passagis of fische
1570 Leslie 231.
He … cuttit away all moyens passages and intelligences betuix the fort and the castell
1602 Reg. Great S. 475/1.
Alsua frie passages isches and enteresis to pas and repas in the gait

c. Unimpeded flow (of water etc.).1531 Reg. Dunferm. 362. 1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 121.
Bot gef the vatter ane fre passaige quhar it had vs effor
1532 Acta Conc. & Sess. (St. S.) 150.
Sa that the … wynning of colis thairin sall nocht … stopp the passage of the water
1572 Inverness Rec. I. 215.
Quhartrocht my saidis wowttis may be skaythles of weit be passage away of the water
1576 Ib. 249.
And the burne to haif the passaige as the auld moder burne had of befoir

4. A way or route along which a person or thing passes or may pass.a. A road, lane or path. Also commoun (vennell, or gait, and) passage, hie (strete, or way, and) passage, Kingis passage, the public highway. b. A pass through hills or mountains.Also in fig. context or transf. in sense a.(1) ?1438 Alex. i. 2836.
Now mon thow keip heir this passage
1456 Hay II. 28/16.
To byrn mysal housis and destroye perilous passagis, ger hag woddis [etc.]
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 2777.
Ane cuntre … full of rochis & montangneze … Quhare that the passages sa narrow was
a1500 Lanc. 249.
1513 Doug. ix. vi. 31.
Thys is our passage quhilk way we mon wend
Ib. xi. xi. 31. 1535 Stewart 38514. 1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 196.
1539 Ib. 205.
And failyeing thairof we ordand all the communite to pas and destroy the corne and mak ane plane passaige of it
1553 Prot. Bk. R. Lumsdane MS. 15.
Reservand to the said Robert … ane lonyng and passaig for passing and repassing
1562 Stirling Chart. 211.
[They] sall lewe the passage on the hie Kingis gaitt lik as it is now
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 105.
The passages … being weill set at the said meitting place
1572 Irvine Mun. I. 63.
With ane sufficient gait and passage … for frie ische and intre [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I. 31/17.
[That there] sould come bot ane small companye and at diuers passageis to eschew all suspitioun
1585 Forres B. Ct. 29 Nov.
For non haldin in of the burne fra the bog & makin ane dry passaig fra Archibauld Brownis howis to the lee brig
1594 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 122.
To caus calsay the crocegaitt or passage betuix the heid of the … wynd and the new calsay
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 75.
At his incuming to the ludging be a bak passage
1610 Southesk MSS. 14.
Distant from ony guid toun quhair … secour wes to be haid and the passages sum thing onaisie
1640 Anal. Scot. I. 384.
Sir Thomas Hope's troupe being chairgit with the Englisch in a strait passadge
1641 Acts V. 591/2.
To keip the saides wayes and passages in thair bread and integritie
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 273.
On the mercat day they stapp all passadges to thair buithes
(2) a1500 Rauf C. 416.
Behaldand the hie hillis and passage sa plane
1531 Bell. Boece I. 143.
The Romanis wer first irkit with scharpe and difficill passage
1588 Reg. Privy C. IV. 299.
Throw the multitude of deidlie feidis and unsure passage nather dar the complenaris … pas thair to persew justice
(3) 1480 Liber Melros II. 694.
The land lying doun to the wall except the Kyngis passage
1491 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 62.
And the comone passage passand to the Quarell of Air
1525 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 222. 1542 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 181.
Ane commoune venneyll and passage within the said burght
1555 Peebles B. Rec. I. 218.
All thame that hes broking ony land in common gaittis or passages
1564 Reg. Privy C. I. 279. 1565 Ib. 383. 1582 Soc. Ant. XXVIII. 44. 1582 Burntisland B. Ct. 1 May.
The hie streittis and passagis off this burght ar wirtit and holkit wp be filthie swyne
1585–6 Rec. Earld. Orkney 357.
To the southt to the comoun passag
1592 Acts Jas. VI c. 156. 1615 Lanark B. Rec. 123.
For clossing up of ane common yet and passage callit the Kingis muir yet
1616 Anal. Scot. I. 303.
That the hie wayis & passageis … be maid easlie passible for cotcheis and cairtis
1668 Salmon Borrowstounness 77.
There is … a high common way and passage … southward
(4) fig. 1490 Irland Mir. I. 79/20.
Thus the entre and passage to Paradice is precludit to us
Ib. MS. 295 b.
I find in the Cristianite ane assens passage and leddire of thre noble greis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4811.

c. A water-course, gutter or conduit. 1518 Dunferm. B. Rec. in Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 155.
And all ald covndittis … fra the burn hafand the ald passaig as vs and wount was
1518–9 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 352.
The tovne … ordanit the masteris of kirk-werk to translat thair funt and passag to the rudloft
1542 Fraser P. 181.
1563–4 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XXIII. 103.
[He] hes … drawin thi said watter be ane uther heichar leid and passage
1591 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 435.
For making ane passage for discens of the fylth … frome the ȝaird
1684 Corshill Baron Ct. 169.

d. A navigable channel. 15.. Lynd. Rutter B. fol. 9.
This Kyilra is a streat passage and a dangerous stream
1560 Dundee B. Laws 22.
That na ship … lay her anchors in the principell passage without the bulwarkes but that it be in great mester [pr. niescer]

e. An enclosed passage in a building or underground; a corridor or a tunnel. a1500 Seven S. 2344.
Ane preve passage for to mak
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 25.
Ane litill irne yet in the passage betwix the laicht and heicht chalmeris
1533 Boece ii. xij. 83.
The twa bredir … war tane by to ane secrete passage
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7005.
With ane masoun he maid ane derne contrak Out fra this hous to mak ane small passage Into the towre
1568 Hosack Q. Mary I. 531. 1596 Dalr. I. 21/28.
Gif … he fynd the passage narrow that he can nocht entir vndir the eard, he with his feit … apnes it vpe
1597–8 Crim. Trials II. 31.
The … haill passageis of the said tolbuith
1602 Haigh Mining P. 12 Oct.
In the said myndis and in the easmentis and passageis thairto
1615 Crim. Trials III. 361.
1676 Old Ross-shire I. 94.

f. transf. A passage, opening, conduit, etc., in a person's body. 1456 Hay II. 121/31.
Blude-lattingis … opnys the clos termes of the passagis of humouris [etc.]
c1580-90 Rules of Health.
Greit windis … and humide placis … drawis togidder the passagis and poris of the skyn
1611-57 Mure Dido & Æn. iii. 390.
The wepon … Maide open passage to the gushing flood
1664 Lamont Diary 171.
The straitnes of the passage in his craige

5. a. A means of crossing a water. b. A place at which a water may be crossed, a ford or ferry.Also attrib. with -boate and -ship. ?1438 Alex. ii. 478.
For vthir passage nane thare was Bot ane bait and ane shipgrome
Ib. 3417.
That thow dar pas the great passage of Pharone
c1420 Wynt. vi. 2055.
That passage syne wes comownly In Scotland called the Erlys-Ferry
1456 Hay I. 115/15.
That nane be perist at evill portis na passagis na ryveris na wayke briggis
c1475 Wall. ix. 1305.
With his bait thai mycht weill passage hawe
Ib. 1291. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 207/2.
And in his hame cummyng King Jhon brak all the briggis and passagis
1505 Liber Aberbr. II. 356.
Of the passage and fery bait of Montros
1563 Grant Chart. 128.
That the passaige of the locht be frie and onstoppit be ony man in tymis cuming
1563–4 Inverness Rec. I. 115. 1577–8 Reg. Privy S. VII. 220/1. c1590 Fowler II. 108/20.
A prence … suld … have experience of there passages [v.r. of the foordes] fennes and marris
1665 S. Ronaldshay 48.
The minister … not being able to gitt passage at Water-sound
attrib. 1644 Spalding II. 501.
Toward the passadge ship for Swartsluyse from Amsterdame
1654 Lamont Diary 78.
A passage boate … from Bruntelland to Leith

6. A licence or permit to pass. = Pas n. 3. 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 43.
That my lord Somervales sending to Ingland was nocht to lane for he was commandit to schaw the governour hes passage

7. ‘Passage’ or evacuation of the bladder or bowels.In mod. Eng., 1778. 1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. ii. 8.
There turpentine [etc.] … His medicine for passage sweer That for the van these for the reer

8. a. Of money: The fact of passing current or being generally acceptable; currency. 1488 Acts II. 208/2.
And a penny of gold to haue passage for xx of the saidis groitis
1524 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. 54.
That na layit money of any cuntreis bot fyne siluer haue passage in this cuntre but apoun ain competent price
1545 Reg. Privy C. I. 10. 1547 Ib. 68.
Uthair cunye … gettis passage amangis our soverane ladyis liegis
1550 Ib. 110.
Tha nane of thame tak upoun hand to refuse ony maner of sowsis … bot to tak the samin in commoun passage for all maner of merchandice
1570 Leslie 48. 1629 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 8. 1668 Irvine Deeds.
Having uswall course & passage within the said kingdome

b. Legal acceptability (of a deed, etc.). 1510 Stirlings of Keir 295.
That the breif of ydeotry … on the said Thomas haue passage and be full seruit apoun him
1526 Acts II. 315/1.
Sa that all causis criminale quhilkis ar to be decidit before oure souerane justice haue passage befor him
1561 Reg. Privy C. I. 160. 1622-6 Bisset I. 293/5.
And then cummis mony exceptionis that suld … stope the … passaige of the breve

9. (One's) manner of moving, gait. 1513 Doug. i. vi. 167.
[She] in hir passage a verray god dyd hir kyth
a1578 Pitsc. II. 17/19.
He was … fair plessant faceit, with ane goode and manlie contienance and ȝeid brent and right wpe in his passage

10. A separate portion of a discourse dealing with some particular matter. 1549 Compl. 29/22.
That passage of the text nedis nocht ane alligoric expositione
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4577.
Ȝe sall nocht fynd in no passage Quhare Christ forbiddith mariage
1552 Dundee B. Ct. II. 198 b (15 Nov.).
And Alexander Brovne accept the said bill in that pasis concerning sone & apperand air

b. A subdivision, dealing with one aspect, of a course of study. 1652 Dumfries Kirk S. 8 Apr.
Ane schoole for training vp of female children in sundrie passages of her professione

c. In the first passage, in the first instance. — 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed. 33, etc.
For hir falt … hirselff baneist the contrie within the space of ane monethe at the leist in the first passage

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"Passag n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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