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

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

Pay, n. Also: pa, pey, peay, py. [ME. and e.m.E. payȝ (c 1300), pay (Manning), paye (14th c.), satisfaction, retaliation (c 1300), wages, hire (Manning), OF. paie.]

1. Punishment, chastisement. Only in to mak or gif (ane) pay, to strike or hit hard or frequently, to mete out punishment. 1375 Barb. xix. 609 (E).
A carle him maid With a club sic [C. richt ane] felloun pay
?1438 Alex. ii. 2601.
Cassamus him gaif sik pay That he vpon his arsoun lay
Ib. 4490.
On the comouns of Effeȝoun Sic pay he maid he dang thame doun That neir hand fyftene [etc.]
Ib. 8441. c1420 Wynt. viii. 4341.
Wyth stanys thare thai made swylk pay … That the schyrrave thare wes slayne
Ib. 6755. a1500 K. Hart 879.
Heidwerk hoist and parlasy maid grit pay And murmouris mo with mony speir and targe

2. To (till) (one's) pay, to one's satisfaction. a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1138.
I can nocht get a freind ȝit to my pay
a1500 Bk. Chess 68.
Nero … slew … Seneca For his correctioun was nocht till his pa

3. a. Payment (of (= for) goods or services). b. A wage. c. ? transf.The quot. for 1695 may properly belong to b. c1420 Ratis R. 999.
Tak erare gud pay and les vynnyng Than hecht of mare
Ib. 1002.
Fore merchandice wald ilka day By and sell with reddy pay
a1500 Rauf C. 297.
God forbid … That for ane nichtis harbery Pay suld be laid
Ib. 298. 1642 Fam. Rose 330.
My sones lievtennent … sal be ready to … gif tham pay
1644 Inverness Rec. II. 183.
The counsell … ordaines that he be satisfeit of his bygane pey
1657 Stitchill Baron Ct. 10.
William Hoggearth is decerned to pay … for his proportioun of eatten corne twenty six shillings 8d. or the trew pay of a bolle of aits
1665 Melrose Reg. Rec. II. 122.
2 aikers wodset to him for yearlie pay of a hen
1695 S. Ronaldshay 65.
That the corporall draws two men's peay
b. 1517 Treas. Acc. V. 155.
To Capitane Glen v deid pais
1543 Ib. VIII. 231.
Monethlie peyis of gunnaris
c. 1677 Forbes Baron Ct. 315.
Eaurie tennant hawing ane hundreth markis mailing … sall haue … ane suord [etc.] … and eaurj feiftie markis py to haue [etc.]

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"Pay n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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