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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).

Plage, Plaig(e, n.1 Also: plague, plaigue, plege, pleag(ue, pleawge, plag, plauge, plawgh(e. Plur. plagis etc. and pleagges, plaggis, plaidgis. [ME. and e.m.E. plage, plaage (Wycl.), plag(ue (16th c.), OF. plage (14th c.), plague (15th c.) stroke, wound, L. plāga id., also late L. = plague, pestilence, infection (Vulgate).]

1. An affliction, calamity, ‘visitation’, ‘scourge’.Freq. with implication of divine punishment, and in Biblical allusions.(a) a1500 Henr. Orph. 215 (Ch. & M.).
Thare fand he Pharo for oppression Off Goddis folk on quhilk the plagis fell
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 409.
Amang the plagis of Egipt mast horrible Ane was of myrknes
1525 St. A. Formulare I. 270.
All the plagis and trublis that lychtit on the citte of Jherusalem therfore [sc. the crucifixion]
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1188.
I dreid the plagues of Johne's Revelatioun Sall fal vpon ȝour generatioun
1549 Compl. 30/1.
[It] follouis nocht that hyr [Q. Mary's] ȝouthed is ane plage sende be God to scurge vs
Ib. 1/15. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 8 marg.
Of the plagis on the nobilitie
1567 G. Ball. 107.
From all plague thow sall be fred
1597 James VI Dæmonol. 48.
God hath … preordinated aswell the particular sortes of plagues as of benefites for euerie man
1600-1610 Melvill 3.
[Four parishes fell vacant] whase desolat miserie was the mair that it fell in the yeirs of feirfull plages and confusion bathe upon the kirk and comounweill
(b) 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1506.
Moyses … Ten plaiges in Egypt send for thair trespas
Id. Æn. xii. viii. 23.
Lyke as the bub or plaig of fell tempest
1533 Boece ii. xiii. 87.
The dedelie plaig [sc. drowning at sea] of thare tendir freyndis
Ib. ix. iv. 294 b.
This bludy plaig
1535 Stewart 36232, 36235.
1551 Hamilton Cat. 34.
Temporal and spirituall plaigis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 728.
It is ane plaigue perrellous and ane greit dispair Ane realme to be destitute of ane natiue air
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 522.
Rycht as Pharo on Godis plaigs wald not pance
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 45.
He may not onlie remoue sic punischment and plaig frome us bot [etc.]
1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii. 73.
Apperandly thir plaigis ar powrit out To wraik this warld
1570 Sat. P. xiii. 201.
And gif sa hapnis … This plaigue maist justly of God's hands ȝe craif
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xxvii. 5.
As plaigis come be aventure
1580 Edinb. Test. VII. 341.
To call to God for mercie to remove the plaig fra him that oft fallis vpoun disobedient childrene
1584 Waus Corr. 313.
I dout nocht bot ye haif ressavit the lettres … utherwyis it apperis thair is sum plaig to follow on thame that thay ar sa oft mintit to and can nocht be gottin ressauit
c1610 Melvill Mem. 224.
Errour, yngnorance and darkenes ar apponted vnto synners for punismentis and plaiges
(c) c1590 Fowler II. 25/37.
To compt the sorows quhilk I sustenit and reakning the pleagues quhilk I receuit
1596 Melvill 364.
I ly maist miserablie under danger of God's wrathe and all his pleagges and judgments
1633 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 150.
The pleague of God wpon thy oy
(d) c1520-c1535 Nisbet Apoc. xvi. 21.
Men blasfemyt God for the plag of haile
Id. Ep. Ald Test. vii. 22. 1549 Compl. 160/25.
This plag and scisma sal neuyr be reformit
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 43.
That the plauges suld never ceis while the land were purget
1600-1610 Melvill 360.
Efter a grait threatning and appeirance of manie plagges
1614 Melvill lx.
Tak away the plag [sc. great pain] for I consume with the straik of thyne hand
(e) 1622-6 Bisset II. 203/8.
Gathelus and Scota his wyfe for eschewing the plaidgis of Egip come out thairof

b. transf., applied to persons: A serious nuisance, a ‘menace’. 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 79/25.
God … opin the hartis of all Hamiltonis … to consider hou God sufferis thir sort of men be a plaig to all thame quha hes vorshippit thame
1668-9 Fraser Lawfulness Separ. 91.
What wisdom is it to join with such plagues and to take such moths into our bosom?

2. An affliction or visitation of epidemic disease or pestilence, a plague.Also without article.Freq. plage of (the) pestilence or pest, also pest and plaig, plaig and pestilence.(1) a1500 Henr. III. 163/26.
Vse derth, o Lord, or seiknes and hungir soir And slak thy plaig that is so penetryfe
1499 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 99.
Thar salbe na victuallis sald out of the tovn induryne the tyme of this plage
1499 Prestwick B. Rec. 36.
1533 Gau 96/30.
Keip vs fra al Thy greit plagis pestilence lipper grangour and fra al oder siclyk greit seiknes
1534 Aberd. B. Rec. MS. XVI. (Jam.).
Ane seyknes & smyttand plaig callit the boiche
1570 Leslie 193.
God did punische that realme with pleague, weare [etc.]
Ib. 230.
[In 1549] thair wes a vehement plaigue within the toune of Hadingtoun
1587 Carmichael Etym. 32.
Lues, a plaig of men, beaste, tries or cornes
1588 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 118.
1590-1 Bruce Serm. 164.
Gif we look to the long last and diuturnitie of the plague
1606 Dundonald Par. Rec. 118.
1608 Inverurie 192.
And thois persons only to be brewers during this trubsom tym of the plaig
1616 Irvine Mun. II. 48.
In tyme of plaig
1635 Maxwell Mem. I. 441.
The pleag … at Cramound … is now broken vp againe
1645 Misc. Hist. Soc. I. 129.
Plaig (Fife)
1645 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXX. 146.
Plague (Haddington)
1648 S. Leith Rec. 82.
In speciall now in tyme quhen the plague is beginning to breack out agane
1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I. 83.
The new whyte plague … being verie infective and mortall
(2) 1567 G. Ball. 108.
His angellis … sall preserue thé sure From perrellis panis and from plaig
1586 St. A. Kirk S. 561.
Thai wer inordourlie mariit tyme of plaig
1665 Elgin Rec. II. 304.
That the nixt Wendinsday be ane fast for plauge
(3) 1500 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 68.
This plage of pestilence
1549 Compl. 34/23. 1558-66 Knox III. 104. 1564 Reg. Privy C. I. 279.
The plaig of the pestilence … in Danskin
a1568 Scott xxxi. 46.
The pest and plaig
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 3. 1584 Elgin Rec. I. 176.
Personis cuming … fra suspect places of the plaig of pest
1584 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 311.
In respect of the commoun plag of pestilence regnand within the southe partis
1585 Edinb. Test. XIV. 273.
The contagious plaig and seiknes of the pest
1586 Perth B. Ct. 28 Sept.
The plege of pest
1600 Reg. Privy C. VI. 164.
[The] plaig of the pest
1601 Stirling B. Rec. I. 100.
To reporte … anent the present plaig of pest and pestilence [in Glasgow]
1604 Ib. 110.
Becaus of the present infectioun of Edinburgh in the pest and plaig
1644 Old Kirk Chron. 128.
In regaird of the plaig and pestilence
1665 Lamont Diary 182.
The plawgh of pestilence [in London]
1666 Ib. 192.
1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 320.
In caice at any tyme … there shall happin … the pleawge or pestilence to fall out

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"Plage n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2022 <>



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