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

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Plew, n. Plewis, n. pl. Also: plur. plews, pleuis, pluis, plwis; plowes; comb. plow-. [ME. plouis (13th c.), plowes (Manning), ploes (north., 15th c.), e.m.E. plowes, plur., ME. and e.m.E. plow (14th c.), plo (c 1460), plowe (1466), sing., late OE. ploᵹes plur. (1131). This plur. form is regularly derived f. OE., and the comb. form (see also Plew-irnis, Plewland, Plewman) appears also to derive f. the earlier inflected form; the sing. form is no doubt by back-formation f. these.]

1. A plough, the implement. = Pleuch n. 1. Also proverb. plur. (1) Na couth thai eir the ground, nor occupy The plewis; Doug. viii. vi. 13.
Ordanis tua vesitouris … to vesy yeirlie … all … commonteis … at the streking of the plewis yerelie; 1555 Peebles B. Rec. I. 218.
Now he tarrowis To ryd the he gait by the plewis [: brewhous, newis]; Bann. MS. 93 b/17.
Maitland Maitl. F. xcv. 24 (see Lay v.1 3 (1)).
Na persoun to be stoppit … topastothe plewis langis the dame dyk to thair awin landis; 1577 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 38.
The plewis had nocht gein xii oulkis togidder … for frost and snaw; Pitsc. II. 246/4.
[They] cuttit the plewis brak the somes thairof hundit away the oxin [etc.]; 1581 Reg. Privy C. III. 386.
& cairfull lauboreris do beginn to yokke the painfull pleuis [v.r. ploughes]; James VI Poems I. 221/183.
The oxen of both plewes ran away with the pleugh; 1649 Sc. N. & Q. III. 123.
Welcum weilfar of husbandis at the plewys [: bewys]; Doug. xii. Prol. 259.
(2) That the saide remowing of thair plvis … sal gener thaim … na … damage in tyme to cum; 1416 Liber Melros 539.
Wynt. viii. 3162 (see Plew-irne n.).
Nyne oxin … takin & spulȝeit … out of the said Robertis plewis of Lasinstoun; 1483 Acta. Aud. *125/2.
The … cutting of his plewis houching and slaying of xvi of his oxin; 1544 Reg. Privy S. III. 159/1.
(3) In Lowthyane as men sayde Ma than a hundyr plwys war layde [W. it laid]; Wynt. viii. 6356.
The folk … This grund sawys full onthriftely With scharp plewis and steill sokkis seir; Doug. xi. vii. 55.
Fra that furth … gret frost that no plwis ȝyd quhil aucht dayis eftyr; 1571 Black Bk. Taymouth 137.
To cut and tak of my wodis … for plewis kartis … and siklyk; 1620 Grant Chart. 319.
Four pair of harrowis twa cairts and thrie gangand plewis pryce xxx lib.; 1628 Soc. Ant. XXIII. 267.
Threttene horsis and mears with tua plewes and thair wholl furnitour; 1662 Edinb. Test. LXX. 187 b.
sing. The actione … anent the brekang of his plew; 1476 Acta Aud. 41/1.
George laborit nocht the saidis landis be his awin plew bot be his tenentis; 1581–2 Misc. Stair Soc. I. 107.
proverb. Ferg. Prov. No. 302 (see Bone-pleuch n.).

2. A plough-land. = Pleuch n. 4. (1) sing. As to be said a plew of land; Wynt. vii. 3609 (C).
All and haile our plew of land; 1465 Liber Dryburgh 278.
uninfl. plur. The saide assis … saide at thai fande the West Maynis twa plew of lande; 1428 Liber Melros 521.
plur. 4 lie plewis terrarum; 1550 Reg. Great S. 105/2.
Fyf plewis of land; 1572 Prot. Bk. W. Cumming 156.
(2) Heretabil proprietar of the tua plewis land of Vester Inschis; 1625 Inverness Rec. II. 164.
(3) That the thrid of the tua plevis of the Ester Park … wald saw [etc.]; 1503 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 74.
1542 Reg. Cupar A. II. 185.
Ane dawauch of land … extending to four plewis; 1552 Misc. Spald. C. IV. 221.
5 aratris vulgo plewis de Moynes; 1602 Retours Inq. Spec. Nairn (44).

3. The persons working a plough; hence, the tenants of a plough-land. = Pleuch n. 5. (4) To gadder … xx s. of ilk pleucht to the … biging of the fort of Inneresk … for inbringing of the silver of the plewis; 1548–9 Treas. Acc. IX. 293.
The taxatioun of the plewes; Ib. 295.
Ilk aucht plewis to leid ane leit of the said peitts; 1620 Ellon Presb. 106.

4. attrib. and comb. in sense 1 above. Cf. Pleuch n. 5. See also Plew-irnis, -land and -man. James Dewar ȝoungar plewwrycht; 1589 St. A. B. Ct. 17 June.
When the meir was well ane of his plow oxen grew sick; 1662 Reid Auchterarder 222.
Plewright; 1695 Murray Kilmacolm 103.

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"Plew n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/plew_n>

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