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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Quine,) Quyne, Quin, n.1 [Sc. var. of Quen(e n.1 Only in Angus and the north-east and, once, Fife. Also in the mod. dial. of the north-east. Cf. also Koyne.]It is possible that some of the examples (e.g. ? quot. Wemyss) are mere spelling variants of Quene n.2

1. A (young) woman; a girl or lass. b. A serving girl or woman. 1617 Brechin Kirk S. 8 July.
Sa monie puir quynes cared nocht to fall … in … fornication becaus they have nothing to pey ane penaltie and so escap
1664 Banff Ann. II 46.
All the carles and quynes in Banff shold not separat James Barclay and her
b. 1654 Wemyss in Sc. Diaries 127.
To my wifes two g[entil]we[men] and quins

2. As the second (or substantive) element in an abusive compound phrase, thus specifying the sex of the person referred to: A (loose) woman; a female; a ‘bitch’: cf. Quene n.2 2. 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 178.
Ane puire husse, … ane vgle harlot quyne
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 27 Jan.
He hard the said Beatrix call him auld harlot cairle and he callit hir harlot quyne
1630 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 3 Feb.
Alledging that he callit hir trumpour quyne the last sabboithe in the kirk
1644 Strathbogie Presb. 49.
That he called hir base quyne publictlie out of the pulpit
1671 Cullen Kirk S. I 24 Sept.
That the said Helen Gray slandered her in calling her meithie fared quyne
Ib. 15 Oct.
Meithie fart quyne

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"Quine n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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