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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Rainbow,) Rayn(e)-, Ranebow, n. Also: raine-, raane-, ren- and -bowe; rainbou. [ME rén bóge (a1175), rein-bowe (c1250), ME and e.m.E. rainbow (Cursor M.), rayne boll (1526), OE regn-, rénboga, ON regnbogi.] The, or a, rainbow.Also as the name of a ship.(1) c1420 Wynt. i 427.
The rayne-bowe [E. rane-bow] … at the fyrst wes seyne
c1420 Wynt. v 41 (W).
A serkill about the sone … That till the raynebow [R. ane arche off hewyn] be liknes Apperith
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 407.
Bot that ȝour micht and majestie wil mak Quhat euer he be to loife or ȝit to lak Than heyly to sit on the rayne-bow
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 241.
For rede it semyt that the raynbow brak
1513 Doug. v xi 113.
The figur of a raynbow huge grete
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Arcus, the rainebow
1581 Burne Disput. 117b.
Rain bou
(b) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 149/113 (see Raird v.).
1513 Doug. ix i 36.
A gret rane bowe of diuers hewys ment
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1611.
His rane bow … Off diuers heuinlye colouris
(c) c1554 Makeson Genesis fol. 3.
Wyth all thame … God maid ane accord … Wyth the renbow in hewin for ewidens
(d) 15.. Bk. Dean Lismore p. 163.
Raane bowe
(2) 1639 Johnston Diary Ia 59.
From abord the Rainebow in Leithroad

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"Rainbow n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Mar 2023 <>



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