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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
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Regn(e, Reigne, v. Also: regnn(e; reygne; raign(e, raygn(n)e, reagn(e; rayn-; regin; rengn(e. [ME and e.m.E. regne(n (1297), reign(en (c1325), rayn (1523), raigne (a1542), also rengne (Cursor M.), reyngne (? north., 1534), OF regner (late 10th c. in Larousse), L. regnare, f. regnum Regn(e n., Ring n.3 Cf. Reng v., Ring v.3, also, Regend, Regent, Regit.] To reign.In nearly every instance, rhyming examples suggest that the stem of the pres. indic. was pronounced as Ring v.3

1. intr. To hold the sovereign power in a state; to rule as king or queen; to reign. = Ring v.3 1.(1) 1375 Barb. xiii 698 (E).
Dawy … regnyt twa ȝer and fourty
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2624.
My sonnes … That eftir me to regne I thocht
Ib. 3055.
1402 MacRae Early Sc. Texts No. 9.
Robert … king of Scotland nw regnand
c1420 Wynt. iv 1801.
Quhill that Kyned-Makalpyne Ras as kyng, and was regnand Wytht-in the kynrik off Scotland
Ib. v 1361.
Quhen Schyre Adriane regnyde thus
1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 108.
Ane air … efter thé sall regn heir
1494 Loutfut MS 6b.
Be the … prince that for the tym regnit
c1515 Asl. MS I 252/18. 1533 Boece 102.
Thareeftir regnit Metellane certane ȝeris in grete pece and tranquillite
1549 Lamb Resonyng 71/8.
Kyng Edward decessit the ixc xxv ȝeir of oure Lord, eftir he had regnit xxiiij ȝeiris
1596 Dalr. I 125/14.
Gif the king throuch tendirnes of ȝeiris be nocht able to regne
(b) a1400 Leg. S. l 81.
Throw quham all kingis rengnis in land
(c) 1533 Boece 82b.
1555 Corr. M. Lorraine 406.
My soverane lady lang to continew and prosperously to regnne
1622-6 Bisset II 116/3.
Quha … regnned sevintene ȝeiris
(d) a1578 Pitsc. II 294/7.
(e) 1565 Knox VI 236.
By me kings raygne
1596 Dalr. I 3/5.
1604-31 Craig ii 84.
That he & he … yeare about should raigne [: resigne]
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 249.
Who, raigning successively and dying chyldles [etc.]
1660 Lithgow Poet. Remains 268.
'Tis better far a tyrant known should raign [: king]
(2) c1420 Wynt. v 1329.
That he … regnyt empryowre
1456 Hay I 24/7.
Quhen pape Alexander regnyt pape
1626 Garden Worthies 55.
Thow was rais'd to reigne Viceroy & gerent for the Gallick king
1622-6 Bisset II 165/22.
He regnned licherus tiran

b. Also, to regne abone (above), on, oure (over) or atoure (a people or nation). c1420 Wynt. iv 1814.
Makrymy Wes the fyrst … Atoure the Peychtys kyng regnand
Ib. 2370.
Ged oure the Peychtys was regnand
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xix 27.
Tha myn ennimyis, that wald nocht that I regnyt on thame
1531 Bell. Boece I 8.
To have ane newtral person to regne above you
1533 Boece 37.
Metellius … for the tyme apoun the Iber Scottis regnyng
Ib. marg.
Metellius quha regnit abone the Iber Scottis for the tyme
c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 325.
Ferquharde … ane bloudy monstour, regnand with insaciabill awarice abone his subdittis
a1578 Pitsc. II 223/31.
We war nocht worthie to have sic ane to regne abone ws
1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas i 383.
Her bloody brother over Tyrus raigned [: remained]
Id. Early Misc. P. xxi 20.
Thogh thou … over Asia reigne [: staine]
personified 1490 Irland Mir. I 109/30.
Sene I [sc. Mercy] am … ordand to regnne [pr. regime] in hevin and erde aboue all creatur

c. With God or Christ as subject. Also transf. 1490 Irland Mir. II 49/36.
The … trinite has ordand him to be king of glor and regne aboue all creatur
1513 Doug. vi Prol. 81.
We trow a God, regnand in personys thre
1551 Hamilton Cat. 257.
Sa lang as we remaine in grace God regnis in to us
transf. a1568 Bann. MS 14b/49.
To Thé over all the erth quhois glory regneth

d. Of a people: To hold sway; to dominate. — c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 322.
And as prophecyis sayis, quhair evir it be the Scottis sall regne

2. To exercise authority of any kind; to rule over (on). = Ring v.3 2.To rax and regne (regne and rax), see Rax v. 5 (2).(1) c1420 Wynt. iii 1085.
Quhare evyr that stane yhe segyt se, Thare sall the Scottis be regnand, And lorddys hale oure all that land
Ib. iv 1143 (C). c1515 Asl. MS I 215/5. 1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 82.
The ȝere that Normannis began to regnne in Normandy wes [etc.]
1542 Misc. Bann. C. I 9.
So long as this miserable, wretched cardinall and his busscheps reagnethe and reulithe emonge ws ther
1554 Knox III 284.
The Devel raigneth [M. ringeth] by idolatry, supersticion, and tyranny
1570 Sat. P. xiii 188.
Ȝe will be … namit ane fals … pack, That euer regned in my … land
(2) a1540 Misc. Bann. C. III 40.
The tyme that the Danys subject the Saxones, and regnyt on thame

3. Of a planet, star, etc.: To be dominant. = Ring v.3 3.Also, to have ‘influence’ on. a1400 Leg. S. xxi 389.
Thru the playnyt that regnyt than Hyre worthit be ane il wemane
a1500 Bk. Chess 2.
Sone efter the tyme that ald Saturnus He regnit had and woidit of his hous
1513 Doug. vii Prol. 26.
Mars occident retrograde in his speir … regnyt as lord that ȝer
1613 Haddington Corr. 121.
I think it cuim fra the airth regnis maist, and is maist tempesteous this seasoun
1531 Bell. Boece I xi.
No influence nor sterris may prevaill To regne on me with infortunite

b. Of a particular sort of weather: To prevail. 1456 Hay II 129/31.
And than begynnis drouthis and grete hete of sonne to regne

4. With a non-material thing as subject: To be predominant; to prevail, be prevalent. = Ring v.3 4.In later use, after c1500, only of harmful or evil things.(1) 1496 Acts II 238/1.
Throw the quhilkis justice may reigne vniuersalie throw all the realme
a1508 Want of Wyse Men 14 (Ch. & M.).
Than regnyt reule, & resone held his rynkis
(2) 1456 Hay I 241/27.
In thir weris that now regnis in Fraunce
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1150 (Asl.).
Sa in His iugement regnis His rigoure To tham that baldlie abusis His paciens
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 340/15.
Thoutht that synn raygnne neuir sa mekill in us
1556 Knox IV 80.
The manifest contempt of God … whiche this day raygneth [M. ringeth] without punishement upon the … earth
1562-3 Winȝet I 55/25.
Sik … pyntit leis, brutall irreligiositie, and damnable errouris, as now regnis in the place of … trew Catholik religioun
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.) 402.
All kynde of impieteis … publictlie and frelie regnand
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 333/2.
Trasoun is the maist schamefull thing That may in ony cwntre regnne
1576 Reg. Privy C. II 554.
Of sindry utheris crymes and enormiteis regning amangis thame
1581 Burne Disput. in Cath. Tr. 123/4. 1581-1623 James VI Poems I 123/79.
O thou inuincible debaitt … That raignes into the uerrie tombe
(3) 1530 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 332.
For eschewing of the pestelence now regnand in Edinburgh
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 33.
Of the darth presentlie regnand in this cuntrey
1564 Cal. Sc. P. II 128.
The caugh, which universal did reygne
1584 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 311.
The commoun plag of pestilence regnand within the southe partis of Scotland

5. To live; to flourish. = Ring v.3 6 b. 1456 Hay I 301/22.
That the chyvalrye that is now on dayes regnand, is nocht lyke to thame of the tyme bygane

6. In references to eternal life: To continue to live for ever (with God or Christ) (in bliss). = Ring v.3 7. 1556 Knox IV 82.
If your grace pretend to raigne [M. ring] with Christ Jesus
1567 G. Ball. 121.
As thow maid Dauid king With Peter … Quha now dois with thé regne In heuinlie joy
Ib. 127.
Grant me that I may with thé regne [: conding]
Ib. 147.
Leif my saule … To regne with thrinfald God in one
a1581 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 299/23.
Now he hes salvatioun, Regnand in gloir and bliss but weir
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. Ep. 7.
Thair saules regnant now in gloire with … Christ Jesus
a1624 Edinb. Univ. MS La. ii 319.
That we may be combynd To regin in perfyt blisse

7. tr. To govern, rule over. Cf. Regend. c1420 Wynt. v 1359.
[To] regne and reule thaire reawte [C. in ryalte]

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"Regn v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2023 <>



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