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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sa, Say, Sea, Sow, n. Also: saa, sae; saye, saay; sey(e. [North. ME and e.m.E. sae (1377–8), sa (c1425), saa (1459–60), saye (1564), east midl. and north. ME and e.m.E. so (Havelok), soo (Prompt. Parv.), soe (1459), OE saa (Corpus Gloss.), ON sá-r: cf. Dan. saa, Sw. . Also in the mod. dial.] A type of wooden tub for water, etc.One with ‘two extended staves perforated for handgrips or for a pole or rope to be passed through for transport by two persons’ (SND, s.v. Sae n.1 1).See also Safull n. and Sasteing n.(a) c1350 Reg. Episc. Morav. 367.
In brasina … algeam wlgariter le trowch i fattum et i sa et i barell
1461 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 85. 1519 Ib. 176.
The cellair witht … ij standis and ane broken sa
1529 Reg. Great S. 178/1.
1562 6th Rep. Hist. MSS App. 648/1.
[The] nedder kitching onder the hall. … ane sae and ane sting
1583 Elgin Rec. I 172.
(b) 1425 Acts II 12/2.
Thre or four sayis to the commone vse
1566 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 150.
1575 Inverness Rec. I 244.
Ane watter saye, ane bukket, ane weshing tub
1681 Biggar 138.
Ane stand, ane say, ane kerne, and two four gallon trees
(c) 1589 St. A. Test. II 111.
Ane bearing sey with ane twmmell
(d) 1603 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 28.
The seas of sic as sal be fund careing burne on the Sabboth day … to be brockin
1612 Orkney Test. and Inv. 47.
1 auld sea and 1 platt
1659 Craven Ch. in Orkney II 198.
A hail barrell, two seas, three tubbes
(e) 1635 Edinb. Test. LVII 220b.
Ane sow and halff sow pryce thairoff
1652 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 600.
For careing hither 32 sowes

b. In Glasgow and Paisley, one used as a measure of quantity, esp. for tanner's bark. 1637 Glasgow B. Rec. I 385.
That thair be ane ordinar mett, missour and say maid for bying and receaving of fruit and bark heirefter
1666 Ib. III 86.
Complentes hes bein made be … utheres who bringes barkes to this burghe to be sold for that the sayes now made use of quherwith ther barkes ar missoured ar maid of greater quantitie nor of befor
The … magistrates … hes concludit that thair be four new sayes maid agrieable to ane of the old sayes lyand now in the tolbuithe haveing ane broken step in the boddome and marked with the dean of gildes mark
1667 R. Brown Paisley I 295.
And there is continowed two half pecks and the bark [ed. bart] seye

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"Sa n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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