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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

Scurge, Scourge, v. Also: scurdge, scurghe, skurg(e, schurge, skourge, skowrge, scourage, scorge, scoirge, scowrge, scouge, scrourge. P.p. also scrugit, scrudgit. [ME and e.m.E. scourgen (1297), scurge (Cursor M.), F. escorgier, f. Romanic *excorrigiāre, L. corrigia a whip, thong (‘perhaps of Gaulish origin’ (ODEE)).]

1. tr. To beat (a person) severely with a scourge; to flog, whip.Chiefly in public, by way of punishment. Esp. in early use, in references to the scourging of Christ by the Romans.(1) a1450 Fifteen Ois 42.
Thow wes … Buffat and scurgit at ane pillar
1490 Irland Mir. I 112/4.
Jhesus … sal be hatit, skourgit [etc.]
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 10.
Ȝour kinglie heid, that wes woundit, spewit and scurgit
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 573.
Than Pilot thoucht … Him to scurge
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 8/36.
Thay scurgit him bayth fut and hand
a1585 Maitland Maitl. Q. 43/34.
Chryist for to scurge scairis found wer sax
(b) a1568 Bann. MS 38a/35.
With Jowis being scrugit bayth bak and bane Crownit with thornis [etc.]
(2) a1500 Seven S. 253.
The lord … Bad scurgis him quhen he was bundin fast
1503 Acts II 251/1.
Thar faderis … sal … deliuer the said child to the juge to be leschit, scurgit, and dungin
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 327.
Confesse thy crime … And wyth ane hauthorne scurge thy self and dyng
1513 Doug. vi ix 83.
Tysyphone … With quhip in hand al reddy … Thame to assail, to tor, skurge, and bete
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4157.
The scule maister … scurgis thame [supra scollaris of rude ingyne (etc.)] … That [etc.]
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I 279.
For cordis and bussomis to scurge thre laidis [= lads]
1562 Edinb. B. Rec. III 152.
Baith … to be skurgeit thair at the cairt ers
1564 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 9.
1566 Sciennes Conv. xxvi n.
Scho shall be brunt in the scheek and schurgit
1573–4 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 71.
Ane fawdum tow to skurg the wyf that staw Patrick Bull scheittis
1582 Dundee B. Laws 43.
The bearer therof [sc. of stolen goods] sall be scurgit
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 76 (T).
With ane willing wand thow wes weill scurgit
1590 Welwod 77.
To send him skurgit to … perpetuall labour as to mettall mines and galiouns
1596 Dalr. I 121/19.
Bardis, scurris, and addicted til ydilnes with sik sort of persouns, lat skurge
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 135.
Ane man taken with reid hand with ane sheip … suld be scurged
1623 Black Bk. Taymouth 379.
1637 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 567.
That they be scurgit and cartit throw the toun
1664 Dumfries Council Min. in Sc. Ant. I 40.
That shee is to be scurgit … if ever shee be seene within this burgh thaireftir
(b) a1538 Abell 97b.
He saw the saule of Edwert led to the hell with a company of ewill spretis … scorgeand strikand & birnand him
1625 Peebles B. Rec. I 413.
To the man that scorgit Issobell Gray [14 s. 4 d.]
(c) 1577 Crail B. Ct. MS 17 Oct.
[The council] ordanis thame to be skowrgit
1596 Dalr. I 198/14.
The principal persounes of the Pechtes … first war skourget
1606 Inverness Rec. II 39.
In caice he be found againe to do ony harme to ony persoun … ipso facto to be scourgit [etc.]
1630 Orkney Bp. Ct. 74.
The fornemitt persounes … vnmercifullie skourgit … the said Edvard with leaches, leasis and beltis
1643 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS p. 10.
For thrie fadom of towes to tay a thiffe that was scourgit
1652 Dumfries Kirk S. 27 April.
Iff after that terme she be deprehended thairin, shee salbe scourged by the hangman
(d) 1624 Peebles B. Rec. I 411.
For tua bread, to Makwat quhen he scoirgit Cleirrie

b. With locative compl. indicating that in some cases the victim was whipped, or driven out, from one place to another. 1515 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 159.
Ane … of les aige … adiugeit to be scurgeit to the gallows, and thair his lug takkit to the beame
1533 Boece 223.
Mony grete men of Pichtis … war first skurgit throw the strete, syne hedit
1533 Bell. Livy I 191/11.
Ane houshaldare … scurgit his servand … throw the placis quhare the playis war ordanit to be
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II 298.
For cords to bynd twa men that wer skurgit through the town
1558–9 Old Dundee II 163 n.
[Ordained] to be scurgit through this burgh
1564–5 Inverness Rec. I 121.
Decernit to be led throw the four porttis of this towne and to be scowrgit thairthrow with all rygour
1573 Reg. Privy C. II 210.
To be scurgit throughout the toun or parrochyn; and swa to be impresonit and scurgit fra parrochyn to parrochyn quhill thay be utterlie removit furth of this realme
1575 Prestwick B. Rec. 76.
Scho to be benneist & scurgit af the towne
c1575 Balfour Pract. 378.
He may not pas upon assise, or beir witnes, … that is scurgit, banishit, or dung throw the town for ony crime
c1575 Balfour Pract. 526. 1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 155.
And the wemen to be scurgitt throw this burgh
1587 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 511.
That … he be scurget vp and doun the tolbuith
1593 Crim. Trials I ii 292.
[They] skurgit thame with horse brydillis throw the toun
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 12.
The fold is ordanit to caus scurghe Nicole Jamisoun about the paroche kirk … in exempill of utheris
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 36.
[The woman was] to be tane and scurgit throche the toun
1613 Inverness Rec. II 110.
Thairefter to be scurgit throu the hail four streits of the toun
1615 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bks. 20.
The said Jonet Drever to be … scrudgit fra the end of the said toun to the uther
1615 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bks. 55.
The said James Manssone to be scourgeit fra this stair fute to the schoir and back agane to the jogis be the lockmane
1629 Banff Ann. I 62.
Issobel Mitchell to be presentlie strippit naikit and scurgit out of … this burghe
1629 Monteith Stewartrie Ct. 5 Nov.
Jon McVaine to be skurgit fra the grein ȝett to the smeddie of Doun and thair to be brinit in the cheik
1630 Justiciary Cases I 151. 1634 Orkney Bp. Ct. 92.
The pannell to be takin … to the schoare and scourgit from that to the end of the Laverock
1662 Crim. Trials III 613.
He [sc. the Devil] wold be beatting and scurgeing ws all wp and downe with … scurges
1664 Dumfries Council Min. in Sc. Ant. I 40.
That shee be scourgit throw and also banished from the toun by the hand of the hangman

2. With God as the ultimate mover: To punish by inflicting suffering; to chastise; to afflict; to cause to suffer.(1) c1520-c1535 Nisbet Hebrews xii 6.
For the Lord chastisis him that He luvis; He scurgis euiry sonn that He resaues
1549 Compl. 27/5.
Quhou be it that God hes permittit the Inglis men to scurge vs … it follouis nocht that God vil tyne vs perpetualye
1549 Compl. 28/25.
Ve haue bene scurgit vitht … brakkyng doune of our duelling-housis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 49.
His thrynfald wande of flagellatioun Hes scurgit this pure realme of Scotland
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 83.
God … Hes done this cuntrie scurge by diuers wayis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4149.
God … Hes maid of tyrrane kyngis instrumentis To scurge peple
1567 G. Ball. 33.
Quhome God ressaifis to His sone and air, Him will He scurge with plagues sad and sair
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 322/49.
For God will ay sum skurge … Fra syn the warld to purge
1572 Sat. P. xxxii 102.
We pure sall cry … To thee, O God, to scurge this wickit wicht
(b) 1616–17 Misc. Hist. Soc. X 114.
We have justlie deserved that thou suld scourage us with the roddes of men
(c) 1633 Johnston Diary I 85.
Remembring it was this day 7 weaks that God begoud to scrourge me, I schouted pitifully
(2) a1568 Maitland Bann. MS 12b/83.
God … scurgit and purgit Thame [sc. Adam and Eve] quyt owt of that land

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"Scurge v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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