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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

Seg(e, Seig(e, n.2 Also: se(i)dge, seighte, seiage, seage, seedge, sie(d)ge, si(d)ge, saig(e, saidge, sage. [ME and e.m.E. sege (Ancr. R.), seege (Hocclere), syege (Caxton), siege (1509), syedge (1547), seage (1555), OF sege, siege (1080 and 1170 in Larousse).]

I. A seat, in various senses. Cf. Se n.2

1. Something used for sitting on, a piece of furniture on which one sits, chiefly one fit for or occupied by a person of rank or distinction. ?1438 Alex. ii 2046.
And syne thay ȝeid To sit on sege and silkin weid
?1438 Alex. ii 7536.
Syne ȝeid thay and sat on seages grene
a1500 Lanc. 2256.
On o sege be-sid hir [she] haith hyme set
1512 Treas. Acc. IV 297.
For goldin skynnis, gilt nailis and takattis to the ladeis segis in the said schip
1513 Doug. i xii 4.
Prince Eneas … Into hys sege ryall quhar he sat Begouth and sayd
1513 Doug. xiii Prol. 65.
I … in a sege down sat
1635 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 48.

b. A bird's perch. 1513 Doug. vi iii 89.
Vprays thai [sc. doves] swyftly … and syne gan alycht … Apon thar segys [L. sedibus … sidunt]

2. lit. The seat of someone in authority; a throne, passing into b. transf. The position of being in authority, the power or status symbolised by the throne. Cf. Se n.2 l a. c1420 Wynt. iii 1055.
And halde that stane [sc. the Stone of Destiny] perpetually, And mak it his sege thare
1460 Hay Alex. 2463.
With that he steppit doun out of the trone And leit the croun vpoun the sege stand
1460 Hay Alex. 2467.
The lordis and pepill … him requirit to … tak his sege and heir quhat thai wald say
1490 Irland Mir. I 112/22.
Richt humely sche discendit fra hire hie trone and sege to help humane linage
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 41.
Furth of hys palyce ryall ischit Phebus … Defundand from hys sege etheryall
1528 Lynd. Dreme 548.
Than we beheld the blyste humanitie Off Christe, sittand in to his sege royall, At the rycht hand of the deuynitie
15.. Clar. iv 2681.
The hall … Whair seiges royall was gudlie to behold
15.. Clar. v 307.
Both king and queine are in thair seiges set, With stone and pearle mightilie owerfret
a1586 Lindsay MS 86b.
The Pape … sittis in ane hie seige and the Empriour is set in ane law seige at the Papis fut
b. 1375 Barb. iv 228 (C).
That thai that weill ar liffand heir Sall wyn the segis, quhar-of thai weir Tumlit doune
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 131.
Quhen at He Suld sit in sege of maieste, Thai twelf suld set with hym-self
a1400 Leg. S. i 168.
He … thare in bischope sege wes set
a1400 Leg. S. xxv 770.
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2652.
Pirrus … sittand in sege of renoun
c1420 Wynt. iii 795.
Thus in sege a sot to se
1460 Hay Alex. 19268.
The saige imperiall
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 447, 448.
I saw fulis set one segis of honore and wysmen set one lawar segis
1494 Loutfut MS 116a.
Heir begynnys the coronacioun of the empriour … the … maist honorable estate of the temporalite is the empriour and it gais … be electioun … of thaim … choissin to be electouris … and admittit thairto & confermyt be our hali fader the paip … And commonly thir electouris cheis nan thair to bot sum lord of thai sammyn cuntreis. And quhen the sege vakis thir electouris in continent thaireftir assemblis thaim at sum principal toun
1549 Compl. 77/3.
Dauid … conqueist the royal sege of Israel

3. transf. and fig. An abode or residence (of a bishop, saint, archangel, etc.). Cf. Se n.2 1 b. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 788.
& that [supra a costlyk kyrk] men callyt ȝet, Of Sancte Machore the seg ore set
a1400 Leg. S. xli 338.
For I with al thir madynnis here Has gottine lestand seg [L. lucidas sedes] clere
1456 Hay I 6/23.
Lucifer … said that he suld ascend in the hyest stage of hevin and thare … he suld sett his sege
1456 Hay I 21/25.
Thai said that Sanct Petir maid his sege thare [sc. in Alexandria] and his charter
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1379 (Asl.).
O singuler sege of all suavite [sc. Heaven] O precious palace & place imperiale
1490 Irland Mir. II 41/30.
Quhen Jhesus rais to lif eternale … and in our humanite restorit the auld ruyne of thar segis and naturis that fell out of hevin and fra paradice
a1568 Bann. MS 33a/64.
O blissit virgin sege of our saluiour

4. A bishopric or abbacy. a. The office, position or authority of a bishop; also, rarely of an abbot or other religious functionary. b. The territory under the jurisdiction of a bishop, a diocese. = Se n.2 2.a., b. (1) a1400 Leg. S. ii 398.
Quhen Pape Cornel The sege of Rowme gouernyt wele
1456 Hay I 23/22.
Quhill ane othir … was put in the sege wrangwisly
1458 Fam. Rose 134.
Be the Bischop of Murraue … or be the vicare generale, the sege of Murraue vacant
1474 Acta Aud. 34/1. 1478 Acts II 123/1.
Our hali faider the pape & the sege of Rome has grantit [etc.]
1479 Acts II 128/2.
William Archbischop of the sege metrapolitane of Saintandrois
c1466-80 Letter from Lord Hamilton.
A speciall man of myn callit Jhon Atkynson … disponys to vesye the sege of Rome
1482 Edinb. Chart. 155.
To bind in the sikkerest and best forme and stile of the sege of Rome
1488 Acts II 213/1.
That … the sege of Glasgw be erect in ane archibischoprik
1490 Irland Mir. II 80/20.
It pertenis to the kyrk of Rome and the paip to expone & declar the faith … and difficile suld be referit to that sege quhen the counsal generale is nocht gaderit
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 255/2. 1515 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 31.
The seges episcopale vacand
1515 Reg. Privy S. I 398/2.
Landis … being at the kingis gift be resoun of the sege vacand of Abirdene
1518 Douglas Corr. 75.
To the … Archbischop and Cardinale of Ȝork … legate of the sege apostolicque
1533 Boece 294.
Be cawme sey & prosper cours Germane and Severe to thare segeis war returnit
1533 Boece 312b.
Mongo to Glasgw his propir sege … departit
1543 St. A. Formulare II 277.
Als free al waye as the said A. B. or his predecessouris held the sammyn of the archbischoppis of Sanctandrois and sege of the sammyn superiouris therof
1546 Acts II 480/1.
Ane preuilege and indulte of the sege apostolik to nominat quhat personis thai pleisit … to quhatsumeuir bischoprik abbacy [etc]
1546 Reg. Privy C. I 32.
For the taking and withhalding of the castell of Sanctandrois, sege vacant
1550 Reg. Privy S. IV 110/2.
Nochtwithstanding that the sege and sete of the archibischopric of Glasqw be now vacand
1569 Reg. Privy S. VI 142/2.(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 586.
A worthy man, Quham … wikyt men … Fra his seg put falsely
(c) 1521 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. I 82.
Land partenyng tyl our kyrk and seige off Glasgw
1549 Compl. 5/12.
Cardinal of the apostolic seige, archebischop of Narbon
(d) a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 82.
The seidge of Sainct Andrewes
(e) 1576 Reg. Privy S. VII 107/1.
1622-6 Bisset II 398/13.(f) 14.. Acts I 52/2.
The legate of the haly siege
(2) 1497–8 Acta Conc. II 98.
The … purchasing of the benefice of the chantory of Cathnes, the seig of the sammyn vacand, being [in] oure sade soverane lordis presentacione
1516 Reg. Privy S. I 425/2.
M. Archibald Lyndesay, chantour of Abirdene, purposis to resigne his said chantorie now, the sege of the samyn vakand, in … the papis handis
1529 Reg. Privy S. II 24/1.
The Abbacy of Newbotill now being in our soverane lordis handis, the sege thairof vacand

5. A school or college class of a particular grade of age or achievement.? Orig. the seat or bench on which a particular class sat, ? like (Eng.) form (1560 in this sense). 1560 Bk. Disc. 213.
In the first colledge, quhilk is the entre of the universitie, [that] thair be four classes or saigeis: The first, to the new suppostis, shalbe onlie Dialectique; the nixt, onlie Mathematique [etc.]
1560 Bk. Disc. 213.
And in the secound colledge, twa classes or seigeis: The first, in Morall Philosophie; the secound in the Lawis
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V 233.
That all the bayrnis quha sall cum to ony clase be first presentet to the principall … quha … sall enter thame to ane seige according to thair capacitie
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V 233.
That nane of the regentis … devyde his seige
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V 234.
The ascentioun of thre inferiour seigeis salbe and begyn att Candilmes yeirlie, and the hie seige sall at Mychaelmes be presentit for the exemenatiouns for the college
1599 Edinb. B. Rec. V 247.
1600-1610 Melvill 69.
He continowes halff a yeir as guid a bern as was in the seage
1604 Aberd. B. Rec. II 263.
For causing ilk seige ilk day in the wynter seasone furneis tua candill, quhairof ane is gevin to the maister
1604 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 4.
Admittis Mr. David Munro regent in the touns college in the plaice of Mr. Jhonn Adamsoun, last regent, now vacand be his dimmissioun and expyring of his saige
1612 Marischal Coll. Rec. 125.
It shall be labourit after my deceass that everie seage in the Colledge have ane bursar
1613 Marischal Coll. Rec. 137.
The saids sex bursoris … to exerceis and teach the inferiour seidges in arithmetick
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 8 Dec.
The said Mr. James … dang him bakwart on ane nuk of the stone quhairon the doctour of his sege sittis

6. A ‘seat’ or ‘bed’ in which something is set or fixed; ? a support of some sort. Also attrib. 1538 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 473.
Thir ar the artiklis that I, Rechart Wardlaw, goldsmyth, offeris to the kingis grace for his cunȝe [etc.] … Item that the kingis grace caus his thesaurar to furnis me werklummes … xx studyis, xx lingottis of irne, tua pare bellysis, … viii scuvattis of irne, ane stane wecht [etc.] … xxiiii sege claithis with xvi segis witht hingeris of canves necessar
1542 Soc. Ant. III 163.
To be biggit ane honest dur with ane plain proche with sege stabill on ilk syd
1596 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 621.
Gevin to thre workmen for taking in the treyis fra the ȝet to the kirkȝaird and for seiging the samin and bringing doun the stanis to be the saig iiij s.
attrib. 1538 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 473 (see above).
Sege claithis

b. A berth (of a boat in harbour); in a tidal harbour, the part of the harbour-bed where the boat settles at low tide; also, hard sege (segis), ? id. ?14.. Ship Laws c. 9 (A).
Gif the schip be in herd segis & the schipmen be greffyt [etc.]
?14.. Ship Laws c. 14 (B).
The maystyr is haldyn to luke qwhar he wyl ly and he aw for to luke at the sege be evyn that the schyp tak na skath
?14.. Ship Laws c. 27 (H1).
And gif the schip be in hard sege the maistir aw to gar the schipmene amend it sen at the schip tak na scaith
14.. Acts I 308/2.
Gyf ony fysschare schyp … sel ony thyng to the valw of xij d. he sal gyf for his sege in the havyn iiij d.
1590 Welwod 63.
For than the maister man see to her seage and lying and beare the rest of all burding

c. In astrology: A mansion or zodiacal house, the ‘residence’ of a planet. 1375 Barb. iv 698.
[Clerks] May knaw coniunctiones off planetis And quhethir that thar cours thaim settis In soft segis or in angry

7. A privy or latrine. Also attrib. 1521 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 204.
That all … indwellares in this towne clenge all filth of saiges … befor thair lugeings within thre dayes
1527 Edinb. B. Rec. I 230.
Till purge and clenge thair conduitis and seigis new biggit in thair new houssis
1530 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 36.
The littill pece of waist land … [which] wes before ane midding and commoun sege till all persouns
1531 Edinb. Guild Ct. 2 June.
Till brek the cassay in the clos beneth the fall of the north sege in the … land of the said tenement
1550 Breadalbane Coll. No. 73.
The said Johne … sall find him self to the ȝairdis sege and heyntoungis
1551 Edinb. Guild Ct. 24 Oct.
Ordanis all the saidis heretouris to concur ilk ane of thame conforme to the seigis of thair closettis of thair landis
attrib. 1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I 148.
Ane panttrie dure and ane saig dure

b. A bowel movement. 1607 Welsh in Misc. Wodrow Soc. 547.
Ther purgations thei gave me is wonderfull, fourteen seiges in a day

II. 8. A siege. Also const. of. Also fig. b. Without article.1561 quot. in (a) may belong elsewhere.(a) 1375 Barb. iv 45.
[They] wald on na wys langar ly In [the] castell off Kyldromy To byd a sege
1375 Barb. ix 333.
(The king) wmbeset the toun about And till it a sege has set
1375 Barb. x 320.
Bot this gud erle … The sege tuk full apertly And pressyt the folk that thar-in was [etc.]
?1438 Alex. i 185.
To skaill the sege of that citie
?1438 Alex. i 1524.
The best knycht … That at the sege of Tyre was sene
?1438 Alex. ii 438.
And rase the sege that thair is set
1456 Hay I 49/12.
The Romaynis … laid a sege till a place callit Sagence
1460 Hay Alex. 1993.
That all men suld be boun To ferme the sege about the citie sone
1460 Hay Alex. 2738.
The assalt past to with ledder myne and sailȝe And laid sege to with plane battailȝe
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 432.
A gret cete has ben segit with a gret prince, and ȝhit a pwre man has rasit the seg thar-of
a1500 Lanc. 737.
Al maner apparell That longith to o sege
c1475 Wall. xi 756.
At euirilk part a stalwart wach he maid; Fermyt a sege, and stedfastly abaid
c1515 Asl. MS I 219/14.
Becaus of the sege that was liand about the castell on the kingis behalf
c1515 Asl. MS I 221/18.
The king … put ane sege to the Blaknes
1505 Treas. Acc. III 142.
For viij dosan of rauchteris to be coyis in the schip and paraling gif tha com to ony segis
1513 Doug. iv ii 57.
Half myndles, agane scho langis sayr For tyll enquyre and heir the sege of Troy
1515 Douglas Corr. 72.
As approvyt weyll be my grandsyr at the sege of Nawart
15.. King Berdok 35.
With bowis & brandis with segis they vmbeset him
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 250.
This xvj day of Julij the cannonis was reterit fra the seg be command of Monsur Dasse
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3976.
The Romanis lappit thame about, That be no waye thay mycht wyn out. Sax moneth did that sege indure
1561 Reg. Privy C. I 174.
To lay the hale charge of the actioun [sc. spoliation of a ship] and hale gudis libellit upoun me … as wes practicate be the saidis Lordis of Sessioun contra ane Spanyeart … persewing mair strenthlie in siclyke [than] … contra Frances Tennent … and utheris, ressavaris of segis and disponaris thairof
a1568 Gyre-carling 15.(b) 1652 Cramond Kirk S. I 1 March.
The armie went wp to Beliger Chairlimont … being interrogat whither they returned after the said sedge [etc.]
(c) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 37.
To reid the seige of the toun of Tire
1528 Lynd. Dreme 42.
1530 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 10.
At the seige of Kilmernok
1535 Stewart 46609.
He circulit him sone after at ane seig, Into ane place quhair he wes sted rycht herd
1535 Stewart 56223.
Litill farrar in that seig tha fell
1535 Stewart 39494, etc. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 6183.
The morne airlie the seige was confirmit
1570 Leslie 229.
With a seige volant to constrayne thame within the toune
a1578 Pitsc. I 19/20.
We haif the seige evin belltit about the wallis
a1578 Pitsc. I 20/4.
a1578 Pitsc. I 21/31. 1596 Dalr. II 425/6.
The seighte of Leith
(d) 1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 28.
Phillip returneth to his seidges, and wunes the toun, notwithstanding all the attempts of Richard
1667 Highland P. II 17.
McAuley provided the house in all things
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 125.
To laye a closse seidge to the castell
(e) 1667 Highland P. II 47.
They beleeved that the castle … would … never be rendered till Rorie moire were at the seedge
(f) 1614 Crim. Trials III 291.
I wald go fordwart with the siedge
(g) 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 907.
[They] sett ane seage … about the place
1565 Reg. Privy. S. V i 711/1. 1573-1600 King Cat. in Cath. Tr. 183.
Troye efter ten yeiris seage was tane and brount by the Grecians
1675 Stirlings of Keir 507.
The marachall coming to relive the seage
(h) a1578 Pitsc. II 104/26.
Quhene the governour had taine wpe his sige and past hame
(i) 1611-57 Mure Hist. Rowallane 252.
The Earle of Duglass should have tryed the reasone of the sidge
(j) 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 12.
The said saige was skalit
1579 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 108.
Twa hundre men to be send to the saige of Hammiltoun
(k) 1614 Crim. Trials III 291.
My lord, war not I vsed the mater so cannelie, … it wald haue been ane longsum saidge
(l) ?16… Anal. Scot. II 9.
John Hamiltoun … biggit the heill foir wall [sc. of St. Andrews castle] … efter it had been demolest be the sage it gat during the tyme it was keepit be tham that slew the cardinall
fig. 1562-3 Winȝet I 139/34.
A part of ȝou [sc. the followers of Knox] nixt sal lay a scharpear seige to heuin, and an wther parte to hel, and deny that othir thair is a God in the ane or a deuil in the vthir?
b. a1400 Leg. S. vii 443.
To Jerusaleme … [he] Com … & gret sege gert till it lay
1531 Bell. Boece II 51.
Ambrose … beltit the castel with strang sege
1533 Bell. Livy II 149/35.
Fra oure army be laid to ane toun, na irksumnes of remote and fer sege … may remove the same
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 43.
The Scotsmen … then laid seidge to the castle [sc. of Dunbar], which they tooke

9. ? Ruin, downfall, destruction. (? Erron.). 1596 Dalr. I 220/34.
That lykwyse the seiage [L. excidium] that was approcheng to the kingdomes … he sawe

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"Seg n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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