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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).

Selvage, n. Also: selvedg(e, sellvege, selvett, salvage, silvaige. [Late ME and e.m.E. seluage (c1460), sultviche (a1490), seluege (1537), silvage (1597), silvadge (1599), selvedge (a1633); appar. Self pron. and Ege n. Cf. e.m.Du. selfegghe (Kilian), LG sulfegge.]

a. The selvage or lengthwise edge of a length of cloth, etc., particularly with reference to its being differently coloured or decorated. b. The edge of a garment, etc., usu. with reference to its particular colour or decoration. c. fig.a., b. 1513 Doug. v v 12.
A mantil … With purpour selvage writhyn mony fold [L. quam plurima circum Purpura Macandro duplici Meliboea cucurrit]
1513 Doug. vii vi 26.
And sum tyme of hir curche, lap with a waif, Becum the selvage or bordour of hir quafe
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 16.
Aurora … With sangwyne cape, the selvage purpurat
1581 Edinb. Test. IX 180.
Foure bolt of pasmentis with grene selvage
1591 Edinb. Test. XXIII 67.
Ane pair of blancattis with ȝallow seluettis
1637 Banff Ann. I 77.
Ane elne of plaiding with ane reid sellvege
1667 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. II 667.
Linen cloath taken up be the rig and not be the selvedg
1670 Boyd Fam. P. No. 297.
Two half blankett with sum sewing and rid selvedge [£6 13 s. 4 d.]
1697 Sc. N. & Q. 2 Ser. II 90.
Two pair of plain whyt blankets with a selvage
(b) 1581 Edinb. Test. IX 180.
Belting silk with the grene salvage
(c) 1588 Waus Corr. 426.
Caus Jonet McDowall fall to the [spinning of the wool to] be the comptar clayth … and ye sall mak it of lenth that it may serve the [buird] quhen baith the leiffis ar led out … and ye sall gar hir m[ak ane] silvaige, with ane braid strype in the midis ane neiff braid
c. 1663 Mackenzie Religio Stoici (1665) 149.
It should not have been thrust out upon the selvage and border of time

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



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