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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.

Serving, Sering, vbl. n. Also: -inge, servyng, -eing, -ying, -yne, serrving, serwing, -yng, sarving, sarin. [ME and e.m.E. seruuinge (Layamon), servyng (a1310); Serv(e v.1] Serving, in various senses of Serv(e v.1

1. The action of serving in senses 1, 2, 3 c, 9 and 10 of Serv(e v.1(1) 1524 Douglas Corr. 90.
For all the gret lordis of Scotland will tak his [sc. Angus's] part in the servyne of the kyngis grace our master
(2) 1517 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 42.
Margret Wychtman … persewit James Hog … of hir fee for servyng of ane hal ȝear
(3) 1563 Reg. Cupar A. II 280.
iiijlib. giffin to Jaksoun officiar, according to the awld wis for serwing throucht the lordschip
1598 Glasgow Weavers 14.
The said maisteris … frethis the said sevin brether of craft of thair serving in the officiarship … and ferder statutis gif ony brother of craft sall desyre fredome of the serving in the officiarschip of thair craft [etc.]
(4) 1633 Dunkeld Presb. II 370.
My stipend … to be payed to me … for serueing the cure at the said kirk
1649 Ayr Chart. 188.
The localities designit to the ministeris serveing cuir at the kirk of … Air
(5) 1562-3 Winȝet I 44/29.
To our maist mercyfull God and trew seruing of him in haly feir and brotherlie lufe

2. Furnishing, supplying, being serviceable or of use to, in senses 12, 13 b, 19, 20 of Serve v.1(1) 1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 102.
All the poyntis … examinit and admittit be the maisters of the said craft for the honorabill seruying of oure souerane lord his liegis [etc.]
1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 75.
To … werkmen for … servying of the wrychtis with dalis for fluring
1606 Acts IV 298/2.
King James the fourt … foundit ane chapell royall … for serveing his maiestie and his successouris in musique
1641 Acts V 549/1 (see (4) below). 1673 Glasgow B. Rec. III 166.
To settle and agrie with ane coachman for serving the toun with haickna choches
(2) 1558–9 Edinb. B. Rec. III 28.
The baillies [etc.] … giffis licence to … Jhone to vent and haif wyne in his awyn hous for serving of his taible
1655 Rothesay B. Rec. 9.
In regaird strangers are best accommodated in ther innes in serveing and furnisching; … that the said proveist [etc.] … sall have libertie to mak … strong drink for ther strangers
(3) 1563 G. Hay Confutation Abbot Crosraguel 59b.
He appointed the signes of bread and wyne … as moste seruing to the refection … of mans body
1612–13 Misc. Spald. C. V 90.
14 ellis of ȝeallow wear to be latchettis for serving the vindouis
1616 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 84.
Grene buird claythis and queschines for serving of the saids buirds and cheares
attrib. 1630 Bamff Chart. 222.
Ane hall burd … and ane aiken furme the lenght of the burd and abowt the board, ten serwing cussingis hinging be the wall for decorment of the boord
(4) 1580–1 Inverness Rec. I 288.
The meit fische quhilk of auld was cuttit be the fischearis and brocht to the mercat croce … for serwing of the nychtbouris
1581 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 206.
The birning of baynis within this burgh for seruing the cungyiehous
1582 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 239.
To … mend the ringis and makfastis on the schore of Leyth for seruing and halding of the schipis
1599 Monimail Reg. Ct. 14 May.
The commone burne quhair the haill towne takis thair watter for serrving of thair housis
1633 Aberd. Council Lett. I 390.
Coallis for serveing his hous
1641 Acts V 549/1.
The … priviledges of … Bruntyland and Kinghorne anent ther jurney maisteres and journey horsis for serveing of the leiges
c1650 Spalding I 377.
This minister causit bring hame … tymber … for serving his keching
1670 Acts VIII 26/1.
The toune of Fettercairne is ane fit & convenient place for a weekly mercat to be keeped for serveing the country about
(b) 1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 223.
Laying & hewing of … stanis & gutteris for seruing walter to the kitchingis
1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 180.
Jhonn Harwod, dene of gild, to bye thre greitt lampis for sering the kirk the wynter seasoun with lychtis

b. An instance of (2) above, ? a small quantity, a ‘serving’. Also in mod. dial. as the quantity of victual served at one time, the amount of victual making up a single ‘feed’. 1672 Urie Baron Ct. 92.
[He] had promised to have helped them who soe peyit in their bollis with victuall in sarins at the merchantis pryce

3. a. Serving (a brieve). (Serv(e v.1 23). b. Serving (a person) heir to certain lands; also absol. Also serving of heirs, the designation of this procedure. (Serv(e v.1 24.)a. 1463 Acts XII 28/2.
And that ȝe mak na ger mak na stoping to me in the serving of thame [sc. briefs] sua that I may be seruit in alsfer as afferis
1478 Acta Conc. I 11/1.
For the wrangwis & vnordurly proceding in the seruing of a breif of inquest of our souuerain lordis chapel purchest be Alexander Strathachin apon certane landis … in Dunde in sa fer as the said balȝe proclamit nocht the said breif lauchfully in Dunde on xv days … & becaus he continuit the seruing of the breif fra a day to ane vther but consent of partij
1478 Acta Aud. 80/1.
That the said William Broune … as schiref in that part has inordourly procedit in the seruing of the said breue of departising
1479 Acta Aud. 88/1.
For the wrangwis … seruing deliuering & retourin of the said breue
1488–9 Acta Conc. I 116/2.
The accioun … persewit … aganis Henrj Prestoun [etc.] … & the remanent of the persons quhilkis past apon the seruing of a bref of inquest of ydeotre of our souerane lordis chapell purchest at the instance of [etc.]
1494 Treas. Acc. I 238. 1501 Treas. Acc. II 123.
To Ormund … to summond divers assises for servying of blanch fermes
1505 Treas. Acc. III 159.
Lettrez of summondes apon assises of errour for servyng of breves blanchferm in the schirefdomes of Invernes … and Abirdene
1537 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 366.
Ane justice court haldin … for the serveing of ane breve of perambulacioun rasit at the instans of [etc.]
1542 Boyd Fam. P. 30 June.
The ballie deputs … referrit the said breif seruing to the knavlege of the inqueist
1551 Treas. Acc. X 43. c1575 Balfour Pract. 418.
He preivand … that the time of the halding of the court and serving of the said breve he was in our soverane lord's service foirsaid
c1575 Balfour Pract. 419. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve de morte antecessoris.
Or before judges delegat be commission … for the serving of the said brieve
b. 1496 Acta Conc. II 25.
The saidis Wilȝeam and Wilȝeam producit the copy of ane retoure of the serving of the sade Hector
1502 Treas. Acc. II 147.
Passand to summond the assissa for servyng of Lord Somervale in Gilmertoun
1566 Inverness Rec. I 137.
In default of persoit of his rycht vpon the serwing and pronunsing of the serwing desyrit act of curt … and … desyrit ane of the baillies … to gif him sasing in the saidis tuay particattis of land conforme to his serwing
c1575 Balfour Pract. 430.
For serving of ony man to his landis
1649 Acts VI ii 142/2.
For serving of thame aires of lyne to thair umq[uhi]ll father and brother
1686 Mackenzie Observ. (1687) 75.
Brieves of mort-ancestrie (which are now call'd brieves for serving of heirs)
(b) 1570 Lanark B. Rec. 48.
Anentes the sarving of maister Jhone Pettegrew, allegeand to be air to umquhille William Pettegrew, his fader

c. Of an assise of inquest: Consideration of a claim to (certain lands) with a view to entering the claimant as heir, as in b above. 1501 Treas. Acc. II 123.
Giffin to Ormund pursewand, passand to summond the assise for the servying of Glenbervy, Barres and Kennay
1504–5 Treas. Acc. III 127.
To David Tempilman passand … on the assis for the servyng of Bernbarach, xxx s.
1516–17 Treas. Acc. V 113.
To somond the assys of arror for serving of the landis of Drummond

4. Executing, carrying through (? a transaction, here, an excambion, or ? an undertaking, obligation). 1498 Acta Conc. II 179.
For the nonhalding, serving, keping and fulfyling til him of the cossing of al and haile the thrid part of the landis of [etc.]

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"Serving vbl. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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