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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sky, n. Also: skye, skie, skey, ske. Pl. also skyse, skise. [ME ski(e (13th c.), ske (a1300), sky (Cursor M.), ON ský a cloud.]

1. ? A cloud. 15.. Dunb. App. xi 31.
To the superne eternall regioun Quhair noxiall skyis may mak no sogeorn

2. The upper air, the firmament; the apparent vault of heaven.Also with qualifying term, and without def. art.(1) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 610.
The sone in the sky wes schynyng so schir
a1500 Henr. Orph. 495.
Ixione … on a day … went vp in the sky, Sekand Juno
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1684.
With heit and moysture stilland from the sky
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 110/51.
Our all cuntreis undirnethe the sky
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 4/55.
He that is crownit abone the sky Pro nobis puer natus est
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 160/44. 1513 Doug. vi i 16.
Dedalus … Sa bald was … To aventur hym self heich in the sky
1535 Stewart 55908.
Scho … hed lever Ane nycht naikit into his armes ly, Na all the gold that wes wnder the sky
1583–4 Rec. Earld. Orkney 159.
By reasan that the lawmens dooms maks mention off the airth of the sky
1596 Dalr. I 288/29.
This was the first day that brak the cloudis and cleiret the skye
(b) a1568 Bann. MS I p. 15/3.
As Zepherus with bemis in the ske [: he]
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 50.
I saw [the ship] approch agayn the orient sky
1513 Doug. i v 55.
Abuf the sterrit sky
1604-31 Craig v 5.
And the cleare christall sky banished the night
(3) 1531 Bell. Boece I xv.
Phebus … began ouirsile his visage dry With vapouris thik and cloudis full of sky
a1568 Bann. MS 31a/18.
The Cristin conquerour Of euery kith and kinryk vndir sky

3. pl. Mainly in verse: The heavens.(1) c1500 Crying of Play 35.
The skyis ranyd quhen he wald scowle And trublit all the aire
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 25.
The skyes rang for schoutyng of the larkis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 38.
The ruby skyes of the orient
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 191/3.
Quhone sabill all the hevin arrayis, With mystie vapouris, cluddis and skyis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 150/11. 1513 Doug. i ii 65.
The skyis oft lychtnyt with fyry levin
1513 Doug. iii ix 3.
Aurora the wak nycht dyd arest And chays fra hevyn with hir dym skyis donk
1549 Compl. 39/21.
The lauerok maid melody vp hie in the skyis
1562-3 Winȝet I 20/8.
We exhort ȝow … to descend from the hie skyis … amang men
1567 G. Ball. 93.
Blaw up organis … quhill all the skyis resound
(b) 1590 Burel Pilgr. ii 231.
With this begoud to cleir the skyse And mirknes went away
1590 Burel Pilgr. i 246.
c1590 J. Stewart 137 § 6.
The christall skyis vith color cleir celest
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 142/41.
The birdis … Illumynit our with orient skyis brycht
a1568 Bell. Bann. MS I p. 3/7.
Donk Aurora with hir misty schouris Fleand off skyis the brycht reflexioun
1638 Adamson Muses Thr. 112.
Agruif lay some, others with eyes to skyes

4. In various phrases and collocations, denoting daylight, esp. in the early morning or evening: a. (The) day(is)-sky, dawn, daybreak; first light. Freq. const. to break (Brek v. 8 b). b. Skybrack, c. The sky breaking, the breaking of the sky, = a. d. Sky rising, setting, sunrise, sunset. e. Till the sky set, until sunset. f. After the sky, after sunset. g. The going to of the sky, (the) sky going to, sunset, dusk. h. Betwix sky and sky, from sky to sky, ? between dawn and dusk, or sunrise and sunset. i. Between the sun and sky, between first light and sunrise.a. (1) c1500 Fyve Bestes 244.
Get wp get wp we se the dayis sky
(2) 1524 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 73.
Ane waich to stand at ylk end of the town … to waik outhouht the town quhill the day sky breik
1533 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 132.
We ordand foir vaychmen at every end of the town, men and na laddis, and to waik quhill the day sky be brokin
1535 Stewart 56872.
Syne in the morning as the da sky brak
1535 Stewart 10495.(3) 1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 35.
Quhill day skye brek
b. 1698 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II 113.
Early in the morning befor skybraek
c. c1650 Spalding II 287.
Fra about the sky braking till thrie efternone
c1650 Spalding II 287.
About the braking of the sky in the morning
d. 1683 Cullen Kirk S. 5 Nov.
The Session made ane act that non should gather war or seawrack from Saturday att skey setting till Munday att skey rysing
e. 1655 Cramond Ch. Grange 22.
Drinking … on the Lord's day till the skie sett
f. 1648 Cullen Kirk S. 9 April.
The sessione finding that milns did often grind on the Lords day in the morning befor day & at night after the skie
g. (1) 1598 Ellon Presb. 22.
[He arrived] about the ganging to off the skye
c1650 Spalding II 101.
The countrie people, about this tyme, hard nichtlie tovking of drumis, begining about the sky going to, and continewing quhill 8 houris at evin
(2) 1661 Elgin Rec. II 297.
He met that man … efter sky goeing too with moone light
h. 1660 Moray Synod 129.
This assemblie ordaines there be no fishing [on the Sabbath day] betuix sky and sky
1660 Cramond Ch. Speymouth 27.
The profanation of the Sabbath day by salmond fishing particularly from sky to sky
i. 1670 Cullen Kirk S. 4 Sept.
George Sim [declared] that Bailȝe Murray directed him off between the sun & skie on Saturndays nicht

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"Sky n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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