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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.

Southern, Soth(e)ro(u)n, Suthero(u)n, Sudro(u)n, adj. and n. Also: southerne, southeroun, southren, sowthroun, sothren, sutheren, -aine, suthroun, suddron(e. [ME and e.m.E. suðerne (Layamon), souþerne (c1290), sotherin (Cursor M.), southren (Chaucer), southern, sowtherne (c1440), OE súðerne.]

A. adj. 1. Of people: Emanating from the south, English. Also metonymically, with syde, part, blud, etc.(a) 1375 Barb. xvii 843.
For sotheroun men wald that he mad Arest thar
c1475 Wall. v 930.
On Sotheron men full gret slauchter thai maid
c1475 Wall. vii 1000.
With Sotheroun blud thair wapynnys sone thai wet
c1475 Wall. ix 494.
The Sotheron part was handlyt thar full hayt
c1475 Wall. x 664.
Then ferdly fled full mony Sotheroun syr
c1475 Wall. ix 530, etc.(b) c1475 Wall. iii 41.
His purpos was to wenge him … On Sothron blud, quhilk has his eldris slayne
c1475 Wall. v 48.
And xl men of Sothroun part war dede
c1475 Wall. iii 400, etc.(c) c1500 Fyve Bestes 71.
The samyn day the sutheren [seid] Had wrocht thair will apon W[allace]
(d) 1570–1 Bann. Memor. 87.
This cuntrie is come in subjectione … By slicht, and suddrone bloud

2. Of things: Pertaining to, found or made in, characteristic of, the south (of Britain); English. 1568 Lyndesay Pref. (STS) 403.
For thai haif gane about to bring thame [sc. Lindsay's works] to the southerne language … quhairfoir the natiue grace and first mynd of the wryter is oftentymes peruertit
1578 Edinb. Test. VI 361b.
Ane doubill sutheroun or rois noble price thairof xj l. x s.

3. Of a place: Situated in or to the south; lying in a southerly direction. 1536–7 Ayr B. Acc. 7.
For the few of the Sowthroun Holme the samyn terme
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 210.
To France Flanderis Spane and uthers sutherane pairtis
1684 Melville Chart. 182.
The southern and western shyrs quhair severall rebells … doe haunt and resort

B. noun. 1. A native of the southern part of Britain; an English person. Also coll., the English.sing. c1475 Wall. iii 250.
Na Sothren … was persawyt in thai wais Bot he tholyt dede
pl. c1475 Wall. ii 232.
To the dede fell Sothroun ȝeit he dicht
1535 Stewart 43310.
Quhair mony sutheroun in that tyme wer keild
coll. c1475 Wall. i 188.
He saw the Sothroun multipliand mayr
c1475 Wall. iv 665.
Thocht Sotheren had it suorn
c1475 Wall. vii 23.
Than demyt he, the fals Sotheroun amang, How thai best mycht the Scottis barownis hang
c1475 Wall. ix 951, etc.
1535 Stewart 47354.
Quhairat the Sutheroun scharpest maid assaill
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 633.
The Sutheroun wes ay fywe for ane
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 667.
Quhen that the Sutheroun saw his micht, Effrayitlie thay tuke the flicht
1581 Sat. P. xliv 154.
Outlauis suthorne suorne
a1586 Kamington 42.
He wsit manheid and diligence Against suthroun … To save the croun

2. The English language, as distinct from Scots. 1513 Doug. i Prol. 111.
Kepand na sudron [Sm. sudroun] bot our awyn langage
1513 Doug. i Prol. 113.
Nor ȝit sa cleyn all sudron I refus
1562-3 Winȝet I 138/11.
I sall wryte to ȝou my mynd in Latin, for I am nocht acquyntit with ȝour Southeroun
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 160b.
King James the fyft … hering ane of his subiectis knap suddrone, declarit him or [sic] trateur

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"Southern adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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