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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

Spousag(e, n. Also: spoussage, spowsage, sposage. [ME and e.m.E. sposage (Manning), spousage (a1395), spowsage (c1450), OF espo(u)sage; Spous(e n., v. Cf. Spousal n., Spousing vbl. n.]

1. The state or condition of marriage; wedlock, matrimony. Freq. in prep. phrases, esp. (to get) (a child) in(to) spousage, (to beget) within marriage, legitimately.c1420 Wynt. viii 1126 (see Spous(e n. 1 a (1)). 1474–5 Ayr B. Ct. 4 Jan.
[A widow] Jonete Kennyde … resingyt … the franktenement of Lochtermos … and the said Jonete was oblist & sworn … neuir to rawok agan al the said resignacion … nowder in spowsagis na owt of spowsagis
a1500 Lanc. 1333.
Yow was not byget in to spousag
1476 Thanes of Cawdor 61.
The fyrst sone of the said Huchowne gettyn in sposage apparande to hyme air sall becum man to the saide thayne
1486 Lennox Mun. 127.
Johne … to be spousit with ane dochter of the said Walteris gottyne in lauchtful spousage
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 74/22.
I haue desyrit wilfully … an nother woman to fleschly plesance out of spousage
1494 Loutfut MS 37b.
Fermaulx ar bailles & portes in spousage to schaw thai fix thair hert in amour of faith of beaute & of trew promesse
1513 Doug. iv iv 89.
Ne from thens furthwart Dido ony mor Musis on lufe secrete … But clepis it spousage
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 221.
Quene Iocasta … Tuik hir awin sone of spowsage in the band
1552 Dundee B. Ct. II fol. 189 (6 Oct.).
The quhilk Andro … hed foure other brether of the quhilk thre liffis ȝit lauchfully gottin in spousage
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8466.
I him promit my douchter and myne air Into spowsage
1610 Inverurie B. Ct. 14 March.
Be rasone of hir former spousage with the said Normond

2. An act or ceremony of marriage; a wedding; a particular marriage as a legally binding and valid contract. Also fig., of the mystical union of the soul with Christ. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1594.
Of Duke Pirichous the spousage in that tide, Quhair the Centauris reft away the bride, Thair saw I
1513 Doug. vii iv 136.
He musys thochtfull gretumly Apon his douchteris spousage and ally
1513 Doug. vii vi 107.
The Troiane spousage to delay, Stop and prolong thar fest and brydell day
1525 Misc. Bann. C. III 110.
I leife … to Jhone Glappayr ix merkis the quhilkis I promit to hym in his spoussage
1528 Crosraguel Chart. I 86.
Followand the completing of hir said matrimone and spousage
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II 11.
How Archibald, Erle of Douglas, dissoluit the spousage maid betuix the Erle of Merchis dochter & the Duke of Rosaye
1533 Boece 110b.
Be plesuris of his new spousage [L. recentium nuptiarum] he wald without respect to honeste or gude maneris rage in his blind affectioun
fig. 1490 Irland Mir. III 11/5.
[The soul] ascendis to the spousage and noble mariage of the sone of God

b. To grant (a person) the spousage of (another), to bestow in marriage. c. To obtain (another's) spousage, to obtain by marriage, receive as a spouse.b. 1513 Doug. vii vii 37.
The kyng Latyn the spousage of Lavyne And thy dowry … Denyis forto grant thé
c. 1596 Dalr. II 392/18.
The king hes obteinet her haly spousage of matrimonie

3. = Spous(e n. 1 a: a. sing. b. coll. pl.a. 1513 Doug. xi vi 109.
In my natyve land neuer sall I spy My chaist spousage
b. 1513 Doug. ix x 23.
Thir venquyst cowart wightis behald and se, That dar our spousage into batale craif

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"Spousag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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