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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Stratagem, -gim, Strategem(e, Stratigem, n. [e.m.E. stratageme (Caxton), -gem (1589), OF strategeme (14th c. in Larousse), L. strategema.] a. In military operations: A trick or cunning device devised by a commander to gain an advantage over the enemy. b. A trick or cunning device, more generally. c. A cruel and violent action. —a. 1570 Leslie 218.
Purposing to assey the winning of the toun be a strategem called a camisado
1570 Misc. Bann. C. I 50*.
And syne I thinke with some stratagemis [v.r. strangeris] ye may easilie conqueis this cuntrie
c1610 Melville Mem. 362.
Be a strategeme subtilly deuysed of a schip full of poudre with a bournyng lont [etc.]
1681 Stair Inst. iv xl § 23.
But if they be induced for their own good … it is dolus bonus … Thus all stratagems of war are justified
b. 1673 Fugitive Poetry II xxxiii 5/110.
No matter, since my stratigem Did make you play an after game
c. 1687 Fugitive Poetry II xl 2/31.
[To] torture them alive, like mallefactors, Or, in some murdering stratagim, great actors Would fix their heads up in the marcat places

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"Stratagem n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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