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

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

Syn(e, adv. Also: sin(e, sayne, sen(e, sein, seyn. [ME and e.m.E. syn (Manning), seine (14th c.), seyne, syen (both c1400), syne (c1420), sen (a1460), sin (c1489), sine (a1600), reduced form of Sithen adv., perhaps with influence from ON síðan. Cf. Sen prep. and conj.]

1. Next; immediately thereafter; thereupon; then; indicating the next event in a story, the outcome of a process, etc.; sometimes, appar., with some element of causality. Also const. efter.(1) 1375 Barb. i 145.
He … till Ingland agayne is gane And syne till Scotland word send he That [etc.]
1375 Barb. i 174 (see 2 (1) below). ?1438 Alex. i 340.
With thame will I tak gude and ill, Lat God wirk syne quhat euer he will
c1450-2 Howlat 477 (A).
He gart hallowe the hart & syne couth it hyng About his hals
a1500 Henr. Fab. 196 (Bann.).
And thus thay fure … quhill sobirt wes thair meid, Syne fute for fute onto thair chalmer ȝeid
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 7/8.
I … kneling doun … Befoir the … king of glorie … Syn to his mother I did inclyne … And sudandlie I sleipit syne
1513 Doug. i ix 78.
My fader … The rich realm of Cipir wastit by weir, And wan it syne, and gave it to Tewcer
1535 Stewart 14037.
Ȝe … At that counsall hes bene led all ȝour tyme … And euerie lad syne haif ȝe maid a lord
1535 Stewart 51442.
He tuke his leve out of this lyfe till go … Intumulat in Drumfermling wes syne [: nyne]
a1561 Norvell Meroure 7b.
A man that is accused of an crime And wold defend his cause, shulde he take syne, For aduocat … His accusars companion
a1578 Pitsc. I 381/7, 9, etc.
Heirefter the king depairtit out of Sanctandrois … syne passit to Falkland … Syne passit to Stirling [etc.]
a1585 Maitland in Maitl. Q. 173/32.
Goddis worde glaidlie heir & syne it obey
1590 Burel Pilgr. ii 342.
Can we call thame Christians … That seis the glorious glancing licht, Syne to the mirke reteirs
(b) 1375 Barb. i 601.
In Lundon hym herberyd he … Syn on the morn to court he went
1425 Acts II 12/2.
He salbe punyst in his gudis … ande syn banyst that fredome for thre ȝeris
c1475 Wall. i 244.
Scho … gaiff him a rok syn set him doun to spyn
(c) 1479 Acta Conc. I 32/1.
Becaus he restori[t] the said gude of before … and sine tuke thaim again … the lordis ordanis [etc.]
(d) a1400 Leg. S. viii 62.
Quhene he had a ȝer dwelte thare, In Asya sene canne he fare
c1420 Wynt. vii 2783.
Oure the Mownth theyne passyd he sene, [C. seyn, W. syne] And held hys Yhule in Abbyrdene
1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 244.
The said chapellanis … passand befor in propir person … sene come in agayne on the tother syde
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 971.
It is a sair lyfe, to be lang a maidin and syne a preists wyfe
(2) 1375 Barb. xix 186 (C).
Till this assentit thai ilkane And eftir syne [E. sone] war trewis tane
a1400 Leg. S. ii 160.
All Cristine that [in] pressone ware He … brin … And Paule … Syne eftir bad hedit suld be
a1500 Henr. Orph. 34 (B).
Jupiter that goddes to wyfe can ta … and eftir syne … [She] bare him fair dochteris nyne
15.. Wyf Awcht. 47.
The gudman rais eftir syne And saw the wyf had done command
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxix 245.
Bot eftire sene a-but mydnycht, … He feld paynis [etc.]

b. With reference to a listing or serial ordering: Next (freq. as the second term after first); in the next place; further; moreover. Also const. efter.(1) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 151.
Sanct Petir first and syne Androw, James the mare and John alswa
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 312.
Thai wold haue twenty thousand Of markes of gold … And alsmekile of syluere fyne And one thousand also syne Of hors
c1420 Wynt. i 1376.
Langagis in Bretayne … Brettys fyrst, and Inglis syne, Peycht, and Scot, and syne Latyne
1456 Hay I 165/9.
A prince suld first [etc.] … and syne suld purvay him of wis counsale … and syne of gude worthy men … And syne to … pray God to help him … lyve clenely
a1500 Rauf C. 87.
For first to lofe and syne to lak, Peter! it is schame
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 33 (Asl.).
Sen we ar heir prestis thre, Syne wantis nocht
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 479.
Wait ȝee how the Frenche man sayis syne? Nul bon, he sayis, monsieur sans pyne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 21/6.
First grace, syne space for to amend my mys
1535 Stewart 36358.
In lynnyng clayth … Tha wand his cors … and syne into reid silk
15.. Wyf Awcht. 26.
First ȝe sall sift & syne sall kned
(b) 1490 Irland Mir. III 6/34.
Eftir that he gettis perfit quantite be augmentacioun and syn nutricioun
1549 Lamb Resonyng 147/26.
Atque ciuitas regni … this be ȝour kyngis sentence; syn followis primum omnium verba Edwardi jurat the quhilk is the forsaid instrumentis homage
(c) a1500 Prestis of Peblis 840.
Tak exampill S. Margaret and Katrine, And monie vther Sants that ar sine, In Heuins blesse
1531 Bell. Boece I xv.
Sen thow hes hard baith our intentis thus Cheis of us two the maist delitius First to sustene ane scharp adversite … An sine posseid triumphe innumerus
(d) 1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 95.
Fyrst to commit tresson and sayne morther
(2) 1456 Hay I 2/17.
Bonnet Priour of Sallon maid his first intitulacioun … and syne efter sall folowe the principale parties of the buke forenamyt
a1500 Bk. Chess 2012.
In the ferd part of this tretye forsaid First of the chekker sall be mencioun maid And syne efter of the proper moving
1523 St. P. Henry VIII IV 14.
First the said Gailter reid it [sc. the letter] in Franshe, and sine efter in Englishe

2. At a later date; afterwards; subsequently. Also soon or syne, sooner or later.There is considerable ambiguity with sense 1. Barb. i 175 may belong in 1, some quots. in 1 may belong here.The Maitland quot. may belong elsewhere.See also syne schortly (Schortly adv. 2 d) not long afterwards.(a) 1375 Barb. i 174.
He was king bot a litill quhile And throuch gret sutelte … He was arestyt syne and tane And degradyt syne wes he Off honour and off dignite
1375 Barb. i 533.
Alexander … That conqueryt Babilonys tour And all this warld … In [tuelf] ȝher … Wes syne destroyit throw pwsoune In his awyne hows
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 305/12.
The grit mischeif That regnis now in this cwntre Withouttin hoip syne of releif
(b) c1475 Wall. x 437.
Quhat be Stwart, and syn be wicht Wallace, For all his prys, King Eduuard rewyt that race
1549 Lamb Resonyng 97/12.
Dauid, Kyng of Scottis, his sone syn [etc.]
(c) a1400 Leg. S. ii 187.
Nero, wit thu That schorte tyme I sall tholl now, Bot lestely I sall luf sine With my lord Jhesu withowtyn fyne
a1500 Rauf C. 918.(d) ?1438 Alex. ii 10153.
Thare fell full mony that rais nocht sin [: in]
(e) ?1438 Alex. ii 4248.
His sone as of bounte, That passit all that lyfe micht lede And sen at Josaphas was dede
c1590 Fowler II 106/28.
Many other prences and republics hes sen followed
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 147.
Ane word in tym is worth tuo syne
(2) a1605 Montg. Sonn. xx 8.
Once, soon or syne, ȝour Lordships must be sure
1638 Henderson Serm. 517.
There will be a wakening either soon or syne
1643 Baillie II 61.
What I know I shall ever give yow ane accompt of it soon or syne
1682 Royall Oake 17.
If they be of any standing, the greatest nobility they can glory in, will be found soon or syne, derived to them

3. Hence, consequently, as a result.Cf. note in definition of 1 above. c1420 Wynt. iii 1019.
Quharefor scho Lupa callid wes than And the bordale hous was syne Callyd Lupanar in Latyne
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 1026.
In just quarrell we sex ar ewin anew: Sine ȝe haifand of vs the souenance, With hand we may not make hir resistance: Bot with our toung we sall hir so argew

4. Since that time, since then.(a) 1513 Doug. i ix 79.
And evir syne of Troy … The distructioun has beyn weill knaw to me
1513 Doug. ii xi 99.
Nevir syne with eyn saw I hyr eft
1535 Stewart 39165.
Lang efter syne quhen that the ise wes fawin
1626 Garden Worthies 68.
Thy … worthie works, whose lyek few since or sine, To witness such a witt and vene divyne
(b) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 286.
Nor neuer none sene [: wene]

5. Ago. Also lang syne, long ago.For further examples see Lang-syne adv. phr, Long-syne adv. phr.See also short syne (S(c)hort adv. 2 (3)), not long before.(a) c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 196.
[God] quham … all oure [lif] hath writt, Quho couth it red, agone syne mony a ȝere
1535–6 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 161.
Volle Ellot … tuk vrangusly George Curror gray hors furtht of the lone of Alanhauch sevin yeir syne bygane
1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. 27/23.
Onles thair ministeris had lang syne tint all schame
1600 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxxvi.
M.a.R. spak vitht me foure or fyw dayis syn
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 14 May.
Scho anserit that in the nicht mony ȝeiris syne thair come ane man to hir, all cled in gold
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 16 May.
Ten ȝeiris syne
(b) a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 131/28.
1100 and more ȝeres sene
1629 Orkney Witch Trial in County Folk-Lore III 78.
Sex yeiris sene or thairby in vore
(c) a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 36.
This prophece … writin tway hundrecht yeir sein

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"Syn adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Mar 2023 <>



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