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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Tendir, -er, adj. (adv.). Also: -ire, -yr(e, -ar, -re, (tendrie), teyndir, -er. [ME and e.m.E. tendre (Ancr. R.), tender (Cursor M.), tendyr (14th c.), tendir (c1420), OF tendre.]

A. adj. 1. a. Of a person, esp. his or her body: Easily harmed by harsh treatment, delicate. Freq. with reference to Christ. Also transf. a1400 Leg. S. xx 187.
& gert thame keme his tendir flesch With irne camys
a1450 Fifteen Ois 61.
All Thy tender body meik Thai drew
?a1500 Remembr. Passion 542.
The sone of God maid man, tholit bitter passioun … the mair panfull the tenderar that He wes
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 451.
Thai … Pullit His berd, His tender heid thai rat
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 580.
He wes mair tender in His body Than is the scheyne into a mannis e
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 687.
His tender bak beris that hevy tre Frettis the flesche
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 231.
A tender peronall … That hatit men with hard geir, for hurting of flesch
1528 Lynd. Dreme 269.
Emprices, quenis, [etc.] … thay tender creaturis, … Plungit in paine, … for thare tyisting men to lechorye
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 288.
Those dulce & balmy strandis Quhilk on the croce did … out spryng Frome His moste tender feit
1558-66 Knox II 389.
The foull wormes wilbe busye with this flesche be it never so fayr and so tender
1658 R. Moray Lett. 145.
It seemes your taile is as tender as a Gordon's neck (who cannot endure to be hanged for hurting of it)
transf. a1400 Leg. S. xxxiv 20.
Hare schenand as gold scho hade, With teyndir fassone & forred brade

b. Of foodstuffs, esp. meat, or animals used for food: Soft, delicate, easily masticated or digested.Sometimes with implications of youth, cf. 3 below. 1456 Hay II 118/20.
Tendar metis of licht and sone degestioun
a1500 Henr. Fab. 220.
To tender meit my stomok is ay vsit
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 113/25.
He lovit na ȝowis auld, tuch and sklender: Becaus this lame wes ȝung and tender
1513 Doug. viii iv 60.
Four semly oxin … Als mony tendir quyis
1567 G. Ball. 175.
To laip the blude Of ȝung and tender lambis
c1580-90 Rules of Health 6.
Lat all ȝour … meittis be of gude nureisment lychtt, tender and esy of digestioun
1596 Dalr. I 26/26.
The skout … Being sodin … is maist tendir

c. Of plants: Delicate, easily damaged. Also in fig. context. Also transf.Freq. with implications of youth, cf. 3 below. c1475 Wall. viii 936.
In Aperill amang the schawis … Quhen the paithment was cled in tendyr greyn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 21.
For mirth of May … The birdis sang upon the tender croppis
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 253.
Tendir herbys grene
1528 Lynd. Dreme 83.
Fled frome the froste the tender flouris I saw, Under Dame Naturis mantyll lurking
1549 Compl. 1/6.
Tendir leyuis of vertu
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 183.
Blomes breckand on the tender bewis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1514.
To the gairdnar he said … My tender plant it dois misthriue
a1568 Bann. MS 229b/25.
Aurora … Inbalmes with hir cristall hale The grene and tendir pylis ȝing Of every gres
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 207/42.
O fresche ȝouthheid of ȝeiris grene O tendyr plant of hie curage
transf. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 86.
Thare saw I May, of myrthfull monethis quene … Scho was full tendir in hir yeris grene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 141/6.
Lusty May … Amang the tendir odouris reid and quhyt

2. Weak, not robust; unable to endure hardship; ill or infirm. 1375 Barb. ii 525.
Luff … mony tyme mais tender wychtis Off swilk strenthtis and swilk mychtis That thai may mekill paynys endur
a1500 Henr. Fab. 717.
Considder my complexioun, Seikly and waik, and off my nature tender
1531 Bell. Boece II 297.
The vennomus custome of riotus cheir … makand his pepil tender and effeminat
1542 Montgomery Mem. 127.
Vaik and tender of complectioun, and trublit with seiknes and infirmite
1570 Leslie 152.
His eldest douchter Magdalane wes of ane tender complectione
c1650 Spalding I 163.
The … remanent … archibischopis (except the archibischop of Glasgo, who wes old and tender, … ) wes forsit to flie
1684 Edinb. City Archives Letters II 36.
You are so tender and subject to brashes
1687 Inverness Presb. 129.
The Bishop of Murray, now lying tender at Glasgow
1696 Edinb. Surgeons III 25.
She is very sickly & tender

3. Weak, delicate or vulnerable on account of youth; youthful, young. Freq. in (of) tendir age.a1400 Leg. S. xxviii 79. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2406.
Lycomeid … Had norysed him in his barnage And brocht him wp of tender age
1443 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 96. 1460 Hay Alex. 1030.
Thow art oure tender ȝit arming to bere
1460 Hay Alex. 2294.
Quhan King Philip was man of tender age [etc.]
1498 Acta Conc. II 160.
In the name and behalff of his sonnis and dochteris … than being barnis and of tender aig
c1500 Crying of Play 41.
He was bot of tender ȝouth
1526 Lennox Mun. 226.
The tym of our mynoryte, we beand of tendyr age
1542–3 Hamilton P. I 383.
Induring the tendir and les aige of our soverane Ladie
1549 Compl. 29/35.
Oure ȝong illustir princis be ane tendir pupil, ande nocht entrit in the aige of puberte
1567 Acts III 11/2.
Because of his tender ȝouth and inhabilitie to vse the said gouernement in his awin persoun
a1585 Maitl. Q. 249/1.
The lyon for hir tender whelpis dois roir
c1590 Fowler I 29/69.
We evin from thy aige and tender yeares did sie The verye sings [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I 133 marg.
Ȝoung & tendir of ȝeiris
1635 Lundie Poems 14.
Lyk a nurse that charms Vith songs the tender burding of hir armes
a1650 Row 199.
The untymeous marieing of young and tender persons
1677 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 176.
The schoolhouse so defective … that the tender young ones … [could not] therby be sheltered

4. Of persons, their feelings or the expression of these: Caring, considerate, attentive, loving, kind. Also const. of or to the object of care or consideration.(1) a1400 Leg. S. vi 444. 1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I 139*.
Yharnand thair endeful and tendyr frenschepe
c1390 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 20.
Gyf yhe do in the contrarie … we ar litill haldyn to be tendir
c1420 Ratis R. 610.
Full of peite and almous-deid … Scho is maist tendire for to feill
c1450-2 Howlat 174 (A).
Stable and steidfast tender and trewe
1492 Myll Spect. 274/9.
To be togydder man and woman tender and fameliar and kepe thaim fra lechory
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 229.
I turne it in a tendir luke … And him behaldis hamely with hertly smyling
1513 Doug. Direct. 74.
For ȝou maid I this buke, my lord, … for ȝour tendir request and amyte
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 193 marg.
The forgifnes of synnes … cumis only of the tendyre mercy of God
1657 Glasgow Burgesses 152.
For the tender respectis the town caries to him for good officis alreadie performit be him
a1665 W. Guthrie Letters Horning 12.
He was bold, and tender, kent as much of Gods grace, as ever you did
1706 Rothesay Par. Rec. 228.
He gave such evidences of remorse … and engagements of a tender walk and conversation as the Session rested satisfied with
(2) c1420 Ratis R. 756.
Thow suld be tendyr of that halue Well mar than the fleschlyk halue
1460 Hay Alex. 446.
Keip thi men and be tender of thair staite Gar provay thame of victuall
1490 Irland Mir. III 164/34.
I was mony ȝeris oratur to the hie and noble prince thi fader of honour and gud mynd in his realme … and tendir to the noble lady and wertuus quene thi moder

b. transf. Of sunbeams: Gentle, kind. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 246.
The joyfull birdis merily did syng For myrth of Phebus tendir bemes schene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 142/50.
The purpour sone with tendir bemys reid In orient … did appeir

5. transf. Of persons, esp. friends, servants, etc: That is the object of tender feelings, care, etc., dear, beloved; intimate, close, valued. Also const to (with) the author of affection, etc. Also absol. 1456 Hay I 19/2.
Thare was a duke duelland in Rome was tender to the emperour
1485 Acts II 171/1. 1490 Irland Mir. III 130/23.
Thai put gud and wertuis persounis out of the kingis grace and euill and fals men … thai mak tendir and mynȝeounis to him
1490 Irland Mir. III 136/10.
Thi tendyr lady and spous
1491 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II 482.
Richt tendir and welbeloveit clerkis … we gret ȝou hartly wel
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 41/45.
Quod he, My kid, my capircalȝeane … My bony bab … My tendir girdill, my wally gowdy
1513 Doug. xi Prol. 174.
Lyke as quha offendit had hys lord, That lang tofor hys trew servand had bene … ȝit netheles, I weyn, He sall nocht soyn be tendir, as he was ayr
1531 Bell. Boece I 144.
His tender freind, the king of Pichtis
1533 Boece 151b.
Naturalie oure sonnys and freyndis suld be to ws maist tendir and dere
1533 Boece 607b.
Johnne Lyoun was mair tender with the king … and with him … wald dewise apone gret materis
a1568 Scott xv 23. a1568 Bell. in Bann. MS 2a/86.
Pas … To Mary myld … And say to hir … My tender sone sall in hir bosum breid
1577 Reg. Privy S. VII 190/2.
[That he send to musters his household servants in company with his eldest son] or uther his tendir freind and kynnisman
a1578 Pitsc. II 298/22.
Thair was sic appoinctment maid betuix the Erle of Huntlie and the Hammiltownis with the regent that thay depairtit as tender freindis
absol. c1450-2 Howlat 439 (B).
As his tenderest & deir In his maist misteir

b. Of an alliance, etc.: Close, intimate. 1471 Acts II 99/1.
The tendir alyans that is be twix the king of France … and the duk of Burgunȝe
1490 Irland Mir. III 162/34.
The noble king … suld nocht tak his auld innemy that is recounsalit to him of his tendyr and sacret counsale

c. Of a thing: Dear to one, the object of one's affections; of importance to one. c1500 Barounis Lawis 16b.
Na mute nor na caus till ony mane may be sa tendir as it tuichis his lif & lyme
1513 Doug. iii i 31.
Ane ancyant and ane tendir herbry place To Troianys
1513 Doug. x v 96.
O blyssyt moder of the goddis … Quhamto the toppys of Mont Dyndymane … Ful tendyr bene and hartly

6. Closely related, of kin. Freq. const. tendir of blude.(a) c1475 Wall. viii 1104.
His newois hede … Sa gret sorow … apon him socht, … Wepand for wo for his der tendyr blud
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 360.
The sade Wilyeame is understand sa tender of blude to the sade Robert
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 109/15.
Welcum, our tendir blude of hie parage
1513 Lett. James IV 312.
[James'] tendrie cousynge [the Duke of Gueldres]
1516 Acts XII 37/1.
Nerrest and maist tender agnate to oure soverane lord
1531 Bell. Boece I lvii.
The wemen thocht thair barnis war not tender or kindly to thaim [L. legitimas proles] bot gif [etc.]
1533 Bell. Livy I 184/16.
He was richt tendir to thame and discendit of thare lynnage & blude
1535 St. P. Henry VIII V 30.
Sum neir and tendre of blude to the King of France
1562 Inverness Rec. I 75.
Gyf thair wes onne tendyrrer of kyn to Johne Budeth
1521 Dundee B. Ct. I 22b (9 April).
The tenderast kynnismen of vmquhill Thom Rollandis barnis
1570 Bann. Memor. 24.
Your nixt cousingis … most tender to you be bloud
1606 Edinb. Test. XLI 218.
Mr. Alexander levis … his eldest sone to the wardlie mantenance of … his tender eme
1609 Inverurie B. Ct. 10 Jan.(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 331.
A-bout hyme … gowit he, Gyf he mycht ony … se, That ocht teyndir ware hyme til; … & sad: ‘Ȝisterday in this towne Fele kine I had'
1531 Reg. Morton I 3.
The said Malcomis barnis … ar sa teynder of blude bayth to ws and ȝou

7. Careful, attentive of (something) or in doing something; cautious or chary to do (something).(1) 1682 Edinb. City Archives Moses Bundle 254 No. 7741.
Being upon my oath of which I most be tender
1693 Conv. Burghs IV 188.
The comitty is verie tender of the reputatione of your court
1697 Strathendrick 30.
Hearing that their were some in the paroch that were not so tender in sanctifieing the Sabboth as they ought to be
(2) 1669 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. III 4.
Albeit they be very tender to interpose for any who was involved in that rebellion … yet … they have ordered the inclosed to be transmitted to your lordship … desyring your lordship may represent the petitioners case with favour

B. adv. With care or consideration, kindly. a1568 Scott i 166.
Thy nobillis erlis and lordis consequent Treit tendir to obtene thair hartis inteir

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"Tendir adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2024 <>



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