Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Think, Thynk, v. Also: thinke, thynke, thinck(e, theink, (thynkyng, thinkin). P.t. and p.p. thocht(e, thoght, thoight, thoucht(e, thowcht, thought, thowght, thoycht, tocht, tho(u)ch, thout, thot(h, thoich(i)t. [ME and e.m.E. þence (a1175), þenk- (a1200), þennkenn, þinnke (both Orm), thinc(k, think (all Cursor M.), thynke (Rolle), OE þync(e)an, þúhte, ᵹeþúht, also þenc(e)an, þóhte, (ᵹe)þóht.]OE þync(e)an and þenc(e)an fell together in ME, and derivatives of both words are treated together here. Cf. OED Think v.1 and v.2

1. intr. To appear, seem. a. With expressed subject, indirect object and complement. 1375 Barb. i 79.
This ordynance thaim thocht the best
c1420 Ratis R. 743.
Thai trawalys sal thé think ful suet
c1450-2 Howlat 19 (A).
For to lende by that laike thocht me levare

b. Without expressed subject, with indirect object, noun clause, (object and) complement, or parenthetic.Cf. Me-think impers. v.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xliii 388.
Ȝet thinkis me That Jubiter is nocht the name Of God that suld be i[n] mast fame?
c1390 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 19.
For vs thynk ve are nocht haldyn to do fauour syn owr request mycht nocht be spedde anens yhow
1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 163.
The kyng … said that hym thocht his request was resounable
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2829.
He saw ane ferlyfull visioun … That him thocht it ware lykare than On god na be portured a man
1460 Hay Alex. 5355, 5357.
To be crabbit him tocht he caus had For he of Alexander oure mekill made … as him tocht
(2) c1420 Ratis R. 1627.
Quhen men has leuit an hundereth ȝer, Thaim think it bot a dremynge here
(3) ?14.. Ship Laws c. 8 (H2).
The maistir sall cast it [sc. goods overboard] … als mekle as him thinkis [B. thynk] gud
c1475 Wall. iv 267.
Quhen him thocht tyme, thai ischede on the nycht
(4) a1400 Leg. S. i 723.
Der Lord, Thu art all, think me, And but Thé na thing ma be
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 475 (C).
Wherfore spedfull war than, thynk me, That to Achilles grave go ȝhe
a1500 Colk. Sow i 33.
The hid penny, thinkis me, Wes werst bestowit of the thre
(5) a1400 Leg. S. ii 991.
Thow, as ws think, vald put don The lacht of circumcisione
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1518.
The hicht of this greit growand tre Haldis away the sone as thinkis me

2. tr. To form in the mind, conceive mentally. a. With simple object. ?1438 Alex. ii 2387.
Wele mare … ioy it is … ane thousand sis Than all the thochtis that thocht may be
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. i 20.
Bot quhile he thouchte [W. hym thenkynge, P. he thouȝte] thir thingis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 994.
Quhat euer he thocht thair was na man micht heir
a1578 Pitsc. II 61/9.
Mony wordis abhominable … quhich … to think I thocht evir abhominatioun

b. With a statement or question as object. a1500 Bk. Chess 971.
This Damon thocht agane How suld he leif and his trew fallow deid
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark ii 6.
Sum of the scribes … thinkande in thar hartis, Quhat spekis he thus?
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 126/30.
Than they thouch: ‘Quhow can this man be God’
1571 Sat. P. xxix 21.
Ȝitt I beleiff ols mony myndis thochte, ‘ha, loury [etc.]!’ Quhen [etc.]

c. With a noun complement indicative of a particular emotion, attitude or state of mind: To conceive, feel. 1375 Barb. ii 20.
[He] thocht ferly, ic tak on hand, That thai come hame sa preuely
?1438 Alex. ii 8240.
Thairof suld nane anoyit be, Na think inuy na mauite
a1500 K. Hart 567.
Thow bird think schame and of thy riot rew
1535 Stewart 20723.
The mother thocht that tyme bot lytill harme, To eit hir child that la into hir arme
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 32.
The imagis in to the kirk May think of thare syde tailis irk
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 527.
Of that meiting ilk man thocht wounder
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 305.
One ageit man … Quhome to behald I thocht delyte
c1568 Lauder Minor P. iii 59.
The hypocreit will thinke no schame nor lak, Buds to receaue
1570 Sempill in Sat. P. xii 113.
Think ȝe not schame to heir ȝour lordschipis lakit

3. To meditate on, ponder. Const. indirect question. a1400 Leg. S. i 59.
Thane wald he think quhow lethirly That he is master cuth deny
c1420 Wynt. viii 28.
Off Ingland the kyng wes than thynkand … The kynryk off Scotland how … He mycht apply nere til his crown
a1500 Seven S. 1439.
Bot scho was thinkand aye full thra How scho his lufit hound suld sla
1673 Dunblane Synod 99.
Whill I was thinking with myselfe what might be fitt for me to move to yow

4. intr. To engage in mental activity, pursue a train of thought; to cogitate, reflect. 1375 Barb. v 159 (C).
[And] saide, quhen he had thoucht a thraw, Thir wordis [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. iii 1103.
Bot the fend wes away in hy, Sonare na ony man cuth thynke
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 225.
Thoucht all my hare were hertis for to think
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xxi 25.
And thai thocht [W., P. thouȝten] within thame self, sayand [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. vi 27.
Bot quha of you, thinkand [W. thenkinge, P. thenkynge], may put to his stature a cubite?

b. To think (ap)on, to think about, reflect on, give consideration to a person or thing). Also const. infinitive and object. Also without complement, ? = to reflect further, take further thought.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 2372.
Or than sueit thocht, but company, Quhen ȝe think on hir anerly?
?1438 Alex. ii 2417.
Than I now think, and thinkis eft, On hir that hes me resting reft
c1420 Ratis R. 443.
Haf thow in mynd And one mesour maist thow think
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 511.
To think one that day, that sal be sa dreidfull
c1475 Wall. i 15.
Ȝhit we suld thynk one our bears befor
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 126.
For eldnyng of that ald schrew that evir one evill thynkis
1513 Doug. iii vii 33.
Ressaue … Thir remembrance … In takyn lang tyme to thynkyng [Sm. thinkin, Ruddim. think] apon me
1567 G. Ball. 138.
Walkand I lay, in ane garding gay, Thinkand on Christ sa fre
1643 Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. I 42.
Upon the regrate of the extraordinar multiplying of witches, … a committee was appointed to thinke on that sinne, the way to search and cure it
1647 Innes Sketches 308.
That each universitie contribute thair travellis thairto [sc. a cursus philosophicus], and it is to be thocht upon, aganist the month of Merch ensewing
1650 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. LI (1975) 51.
Shoe in a thretting way promised him ane other thing to think vpoun nor he soud not have twentie pound to his wyff to pay the maltman
(2) 1456 Hay II 132/24.
Ever think on to have gude esy issu of the wame
(3) 1643 Acts Gen. Assembly 28 (2 Aug.).
Because charming is a sort … of witch-craft and too ordinary in the land … this assembly would think on

c. To think havie of (something), to view with disfavour, be perturbed by. c1650 Spalding I 173.
Thay thocht havie of this charge and resolvit to gather togidder for thair awin defenss
c1650 Spalding I 376.
This band wes maid vp … be the Erllis of Montross, Marschall [etc.] … The committe of estaites thocht havie of this

5. tr. To form an idea of (a person or thing); to conceive, imagine. c1420 Wynt. viii 6032.
He wes the grettast menyd man That ony couth have thowcht [C. thoucht] off than [W. think on can]
1490 Irland Mir. II 33/18.
This precius deid of Jhesu … had the maist noble conditiouns and circumstaunce anens him that may be ymaginit or thocht
1490 Irland Mir. III 10/35.
Mar tendir luf and spirituale mariage na ony creatur can speik think writ or consider
1490 Irland Mir. III 70/31.
He that will nocht forthink his syn and confes it … wil stand in sic a perell and danger that nane mar may be thocht
Arundel MS 252/405.
O Lorde God … I, peruert and misarable synnar, am noucht wourthy … to think thé in my hert
a1568 Bann. MS 243b/65.
The hairt did think, the hand did frem, The body send to ȝow the sam

6. To call to mind; to consider, reflect upon; to remember, bear in mind. With indirect question as object. c1450-2 Howlat 976 (A).
Think how bair thow was borne, and bair ay will be
c1460 Regim. Princ. 43 (Marchm.).
O Prince, think quhi thi crown was giffin thé til
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 487.
Till a ȝonge man he sais at thai suld … think at the gret jug sal do justice off of al dedis that manis sone dois here
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 167.
Thy gane it garris us think that we mon de
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 176/2.
Think, man, thow art bot erd and as
1533 Gau 83/22.
He man leiff the wordis and think quhat thai meyn
1567 G. Ball. 237.
Think quhy thow come, & quhat thy erand was
1567 Sat. P. v 25.
Think weil thair wit was thame bereft, Quhen fulishlie thay tuik the plane
1604-31 Craig ii 60.
Thinke how we shed before the dawn of day

7. To have in mind, intend; to purpose, design, contemplate. a. intr. Const. infinitive. b. tr. Const. clause object. c. Const. noun object. d. absol.a. 1375 Barb. i 33.
Off thaim I thynk this buk to ma
1375 Barb. ii 29.
The Brus lap on and thidder raid And thocht … For to qwyt hym his discoueryng
a1400 Leg. S. ii 380.
For-thi to do this, hafe I thowcht
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 231.
He thocht to put ws to torment
c1420 Wynt. viii 3207.
Set thai na hape had to fulfill In till that deyd all that thai thowcht
1456 Misc. Bann. C. III 96.
I gif … my body to be gravyt in the College Kyrk of ane hie and mychti Lord, Wilȝam Erle of Cathenes … ner quhar hymself thinkis to ly, quhar the said Lord Erle thynkis spedful
1460 Hay Alex. 3332.
Wther thing that to thame was mystere Thay tuk with thame and tocht to mak gud chere
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2046.
I think to wirk als besie as ane be
1490 Irland Mir. II 56/5.
A buk I think to wryt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 12/13.
The auld kene tegir with his teith on char … Thinking to grip us in his clowis strang
a1578 Pitsc. II 205/5.
In this moneth of Julij certane conspiratouris thocht to have slaine the regent at Stirviling
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 112 (T).
Stif stridand stikdirt I'se gar thé stink To teiche thé to think with thy maister to mel
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. ii 30.
Feeding his eyes on beuties tempting lookes, His pain he thot to ease with baited hookes
b. 1375 Barb. iii 385.
He thocht he to Kyntyr wald ga
c1420 Wynt. viii 3584.
Wyth thai fagottis thai thowcht that thai Suld dyt the dykis
a1578 Pitsc. I 305/16.
The … lordis … thocht that they wald … put the governall all haill in his [sc. the king's] awin hand
c. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 608 (C).
That they shold nought Suffre for ought, was done or thought
d. 1375 Barb. xvii 30 (C).
And as he thoucht, he did beliff

8. tr. To believe, judge, be of opinion. a. Const. noun clause. b. Const. simple object with (often, implied) infinitive or past participle. Also reflex. c. Const. adv. Also in parenthetic constructions.a. pres. 1375 Barb. i 585.
And wys mennys etling Cummys nocht ay to That ending that thai think it sall cum to
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 101.
Than think I hiddowus Mahowne hes me in armes
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 86.
I think sic giglottis ar bot glaikit
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 124/7.
Thow man remowe all sik fleschlye iugements to think that God the Father, quhilk is ane spreit, hes other richt or left hand
1584 Gowrie P. 26.
The onlie moyen that we thincke is left to your L[ordship] … is this [etc.]
p.t. 1375 Barb. i 65.
That part thocht hale That the lord off Anandyrdale … Aucht to succeid to the kynryk
1375 Barb. i 627.
The king thocht he wes traist inewch Sen he in bowrch hys landis drewch
1375 Barb. v 168 (C).
The King … of Yngland Thoucht that the kinrik of Scotland Wes to litill to hym and me
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 992 (C).
It was graunted at thar request, Sene they thought it was honest
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1329.
The king … thoght the fordward wes fair, freyndschip to fulfil
1551 Hamilton Cat. 3.
We thocht oft tymes, that na thing culd be to God mair plesand … than [etc.]
1584 Gowrie P. 40.
1615 Melrose P. 602.
He thoight werrille that Grahame haid deceavit him
1670 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 2 July.
He met Andro Irving with ane box quherin he thoucht was silver
p.p. a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 140/25.
Calvin, and otheris haue thouch they had mater to triumphe aganis the kirk
1678 Stirlings of Keir 515.
My Lord Earlie is thought wilbe his lifetenante
b. 1375 Barb. i 239.
He … suld think fredome mar to prys Than all the gold in warld that is
a1400 Leg. S. vii 561.
For thai thoucht hyme be-for the lafe Wel worthe that honour til hafe
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1705.
Thinkand thaime in full sikernes
1456 Hay I 286/22.
Gif him thynkis resounable the caus of the appellacioun, he suld [etc.]
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 122.
I thocht me set within a desert place Amyd a forest by a hyddeous flude
1582 Reg. Privy C. III 470.
Thay wald gif his Majestie occasioun … to think his letter … misregardit
passive 1596 Dalr. I 6/24.
Throuch the opinioune of strange natiouns, it [sc. ale] is thochte baith be the colore and be the taste to be malmsey
1610 Highland P. III 118.
I derected my brother to Kintyre for expelling the rebels which wer then tocht to be thair
reflex. 1479 Acta Conc. I 29/1.
The lordis ordanis brevis of perambulacion to be gevin to quhilk of the partijs that thinkis thaim grevit
c. 1456 Hay I 168/15.
For a mortall man that deis in ire … is lyke that he war dede bathe body and saule … And rycht sa may men think of a knycht
1490 Irland Mir. II 90/11.
Alsua I speir at this pagane and gentill or evill Cristin man gif he thinkis sua
a1500 Bk. Chess 1561.
So plane scho was and said richt as scho thocht
1600 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXVI 9.
He … returnit bak, as I thocht to fetche yow, bot … steikit the dure
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 29.
The drummer was … killed by some on or vther … of our pairtie, as wes thoucht

d. intr. To think best, to favour as an option. Passing into to suggest, advise. 1688 Dunbar Social Life 106.
Let us know … To whom we shal derect your leters whil ye are at Court; I think to my Kenny, when ye are at London

9. To deem, regard, look upon (as). a. Const. object and complement, freq. also infinitive or noun clause. Also reflex. b. Const. without object, the complement immediately following the verb.The form that in p.p. (c) below may simply represent a scribal abbreviation of thocht.a. pres. c1459 Liber Aberbr. II 107.
Thynkand it onkyndle tyll thole ane nominatioun of lardschipe of sic ane man
1460 Hay Alex. 751.
Supois ane mychtie emperiour thow think thé
1460 Hay Alex. 2508.
Sen ȝe think me moir lykand than the leave
a1500 Henr. Fab. 210.
Think ȝe this meit nocht gude?
1573 Sempill in Sat. P. xxxix 189.
Thair febill smaikrie I think ill to tell
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 74.
I think it requisite that ane cumpany of horsmen be leviat and intertenyit
1697 Laing MSS 484.
Sir I thinck this a very summer procedour
p.t. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1816.
And thocht it bot ane sport to spill thair blude
1547–8 Corr. M. Lorraine 214.
As yowr lordschip thoycht it necessaire I wald gladly … cum … to yowr [lordschip]
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 759.
Than thocht the Lord it necessare Tyll hym [sc. Adam] to creat ane helpare
1571 Bann. Memor. 209.
I asked of yow befoir what were the thingis you thought meit
c1590 Fowler II 27/25.
For sic an obscure harlot thai neuer thoght worthy to be namit from that place
16… R. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 398.
Every man … had libertie to give in to the Clerk of the Register whatsoever they thoch fitt
p.p. 1490–1 Acta Conc. I 189/1.
The poyntis of the said instrument wer thocht obscure to the lordis
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 225.
Your masterschip is bytter consederit be me lord and the counsall na ye wer, and your serves thout [pr. thouk] byter
1555 Acts II 495/2.
It is thocht aganis all law … the making of particulare liggis
a1570-86 Arbuthnot in Maitl. F. 57/60.
Dissolute lyf is thoucht humanitie
1581 St. A. Kirk S. 460.
The kirk hes tocht it meit that the priour and town of St. Androis nominat ane of the brether
reflex. c1554 Makeson Genesis 117.
He tocht him na thyng sure
15.. Dum Wyf 46.
Than was he glaid of this And thoucht him self weill chewin
1596 Dalr. I 77/7.
Thame selfes thay thocht in a verie miserable state
1645 Lag Chart. 57.
b. pres. 1456 Misc. Bann. C. III 96 (see 7 a above).
1457–8 Acts II 49/2.
Anentis feuferme the lordis thinkis speidfull that the king begyne and gif exempill to the laif
1510–11 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 12.
We … ordanes the bred to be mendit and ane pais to be gewyne as ye think best to the baxteris
1560 Rolland Seven S. 386.
I think not best to Romes toun that we ryde
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 127/22.
Quhy thinkis thow impossible that almychty God … may nocht chaunge bread and vyne in to his avin bodye and bloude?
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 307.
Hir hienes thinkis na difficultie to caus puneis … ony of hir subjectis
1575 Edinb. Test. III 397.
Twentie merkis … to be deliverit to … my … bruther to gif thame quhen he thinkis caus
a1578 Pitsc. I 11/14.
To this guid lord gif thy haill credence Quhan he thinkis tyme thy matter to avance
1607 Inverness Rec. II 57.
Thow … molestis and trubillis the inhabitantis … as thow thinckis meit
ellipt. 1657 Hibbert P. No. 20.
I have set ane pryce vpon it [sc. meal] … giw wee can get the same and yeit they think our deir for it shall not be sawld no cheapper
p.t. a1500 Henr. Fab. 757.
To beik his breist and bellie he thocht best
1533 Boece 363.
Vtheris thocht best to … ceis fra all inquietacioun of Pichtis
1570 Sat. P. x 101.
We maryit him quhen we thocht gude Unto ane lady of hie kyn and blude
a1578 Pitsc. I 25/23.
It is said he thocht bot ane small matter to mak knichtis
1596 Dalr. I 94/29.
In tyme of weir … to karie pottis, panis and vthir kitchine veshels thay thocht hauie and molestful
(b) ?a1570 Breadalbane Lett. No. 95.
Becaus I thoichit Mcgregoris ansuer lang in cumyng and na word fra hym as ȝitt I thoichit nesisar to derek ȝow the said berar [etc.]
p.p. 1471 Acts II 100/1.
It is thocht expedient … at the futbal & golf be abusit in tym cummyng
1641 Acts V 715/1.
(b) 14.. Acts II 208/1.
To minster justice as beis thoicht expedient to him
1540 Acts II 362/1.
It is thoycht necessare that wapinschawingis be maid tuis in the ȝeire
(c) 1638 Dumbarton B. Rec. 55.
It is thot meit and expedient that all quho hes joyned in the covenant repair to Edinburgh
(d) 1643 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 7.

c. To think (greit) lang (long), see Lang adj. 3 d and Long adj. 1 (7).

10. To have as one's opinion (of something). Also proverb. 1576 Crim. Trials I ii 56.
Interrogat, quhat sche thocht of the new law? … this new law was nocht gude
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 767.
Of hypocrites … He can say, My Jo, & think it not

11. To suspect; to expect, anticipate.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iv 339.
The lele men … Thinkand na ewil, vent to the hill
c1420 Wynt. vii 1268.
And the barne, that thowcht na mys, Come, and abowt the hals Donalde he tuk
1596 Dalr. I 163/26.
In the nycht, quhen the Romanis thocht litle of sik a mater, thay cum vpon thame
(2) c1420 Wynt. vi 1743.
Till Schyr Knowt … this traytoure past, And thowcht rewardyt for to be
(3) c1475 Wall. v 1062.
Kyrk Patrik past in Aisdaill woddis … In saufte thar he thoucht he suld abid
1539 Mill Mediæv. Plays 251.
The baillies … thynkis thai will gyve fowr pownd and ane burgeschip till him that the tovn chesis Abbott of Vnresson

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: