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Thorn(e, n. Also: thoirn, thyrn. [ME and e.m.E. þorn (c1200), thorn (Cursor M.), OE, ON þorn.]

1. A thorn tree or bush, a hedge of thorn bushes, once, specif. a hawthorn. Also fig. or in fig. context. In sing. use freq. with reference to a particular tree. Also in place-names. [In escambio decem libratarum terre in] Hardingesthorn; 1133–47 Liber Calchou 196.
[In uiam qua itur ad] Neithanesthyrn; 1159 Liber Calchou iv.
Thornton; c1230 Reg. Paisley 104.
Thorneburht; 1214–49 Liber Melros I 198.
Thornedich; c1250 Liber Calchou 91.
Thornle; 1403 Reg. Paisley 79.
Johannis de Thornton; 1446 Coll. Aberd. & B. 485.
19 ells litted Thornhill stuff at 5 s. per ell inde; c1700 Dumfries Doc.
Allane Stewart Lord Dernlie was slane at Polmais thorne be Sir Thomas Boyd; Asl. MS I 215/10.
[They] come with all thair speid to Seaton-thorne; 1608 Crim. Trials II 543.
sing. Alexander vnder ane thorne thay fand Sittand at the ches; Alex. ii 2989.
To the hege so hard I inthrang That I was heildit with hawthorne … Throw pykis of the plet thorne I presandlie luikit; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 15.
This inquest findis that the dik befor the thorne and the lityll schell and sum part of the smydy is in the common; 1513 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 20.
[A certain pretended court held on the lands of Neder Polquharne, near a tree called the] gast thorne; 1519 Prot. Bk. Gavin Ros 62.
The xl part of ane quartter land of rig liand betuix the Kingholm thorne & the Kelton vell; 1562 Dumfries B. Ct. 175.
Spineta, rubeta (busses), spina proprie (the thorne); Buch. Comm. on Virgil Eclogues ii 9.
He apperit to hir, as sche was gangand betuix hir awin hous and the thorne of Damwstarnok; 1576 Crim. Trials I ii 52.
Sche saw the Laird of Auchinskeyth at a thorne beyond Monkcastell; 1576 Crim. Trials I ii 58.
Scho sayis [vpone] ȝone allreche [hill] [Thair]on standis ane thorn; Sir Colling 57.
For ane thorne with xxxiij ȝoung treis to the buriall ȝaird & saitting the samyn; 1582 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 148.
And, nyne tymes, wirdersones, about the thorne raid; Montg. Flyt. 418 (T).
Charget be Jon Broun, messinger, at the thorne of the Doun of Menteith; 1626 Justiciary Cases I 56.
The persones appoynted to viset the high way betuixt the thorne at Leith linx and the Abay hill; 1673 Edinb. B. Rec. X 143.
Lady Gradon Ker; owld thorn; 1658–1700 Greyfriars Interments 508.
coll. Take the way of buskis, thorne & brere; Fyve Bestes 52.
He … wnder ane hedge of thorne With litill sleip tuke rest; Stewart 49183.
Item for the hegyn of the thorne in the Magdalene ȝard; 1552–3 Edinb. Hammermen 192.
pl. Cavis seire, With thornes all our-growin; Troy-bk. ii 2435.
Syne our a mure wyth thornis thik and scharp, Weping allone, a wilsum way he went; Henr. Orph. 289.
Giffin for thornis to the heggis of the new garding; 1501 Treas. Acc. II 81.
To set thornis with uthir necessar plantatioun for the weschers and drying of the clathis; 1550 Stirling Ant. III 247.
Polwart, ȝe peip like a mouse amongest thornes; Montg. Flyt. 1 (H).
vij hundir … thornis to be the allay hedge in the college; 1615–16 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 566.
The churche of Scotland is become lyker to a feild of thorns and briars then the wyneyaird of the Holy One of Israel; 1651 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 645.
fig. Mary that vas rose of thorne; Leg. S. xiii Prol. 94.
Sa is the suerd of knychthede ordanyt to kutt away and destroye the wickkit unworthy wedis and ronnis of thornis of evill men; Hay II 28/34.
Welthe warldlie gloir and riche array Ar all bot thoirnis in thi way; Dunb. in Maitl. F. 382/14.

b. The branches of thorn trees or thorn bushes cut for use as fuel, defensive fencing, etc. Also with reference to the crown of thorns. coll. He that Jhesus … for dyspyt crownyt with thorne; Leg. S. vii 146.
The crovne of thorne, the croce, eike Longius lance; Contempl. Sinn. 1139 (Asl.).
pl. [He] gert … kendyll fyre rycht fast about Off thornys … gret; Wynt. iii 949.
Beirand ane bunche of thornis on his bak; Henr. Test. Cress. 262.
For thornis and stakis to the oppin partis of the toun in the tyme of the pest, 10 s.; 1544–5 Ayr B. Acc. 97.
That all persons haifand waist lands adjacent to the ports of this burgh big up the foir wallis thereof sufficientlie and braid the same with thornis that nane clyme over; 1602 R. Brown Paisley I 188.

c. proverb. It is dear bought honey that is lickt off a thorne; Ferg. Prov. No. 501.
That is trew thorn, wil ye by a tuig; Carmichael Prov. No. 1567.

d. attrib. and comb. For thorne-rone, see Ron(e n.1 Prata et croftas infra exterius precinctum vulgo thornedykis et hedgis ejusdem; 1602 Reg. Great S. 467/2.
The out rywing of the said thorne bus; 1580 Inverness Rec. I 278.
I … builded the barne at the thorne-tree; c1700 Haigs of Bemersyde 308.

2. A spine, a prickle. Also in fig. context. The herichon … is a litill best armyt of al partis with spines thornys or pickandis; Loutfut MS 19a.
None tends poor Philomel … Yea if she sleip the poynted thorne out-through her breist-bone thrils; Craig i 31.
His wyffe … wrote a letter … which jumbled David so that the thorne is in his owne foote; 1685 Edinb. City Archives Letters II (40).

3. A twig of hawthorn or the like, used as a plug or bung. Also in the later dial. (cf. SND, s.v. Thorn n.1 2). Tuo maskruthers with ane thorne; 1643 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 536.
1 taptrie and thorne; 1668 Rothesay B. Rec. 150.

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"Thorn(e n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Sep 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/thorne>



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