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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Tho(u)cht, Tho(u)ght, n. Also: thowcht, thowght, thoutht, thogt, tocht, thouch, though, thou(g)th, tho(c)t, thoitt, thoft. [ME and e.m.E. þohht (Orm), þoht, ðouht (both c1200), ðoht, þoucht (both c1250), þoȝt, thoght (both Cursor M.), thouȝt (Chaucer), thought (1413), þouth, þowȝt (both c1425), OE þoht, ON þótti, þóttr.]

1. The faculty with which a person thinks, the mental or reasoning faculty, the mind; an individual's way of thinking or mind-set. Passing into sense 1 b below.(a) a1400 Leg. S. ii 558.
Saule … had bene lang blynd in thocht
a1400 Leg. S. xliv 172.
Fyleris of the body & of the thocht
?1438 Alex. ii 4365.
Gif my father be fell of thocht [F. se mes peres est fiers], It cummis him of kynd, he coft it nocht
(b) 1375 Barb. xi 142 (C).
Quhen the kyng his host has seyne So gret, so gud men … He wes richt ioyfull in his thoucht
(c) c1400 Troy-bk. i 10.
Quhethire this be suth or noutht, It is doutouse to mannes thought
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 7 (C).
Inne-to hys thought haffand … Of tratorye the wycked wyles
(d) a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 131/20.
Lat vs beleif in God … Ȝea, althouch the thynge that He say nocht appere and be inconuenient to our senses, boith thouch and onder-[standing]
c1475 Wall. i 251.
Thai left him swa and furth thar gait can gang With hewy cheyr and sorowfull in thocht
1490 Irland Mir. II 87/2.
Gif He mycht think a mar thing than He is He war mar in His thocht and wnderstandin … na in His essens, natur & deite
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 389.
Alse lang as he wes one loft I lukit one him nevir Na leit never enter in my thoght that he my thing persit
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1753.
Thus maye ȝe juge in to ȝour thocht, Gyfe Babilone be heych, or nocht
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2827.
Now I haue tane in thocht Ane gude consait
1587 Carmichael Etym. 10.
Mens, the minde, thocht or understanding
c1600 Montg. Suppl. viii 2.
As eis ar message to the hairt, The hairt consultis with the thocht

b. What one thinks; that which is in the mind. a1400 Leg. S. i 424.
Cum furth, and say Thi thoucht and ded but delay
?1438 Alex. i 558.
My thocht is on ane vther thing
1490 Irland Mir. I 30/16.
Bot in hevin above, God seis and knawis all oure mynd, thocht and prayere
1513 Doug. i Prol. 48.
Disteyn thé? Nay forsuyth … Weill may I schaw my burall bustuus thocht Bot thy wark sall endur in lawd
1533 Gau 23/16.
Thou sal … be cleyne in thocht and honest in wark
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2642.
He cleirlye seis our thocht, wyll, and intent
1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 166.
His [sc. the Vicar's] thocht is mair vpone the pasche fynis Nor the saullis in purgatorie
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 164/31.
Ȝe think all wrang, becaus ȝour thocht is aganis the scripture
1567 G. Ball. 8.
Thou sall not slay … In consell, thocht, nor outward deid
a1568 Bann. MS 59a/15.
Sen wordis ar thrall, and thocht is only fre
a1585 James VI in Maitl. Q. 214/1.
Sen thocht is frie, think quhat thow will

c. Reflection, meditation, contemplation, or an instance of this.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii 418.
For hardines is nocht … Bot of sad thocht anerly, That I dred nocht of ded the payne
?1438 Alex. ii 1947.
The Bauderane … in ane study held him still … ‘Schir,’ said Cassamus, ‘leif ȝour thocht. To be our thochtfull it helpis nocht'
1490 Irland Mir. II 92/4.
The secund operacioun of our wit and wnderstanding is affirmacioun & negacioun and this is mar noble na the first that is sempil thoucht and cogitacioun callit simplicium intelligencia
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 123/5.
Exces of thocht dois me mischeif
a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 69.
Thare, no conseitt of carefull thouth, Bott heir its nothing so
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 43/27.
A persone in his prayere suld haue gret attencioun and thocht
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. ii 13.
Perceauing me in thot perplex'd
(2) 1456 Hay II 8/24.
Quhen the squyer saw him fall in syk a thocht … he sperit at him, quhat movit him to muse sa mekle [etc.]
1456 Hay II 8/27.
Sayand that his thocht was on the hye and worthy ordre of knychthede

d. To have (something) in(to) thocht, to haf or set (one's) thocht of (on) (something), to think about, consider, contemplate; to have (something) on one's mind; to have it in mind to do (something). a1400 Leg. S. v 211.
Sa gret besynes He has for to get riches And besy thocht of the kepynge And gret dut of the tynynge
a1400 Leg. S. v 490.
Manis brokilnes ma nocht Of contemplacion haf thocht
a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 226.
Drede thé nocht, Bot tel me that thu has in thocht
a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii 121.
Sancte Vincent, that halely set his thocht On hewinnis blise & ellis nocht
a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii 533.
Of hir husband scho had sic thocht, That for-ȝet hyme scho nocht mocht
?1438 Alex. i 1394.
Is nane of thame, I trow, had thocht Of gamin or play
c1420 Wynt. iv 881.
Off kyndnes tharefor set yhoure thoucht
c1420 Wynt. vi 833.
Fra thine hys modyr had ay in thowcht To ger this kyng to dede be browcht
c1420 Wynt. viii 3983.
Havand God in to thare thowcht All thare fays thai cowntyd noucht
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1818.
Thir small birdis, haueand bot lytill thocht Off perrell
a1500 Rauf C. 255.
Haue gude thocht on my name
a1500 Rauf C. 319.
Than the Coilȝear had greit thocht on the cunnand he had maid
c1475 Wall. xi 957.
Off tresoun Wallace had litill thocht; His laubourous mynd on othir materis wrocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 184/1.
Full oft I mus and hes in thocht How this fals warld is ay on flocht
a1570-86 Merser in Maitl. F. 411/3.
Eird apone eird hes set all his thocht How that eird vpone eird till hicht may be brocht

e. In collocations with dede and/or word. a1400 Leg. S. x 510.
Ethiope That to this day cesis nocht Til honoure God in ded & thocht
a1400 Leg. S. xxii 352.
I nyt thé nocht, Bot granttyt thé in word & thocht
a1400 Leg. S. xxx 270.
God … kennis dede & thocht
?1438 Alex. ii 2758.
Ane riche man … Suld nocht be moued in dede na thocht
c1420 Wynt. vi 681.
Thoucht and deid he mad bath ewyn
a1500 Henr. Orph. 478 (Bann.) (see f below).
a1500 Seven S. 992.
He schupe neuer ȝour wyf to deire In thocht na deid
1531 Reg. Soltre 104.
The said Jhone salbe ane trewe seruand to the said prowest in wourd thocht and deid
1551 Hamilton Cat. 151.
He tholit this … passioun … nocht for His awin syn, quhilk He nevir committit in thocht, word or deid, bot [etc.]

f. personified. a1500 Henr. Orph. 478 (Asl.).
Alecto, Megera & Thesiphonee Ar nocht ellis … Bot wikit thocht, ewill word, & frawerd deid
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 27/55, 58.
Thocht sayis, I hecht [etc.] … And ay the vawart kepit Thocht

2. An act of thinking, an individual thought; an idea, notion. a1400 Leg. S. xviii 905.
Syndry thoctis … That has dystrublit me vmquhile
?1438 Alex. ii 2387.
Wele mare alway ioy it is … Than all the thochtis that thocht may be
1460 Hay Alex. 4839.
Quhat ioy was made … Quhan Alexander … cummyn was … Thare was no tocht of na thing bot of blythnes
1456 Hay II 102/35.
God, that kennis the secrete thouchtis of mannis hert
a1500 Henr. Fab. 25 (Makc.).
The mynd that ay is diligent In ernystful thowchttis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1125.
Hir hufe I likkin to the thocht of deid
1492 Myll Spect. 272/1.
Quhilkis thochtis and fantesyes trubblit my spreit
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 411.
With him deit all my dule and my drery thoghtis
c1508 Ch. & M. Prints iib 46.
A haly doctour with a lecherouse thought … accordis noght
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 316/21.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 326/6.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 320/3.
1549 Compl. 7/6.
The cabinet of my interior thochtis
1565 Facs. Nat. MSS III lvi.
To lett your lordship vnderstand how grevous a thocht it is to me thus to have bene so fremmedlie handylled
a1568 Bann. MS 244a/6.
Gif cairfull thoftis restoir My havy hairt
1584 Anal. Scot. I 277.
c1590 Fowler I 47/6.
1596 Dalr. II 69/7.
That men put nocht … thair harte in vnrychtuousnes, thair thochts in falsheid [etc.]
1667 Laing MSS 363.
His majestie may fall upon thowghts of reduceing some of the forces for spareing the kingdomes expence
1681 Stair Inst. iv xliii § 1.
But words of the mind, or thoughts, cannot be proven by witnesses, unless they be expressed by words, or other sufficient signs
1702 Rothesay Par. Rec. 154.
[She] added that she never entertained any jealous thoughts of her oun husband with William Blairs wife

b. To apply or give (one's) thochts to, to apply one's mind to, give careful thought to (something). c1590 Fowler II 134/17.
He applyed his thoughts to the interteinment off his armie with all … licensiousnes
c1590 Fowler II 149/18.
He … suld … give his wits & thogtis hollilie to the wtilitie & advantage of his maister

3. Consideration, care, regard. Only in the phrase to tak (na, sic, etc.) thocht. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 7382.
I thank ȝour grace that sic thocht takis on me
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 171/29.
Pestilent precheouris … quha … seikis onelie the liberte of thair flesche, takand na thocht to subuert the haill ordour
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 519.
Na persoun … takkis thocht quhat unhappy deid he sall tak upon hand
1570 Innes Sketches 513.
Tak na thocht of geir, for we will get geir enewche
a1585 Maitl. Q. 147/161.
Quhen Tobias for his sone tuik thocht
c1650 Spalding II 335.
But when the Marques of Huntlie hard this, he took littill thocht of him

4. Intention, purpose, design; opinion. 1375 Barb. i 582.
Than thocht he to have the leding Off all Scotland … Bot oft failȝeis the fulis thocht
1375 Barb. xiv 343 (C).
For till betrais thame wes his thoucht
a1400 Leg. S. xxi 150.
He hym gaf To get sciens oure the lawe, & thare-in sat sa hale his thocht That [etc.]
a1500 Lanc. 470.
Bot one no wys thei wald declar ther thoght
a1500 Seven S. 627.
The child … for to ken set all his thocht The prattikis as his master wrocht
1513 Doug. i v 21.
Quhat wikkit counsale, fader, has turnyt thi thocht?
1513 Doug. ii iii 68.
This is thar thocht, To graith thar armour and wapynnys [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 470.
Thay him schew thair mynde and thocht Quhat best was to be done
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV i 117.
I sall nevir ask God mercy for any thocht that ever enterit in my mynd towards the liffe of ony mortall man
1652 Dalkeith Presb. in Butler Leighton 237.
[Committee appointed] to present their thots anent these things to the synod
1663 Inverness Rec. II 217.
Therefor the counsell haue resolued to haue ther thocht on a settled way foir regulating of the watch heirefter
1678 Cramond Kirk S. II Sept.
The minister should aske the mynde of the session, what was thair thoughts concerning Muirehouse his putting in of his seatt
1700 Minnigaff Par. Rec. 19.
The committee [are] to meet tomorrow and … to have the thoughts of the old Session book in Maxwells time if ther be any hopes of geting it

5. Remembrance, recollection, memory. a1400 Leg. S. xviii 944.
Thane wald I ryne … & prynte that ymage in my thocht
?1438 Alex. ii 6894.
[He] tuke with him as in homage Thocht and imaginatioun Of Fesonas fare fassoun
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2709.
Bot he held it stilly in thocht
a1500 Bk. Chess 2009.
The turser is a fule amang the laif … That for the sicht of flowris in the meid Tynis the thocht of his charge & ded

6. Anxiety, sorrow, distress of mind. a1500 Prestis of Peblis 565.
Hauand in mynd greit murmure and mouing And in his hart greit hauines and thocht
1551 Hamilton Cat. 133.
Cast all thi thocht and care on our Lord, and He sal nurisch thé
1560 Rolland Seven S. 181.
The greit cair, The thocht and mynde scho tuke … Anent hir sone
1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxx 117.
Methwen … beleuand sorrow by, Quhilk hes mair barrat to his breist inbrocht, Nor all the laif, gif he culd leif his thocht

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"Thocht n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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