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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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Thunder, Thuner, n. Also: thundir(e, -yr, -ar, thundre, thwndir, -yr, tho(u)nder, -ir, thondere, thoundar, thunnyr, -our, thonnere, thon(n)ir, thonyre. [ME and e.m.E. þunre (c1175), ðhunder (c1250), þundre (c1265), þondre (c1290), thoner (Cursor M.), thonner (c1325), thonder (Chaucer), thunder (c1400), OE þunor.] Thunder. Chiefly, regarded as a destructive force, having the attributes properly belonging to lightning. Also, an instance of this, a thunderbolt. Also fig.For further examples see Fireflaucht n., Fireslacht n.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii 221.
And thonnere [cam] in that sitht-war, That strak till ȝerd all that war thar
a1400 Leg. S. xi 455.
The thonir throw sa wondyrly, That it the tempil done in hy Gert fal
a1400 Leg. S. xiii 180.
& thonyre flaw done & fyr-slacht, That stand one fut na man macht
a1400 Leg. S. xli 311.
1525 St. P. Henry VIII IV 418.
The thunnour [St. A. Formulare I 270, thunnyr] and fireflauchtis that ȝet doun as rane apon the cieties of Zodoma and Gomora
(b) c1500 Interl. Droich 46.
Thundir [Crying of Play thunner] and fyreflawcht flaw fra hir hippis
1513 Doug. iii viii 142.
Enchelades body with thundir [L. fulmine] lyis half bront
1513 Doug. vi ix 129.
The hie fader … Suddanly with a fel bles of thundyr Threw hym to grond, and smayt him al in sondyr
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John xii 29.
A voce com fra heuen and said, And I haue clarifiit … Tharfore the pepile that stude and herd, said that thundire [W. thundir, P. thundur] was made
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 528.
Of that meiting ilk man thocht wounder, Quhilk soundit lyke ane crak of thunder
a1568 Scott ii 161.
Sone doun the bra Sym braid lyk thunder
a1578 Pitsc. I 318/30.
They hard the artaillȝe schot on baitht the sydis lykeas it had bene thundar
(c) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1710.
And of thondere sic noyes agayne
(d) 1528 Lynd. Dreme 445.
Mars … His bost & brag, more aufull than the thounder, Maid all the heuin most lyk to schaik in schonder
1549 Compl. 59/33, 35; 60/2.
Bot or ve heir the thondir, ve see fyrst the fyir, quhou be it that thai proceid at ane instant tyme. The cause that ve see the fyire or ve heir the thoundir, is be rason that the sycht and cleirnes of ony thing is mair suyft touart vs nor is the sound. The euyl that the thondir dois on the eird, it is dune or ve heir the crak of it
1549 Compl. 60/21.
Thre thyngis that ar neuyr in dangeir of thoundir nor fyir slaucht, that is to saye the laurye tree [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. II 39/16.
(2) c1515 Asl. MS I 325/24.
Of the thonderis & fyreflaucht of Salmon king of eldis slane be Jupitere
fig. c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 332/21.
Na man can preveynne the spret in doynge gude; bot the spret mon first cum, ande walk him out of his sleipe, and with the thwndyr of the law feare him

b. A peal of thunder, a thunderclap. a1400 Leg. S. xxviii 671.
A gret hug thonir [com] but bad
1460 Hay Alex. 1292.
The ost maid a reird Lyk till ane thounder or erding quhan it steird
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 13.
The heat … occasioned also several tymes great thunders and such lightenings that [etc.]

c. attrib. and possess.attrib. c1400 Troy-bk. i 467.
Scho couth ease thundre-blastis hye
?a1450 Florimond 322.
Thair fell on thame ane greit tempest Off wind and rane and thuner blast
c1500 Rowll Cursing 240 (B).
Thunder blastis & fyre sall blaw That na devill may ane vthir knaw
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2376.
To Sanct Barbara thay cry full faste, To saif thame frome the thonder blaste
1587 Carmichael Etym. 6.
Fulmen, a thunderbolt
1632 Lithgow Trav. ii 69.
Men should dread the thunder-bolt, when they see the lightning
a1650 Row 330.
Just as the scepter was a laying to the cursed Act, the lowdest thunder-clap that ever Scotland heard wes just over the Parliament-house
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 183/79 (M).
With tempest keyne and thwndir crak
1535 Stewart 6676.
Thai freikis tuke the feild With sic ane force … Thair countering wes lyke ane thunder crak
15.. Clar. i 50.
The palice reirdit lyke ane thunder crake
1513 Doug. v xii 54.
Hillys and valys trymlyt of thundir rummyll
possess. 1513 Doug. ii x 154.
The fader of goddis and kyng of men With thunderis [Ruddim. thunder blast] blast me smate
1513 Doug. iii viii 131.
Grisly Ethna … thrawing owt … The blak laithly smoke that oft dyd rys As thunderis blast

d. In parasynthetic compounds.Thunder-blasted, ? struck by lightning; ? turned sour by the atmospheric effect of a thunderstorm. Thounder-shut (= shot), thunder-slaine, struck dead by lightning. 1614 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 116.
He had allevin puncheouns … gude and sufficient wyne … [which] become spilt and thunderblastet
1649 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. l.
Yet they would so squisse him with ther skrewes … that heirafter he wold looke rather lyke one thunder-slaine then a liuing creture
1687 Douglas Corr. 279.
My young coach-horse, … fell sicke … he drop just doune dead … as he had been thounder shut

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"Thunder n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Feb 2023 <>



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