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

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Unbest, -beist, -beast, n. Also: um-, wnbeist. [ME vnbeste (Cursor M.); Beste n. Also, as onbeast, in the later dial.] A wild animal, savage beast; (an instance of) vermin. Pytuisly the prince can pray That thai hyr kest nocht in the se Met til vnbestis [L. belluis] to be; Leg. S. xvi 502.
Vicis incressing with age … he grewe in fellony like ane cruell vnmercifull vnbeist; Boece 65b.
In Orknay was nowder wolf, fox, taid, serpent nor vthir noysum vnbeist; Boece 109b.
What are barnes of corne … a nest for myce and rattons. Would yee desire to liue for to enjoye the leauings of vnbeasts? Boyd Last B. (1629) 17.
Sindrie tymes in steid of milk ky will geve bluid aither be unskilfulnes of the milker pairtlie gif the udder be bittin uith ane unbeist; 1629 Justiciary Cases I 134.

b. In pejorative or jocular use, of human beings. A land … Quhare beistlike men livit vnhonestlie … full farrand and ill schappin of make … Thay war nakit and sum-thing routh of hare In cavis but howis vmbeistis [pr. vnbeistis] as thai war; Hay Alex. 10717.
Bot this bargane, vnbeist [H. wnbeist] deir sall thow by it; Montg. Flyt. 258 (T).

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"Unbest n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Oct 2020 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/unbest>



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