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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Unmovabil(l, adj. Also: unmoveabill, -movabile, -mov(e)able, -movebel, -moveble, -mofabill, -mofabyl, -mofabile, -mowabyl, -mefabyll, -moabill, -mobil, -moble, wnmovable, -mowabille, -mowabyl, -mowable, -mowible, -onmovabil(e, -mow(e)able, -mowible, -mwvabill, -mawabill, -mawabyll, onemoveable, -mowiabill. [ME and e.m.E. vnmouable, vnmeuable (both Wyclif), vnmouabil (c1425), onmevable (1445), vnmoueable (c1449); Movabill adj.]

1. In legal contexts, of gud(is) unmovabill, i.e. lands or buildings: That cannot be moved, (as distinct from gudis movabill, or chattels). = Immov(e)abil(l adj. 1.See the note to Movabill 1 adj., q.v. for further examples.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xliv 90.
& quhen thar meble ilke day Ves nere delt clenely away Thane sawyt thai … Thare gudis w[n]mowable sone
1427 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 40.
1447 Newbattle Coll. (Somerville) (Reg. H).
I oblys me … landis rentis & possessionys … gudis mowabyl & wnmowabyl quhar evir thai may be fundyn … for to be dystrenȝet … & away had
c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 165.
The deuill tempys a man in … his warldly gudis he thinkis dyses to leif his gret riches mowable or wnmouable, his wyf and barnis [etc.]
c1450 Cr. Deyng (STS) 266 (see Movabill 1 adj. (5)).
1461 Douglas Chart. 90.
1471–2 Liber Melros 591.
Tennandis of the samyn woddis fischingis cornez catale and gudis movabill and vnmovabill spirituale and temporale
1482–3 Acta Conc. II cxi.
That the schiref of Perth execut the letters … for the distrenȝeing of Walter Stewart and mak penny of his movable guidis … and failyeing of his movable gudis that he mak penny of his unmovable gudis
1488 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 427.
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 70/10 (see Movabill 1 adj. (5)).
1490 Liber Melros 600 (see Movabill 1 adj. (5) (b)).
1539 Sc. Ant. XVI 195.
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Bastardvs.
An bastarde being legitimat, or not legitimat, may in his lige pousty, and induring his lifetime, annalie and dispone his landes, gudes and geare, moveable and vnmoveabill, to quhom he pleasis
1603 Inverness Rec. II 10.
Confiscatioun of all his guids and geir mouabile and vnmouabil and burninge of him vith ane iron on the cheicke
infl. 1426–7 Cal. Charters Suppl. 16 Jan. (see Movabill 1 adj. (5)).
1452 (1453) Reg. Great S. 131/2.
My gudis, moveblez and unmoveblez
(b) 1400 Maxwell Mem. I 140/1.
Al owr gud mofabyl and vnmofabyl
1482 Edinb. Chart. 155.
That we … sal keip … thair landis, rentis … merchandice and gudis mofabill and vnmofabill … harmles and scaithles
1500 Douglas Chart. 175.
(c) 1402 Alnwick Castle Deed.
Myn possessyownnis & al my godis mewfabyll & vnmefabyll qwhar ewyr yhai may be fwndyn al or swm to be tackyn powndit away
(d) 1398 Grant Chart. 15.
Al his gudis mobil and vnmobil for to be distrenyt
1456 Hay I 261/33.
Gif a man had tane possession of ony gude moble or unmoble, and bene in pesable possessioun xxx ȝeris [etc.]
(e) 1532 Wigtown B. Ct. 261b.
My guddis moabill & vnmoabill
(f) 1481 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 72.
My … guidis mowabill on onmawabyll
1486 Stirlings of Keir 256.
1486 Stirlings of Keir 256.
?c1500 Rathen Manual 27/1.
We cursis … all thai that … beris fals vittnes, quharthrow men tynys … gudis movabile or on movabile or kyrkis defravdis of the rycht
1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 396.
1538 Breadalbane Doc. No. 49.
All and hail the half of his gudis movable and on mouabil to be partit evinly eftir his deces
1549 Breadalbane Doc. No. 68.
Thair gudis and gayr mowible & on mowible
1556 Prot. Bk. Sir A. Gaw 39.
1592 Stirling Merch. Guild 2 (see Movabill 1 adj. (5) (b)).

b. absol. as noun. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Bastardvs.
Gif ane bastard legitimat and rehabled in his life-time … makis ane testament quhilk is … succeedis to him in all his moveables and vn moveables

2. That resists being moved or shifted; firmly fixed; motionless, stationary.(a) 1533 Boece 527b.
Quhen the prelatis attemptit bring [the bones of St. Margaret] to the quere … incontinent thay stude vnmovabill and … inclinit towart the graif of Malcolme
a1538 Abell 10*b.
Son stud vnmouebel in tyme of Josue and Charlis
1688 Sinclair Doctrine Sphere 3.
The circles of the sphere are either moveable or immoveable. The moveable circles, are these which are turned about with the sphere … The circles immoveable, are the meridian, and the horizon; so called, because while the sphere is carried about, they stand stedfast, and unmoveable
(b) 1588 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 127.
Ascendand … fra cairn to cairn as the same is dykit and stankit to ane uthir mekil stane onmowable lyand in the auld stank

3. Not subject to change; immutable. 1490 Irland Mir. III 112/16.
The law of God and of natur ar vnmouable & indispensable

4. Not prone to be deflected from one's purpose; unyielding. c1520-c1535 Nisbet 1 Cor. xv 58.
Tharfor, my dereworthi brether, be ye stedfast, and vnmouabile [W., P. vnmouable], beand plenteous in the werk of the Lord

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"Unmovabil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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