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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Verbal(e, -all, adj., n. and adv. [e.m.E. verbal (Caxton), verball (1530), OF verbal, L. verbālis.]

A. adj. 1. a. Oral, spoken aloud. b. In speech, as opposed to writing.a. 1490 Irland Mir. III 46/23.
His confession verbale his greting murnyng fasting and almus thir schawis … contricioun
1682 Lauder Observes App. iv 308.
Though it was deadly to take it [sc. the Test] with verbal interpretations, yet it might be safe enough with mental reservations
b. 1639 Spalding I 222.
Diuerss gratious expressionis related from his majesteis mouth by our commissioneris whiche we did heir glaidlie … yit we now wnderstand that all or the grytest pairt of these expressionis verball ar denyit
1650 Brechin Presb. 29.
He had no legall right but my verball word
1678 Edinb. B. Rec. X 349.
No verball complaint shall be hard
1680 Fountainhall Decis. I 101.
It being within 100 pounds Scots, it ought at least to have the force of a verbal and nuncupative legacy
1703 Dunkeld Presb. II 213.
Being asked, ‘If he had a wreaten order?’ he answered, ‘It was only verball’

2. Deriving from a verb. 1531 Vaus (1531) 3.
We maye nocht forme nownis verbalis endand in trix

B. noun. A noun deriving from a verb. c1616 Hume Orthog. 19.
Lykwayes, that we derive from Latin verbales in tio sould also be wrytten with t; as oration, visitation [etc.]

C. adv. = Verballie adv. 1669 Bk. Old Edinb. C. V 147.
This comand was given at the tolbuth geat verball be Androw Douglas meassr

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"Verbal adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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