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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Bow, n.2 Also: bou, (boll,) bw, buow. [Northern ME. bu (Cursor M.), ON. bú, homestead, live stock (OE. dwelling).]

1. A stock or herd of cattle, esp. of cows. 1438 Exch. R. V. 59.
Pro feodo … custodis omnium vaccarum de le bowis regis
1513 Doug. vi. i. 70.
Sevin ȝong stottis, that ȝok bur nevir nane, Brocht from the bow
Ib. vii. viii. 139.
Fyve bowis of ky ontil his hame reparit
1535 Stewart 53907.
Distroyit war all bowis, flokis and fie
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2656.
He that steillis ane bow [:kow] … That theif is hangit be the purs
1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 152.
Then culd I nocht stand content of ane kow Without I gat the best stirk of the bow
1593–4 Reg. Privy C. V. 135.
To mak void and red that parte of the wode quhairin his bow of ky pasturis
1675 Sutherland Chart. 206.
The graseing of two bowes of kye in the dauach of Dyrie
1677 Thanes of Cawdor 334.
Yeld cowes which are … in my own bowes

2. In Orkney: A homestead or farm. 1502 Orkney Rentals i. 18.
Le bow eadem insule ix d. terre but scat quia boirland
1585 Rec. Earld. Orkney 306.
The hous callit the Hall of Quholme, quhilk is biggit upoun the Kingis baik outwith the auld bow and now laid and plankit to the same
1613 Orkney Rentals App. 93.
The land maill of 8 d. terre … laborit in a bw be the greif
Ib. 97.
The teyndis of Houstoun … led to the buow of Skeall
1614 Ib. ii. 118.
Newbigging … and Archdeanis Quoy, labowrt in ane bow, and never payit gersume

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"Bow n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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