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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.

Burdin, Burden(e, n. Also: burdine, -yn(e, buirdin; bourdene, burdein, -eyn, -een; pl. burdence. [ME. burden (northern burdeyne), variant of birden, OE. byrden. See also Burding n.1]

1. A burden (lit. or fig.).(a) 1512 Prestwick B. Rec. 44.
Scho … haldys fra him a burdyn of lynt
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2866.
With ane buirdin of benefices on his back
1596 Dalr. I. 113/20.
Vpoun thame cheiflie dependes … the hail burdine of the weiris
1613 Highland P. IIII. 136.
To be free of all truble and burdyne
1633 M. Works Acc. XXVII. 15 b.
For … ane burdine of peates
1671 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 276.
Young childerin, who … may be burdine to this burghe
(b) 1563 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 243.
Placing this worde burdene for ȝok
1574 Conv. Burghs I. 25.
Sic as … beris bourdene with the nychtbouris
1607 Rep. Elphinstone Mun. 28.
Suche as wilbe yockefellowis in all thair burdeyns
1615 Highland P. III. 292.
I hartlie wishe his Ma[jes]tie may be fred of that neidles burdene
a 1660 Coll. Aberd. & B. 192.
They have losed ther stock by heavie burdeines of debt
1678 Conv. Burghs IV. 11.
The samen would be … [a] burdeen to the poorest … people
1698 Lanark B. Rec. 262.
Ilk burdein of plants, 4 d.

2. Burdin-taker, one who undertakes responsibility for another. (Cf. Burding n.1 2 b.) 1608 Grant Chart. 208.
I … ordane … Patrik Grant … , burdine taker for thame, … to content, pay [etc.]
1682 Decis. Lords F. 20.
The wife was only partie contracter for her self, and … none was burden-taker for her

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"Burdin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2023 <>



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