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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Dow, v.1 Also: dowe, dou(e. P.t. docht, doucht, dought, ducht. [ME. dow(e, early duȝen, OE. duᵹon, pl. of déaᵹ (inf. duᵹan), p.t. dohte, ME. douhte, dought(e, doght, dught. The 3rd sing. is occas. dowis.]

1. intr. To be of use, value, or worth. Freq. with complement ocht, nocht, nathing, etc.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 200.
Thu dow nocht for my behofe
?1438 Alex. ii. 4253.
For I sall wit, gif I dow ocht, And quhat thing is in my thocht
1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 141.
And thou do, syk luf dowe nocht a stra
Ib. viii. Prol. .
Of … dremys quhat dow it to endite?
1539 Inv. Wardrobe 50.
Ten pece of ald clathis quhilkis dow na thing
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxix. 27.
Thus am I thirlit on to ane schrew Quhilk dow nothing of chalmer glew
1581 Burne Disput. 85 b.
For suppoise the antecedent var treu, the conclusione dou na thing
1603 Philotus cv.
For that deuyse deuill haid it dowis
1641 Baillie I. 306.
What yow dow there, I know not
(b) c1420 Wynt. v. 856.
The Romanys alway thoucht That the Jowys na thing doucht To be haldyn in serwyce
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. iii. 841.
He docht richt nocht, quhilk out of thocht thé tynis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 370.
Eftir dede of that drupe, that docht nought in chalmir
1513 Doug. xi. vi. 7.
Thai had doyn thar na thyng at docht
1535 Stewart 13963.
Rycht mony dastart that full lytill docht
Ib. 18768.
All war deid into sic weir that docht
c1550 Rolland C. Venus Prol. 252.
To … ryde with thame quhair thair erand no docht
1573 Sat. P. xxxix. 85.
Ane poysonit woll to drink quhat docht it?
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xxvi. 7.
Sum … ar planelie reft With dewillis lymmis that neuer docht

2. To be able or fit to do something: a. With simple infinitive; = ‘can’, ‘could’.(a) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2140.
I trow ȝone cadgear carlle dow not me beir
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 105.
Ane hed dow nocht on body stand allane
1525 Bk. Carlaverock II. 463.
Geif we dove nocht lett the samyn, we sall warne hym thairof
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 263.
I mervell your grace send me the erll of Cassyllis wrytyng, for I dow nocht get tham to hym
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2685.
Baner of baill, the Deuil he dow not dant ȝow
1572 Peebles B. Rec. 342.
The haill inhabitantis … that dow lift ane sting or wapping, to be in ane reddynes
a1605 Montg. Son. xxii. 14.
Scho shuits so sharpe, ȝe dou not byde a brattill
1639 Baillie I. 115.
The little opposition we dow make is making readie
a1658 Durham Scandal (1683) 170.
I cannot, I dow not run to the city
Id. Blessedness Death (1682) 81.
When folks dow not hear of death with patience
1662 Crim. Trials III. ii. 620.
I am become so feible … that hardlie dow I travell any quhair
 (b) a1400 Leg. S. xlvii. 173.
[He] had schame that he ne docht For ony paynis chang hir thocht
a1568 Scott vi. 20.
Scho suld my serwyce find als reddy As duke to duches docht him dres
1573 Sat. P. xxxix. 38.
At the sege of Leith, scho … dang the Frenchmen, quhilk we docht not do
1592 Edinb. Test. XXIV. 185.
Becaus of his greit seiknes [he] docht nocht subscryve the samyn him self
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 52.
Scho said … scho docht not steir leg nor airm sen Kaithrein Makteir ves at hir
(b) 1535 Stewart 10133.
He wes … strang and stuir, And rycht weill doucht great dalians enduir
15.. Clar. v. 2061.
So monie ane valiant … Knight Into ane feild, [and] dought so long contine
1600-1610 Melvill 370.
Mr Andro doucht nocht abyd it, bot brak af upon the King
a1651 Calderwood VI. 78.
But the Lord stayed the dagger that he dought not strike with it
(c) 1596 Dalr. II. 286/9.
Quhen the Inglismen … ducht not susteine the number of aucht hundreth
1628 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 365.
Becaus … he brak his leg … and ducht not attend his service
1645 Irvine Mun. II. 59.
Our inhabitantes who ducht not win away by sey … having withdrawne thameselves to some desolat places

b. With to and infinitive.(a) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xviii. 14.
Thocht he dow not to leid a tyk, Ȝit can he not lat deming be
1525 Bk. Carlaverock II. 463.
With all my kyn, frendis, and seruantis that I may and dowe to rais
1535 Stewart 30670.
Thair is no band that dow to hald thame fast
1555 Peebles B. Rec. 223.
Our said burgh depauperat … , that tha dow nocht to sustene the importabill taxationes
1573 Sat. P. xlii. 477.
Far greiter burdingis … nor thay dow for to beir
(b) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 1074.
Anis ȝet we wil assay, … And wit gyf he doucht to be geste
a1500 Rauf C. 790.
Gif that the king hard … That he had maid ane carll knicht … , And docht nocht to do
1535 Stewart 8563.
With ȝoung and ald that waponis docht to weild
Ib. 23032.
Tha rewit sair … Quhen tha doucht litill for to mak remeid
1554 Carte Northberwic 69.
Promittand to do hyr vtter deligens … to gar bryng hayme the saiddis deym Isobellis bullis theroff … and sche docht to do it

c. With infin. omitted in subordinate clauses.(a) 1535 Stewart 9761.
With bowis big and stringis of teuche tow Wald lest to draw as darflie as thai dow
1549 Bk. Carlaverock II. 475.
I sall stop it and let the samyn gif I dow
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1568.
He sall do daylie that euer he dow Ȝow to distroy
a1570-86 J. Maitland Maitl. F. lxxxviii. 33.
Do quhat ȝe dow, detractouris ay will deme ȝou
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1365.
Do quhat ȝe dow to haif him haile
Id. Misc. P. xxii. 9.
With thy bou do vhat thou dou
a 1627 Craig v. 10.
Let her doe what shee dow … I shall bee true yet
(b) 1535 Stewart 4825.
Tha dang thame doun as dourlie as tha docht
c1550 Rolland C. Venus iv. 431.
[He] fell doun vpon his kne … , with all deuoir he docht

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"Dow v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Jun 2024 <>



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