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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

E, n. Also he; pl. ene, ein(e, eis. [Northern ME. e, reduced form of Eye n., frequently written with a capital E. Cf. Eae, Ee, Ei(e, and Ie.]

1. The eye as a bodily organ.(a) 1375 Barb. v. 506.
I herd … men oft say … that his ane e ves out
Ib. 624.
He … hit the fader in the e
a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 75.
Vith that hand he twechit his he
Ib. xlv. 295.
Scho strak Julyane in the e
14.. Acts I. 375/2.
Ane e for ane e, a fut for a fut
c1450-2 Howlat 67.
Sum bird will bay at my beike … sum skrym at myn E
c1500 Fyve Bestes 403.
All was gone in twynkling of ane E
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 170/3.
On the north syd … ar men with … ane E and without nese
1513 Doug. iii. ix. 80.
All his solace for tynsell of hys E
Ib. iv. vi. 102.
He movit nocht an E
1533 Boece ix. xii. 317 b.
Eldefrede of the tane E was lamyt
(b) a1400 Leg. S. i. 53.
In his bosum ay he bare A sudare, to wepe his ene
?1438 Alex. ii. 106.
His ene war birnand in his hede
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1337.
I … cled my heid, and closit baith my ene
1483 Acta Conc. II. p. cxiii.
The spoliatioun of certane oxin and puttin furth of thair ene
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 588.
He schure the flesche away That bred vpone his ene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 125.
He that hid Sanct Iohnis ene with ane wimple
1533 Boece ii. v. 67.
Gif we be vincust … our ene sall be holkit out
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 127.
Thay hyde thare face all bot the ene
1567 Sat. P. vi. 111.
Thairfoir ye fand thame prickis vnto your ene
1578 Reg. Privy C. III. 40.
Thay … threw the same [cord] about … quhill his ene lap out upoun his cheikis
1585 James VI Ess. 39.
Alas, I se not one vnvaill his ene From Venus vaill … prophane
1622-6 Bisset II. 172/6.
Eftir that he wes strukin in the heid baith his ene wes put out
(b) 1531 Bell. Boece II. 96.
King Ethelfred loist ane of his eine
1562 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 354.
The laubouris bestowit be him … in heling and mending of hir ein
1567 Sat. P. iii. 58.
With browis brent and twinkland cristell eine
1575 St. A. Kirk S. 415.
They war all fleyit and ane myst cam ower the deponent ein
c1590 J. Stewart 31/30.
Vith ardent raidge and furius fyrie eine
(c) ? 1579 Black Bk. Taymouth 147.
Mustyr seid … makith ones eis to vattyr
c1590 J. Stewart 38/298.
The heauenlie eis that chiftans did coak
1591-2 Rob Stene 10.
Thy wavill feit, thy reland eis
1622-6 Bisset II. 173/24.
This Donald … wes takin captiue … , his eis put out

2. The eye as the organ of vision.To blere one's e: see Blere v.1 1.(a) 1375 Barb. vii. 191.
Sic a slepe fell on his man, That he mycht not hald up his e
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 873.
Er ma nocht her, na e se … The gret ioy [etc.]
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 190.
At E nocht seis, hart nocht ȝarnis
a1500 Rauf C. 718.
The coilȝear kest his E To the cumly quene
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1320.
Sum confort thai thocht, With e to se that corps deificall
1513 Doug. xi. xiv. 98.
Aruns … held on hir hys E, Lurkand at wayt
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxix. 23.
Quha can Iuge be vew of E … quhair treuth suld be
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 679.
The prefet that had sene Of this the suthfastnes with ene
c1460 Consail Wys Men 202.
Gar thine awne ene be thi spye
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1632.
Hir ene ar waik, the sone scho may not se
1490 Irland Mir. I. 57/23.
It may nocht be sene with bodely ene
1513 Doug. xi. xiv. 50.
Latynis all thar ene about did wry
1537 Crim. Trials I. 203.
Thai seand with thare propir ene the said Rogeris tholme [= thumb] … cutit away
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7179.
The thing he saw with his awin ene
a1586 Lindsay MS. 12 b.
Quhen thair innemeys hes … the sone in thair ene
(b) c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 423.
Sik as wes neuer sene Before with ony mortall mannis eine
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlii. 117.
Our trew rewaird nather the ein can sie Nor eiris heir
1614 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 424.
Ane wyfe that wold not beleve her eine
(c) 1533 Boece xi. xiiii. 433.
The armye of Constantine had the glans of the son in thare Es
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 319.
With my eis my self did se thir things
(1584) Melvill 187.
Wha … hes nocht wacryff eis to sie the plag coming
1614 Crim. Trials III. 292.
He that wald rewle heir hes both neid of … manie earis and eis

b. Before (or afore) his (our, etc.) e or ene, in one's sight. a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 190.
Fra he had sene That takine mad befor his ene
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxiii. 72; Ib. 78.
So grit abusioun for to se Daylie in court befoir myn E
1531 Bell. Boece I. 45.
Seing all thair husbandis slane afore thair ene
1562-3 Winȝet I. 4/23.
The … imminent dainger of deth afore our eis
1571 Fam. Rose 257.
Seing the present perill befoir our eis … gif we had refusit
1587-99 Hume iv. 119.
Our wit na higher can atteine, Nor be thy word is set before our eine

c. In the phr. havand (also have) God before e or ene.Also with thi, thair (etc.) ene.(1) 1456 Wemyss Chart. 76.
Hafand God befor e, ilke man in his awyn consciens
1492 Fam. Rose 156.
We haffand God befor e
1516 Rec. Earld. Orkney 91.
We the said dwymis men haiffand God befor e, has gyffyn for dwyme [etc.]
1530 Lennox Mun. 235.
Gilbert Legreit … haifand God befoir e, examit be … the forsaid noter [etc.]
1587 Conv. Burghs I. 73.
They … haifand God and gude conscience befoir eis … hes altogether reformit the saidis rollis
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiv. 8.
Sic hant of harlettis with thame … That sowld haif ay thair God afoir thair ene
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 192.
The foresaidis personis … havand god & gud consciens befor thar ene … pronuncit & deliuerit [etc.]
1567 Sat. P. vi. 142.
Hauing Godis gloir alwayis befoir your eine
1575 Prot. Bk. D. Donaldson 18 b.
The said Cristane … haiffand bayth God & gud conscience be foir hyr en
1596 Misc. Spald. C. II. 132.
Quhilk assyse … , haiffing God and guid conscience before thair eis. … pronuncis the said Alexander giltye
1644 11th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. vi. 56.
That he may haue Gods glorie before his eis

d. In figurative applications. a1400 Leg. S. xxviii. 122.
Ay the mare he has hyre sene With outwart & with inwart ene
?1438 Alex. ii. 6896.
With his hart ene oft sall he se Hir fare effere
a1500 Henr. Orph. 453.
Downwart we cast our myndis E
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1190.
With E of ressoun … quha thair caris knew
a1500 Seven S. 1214.
Than callit the king … His stewart that was his ane E, And said [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset I. 89/34.
James King of Scottis … quha … is knawin to be glorius in the eis of the apostolict seat

e. The eye as giving a certain kind of look. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 227.
I cast on him a crabbit E
Id. vii. 77.
On thé fresche Wenus keist hir amorouse E
a1540 Freiris Berw. 426.
Asyd to him sche caist ane fremmit E

3. To have e, to have regard or consideration, to pay heed, to something. 1375 Barb. xii. 306.
I pray ȝhow … That nane of ȝow for gredynes Haf e till tak of thair riches
a1400 Leg. S. vi. 68.
He … to the hewine had ay is he
Ib. xxxiv. 47.
For scho had e to nocht ellis Bot [etc.]
c1475 Wall. vii. 564.
Bot to the rycht allmychty God haiff E
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 204.
Job & Dauid … Quhilkis to the pure had ay a petuos E
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lx. 69 (M).
To thy auld serwandis haff E
1520 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 387.
That … he have e to the auld … frendschip hes bene betuix France and Scotland
1550 Reg. Privy C. I. 109.
Thair is na regard nor e had towart our Souerane Lady
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiv. 52.
Our souerane lord, to this mater heff e, For it pertinis to thi maiestie

4. a. A small depression. b. An eye to receive a hook or pin. c. The outlet of a lake. 1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xxxvii.
In this crag wes sum time ane stane, full of ene and holis, like ane watter spounge
1538–9 M. Works Acc. V. 28.
xxxij glaspis with the ene and nalis … to the furnessing of twa beddis
1548 Treas. Acc. IX. 196.
For making of xviij clekis, xviij eine, … to my lord governoures lytecampe bed
1633 M. Works Acc. XXV. 42.
Sax pairsed eine for the wardrope at iiij s. the peice
1551 Reg. Great S. (1575) 659/1.
Sustentantibus aggerem circa dictum lacum prope exitum aque, vulgo uphaldan the e of the said loch

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"E n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2022 <>



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