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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.

Er(e, Eir, n. Also: here, eer; eire, heir, eyr(e, ear, eair, aeir. [ME. ere, OE. éare.]

1. The ear as a part of the body.(a) 1375 Barb. vi. 627 (E).
Er [C. ere] and chek doune in the hals He schar
c1420 Wynt. i. 748.
Hys mowyth … is rywyn wyde Fra ere tyll ere on ilk syde
Ib. v. 2111.
Set he hawe mouth and erys twa
14.. Acts I. 338/2.
That the ere of the bestis and the hornis ar in like lang
a1447 Bower Chron. II. 376.
The vnlatit woman … Wyth prik ȝoukand eeris, as the awsk gleg
1513 Doug. iii. Prol. 17.
Wald God I had thar erys to pull Mysknawis the creid
1533 Boece ii. v. 67.
Oure eris, neis, and naturale membris sall be cuttit away
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3123.
Oxin hydis, … With mouth, and nois, teith, eris, and eine
(b) 14.. Acts I. 39/2.
Hydis … that has the eyris and the hornis of a lenth
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1904.
A barne wes borne That had … Foure eyne and foure eyrys
a1500 Rauf C. 150.
He … hit him vnder the eir with his richt hand
1531 Bell. Boece I. 42.
He … hes devisit … to cut our eiris, and put out oure eyne
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 863.
Sir, for ȝour clergie to be kend, Tak ȝe twa asses eirs
c1615 Chron. Kings 164.
The Erll … giffis Sir Robert ane blaw on the eir

2. The ear as the organ of hearing.(a) 1375 Barb. v. 449.
The tithandis … Com to the Cliffurdis ere in hy
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 873.
Er ma nocht her, na e se, … the gret ioy [etc.]
Ib. xii. 330.
Thinge sene and hard with here
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1948.
Fra reuth thai sall thare erys dyt
c1420 Ratis R. 142.
Throw wordis … That thow may with thin eris here
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 10.
Your … tongis aureate Bene to oure eris cause of grete delyte
1513 Doug. iii. ii. 53.
A voce com til our erys, sayand thus
1562-3 Winȝet II. 16/4.
To the wordis of the wyse apply thi ere
(b) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 138/15.
It that the angell schew to hir in hire eir and mynd
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 10.
Glaidly wald I … till ilk cunnand wight la to my myne eyr
1549 Compl. 75/11.
His eyris ar nocht stoppit, bot he maye heir ȝou
a1500 Henr. Fab. 4 (B).
Thair poleit termis … Are rycht plesand vnto the heir of man
a1578 Pitsc. I. 92/18.
Quhen thir nowellis come to the kingis eiris
16.. Hist. Kennedy 44.
The Laird of Benand tuik this to the Lairdis eirris
(c) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 4/23.
War not the vrgent schortnes of tyme … thunderis in our earis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 65/9.
How sune it came to his eairis, he caussit thame to be adiornit
c1590 J. Stewart 229 § 117.
At Prencis aeir I do frequent

b. Hearing, attention. c1460 Wisd. Sol. 681.
A man suld nocht len his eris tyll all at he heris
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 147.
Thai have thare er euer to the rycht
1567 G. Ball. 159.
Quhen Antichrist wald thé blind, That thow suld geue him na eir
a1568 Scott i. 38.
Still on the commoun weill haif e and eir
1581 Hamilton in Cath. Tr. 78/19.
To haif geuin thame eir, and mentenit thair … doctrine
c1650 Spalding I. 218.
Yit he reveillit the Kingis proiectis and secreitis, haueing too muche his eir, as wes thocht

3. A small projecting part; a handle. a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 747.
A gret pot with erys twa Of massy gold
Ib. 764.
[They] of the chalyce fand the ere Brokine thare

4. Attrib. with confessioun, pike, ring, woup (ring). 1488 Treas. Acc. I. 81.
Twa tuthpikis of gold with a chenȝe, a perle and erepike
1567 G. Ball. 201.
The quhisperit sinnis, callit eir confessioun
1603 Montgomery Mem. 248.
Four eir reings … gifin at Nevyeires day to my Lady Haringtouns vemen
1664 Edinb. Test. LXXI. 258.
Ane ear woup worth ij lib.
1675 Carnegie Lett. 358.
An portugall doucott, ane ear whoop

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"Er n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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