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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.

Erth(e, Eirth, n. Also: eirthe, eirtht, earth, aerth, airth. [e.m.E. earth, ME. erth(e, OE. eorðe. Common after 1550 under English influence in place of the usual Sc. Erd(e n.]

1. The earth as a whole = Erd(e n. 1.(a) c1515 Asl. MS. I. 153/25.
The breid of the erth … is scant half samekle as the lenth
1513 Doug. iii. iii. 23.
Thi cite sal we geif empyre to ryng Our al the erth
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 699.
He cled the erth with herbis and treis
1567 Sat. P. iii. 227.
My veirsis … peirs sall erthe and air etheriall
1596 Dalr. I. 4/24.
In respecte of turnings and windings of the erth
(b) 1535 Stewart 15695.
Quhilk sall cum vpoune the latter day Doun to this eirth
c1568 Lauder Minor P. iii. 6.
How tha thame selfis heir upon earth dois gyde
1570 Sat. P. xii. 136.
The Lord of Hostes that heuin & eirth commandis
1573 Three Reformers 79.
He had maid hevin and eirth to heir

b. In (the or this) erthe, on earth. = Erd(e n. 1 b.(a) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 1131.
Till [= while] he in this erth duelland was
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 309/14.
The first gret mortale were in erth
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 64.
Gif sic ane consuetude war in this erth holden!
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 265.
In heuin and erth thy grace salbe commendit
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxix. 44.
Thocht thai … In to the erthe beir now the bell
(b) 1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 164.
Manis stait in aerth is variabill
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 262.
Onye [man] … In to this earth on lyfe that leuing is
1570 Sat. P. xvii. 3.
In eirth lang syne thair had been nothing than, Saif only vice
a1578 Pitsc. II. 67/13.
Thingis in heuin abone or in eirth beneth

c. The ferme erth, the mainland. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 308/20.
Than … lyis ylandis in the occeane seperat fra the ferme erth

2. The surface of the earth. = Erd(e n. 2. 1480 Rec. Earld. Orkney 332.
With all fredomis, profeits, and richtwis pertinans, under erth and abov
1513 Doug. i. vi. 83.
Vnder the erth quhar ald hurdis hyd lay
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 464.
Aither vther to eirth doun dang
1588 Prot. Bk. J. Robertson 45.
The said James sat doun on his kneis vpone the bair arth and crauit … forgew ance

3. The soil of the earth. = Erd(e n. 3. 1574 Edinb. Test. III. 108.
His bodie to be bureit in the airth
1580 Ib. VIII. 62.
I leif my saull to God and my body to the erthe
1585 Ib. XV. 12.
Hir bodey to be bureit in the erth

b. Soil, mould = Erd(e n. 3 b. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1012.
Cauld erth salbe thy fude
Ib. 1576.
The cragis of erth war maid denude
1578 Aberd. Chart. 343.
Viseand Androw Rais bark pottis [they] ordanit the samyn to be fillit with eirtht
c 1590 Knox II. 66 (G).
Be ressoun the wall was eirthe, the breiche was not maid sa greit
?1549 Monro W. Isles 59.
Ane laiche rough ile, … of naturall fertile eirthe

c. Earth and stane. = Erd(e n. 3 c. 1652 Wemyss Chart. 239.
Be delyvering of earth and staine of the ground
1664 Decis. Lords G. 71.
Her husband's bailie … having given to her … possession by earth and stane
1669 Burnett Fam. P. MS.
Be gift and delywerance of earth and staine of the ground … , as ws is in sick caisis

4. A piece of ground; a land or country. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 1030.
That erth that he askit hade, He gaf hym thare but langer bade
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 303/20.
Than Noy devidit all erthis in thre partis

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"Erth n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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