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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.

Es(e, Eis(e, Ease, n. Also: eys(e, eyis, eaeis, eais, aise. [ME. ese, eise (a 1225), also eaise, ays(e, ease, etc., OF. eise, aise.]

1. Freedom from exertion or trouble; the state of living in quiet and comfort.(a) 1375 Barb. i. 229.
A noble hart may haiff nane es … Gyff fredome failȝhe
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 686.
I ma nocht luf [= live] in hartly es Till that thou luffis
c1420 Wynt. i. 442.
[To] lyve in lykyn and in es, Allanyrly bot Gode to ples
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 494.
God gewis … to wykyt man … afflixione of spreit with lytill es, and mekle unrest
c1475 Wall. viii. 1475.
Till trew Scottis it suld gretly apples, Thocht Inglismen tharoff had litill es
(b) 1375 Barb. v. 73.
It is gud that we samyn ta Dises or ese, pyne or play
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 539.
I ma sum thynge Do, that may be lykyne; For it sal ese gyf
Ib. xxvii. 1093.
He led hym quhar he suld tak ese
c1420 Wynt. v. 3141.
Thai … thocht tyll lywe off thare tresore … In ese and qwyete, but trawale
1456 Hay II. 144/19.
That day is ordanyt for a day of blithnes and ese of bodily hele
1533 Boece ix. ix. 306.
Quhen Britouns be lang pece and ese grewe to insolence and plesuris
(c) c1420 Wynt. i. 461.
Wyth eys and honowre thai hym kepyd
Ib. viii. 6812.
I trow thai wald … Rewarde thaim … Solace and eys for thare bownté
c1475 Wall. vi. 214.
Sall neuir man me se Rest in till eys, quhill this deid wrokyn be
1513 Doug. ix. iv. 54.
Be na way may I tak eys nor rest
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxxiii. 16.
Alyke sall pleis … Eys or diseys as God sall send
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 451 (L).
Quhat pleasur purchest is but pane, or honour win with eyis?
(d) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1192.
Ye sal be our gouernour, Quhil your dais may endure, In eise and honour
1533 Boece i. v. 41 b.
Pichtis … in quyet and eis haue large and ampill rowmys in Albioun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2272.
Thair was ane ancient knicht That had maryit ane lady … And held hir vp in all eis and honour
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 249.
The said regent … mycht haue lievit in Ingland with greit eise, wer not [etc.]
(e) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 332.
I thynk it best … Frome thyne furth to tak myne eais

b. In the phrase at (his, etc.) ese, in ease or comfort.(a, b) 1375 Barb. i. 228.
He levys at es that frely levys
Ib. ii. 558.
All at ese and sekyrly Assemblit thai thar ost
c1420 Wynt. v. 147.
As wndyrneth a palme thai lay At ese to slepe
c1475 Wall. vii. 677.
Erll Malcolm als the Lennox held at es
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 414.
Now am I a wedow, I wise, and weill am at ese
(c, d) 1461 Liber Plusc. I. 385.
Nocht heire to leif in lustis at all oure eis
Brus xiv. 236.
That nycht rycht weill at eis [E. ese] war thai
Ib. xv. 542.
He may at eis [E. ese] now duell at hame
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 250/2.
Quhether the saidis Patrik and Jhone … remane at thair eis and quiet wythin our realme
1513 Doug. ix. i. 10.
Turnus … Sittand at eys within the hallowyt schaw
1549 Compl. 26/19.
Ȝe sal sleipt at ȝour eyse
a1568 Scott xx. 25.
Quhen thow wes weill at eis And subject to no wicht
(e) 1566 Melville Corr. 6.
We wald she suld do nothing therin, bot at hir … gretest aise
1570 Sat. P. x. 313.
Quhen he this thocht till haif bene at his eais In come on him the Quene of Inglandis fais

c. Evil at ese, in a bad plight; indisposed. 1513 Doug. vii. i. 110.
Hir ryall tressis inflambit, evil at eys
1558 Corr. M. Lorraine 415.
I have bene … evill at eis throcht alteratioun of my leg
1569 Waus Corr. I. 63.
I persaue ye haue bin euil at eise, … bot I am glaid that ye ar sumthing conuolessit

d. Of ese, able in respect of means. 14.. Acts I. 26/2.
He may leve that lande unbyggit quhil the tym he be of eys [L. aysiatus] to byg it agayn

e. To put to (ane) ese, to bring to a settlement, to arrange satisfactorily. 1605 Melrose R. Rec. I. 3.
To accumpanie the baillie in poinding and putting all materis to ease
1609 Rep. Hist. MSS., Var. Coll. V. 114.
I vis to God that materis var put to ane eaeis
1614 Conv. Burghs II. 459.
They desyr Johne Sherer, … to be ane good instrument and midsman betuix thame and the gildbrether … , and to put tham to ane ease so far as they may of right

2. Pleasure, satisfaction; a source of this. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 713.
He had gret ese of hyr hard pyn
Ib. xxxiii. 767.
Quhat aylis thé; … Of quham I wend haf mast ese, & oure al thing suld me plese
a1500 Quare Jel. 224.
All vertuous womman … ar oure es, thai ar oure suffisance
a1500 Lanc. 2455.
Thar gladnes ay was to his hart most es
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3635.
The Empreour … thame held in sic eis and daintie, That he culd not weill want thair companie
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxvi. 101.
Ane seruitour that will … Be pertaker of my woe & eis

3. a. An easement. 1388 Doug. Chart. 33.
Als lang as that castel happynnys to be in our hands so [= scho] sal nocht be removyt ovt off na innys na ezis that so had befor
c1420 Wynt. vii. 708.
That to the Kyrk that tyme he gave Wyth wsualle and awld custwmys, Rychtys, essys [C. eyssis, L. esmentis, W. asiamentis] and fredwmys

b. Convenience, assistance, advantage. 1467 Acts II. 89/1.
That thar be maid briggis of buirdis or portis in ferry baittis for the eis of schipping of the saide hors
1492 Highland P. II. 192.
That he may lift, sett, ande raise the samyn to his plesance ande mast eise and proffite without ony obstacule
1523 Montgomery Mem. 95.
For the pacifying of the cuntre, and eis of our souerane lordis liegis
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 193.
For remeid thairof and thair awne eis … to big the casay of the sayd wynd fornent thair awne landis
1583 Rep. Menzies MSS. 19.
The place … metest for his eis is … Stirling
1595 Maxwell Mem. II. 180.
To convene … in Stirling, as place maist convenient for the easis of the Erles of Mar and Argyle
c1650 Spalding II. 216.
Now oure minister devysit ane loft, for eise of the people at sermon

c. A convenience or advantage. 1570 Rep. Hist. MSS. vi. App. 650/1.
Quhilk wilbe ane great ais for your ladyschips currokmen
1592 Acts III. 550/1.
To erect … ane parroche kirk wpoun his awin heretage … sua that the puir pepill … may haif ane ease in winter seasoun
c1650 Spalding II. 313.
The godlie devyss thairof laid out for ane eiss to the people … I refer to the judicious reidar

4. At or with ese, easily. c1420 Wynt. iv. 2574.
Till his purpos and his thoucht At ese hys wyll in all wes wroucht
Ib. vii. 87.
Gyve thow wald … the tyme abyd, Quhill thow mycht at ese me sla
1571 Sat. P. xxvii. 89.
This realme with eis the rebellis may repres

5. The act of relieving the bowels. Usually in to do (one's) ese. c1420 Wynt. v. 3364.
Off nede swa he oure-takyn wes, That hym behowyd to do hys es
Ib. vi. 1731. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 203.
The King was sa trublit be flux of wambe, that he was constranit haistely to pas to his eis
Ib. II. 115.
He … past furth in the gloming to do his eis
1559 St. A. Kirk S. 23.
Sche rais efter nyne houris to hir eies
1580 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 187.
The inhabiteris of the foirlandis … doing thair ease at the said close heidis
1622-6 Bisset II. 166/29.
He … murthered the said … usurped king at his ease sittand on the previe

b. Chair or stule of ese, a close-stool. 1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 175.
The closait witht … ane chair of eis
1533 Treas. Acc. VI. 182.
Basingis for the stulis of eys
1562 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. 648/2.
Ane cheir of ease of aik, … twa dry stuillis of ease
1584 Edinb. Test. XIV. 70 b.
Ane chyre, ane stule of eis

6. a. A relief from illness. 1567 Edinb. B. Deeds 260 b.
Gif it happinis the said bairne haif any eiseis of the saidis infirmiteis … during his lyftyme

b. A reduction or remission of an amount or service due. 1652 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 525.
To James Pollok for his chargis … for getting ane ease of the toune
1661 Edinb. Test. LXX. 95 b.
I am awine … my brother be band iiijc markes, bot … I look for ane ease thairof at his hand
1674 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 185.
Ane supplicatioun … craving ane ease of his dewtie … in respect he had takin the tron over dear that year
1680 Corshill Baron Ct. 152.
The judge … decernit the tennentis in payment thairof, and ordaines them to have ease of the nixt milstone drawing
1692 Misc. B. Rec. 82.
Which decay of trade … hes occasioned the decay and ruine of the towne and therfor ane ease of their taxt roll is desired

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



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