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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.

Ey, Eye, n. Pl. eyn(e, eyine, eyen; eyis, eyes, eiyes. [ME. eye, eȝe, OE. éaᵹe, éᵹe. Cf. Eie, Ee, and E. The rhymes indicate the pron. ee.]

1. The eye as a bodily organ. = E n. 1.(a) c1420 Wynt. i. 712.
Thar ar folk … havys bot ane ey certanly
1456 Hay II. 156/24.
That he se nocht a mote in his falowis eye
15.. Clar. ii. 1405.
Men … Quhilk all that nicht had not sleipit with ey
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10571.
The teir fell in his eye
1586 Edinb. Test. XV. 68 b.
Ane hors … vantand ane ey
1630 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. III. 613.
Ane deepe and deadlie wound … upon the left ey
1661 Elgin Rec. II. 298.
He did kast up hes ey and said it was bloodrune
(b) 1375 Barb. i. 547.
Hys eyn with his hand closit he
c1475 Wall. ix. 1929.
Cler aspre eyn, lik dyamondis brycht
1513 Doug. ii. iv. 17.
Onto the grund thai glaid with glowand eyn
Ib. iv. ix. 87.
Thai seik … The lump betwix the new born folys eyn
1608 Tailors Acc. Bk. 59.
For ane glas of watter to the ladyis eyn
(c) 1375 Barb. iii. 526.
Watir fra the hart will rys And weyt the eyne
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 17.
Thai … bath his eyne felyly put out
c1420 Wynt. i. 722.
Twa eyne ar in thare schuldrys set
1492 Myll Spect. 278/6.
His innemys … put out baith his eyine
1501 Treas. Acc. II. 102.
To the blind wif that hed her eyne schorne
1535 Stewart 667.
His cristall eyne wes suckin in his heid
1605 Crim. Trials II. 479.
Ane of the said barnes eyne was restoirit to hir
1641 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 269.
Ryveing doun hir hair about her eyne
(d) c1620 Boyd Fl. Zion Exc. viii/2.
Why kindled are your eyes [: knees]
1623 Lithgow Poet. Rem. 67.
They weeping close their eyes [: disease]
1657 Balfour Ann. IV. 16.
He … roulled his eiyes alonges all the corners of the housse

2. The eye as the organ of vision. = E n. 2. Freq. in phrases (see E n. 2 b, c, d).(a) 1375 Barb. vi. 523.
The king … Till thame, and nouthir ellis quhar, had ey
a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 490.
Scho sal nane ey haf reson til
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1360.
Hyr lordys ey wytht that scho bleryde
1456 Hay I. 247/1.
We mon … have eye to the caus quhy this sauf condyt was gevin
1514 Rec. Earld. Orkney 88.
Havand God before ey
15.. Clar. iv. 2059.
Behold … The fairest pailȝeoun that ever I saw with ey
1618 Lithgow Poet Rem. 31.
There's no contentment for a worldlie eye [: see]
(b, c) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 197.
Befor thine eyne thu sal me se
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1238.
Gyff that he Mycht efftyr wyth hys eyne hym se
1456 Hay I. 283/11.
All low and lichtnes … that gevis sycht to the eyne
a1500 Seven S. 2499.
It I saw with my awn eyne
1513 Doug. ii. xi. 15.
For nevir syne with eyn saw I hyr eft
a1540 Freiris Berw. 347.
Ay his eyne wer on the almery
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 334.
He … luikit braid vp with his eyen
1596 Dalr. I. 1/6.
Afore the eyne baith of the nobilitie and of the lai people
(d) c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 456.
Ye clois your ears, and turnis away your eyis
1567 Sat. P. vi. 132.
Godis seruandis thair eyis to thee direct
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 212.
Baith my febillit eyis grewe dim
1640 Lithgow Poet. Rem. 166.
Mans short life, that … like a bird glydes by our glancing eyes [: flees]

3. a. An eyelet. 1548 Treas. Acc. IX. 215.
Ȝallo bukram and reid to ryggyn my lord governoures pavilȝeounnes, and … leddes to mak the eyeis thairof
1590 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 405.
Ane cleik with ane ey to the half lyd of his pres; … twa cleikis and twa eyne
1623 M. Works Acc. XVII. 2 b.
Ane ey to my lord of Binyngis folding boorde
1648 Thanes of Cawdor 307.
A long neck buttoune with silver and gold head and ey

b. The eye of a millstone. 1584 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 370.
Ilk stayn … beand of … twelf inche in the eye and ten inche in the hem
1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 137.
Ane rynnand stane of fyve ynsche in the ey and twa ynsche at the syd
1624 Peebles B. Rec. 365.
The overstane foure inches alyk at ey and heme

4. An opening or passage in a mine. 1531 Reg. Dunferm. 362.
Gif ony stopyn happinis ... in the abbot of Newbottillis boundis, it salbe leisum to the said vsufructuar ... to caus pas in at ony of the waist eys ... and oppin the samyn
1650 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII. 232.
To imploy men ... for setting doun ane eye in Broghtoun for seiking a coall there

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"Ey n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Feb 2024 <>



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