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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.

Gers, n. Also: gerse, geirs. [Northern ME. gers(e, OE. gers, gærs. Cf. Gars, Girs(e.]

1. Grass. Also in pl.Very common throughout the 16th cent. a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 791.
Nere about hyr greu rycht nocht, … Gers, na tre
1397 Douglas Chart. 37.
[Thai] sal haf the gers of the wode … til thair hors
14.. Acts I. 326/2.
Gif the king will set gers be the tym of fogage
?1438 Alex. ii. 9352.
Baith erd and gers of blude vox red
1471 Acta Aud. 20/2.
Distrublans … in the eting and distroying of thair gers
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 63.
Herbis, flowris, and gersis wallowyt away
Ib. iii. iv. 25 (Sm).
Flockis and hirdis … In the rank gersis [B. gyrs] pasturing
1533 Boece i. viii. 53.
That regioun … full of gude pasture and naturale gers
1557 Peebles B. Rec. 243.
That euery freman … salbe fre to vse the gers … with thair bestials this ȝere
1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 184.
The use of the gerse of the medo quhen it is mawin
1617 Montgomery Mem. 276.
For ane hwik to scheir gers with
1621 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 222.
To warne the nichtboures against Wednesday nixt for setting of the gers of the borrow loch

b. A grassy spot. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 22/22.
He lay doun in ane halesum and plentuus gers [L. loco herbido]

2. Attrib. with beif, hauch, mail, mart, pile, roum, yaird. 1454 Exch. R. V. 661.
De xij martis dictis gerse martis
1513 Doug. xii. Prol. 91.
Rendryng … the gers pilis thar hycht
1545 Reg. Privy C. I. 3.
The best carcage of gerse beiff
1592 Reg. Great S. 713/2.
The Magdalein yaird, lyand adjacent to the nixt gers-yaird
1595 Stirling Chart. 218.
Kingis maill, gers maill, and stallange
1595 Reg. Great S. 131/1.
Pascuam lie gers roume de Glasquhorie
1597 Ib. 258/1.
Peciam terre … cum lie gers hauche adjacente

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"Gers n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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