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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hare, Hair, a. Also: har, harr; haire, hayr. [Northern ME. hare, har, midl. and south. hore, hoor, hor, OE. hár, ON. hár-r. Cf. Horie a.]

1. Hoary, grey or white with age. a. Of persons: Grey-haired, venerable.(a) ?1438 Alex. ii. 1233.
Hare carle, thus thow chapis nocht
Ib. 3653, 6515, etc.
In stede of Cassamus the hare
Ib. 6616.
Ȝon ald herauldis hare
1456 Hay II. 7/3.
The worthy anciene knycht … sa hare and alde
(b) a1500 Henr. III. 117/57.
This bevir hair
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 115.
Thare saw I crabbit Saturn ald and haire
Id. Tua Mar. W. 272.
Ane hair bogeart, that hostit out flewme
1513 Doug. ix. x. 132.
Ane Butes hayr and ald
1535 Stewart 43816.
Ane ald man and ane hair
1590 Burel Pilgr. ii. xviii.
That helhound auld and hair

b. Of the hair, head, or beard. c1420 Wynt. i. 449.
Nakyde wes hys [sc. Noah's] harnays hare
?1438 Alex. i. 160.
His heid … for greit eild was canous hare
Ib. ii. 45.
His beird, his browis, baith war hare
Ib. 3181. 1492 Myll Spect. 297/17.
Scho gaif me … ane ald harr and dotand heid
1513 Doug. ix. x. 52.
The steill helmys we thrist on hedis hair [Sm. hayr]

2. Of frost: White; hayr-ryim = Hare-frost n. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1692.
Baith hill and holt heillit with frostis hair
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 41.
With frostis hair ourfret the feldis standis
1549 Compl. 59/12.
The hayr ryim is ane cald deu, the quhilk fallis in mysty vapours and syne it fresis on the eird
1629 Black Sc. Witches 15.
The sweat was seen upon the said Margaret's cattle all the night over like the due of hair ryme

b. Of weather: Frosty, cold. a1500 Henr. II. 297/147.
In till a coif he crap Fra hair weddir and frostis him to hap
1513 Doug. vi. vii. 79.
By gowsty placis, welch savorit, must and hair
Ib. vii. Prol. 130.
I … Persauyt the mornyng bla, wan, and har [: on char]

3. Of ground, rocks, or stones: Grey, greyish.Occurring in early place-names as Harestan (c 1320), but not always distinguishable from Hare n.1 1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 130.
The sulȝe stythly, hasart, rouch and hair
1533 Boece iv. xvi. 151 b.
Beȝond ws is na … vthir thing except haire rochis and welterand wallis
Ib. viii. xii. 278 b.
Sum parte … led ane myserable life in desertis, montanis, forestis, or hair craggis

b. Of woods or copses.Only conventionally in verse, appar. without any precise signification, in the traditional phrases hare wod and holtis hair, in ME. verse as hare wode (14th c.), hær wude (Laȝamou), and holtes hore, hare (c 1320). The place-name Hares(ch)awes occurs a 1240.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 3588.
That semyd ane hare wode for to be
1513 Doug. x. xiv. 142.
This Troiane prynce … Intil hys stalwart stelyt scheild stikand owt Lyke a hair wod the dartis bair abowt
(2) c1450-2 Howlat 773.
Huntyng at herdis in holtis so haire
a1500 Henr. III. 94/122.
Malkyne went hame … Attour the holttis hair
a1500 Rauf C. 419.
He followit to him haistely among the holtis hair
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 470.
Wrightis welterand doune treis, … Ordanit hurdys full hie in holtis sa haire
1535 Stewart 11266.
Argatill, … With craig and cleuch and mony holtis hair
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxxx. 26.
That garris me … walk amang the holtis hair, Within the woddis wyld

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"Hare adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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