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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.

Heland, Hey-, Hei-, Hiland, n. and adj. Also: hele-, heeland, helane, helen, helland; hieland, hyeland, hilande, hilland, hyland, hylland; highland. [Hé a., Hey a.; Land n.]

1. The Highlands of Scotland.a. sing. 1503 Treas. Acc. II. 273.
jc small sparris brocht be him furth of the Hieland
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 384.
Justice … hes maid sic ordour, Baith throw the heland and the bordour
1545 Montgomery Mem. 131.
[I] sall do him the hest seruice I can … bayth in heyland and in lawland
1552 Treas. Acc. X. 92.
Williame Barry, messinger, send to Elgin and Innernes to proclame ane assurance to the capitanis of the clannis of the hieland to cum to Abirdene
1570 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. VI. App. 656/2.
Off the hous of Argyll ar cumin … all the grait men of the Hiland of Scotland
a1578 Pitsc. I. 274 h.
Hou Makcleine, a man of the hiland, was cummand with ane armie to the king
1596 Dalr. I. 74/4.
Our Scottis hilande hes ay mekle delyted in that prayse
1587-99 Hume vii. 13.
Oyee … that heigh vp in the hieland dwells
b. plur. (a) 1547 Breadalbane Doc. (Reg. H.) No. 64.
As ane cheyf dois in the contreis of the helands
1596 Dalr. II. 210/26.
This was cheiflie in the helandis betuein the clanis of Makintoshe and Glenchatten
(b) 1578 Glenartney Doc. (MS.).
The brokin men of the hielandis … distroyit be schuting … the deir of our forrest
a1578 Pitsc. I. 334/27.
All the rest of the gentillmen of the hielands brocht thair houndis witht them
1585 Reg. Privy C. III. 739.
Pretendit quarellis movid aganis him be … the principallis of the clannis in the Ilis and Hielandis
1622 Grant Chart. 425.
[Outsets and grazings] in the far and barbarous Hielandis, circuite … about with euill neychthouris
(c) 1590 Grant Chart 179.
The … act of Parliament maid for quieting of the Hyelandis and Bordouris
1606 Melrose Papers 21.
The present misreule of the incuntrey, and vnquietnes of the heylandis
1612 Reg. Great S. 247/2.
Infra lie Heillandis Scotie
1616 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 23.
That … the Irische language … amangis the inhabitantis of the Ilis and heylandis may be abolisheit
1643 Acts VI. 24/1.
Repressing of the disorderes in the heillands
(d) 1596 Dalr. I. 96/25.
The ald Scottis, quhais futstepis thay ȝit follow in the hilandes of Scotland
1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. 131.
Diuers and sindrie beggaris … brokin fra thair companeis & clanis out of the Hilandis
1649 Moray Synod 96.
The presbyterie of Invernes reported that they had afternoon's sermone in all their inlands, and ar vseing their diligence to have it in the hilands
1662 Inverness Rec. II. 211.
This burghe lyand in the mouth of the hylands
1672 Stirling Comm. Good MS. 80.
Ane seik sojor … that cam from the hillands

2. attrib. or adj. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of, the Scottish Highlands.(a) 1501 Treas. Acc. II. 119.
To tua Heland bardis
Ib. 141.
To the samyn Heland [supra Ersch] fischair
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 55.
Thy trechour tung hes tane ane heland strynd
Id. xxvi. 109.
Than cryd Mahoun for a heleand padȝane
c1500 Interlude Droich. 40.
Ten thousand ellis … Off Heland plaidis
1538 Treas. Acc. VI. 436.
For iij elnis of heland tertane to he hois to the Kingis grace
1563 Inverness Rec. I. 102.
Ane pair of new schort hois or ellis ane pair Heland trewis
1591 Thanes of Cawdor 204.
For ane new skabart to your Heland sowrd
1597 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 390.
A helane durk with scheath
1651 Wemyss Corr. 95.
Thair vase thre schore that fell on thame clad in Heland wed vith … long gunnis
1669 Lamont Diary 214.
Divers Helen kay [= kye] came downe the water
(b) 1521 Fife Sheriff Ct. 210.
Alexander Sympill … wes inditit … for the thyftwys [steiling] of twa heyland kye
1569 Edinb. Test. I a. 260.
Ane heyland claith for fischeing
(a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. 183/109.
He had first play the heyland padȝan
?1549 Monro W. Isles 29.
Ane iyle callit Ornansay, … with convenient havens for Heyland galleys
1610 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 416.
A Heyland woman … gave hir ane bowet atchesonne
(c) 1535 Stewart 45901.
Ane Hieland clerk, cled in ane rob of gra
1533 Boece vii. iv. 229.
Sum belefis thir ar the Pichtis, quhilk … apprisit writaris of the Pichtis actis namys hieland Pichtis
1584 Sat. P. xlvii. 715.
That he had na mair grace to guyde him Nor it had bene ane hieland quow
a1578 Pitsc. I. 142/21.
Ane great companie of men all airmit in the hieland faschieoun
1590 Edinb. B. Treas. Acc. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 200.
The expenss debursit vpone the suord dance and Hieland dans
1596 Edinb. Test. XXIX. 299 b.
Ten stane hieland blew wow
1596 Elgin Rec. II. 40.
[Certain servant women] confessit thame to be in ane dance callit gillatrype, singing a foull hieland sang
1587-99 Hume vii. 58.
On hieland pypes, Scots, and Hybernik, Let heir the shraichs of deadly clarions
c1650 Spalding I. 4.
Thay keipit the feildis in thair Hieland weid vpone foote, with suordis, … and vther Hieland armour
1670 Glasgow Weavers 83.
To a North cuntrie man that the Hieland doctor cuttit of the gravell
1693 Foulis Acc. Bk. 159.
Buying 5 hieland kowes
(d) (a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. 74/168.
I couinre thé, thow heiland hungart gaist
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 59.
The bairn … ves ane Heiland bairn
1610 Brechin Test. II. 59.
ix bollis … small heilland aitis
1650 Kirkcaldy Presb. 366.
The kirks … , thair collections for the heiland boys
1662 Highland P. III. 10.
She was at a meiting in Lochfine with Donald Mccartur … and severall other heiland people
(e) (a1570-86 Dunb.) Maitl. F. 121/109.
Mahoun cryit for a hiland padyeane
1596 Dalr. I. 17/3.
In the hilande iles
1600 Brechin Test. I. 186.
Eattes in the barne … being bot small hiland corne
1656 Rec. Presb. Dingwall 287.
None of the hyland ministers compeired
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 149.
He ... therefor returnd home in the closur off the year, and on the rod, the Highland way, fell in company with John, Earl of Athol
1692 Inchmahome Pr. 158.
Ane floured silke hylland coat
Ib. 159.
Tuo … hylland belts

b. Also, mountainous. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Montanus, hieland

3. n. The high part of a country; a piece of high ground; a lofty headland. Also attrib. c1420 Wynt. vii. 1446 (W).
Syne the hie land [in Ireland] till his crovne He maid al in subiectioun
1513 Doug. vii. v. 12.
Scho … on far can do spy Of the heland Pachynuns in Scycilly
1578 Acts III. 104/2.
The hervest oftymes continewis … quhill Halomes … in sum heland and cauld grundis

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"Heland n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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