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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.

Hors, Horse, n. Also: horce. [ME. horse, hors, OE. hors, pl. hors.]

1. a. sing. A horse. 1375 Barb. vi. 232.
Than vndir him his hors thai sla
Ib. viii. 36.
A strate place … Quhar that na hors … ma ga
c1420 Wynt. vi. 1109.
A byschape … on a blak hors saw rydand This Pape
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 61.
His hors he tyit to ane tre
1489 Treas. Acc. I. 129.
Gevin to a man for brydil siluer of ane Irlande hors
1521 Fife Sheriff Ct. 217.
Thomas Wod inditit … for the thyftwis steling … of ane hors
1531 Bell. Boece II. 355.
This lady … hint his hors be the renȝeis
1551 Treas. Acc. X. 41.
For ane ambland hors to my lord governour
1570 Sat. P. xxii. 65.
Ane scabbit hors will feill quhair he is sair
a1598 Ferg. Prov. 12 b.
In some mens aught mon the auld horse die
1657 Brechin Test. VI. 105.
A gray hors with his going gear

b. Without article or possessive pronoun. 1375 Barb. i. 207.
Ony thing that wes worthy. As hors, or hund
a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 130.
He fell of hors … Til erde
?1438 Alex. i. 1115.
Hors and he to eird can ga
Ib. 2645.
Dissy on hors thay haue him brocht
c1475 Wall. v. 268.
Hors and man bothe flet the wattir doune
15.. Clar. iii. 300.
On hors ascendit he anone

c. On hors coupled or contrasted with on fute. c1420 Wynt. ii. 1394.
The Sytykys … chasyde the Egyptys hastyly, On hors and fute
1456 Hay I. 179/20.
Ten personis, armyt or unarmyt, on hors or on fut
c1475 Wall. ii. 69.
Feille followit him on hors, and eik on futte
1515 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 157.
At thir porteris suffer na … persoun on hors nor fute to enter within this towne
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 288.
I can find none, On hors, nor fute, dar fecht with me
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 10.
Make yourself starke with waged men, both on horse and foute

d. Phr. horse and hattock. See Hattock.

2. plur. Horses.(a) 1375 Barb. iii. 22.
Thai feile off thar hors had slayne
Ib. ix. 279.
Quha had gud hors, gat best away
a1400 Leg. S. xl. 1121.
Ȝe sal haf thred … Of nowt, schepe, hors and ky
c1420 Wynt. i. 1620.
Hors he gert bath drwg and drawe
Ib. ii. 100.
Wytht hors, and noyt, and other fe
1456 Hay I. 114/25.
That … suld pas nouthir hors na men till othir contree
1478 Acta Aud. 79/2.
For ij hors takin and puyndit be the saide Robertis seruituris
1501 Treas. Acc. II. 120.
Giffin for four hors … to the King
1521 Reg. Privy S. I. 493/2.
With meit to his thre hors somer and winter
a1538 Abell 8 a.
He had 40 thowsand cart hors and 12 thousand court hors
1549 Compl. 39/3.
Baytht horse & meyris
1569 Peebles B. Rec. 313.
The hors of the tovne ordanit to feche lyme yerelie to the tovne walling
1596 Dalr. I. 98/3.
Quhither the Scottis or the Inglesmen … dryue away prayis of horse, oxne and scheip behind baks
1625 Ellon Presb. 122.
Catell and hors … that cam in and eat the girs thairof
1640 Argyll Synod I. 12.
Of everie four horse ploughgang of land
1669 Salmon Borrowstounness 88.
Act against the bringing of horse with cairts or sledds bot throw the ordinar passadge wayes
1670 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 290.
[The said Margaret is to furnish ... as] many horse as will maik wp ane pleughe
(b) 1513 Doug. iii. viii. 63.
I saw … fowr horssis quhite as snaw
Ib. v. xii. 136.
I feil the aynding of hys horssys blaw
1562-3 Winȝet II. 17 marg.
Mony passis the bakwart way … , fra the horssis (as is the prouerb) to the assis
1596 Dalr. I. 193/18.
The cytharist, and the vthir twa murther[er]is, war takne, and in duigis and bladis reiuen betuene horsses

3. a. Attrib. with army, babie (doll, toy), bait, bane, binding, bran, brydil, cart, chere, claith, collar, cost, crag (neck), curpell, deck (cover), draucht, drog, expensis, face, flesch, fole (foal), geir, gers (grass), girding, gogales (goggles), graith, gris (grass), harnais, heck, hele, hide, housour (housing), hovis (hoofs), kame, labour, ledder (leather), litter, liveray, mercat, muk, munting, nek, oist (host), park, pleuch, post, stake, stall, tether, tre, tred (track), turd, turs (truss), verlot, wage, wand. c1650 Spalding II. 172.
Bedfoord [is made] generall to the hors army
1632 Edinb. Test. LVI. 25.
Nyn dussoune ... hors babies price of all xvj li.
1532 M. Works Acc. II. 70.
For … schering of gers to the hors batis
1663 Sharp Housh. Bk. 21.
For dinner and a horse bait
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2183.
I haue fund ane great hors-bane
1617 M. Works Acc. XV. 37 b.
Sex fathoum of towes to be hors bindingis
1616 Ib. XII. 20.
For ane sack to carie the hors brand in
?1438 Alex. ii. 5785.
My hors brydill I sall renȝe
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII. 231.
The said Andrew's horse cart
a1568 Bann. MS. 158 a/57.
Quhen his maister plenȝeis on his hors cheir
1597 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 390.
A new hors claith
1504 Treas. Acc. II. 471.
Ane hors collar for the sowm hors
1538 Ib. VII. 97.
For thre hors collaris
1520 Perth Hammermen 13.
For my hors cost to Sanct Androis
c1475 Wall. x. 368.
Sper and horscrag in till sondyr he drave
1595 Duncan Appendix.
Postilena, a horse curpell
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII. 357.
A whyte beir skine for a horse deck
1606 Conv. Burghs II. 214.
Of ilk hors drawcht of ony wairis, ij d.
1673 Berw. Old Doc. Fol. 1. No. 4.
For hors drogis [£3]
1474 Treas. Acc. I. 68.
For his hors expensis
1538 Ib. VII. 13.
For thre coveringis of harnes for the hors facis
1568 Buch. Indict. 43.
Thair was na paynis left nor hors flesche sparit
1596 Dalr. II. 438/24.
Horseflesche tha had in delyt
1530 Orkn. & Shetl. Rec. 256.
Ane gillat and ane horse foill
1595 Duncan Appendix.
Pullus equinus, a horse fole
1593 Brechin Test. I. 107.
Ane kairt and hors geir
1554 Liber Dryburgh 290.
Twa hors gers and fowr sowmes to pasture
1624 Edinb. Test. LII. 157.
Ane dosone of ellis of hors girdinge
1654 Ib. LXVIII. 39.
Ane peice of horse girding
1631 Ib. LV. 56 b.
Fyve hors gogales
1587 Dundee B. Laws 476.
The saidler [is to make] sadillis, harnesingis and hors graith
1665 Edinb. B. Rec. IX. 374.
Belts and uther hors graith belonging to sadlers
1685 Inverness Cust. 13 b.
Nyne sute hors greath
1555 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 18 b.
Ane covis grys and ane hors grys
1456 Hay I. 287/34.
Before … he schape him for hors harnais
1549 Compl. 69/7.
Bayrdit horse harnes
1675 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 129.
Ane horse heck
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 134.
Them quha … ganges behinde his horse heeles
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 132.
Twa barkit hors hidis
1508 Ib. IV. 22.
For vj quartaris quhit damas … for hors housouris
1581 Cath. Tract. 160/31.
Ane … serpent in the rod bytand the hors houis
1540 Treas. Acc. VII. 411.
For … hors kemmys, sterap irnis [etc.]
1595 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 92.
For a hors labour in sawing tyme and heruist
1568 Inverness Rec. I. 167.
In making ... schone maid of horse leddyr for nowte leddyr
1531 Bell. Boece I. 138.
He … was brocht on an hors litter to Argyle
1535 Stewart 49556.
King Robert … On ane hors littor to the feild wes borne
1485 Acta Conc. *107/1.
For boyis wagis and hors liffra
1544 Reg. Privy S. III. 103/1.
The landis … , the hors mercat
1703 Foulis Acc. Bk. 317.
Spent at the hors mercat
1662 Crim. Trials III. 613.
The brawest lyk money … vold be horse muke
1698 Household Bk. Gr. Baillie 268.
To the herralds for her scuchens and horse munting
1513 Doug. xi. xii. 59.
The Latyn pepill … Thar … hors nekkis quhelit abowt
15.. Clar. v. 2349.
Clariodus … laid him on his hors nek
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 88.
Ane hors oist … ar in reddines
1611 Reg. Great S. 379/1.
Cum equorum saltubus lie hors parkis
?1549 Munro W. Isles 18.
Samekle as ane hors pleuch will teill
1603 Treas. Acc. 271 b.
To ane hors poist passand … to … the poist master at Berwik
1632 Orkney Bp. Ct. 83.
Wounding … his servant with ane hors staik
1618 M. Works Acc. XV. ii. 21 b.
Making of … hors stallis
1678 Argyll Justic. Rec. I. 90.
Ane spaid. and some horse taithers
1673 Peebles B. Rec. II. 88.
Some hors trees … stollin be the said William
1570 Sat. P. x. 340.
Sum saw him weill, and followit his hors tred
a1568 Bann. MS. 162 b/4.
Can ȝe nocht mak a Heilandman of this hors turd?
1601 Liber Dryburgh 321.
xx hors turs of stray
1533 Boece xvi. vi. 620.
Of preistis, freris, carlis, or of hors verlottis
1538 Treas. Acc. VII. 88.
Ane hors vage feit be the tapisare
1558 Rentale Dunkeld. 353.
For xiiij horse vagis in stra
c1610 Melville Mem. 32.
He straik the pure man … withhis hors wand
1625 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 153.
Spurris, buitis, and hors wandis

b. Comb. with dantar, maister, merchant, rinner, scorcer (corser); bying, danting. 1549 Compl. 151/9.
The maist perfyit industreus horse dantars of Macedon
1595 Duncan Appendix.
Equiso, a horsmaister
1606 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 116.
John Ogiluy, hors rynner
a1651 Calderwood IV. 400.
Sieur Paul, the horse-scorcer
1696 Conv. Burghs IV. 215.
William Caldwell, horse merchant
1513 Doug. xii. iii. 37.
Neptunus son. expert in hors dantyng
1675 Cunningham Diary 52.
Spent … at horse-bying

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



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