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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.

Ken(n)ing, vbl. n. Also : -yng. [ME. (c 1330), f. Ken v.] 1. In various senses of Ken v. : Imparting, teaching; recognition, identification; knowing (a way); kenning (to or of terce, etc.).(1) 1475 Peebles B. Rec. I. 173.
He beand beisse of techyn and kenyng apon the childer in his scoul
1531 Vaus (1566).
Gif me ane kennyng of my lessone
(2) c1420 Wynt. ii. 387 (W).
Kenning of him had thai nane
15.. Clar. ii. 904.
Ane false visar for kening he did weir
attrib. 1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. MS. 129 b.
Annent thair scheipe merk, … ewerie ane of them to haife ane kenning merk by wtheris that ewerie ane of them may ken thair scheipe
(3) a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) 8 b.
He that is ill of his harberie is good of his way kenning
(4) 1551 Prot. Bk. R. Lumsdane MS. 18 b.
For kenning of the said Alexander to his said twa merk land
1574-5 Exch. R. XX. 467.
As hir kenning and service thairof mair fullelie proportis
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 202.
In tearces the seruice is instead of ane charter and the kening instead of the seaseing

2. a. Sight or view (of a thing) . 1570 Leslie 282.
Thair arryvit in thair sight ane navie of shippis, quhilk at the first kenning thay beleaved to have been Frenche shippis

b. The distance from anything which is the limit at which it can be seen at sea. Land-kenning, this distance from land. c. gen., as a nautical measure of distance.Given in e.m.E. texts as equivalent to 20 or 21 miles (OED. s.v. Kenning 4 b). The Balfour quot. follows an Eng. original: see the notes to the S.T.S. Bisset III. 212 ff. and 217. c1575 Balfour Pract. 616 (also 1622-6 Bisset II. 256/26).
The wages of thame [seamen] … sould be augmentit kenning be kenning and course be course, efter the rate of thair hyre. until thay cum to the port of discharge
1628 Conv. Burghs III. 261.
Keiping themeselffes alwayes ane kenning distant frome the land
1630 Ib. 323.
The Fleymings … not to cum neirer to the schoire … than ane land kenning of the said schoire

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"Kening vbl. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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