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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Oriso(u)n, n. Also: -o(u)ne, oryso(u)n(e, -own(e, ores(s)o(u)n(e; and Urisoun. [ME. and e.m.E. oriso(u)n (1297), oryson, -un, oresone (c 1290), OF. orison (12th c.) beside oreisun Oraiso(u)n n.An etymological doublet of Oratio(u)n(e n.]

1. A prayer.As said, sung or read or as composed for reading or reciting from memory.See also Dominical a. a and Devote a. b for examples.In quot. 1597–8 perh. apprehended as = an incantatory prayer, a prayer which served as a charm: cf. Orisoun v. c1420 Wynt. v. 1237.
Haly watyr … made he Wytht effectuus orysownys Agayne all yl temptatyownys
Ib. vi. 116. 1459 Dumf. & Galloway Soc. 3 Ser. XXXVI. 21.
[To sing] daylie … Salve Regina with ane speciale orisone for our soverane lordis derrest fader
?a1500 Remembr. Passion 7.
God gevis deuocioun & with that heris his orison
Ib. 668.
Ane orisoun
1490 Irland Mir. I. 165/4.
Ane orisoune, that Galfryde Chauceire maid and prayit to this lady
1513 Doug. ii. iv. 60, vii. ii. 63. 1531 Bell. Boece II. 465.
Turn your teris and dolour in impnis and orisonis for my saule
1533 Gau 3/13.
In the quhilk bukis thair is … mony orisons to diuerz patronis and sanctis
Ib. 4/8.
Quhay that redis Sancti Erasmis orisone apone the Sonday
Ib. 4/19. a1538 Abell 44 a.
The orisonis or collectis
Arundel MS. 288/293.
Sa this orisoun exellis all vthir vrisonis
1551 Hamilton Cat. 253.
The first petitioun of Our Lordis orisoun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10291.
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I. 120.
Saying thir words, Gif thow will leiff, leiff, and gif thow will die, die; with sindrie vther orisonis, sic as of Sanct Johne, and of the thrie sillie brethrene

b. The act of praying, prayer. Also plur., id. c1420 Wynt. i. 269.
Enos that oysyde to call On Gode … In prayer and in orysowne
1456 Hay II. 112/37.
He seis men change thayr condiciounis … be orisoun in gude devocioun
1490 Irland Mir. I. 20/4.
The devocioune of orisoune cummys maist of luf and cherite
c1500-c1512 Dunb. viii. 31.
Forȝett we neuir into our orisoun To pray for him
1535 Stewart 37515.
In orisoun baith for to heir and reid
a1538 Abell 2 b.
Enos begoth to incale the neyme of God with wocal orisone
a1568 Bann. MS. 32 b/23.
With mynd denot … Behald the Sone of God in orisoun
1569 Reg. Privy S. VI. 150/2.
Suffragis of devote orisoun and prayar aucht and wount
1581 Cath. Tr. 118/29.
The Greik vord quhilk S. Paul vsis quhen he sayis that our meat is sanctifeit be oreson
plur. ?1438 Alex. i. 2921.
He hes me measured on the grein, Lyand as into orisounis

c. To do, mak, say, also to dres, pay, rede (one's) orisoun or orisouns, or ane, this etc. orisoun.(1) a1400 Leg. S. x. 432.
He knelyt done, & to God mad his orysowne
Ib. xxix. 225. c1420 Wynt. ii. 1182, Ib. v. 59, 3742.
Than Josue wytht devotyoune Devotly maid his orysoune To God and swa than gert He [etc.]
1455 Swintons App. xli.
His gift of the samyn to me for my liftyme, for myn orisoun to be maid dayly
1456 Hay II. 6/6.
He maid his secrete orisoun
1513 Doug. xii. iv. 39.
The reuthfull Enee Hys orison furth maid
Ib. iii. iii. 54.
1533 Bell. Livy I. 45/28. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2648.
Quhow and to quhome to dresse thare orisoun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7328.
The preist … began to reid his orisoun
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 1194.
Saynt Gregore with devotyown Made specyall and thra orysown That God wald [etc.]
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. 27/16.
For the fasting almous deid orysoun and pilgrimage that thow dois
1539 Strathblane Par. 320.
The said Robart prayand orison and suffrage in the said college
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 610.
Syngand and sayand psalmes and orisoun
(3) ?1438 Alex. ii. 7548.
Thair orysounis thairin maid thay
1494 Loutfut MS. 26 b.
And socht nocht bot … placis … solitairis to mak his praer & orisouns
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1479.
This burges went in his garding to say His orisouns
(4) c1420 Wynt. vi. 3124.
For all thare devotyownys, Prayerys, and gret orysownys, That the persownys gadryd there Dyd on devot manere
(5) a1450 Fifteen Ois 328.
Quhen ȝe haue said thir ois … Than say this orisoun
c1460 Vert. Mess (S.T.S.) 8.
Sa is the mes mar worthi … than ony vthir oresone or sacrifice that may be said or maid
c1475 Wall. xi. 1340.
And said ane orysoun
1490 Irland Mir. I. 22/33. 1513 Doug. iii. viii. 40.
And to the goddis maid this orysoun
Ib. vi. i. 106. a1540 Freiris Berw. 325 (B).
[He] tuk his buk and red ane orisoun
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2625.
In quhat maner and to quhome we suld pray One schort compendious orisone, euerilk day

d. Attrib. with -buke. 1473–4 Treas. Acc. I. 18.
½ elne of blac sating to covir ane orisone buke to the King
1474 Ib. 58. 1542–3 Ib. VIII. 173.
To be ane cover and polk to my lordis orysoune buke

2. A humble request or petition. a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 24.
The orisone that the woman maid to hir husband

3. A formal or set speech, an oration, a harangue, an oral address; also, a formal written discourse or address.Also late ME. (appar. once only, Lydgate), otherwise appar. only Sc.(a) 1531 Vaus (1531) iii.
In thir twa orisonis of Cicero
1533 Bell. Livy I. 20/26.
In the myddis of his orisoun enterit Romulus & Remus with ane band of armit men
Ib. II. 59/8.
This debate be perpetuall orisouns rais to grete altercatioun
Ib. 43/22, 120/22. 1535 Stewart 2142. 1549 Compl. 62/20.
Quhen the scheiphird hed endit his prolixt orison to the laif
Ib. 138/1. 1554 Knox III. 166.
In everie ane poynt wer stoir yneugh for ane lang orisone
a1578 Pitsc. I. 101/h. of ch. a1605 Montg. Son. ix. 6.
Quhais fourfald force with furie him infusis In battells, counsels, orisones, and brain
1596 Dalr. II. 247/7.
Na day past by quhen outher tha had nocht a comedie, or sum controuersie, or orisounis in Greik or Latin toung artificiouslie said
Ib. 268/6.
[An] erle sent legat to Scotland exhibitis a lang orisone in letteris
Ib. 454/17.
And repeiteng his orisone sumthing heicher
Ib. I. 131/14. 1603 Philotus lxv.
Ȝour orisoun sir sounds with sic skil In Cupids court as ȝe had bene vpbrocht
1622-6 Bisset I. 48/32.
The lyfe … of King Kenneth the thrid, his orysone and lawes maid be him
(b) 1535 Stewart 1074. Ib. 13442, 21776.
This Coilus … With goldin toung and lippis laureat … His oresoun on this wayis he began

b. Also in sing. without article or possess.: Addressing an audience in a public speech, haranguing. — 1531 Bell. Boece I. 62.
He … began, be lang orisone, to detest the insolence … of the kingis sonnis
Ib. 170.
Lucius Anthonius was … perswading the Romanis, be vehement orison, to do vailyeantly

c. Const. to mak, = to make (a, one's) speech or public or literary address, to address an audience as speaker.(a) 1533 Bell. Livy I. 41/6.
Romulus … come to the pule of Caprea to make ane orisoun to the faderis
1549 Compl. 43/8. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 25/2.
Of the quhilk I wald haif thaim intending to mak orisone or epistil in Latin tong
1563 Knox II. 381.
The first day sche [the Queen] maid a paynted orisoun
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 76.
Efter that sho haid maid hir propositioun and orisoun in parliament, the lordis [etc.]
a1605 Birrel Diary 41.
Hes M. made an orisone or harang
(b) 1589 Crim. Trials I. ii. 175.
Ye haid convocat ane host of thre thowsand … maid oressounes and gaif persuasiounis to thame
c1600-1633 Johnston MS. Hist. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 203n.
Quhair Maister Hercules Rollok maister of the gramer schooll maid his oresoun

d. A literary discourse, dissertation or plea, more generally. (Cf. Oratio(u)n(e n. 2 b.)Appar. only in Dalrymple. 1596 Dalr. I. 103/5.
Bot because perchance our orisone hes bene langre of thir twa peoples than of sum hes bene desyret
Ib. II. 230/1.
An orisone of peace perpetuallie to indure is heir begun

4. In grammar. a. A sentence. (After L. oratio.) b. Part of orison, = part of speech. (After L. pars orationis.)a. c1505-8 Donatus 1 b.
Quhare in is the ordor of coniunctione amang my iii reulis of coniunctione quhilk ar thai before oresone in the midd of the oresone and behind the oresone, before the oresone as how [etc.]
1531 Vaus (1531) ii.
Quhat is ane orison: ane richt ordinatione of dictionis to signify ony thing
16.. Rudiments 8 b.
A relatiue is that quhilk repeetes some thing of the preceeding orisone
b. c1505-8 Donatus 1 b.
Quhat is a coniunctione a part of oresone the quhilk unitis ordour and sentens
1531 Vaus (1531) iii.
Generale notionis of the aucht partis of orisone
1559 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 143/2.
Brevelie introducing the unioun of the partis of orisoun in Greik and Latene speichis with thair accidentis

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"Orison n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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