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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.

Par-, Percas(e, -cais, adv. Also: -cass, -ca(i)ce, -kece. [ME. and e.m.E. par cas (Chaucer), per cas (Gower), percase (1513), AF. par or per cas, OF. par cas.Sometimes written as two words.]

Percase. (Cf. Paraventur(e and Parchance.)Chiefly in verse.a. By chance, by accident. b. (If, lest, etc.) it should happen (that); perchance. c. Perhaps.Common in hypothetical or contingent statements, and in conditional or concessional clauses.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 481.
Then hapnyt at that tyme percas That the Erle of the Leuenax was Amang the hillis
Ib. vii. 306 (E). a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 726.
Thire ȝungmen … sat percase & carpit sammyne
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2163.
And so throw fortoune happinnit syne In Salamyn to cum percase
?1438 Alex. ii. 8481.
To gude man fallis sum quhyle per cais Sik thing that [etc.]
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 5717.
Percais it be the custume of his king
1513 Doug. v. vi. 75.
The styrkis for the sacrifyce per cace War newly brytnyt
Ib. xii. xiv. 29.(2) 1456 Hay I. 122/2.
A … lordschip that he mycht per cas wyn
1460–70 Innes Sketches 506.
For dreid that percais the smith … pretend ony claim [etc.]
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 362.
For percas it may be for inwy of thaim mar na fore profyt of the lord
(3) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 3403.
Tocht ȝe be may quhan euere ȝe cum thame to May fall parcais to mak ȝow all ado
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xliii. 36 (B).
a1568 Balnaves Bann. MS. 138 b/19.
In luvis grace suppois ȝe trace … Ȝe ma percais cast daweis es [etc.]
(b) a1568 Bann. MS. 83 b/9.
Gife it so requyre That ȝe sall speik as ȝe most neidis perkece
(4) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 766.
& gyf ony of myn ofspryng percase Gane-sais it, waryt mot he [be]
1513 Doug. i. iii. 96.
Bot than percace gif thai behald or se Sum man [etc.]
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV. ii. 169.
Tho not percase in all parts the very words themselves
a1651 Calderwood III. 31.
And if, percase, … they sall not be able to fortifie their caus [etc.]

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"Percas adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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