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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.

Plaster, Plaister(e, n.1 Also: plastere, -yr, plaistir, plester. [ME. and e.m.E. plastre, plaster, plaistre, (in sense 1) OE. plaster, med. L. (Du Cange) and pop. L. plastrum, (in senses 2 ff.) 13th c. F. plastre (Littré), 14th c. F. plaistre, med. L. plastrum (Du Cange).Also in the mod. dial. as plaister.]In sense 1 the form plaister is much the more common.

1. A medicinal plaster.Consisting of a soft, adherent substance spread upon a piece of muslin or the like and applied externally to the body.Also fig.(a) a1400 Leg. S. vi. 485.
[Preaching] Til a plaister [L. emplastro] lyk ma be Quharthru of syne wondis hel we
1550 Knox III. 58.
Thay will be layaris to of plaisteris! but I feir the wound be not weill rypit
1551 Hamilton Cat. 180.
The towellis, bandis or rowlis quhilk haldis fast the plaisteris to the woundis ar instrumentis of the heiling
1566 Breadalbane Lett.
As to ȝour diseis of ȝour byill … the best remeid is ane plaister
a1568 Bann. MS. 85 b/22. 1571 Ferg. Serm. iii Malachi Sig. A. iv. b.
[Like surgeons] in applicatioun of thair salues and plaisteris
1596 Elgin Rec. II. 45. 1579, 1617 Despauter (1617) 36. 16.. Hist. Kennedy 51.
Doctour Low … had na skill, bot laid to plaisteris to the wondis
1672 Funeral Acc. ii.
Ane strenthing plaister for his loyn
1677 Cunningham Diary 95. 1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1681) i. 36. 1682 Apothecary's Acc. MS. (Coll. Phys. Lib., Edinb.) 13.
1 plaister for the ledy, 9 s.
fig. 1598 Melvill Propine 21.
We humbly beseik thy grace to … wound our hearts with vn-fayned sorrow for our sinnes & heal the samin againe by a plaister of his heart bloud
c1610 Melville Mem. 317.
Salutary plaisters to be laid vnto the sores that … aryses in his realm
a1658 Blair in Durham Scandal (1740) vii.
This molifying ointment and cleansing plaister
Great Grievance of Scotland (1689) 8.
Such … [a] venemous plaister would rather breed new distempers than cure former diseases
(b) 1513 Doug. xii. vii. 89.
Venus … temperis and enbalmys prevely The plastyr [Ruddim. plester] … And suddanly the payn vanyst
1689 Sc. N. & Q. 2 Ser. II. 92.
5 blistering plasters, 15 s.
fig. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1341 (Asl.).
Sa thi desyris with ressoun for to dant Applye the plaster [v.rr. plaister] of pennans penitrant

b. The soft mixture of which a medicinal plaster consists. Also fig., an easily applicable remedy. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 312 (H.).
Gif that state [innocence] be tynt throw abusance … turne but tary to plaster of pennance
Ib. 446. 1588 Misc. Spald. C. II. xxx.
Tak plaister maid of wormewod with fresche butter … and presse tham togidder and la the same to the soir
1664 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 510.
For diacolon plaister, 000 12 00

2. Sulphate of lime, calcined or uncalcined.As a malleable substance used for casting or moulding, or as a raw material. c1420 Wynt. i. 235.
He gert twa pillars sune be made: Off tylde or plastyr [W. plaistere] wes the tane The tothir wes made of marbyll stane
1503 Treas. Acc. II. 274.
For alabast stanis and plaistir brocht … furth of Ingland
1512 Ib. IV. 284.
xvj puncheonis plaister broght of Deip and send to Dingwall to spargein the wallis xvj li.
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 213.
For certane unbrint plaister coft in Dunde
c1590 Fowler I. 68/44.
With hart and eyes of plaster maid

b. Paris plaster, = Plaster of Paris(e. 1687 Bk. Old Edinb. C. XXVII. 146.
I tooke the mould of Michaell's face in Paris plaster

3. Plaster, the soft moist substance, containing lime and hair, used for covering a surface, as a wall, where it hardens. 1516–17 Treas. Acc. V. 113.
To by plastere and burd for my lord governouris chamir
1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 191.
To the said Robert … layand the plaster in the kingis chalmeris
1628 Ib. II. 235.
Half ane staine of nolt hair for the plaister
a1688 Wallace Orkney (1700) 46.
[No lime except] those shells burn'd which … does very well in plaister though I doubt whether it be so proper for building as stone lime is

b. A soft, sticky substance; spec. pitch. 1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Bitumen, plaister

4. Attrib. and comb. 1673 Leith Customs 51.
3 groce bon boxes & 1 dozen plaster boxs
1655 Edinb. Test. LXVIII. 89.
Pistellis, morteris, plaister panes
1587-99 Hume iii. 134.
Back from … ilk plaister wall The hote reflexing of the sun Inflams the aire and all
1695 Foulis Acc. Bk. 185.
To put on 2 new sawen daills on the foot and middle of the plaister wall
1683–90 Soc. Ant. LIV. 245.
To Henrie Red for haire to plaister work
1698 Foulis Acc. Bk. 233.

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"Plaster n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



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