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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sellar, n.2 Also: sellare, sellair, selar, seller, -eir, seler(e, sellour, scellar, sallar, saillar, siller. [ME and e.m.E. seler (Cursor M.), seller (1432-50), sellar (1541); var. of Cellair n.]

1. a. A storeroom in a house for storage of provisions, wine, etc.; a pantry; in later use more specif. for the storage of wine and ale. b. A room or building used or intended for the storage of goods, esp. in a port. c. An underground storeroom; a cellar.Also const. holl (how), high and laich sellar (see also Laich adj. 3 a, b for further examples).See also Ale-sellar n.1, Bere n.3 b, Malt n. 2 a, Wyne-sellar n. for further examples.a., b., c. (1) 1456 Hay I 133/34.
The corne of his grangeis or the wyne of his sellaris
1480 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 39.
The first buith to Archibald Todrick … The littil seller to Hector Meldrum
1482 Acta Aud. 107/2.
A hal a chavmer a kychin twa loftis twa sellaris & ane inner hous with a loft abone & ane vndir sellar
1497 Treas. Acc. I 330.
For bering of the kingis cork to the sellar
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 168/47 (M).
Thair is sic wyine in my selleir Hes never come in this cuntrie
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 483.
For beryng of aill and wittaill furth of the hous to the sellaris and furth of the sellaris to the boittis
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 487.
For iiij sellaris for the space of iij wolkis that the said aile was housit in ilk sellar in the wolk ij s.
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 493.
Reid wyne furth of the sellar in Leith that the controllar bocht
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 495.
Reid wyne of the kingis sellar
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 7.
For viii new lokkis … viz. to the laicht dure in the turn in the tour at passis fra the sellaris [sc. in Holyrood Abbey] [etc.]
1531 Aberd. Pynours 61.
For losing of ilk tounn of guidis at the Key of Strangeris to be put in selaris fra Thom Brechins hous
1535 Stewart 61082.
This ilk seruand he send to bring him wyne … till his sellar is gane
1537 Ayr B. Acc. 25.
For the mail of his sellar undir the Tolbuth
1560 Treas. Acc. XI 34.
To twa pyonaris … in claying of the hale puncheonis of ale in twa sellaris
1567–8 Crim. Trials I i 501.
All except the key of that dur, quhilk passit throuch the sellare and the town wall
a1568 Bann. MS 64a/7.
Our lordis … With silkin gownis and sellaris tome and bair
1568 Lanark B. Rec. 42.
William Wait deponit … that thei wer sittand drinkand in Syme Wesseis hous … and thair he hard Katte Wait call upon Jhone Fauch to get ane drink, quhay com at hir command and yeid in the seller with hir and gat ane drink
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 253.
Ȝon carle … all prouisioun hes … in hall, girnell and seller
1576 Reg. Privy C. II 505.
The … merchandis of the saidis wynis … to keip the same within boddum or sellaris haill and undisponit
1578 Conv. Burghs I 58.
That ordour be taikin of the warkmen, awneris of sellaris, loftis, pak-houssis, and wyth the skipperis of the schippis and hoyes for transporting of persones or guidis
1594–5 Misc. Spald. C. V 118.
For ix hunder and a half of sklatis, to help to repair the graye freirs kirk, quhilk are ȝit lyand in ane sellar within the said place
1595 Conv. Burghs I 468.
That na freman quha sall happin to girnell any kynd of wittuall … huird … the samyn to ane derth, bot thay haif thair girnellis and selleris patent at all tymeis to all oure souerane lordis leigis
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 20.
Ane greit stowth of fische, flesche and uther sort of gere stollin continewallie out of the selleris and skeois of Papa
1611 Macgibbon & Ross V 6.
Ane paintrie to be maid vpoun the north syde of the hall be west the hall dure with ane passage thairfra inneth the same doun to the eistmest sellar
1620 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 62.
William Weymis intre to our seller takin for a yeir for 4 lib. 6 s. 8 d.
1621 Sc. N. & Q. V 181.
For intertening of onlauchfull persons in drinking in hir seller in tyme of sermone
1624 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 139.
The said Elspeth going in ȝour seller, quhilk was dungeon mirk and putting furth hir hand to greap about hir hir hand chanced in ane barrell of aill … and the hous growing sumquhat lighter scho luked about hir and saw ane halff barrell new aill standing of ane chest head
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I 273.
For carrying of the ball belonging to the canon from the barkes to a sellar and therafter for changing of them twyce or thryce from sellar to sellar
1653 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 941.
Ane kitching twa sellouris and houses abone baith the sellouris
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII 78b.
The workmans waidges quho caryed the said herring from the schipe to the sellars
1668 Lauder Jrnl. 194.
We first enter in to a hall. On our right hand as we enter is a kitchin and a sellar, both wouted
1676 Glasgow Chart. II 186.
The threschold of the port of the great closse wher the towns scellars are
1676 Edinb. B. Rec. X 262.
The councill considering the great prejudice the inhabitants … susteines by the toun officers there keepeing sellers for venting all sort of drink doe … apoynt the respective baillies to intimat to there officers that efter this tyme furth they nether top nor sell anie weyne aill bear or other liquor
1680 Foulis Acc. Bk. 18.
To Jon Telfeir stewart at Calder, quhen [pr. yn] we went to pantrie and seler
1680 Torry Coal & Salt Wks. 81b.
Expenses upon salt leading livering of meall and fraughts of irone … for carying it up from peir to seller
1692 Glasgow Chart. II 244.
A most safe and convenient harbour, with lodgeings, sellaris and all other buildings necessar and convenient for loading, livering, preserveing and bestowing of all maner of goods
1696 Glasgow Chart. II 417.
He hes ryght to 67 feet of front towards the shoare and back to the tounes selleris
(b) 1554–5 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 151.
Quhilk haill last of beir wes input in the said Thomas sallar & disponit be him as he thocht guid
(c) 1566 Crail B. Ct. MS 30 Aug.
[He] desyrit at the saiddis balȝeis and consaill thair grant and consent of ane saillar in few lyand vnder his hows
(2) 1466 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i p. 590 (22 Nov.).
Ane annuale of xv s. aucht til the saide Robert of the holl sellar of Johne Andersonys lande
1558-66 Knox I 42.
Yf ye will burne thame, lett thame be brunt in how sellarris, for the reik of Maister Patrik Hammyltoun hes infected as many as it blew upoun
1600-1610 Melvill 85.
Ther was a student chalmerit abon a lafted leache seller in the quhilk sellar wrights war working, and it was full of dry timber
1611 Ayr Chart. 143.
Four laych silleris and buithis under the tolbuyth
1649 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 538.
A garner in the laigh sellar and gauntries in ane other sellar
1678 Edinb. B. Rec. X 333.
Maill and dewtie for the saids chops high and laich sellers swa to be built be them

d. attrib. With dure. e. comb. As sellar volt, -buith, a vaulted storage space or shop ? underground.d. 1513 Treas. Acc. IV 524.
iij bandis … to the princis sellar dure
1580 Inverness Rec. I 279.
The said … Magie hes ane fals kye and opnit his sellar durris and tuike out of the said sellar certan beiff, meill, flowr, salt, beir [etc.]
1600 Crim. Trials II 199.
Ane spar of fir, quhilk he sett aff his schowder to the wall, betuix the turnepyke and the seller dur
1618 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 101.
For a new key to my Lord Chancellaris seller dore [at Edinburgh Castle] [13 s. 4 d.]
1625 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 182.
Lockis for tua of the great seller durres in the close [at Holyrood House]
1626 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 190.
For ane new stock locke for the constabilles seller dorre [at Edinburgh Castle] [26 s. 8 d.]
e. 1546 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) No. ii (Cailȝefeir v. Falconer).
Ane sellar volt liand in the toun of Leith
1608 Glasg. Univ. Mun. III 521.
Lykeas the said Andro sall have frie within the said College twa seller vouttis … with the auld Pedagog Yaird lying behind the Laich Hall … for herbis to the said College
1647 Misc. Bann. C. II 273.
I … constitutes Richard and John Crombies my bairnes my onlie executours, legatouris and … intromittouris with my haill debts … goods geir insycht plenisching buiks in my sellar buith [etc.]

2. Const. of the sellar describing the person in charge of provisioning in a household, etc. = Cellerar(e n., Cellarman n. b. transf. The department in a household specif. concerned with provisioning, esp. of wine, ale, etc. 1363 Rot. Sc. 869/2.
Stephanus del selere
1454 Exch. R. V 655.
Johanni de sellar, butillario, in feodo suo
1498 Reg. Morton II 253.
And gif it plesis the said Thomas to tak mair breid or aile on the day than the said portion the mounk of the seller … sal ansuer til him on ane tailȝee, the said Thomas deliverand samekle agane til him in wictualis
1504–5 Treas. Acc. II 268.
Payit to Alexander Balfour of the sellar that he laid doun for ane barrell of Hamburgh beir to the Freris of Strivelin [28 s.]
1504–5 Treas. Acc. III 129.
To David Balfour of the sellar
1506 Treas. Acc. III 358.
To Michel Balfour, maister of sellar
b. 1512 Household Bk. Jas. IV in Facs. Nat. MSS III x.
The seller spendit ix gallonis aill … the keiching coft ij quarteris beif [etc.]
1512 Household Bk. Jas. IV 21b.
The sellair coft vi gallonis ii quartis aill pryce viii s. viii d.

3. In Orkney: A room in the inner part or ‘ben-end’ of a house.Also in the later dialect of Caithness, Orkney and Shetland. Cf. SND, s.v. Cellar n. and Sellar n. 1550 Rec. Earld. Orkney 242.
This is the howsauld geir that I gat … ; in the fyrst, ane stannand bed, ane small buking cownter; in the selleris, ane meit amrye, ane seller dowr; in the hall, ane he buird maid of buirdis of aik, tua sait buirdis … , ane fire hall dur
1576 Orkney Oppress. 43.
In sum mennis housses, the laird … wald remane quhill [etc.] … and the gudwyffes of the housse, nor thair servandis, gat na entres in thair awin sellaris sa lang as he remanit
1580 Rec. Earld. Orkney 355.
All and haill ane hall and seller and chalmer thairabone wyth yaird and pertinentis thairto
1593 Rec. Earld. Orkney 169.
Acknowledges the haill tuay sellaris ben of and byr on the taill thereof to apertein to the said Johne Sinclair … and … heirof settis … all and haill the saidis haill tuay sellaris and byr [etc.]
1633 Orkney Bp. Ct. 89b.
Ȝe causit bring ben to the seller ane skaillfull of water
1679 Sc. Hist. Rev. XVII 22.
[In Orkney] The innermost pairt of the fyre house and two sellars nixt thereto … of the quhilks two sellars there is ane alltogether and the other almost ruinous

4. A box intended to hold wine, etc. bottles or drink and glasses; a cellaret. 1603 Treas. Acc. MS 275b.
Twa glas selleris coverit with selch skins to carie the drink in xxviii li.
1613 Edinb. Test. XLVII 356, 356b.
Ane seller tane with xii glasis of quartis being lokit and bandit and coverit with selch skynnes, … ane wyne seller couerit with selch skinns with the glasis
1627 Edinb. Test. LIV 55b.
Ane stampit sellar pryce 13 s. 4 d.

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"Sellar n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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