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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Support, v. Also: suport, suppoirt, sopport. [ME and e.m.E. support(e (Wyclif), OF sorporter, supporter (c1190 and c1360 in Larousse), L. supportāre to convey (to a place).] tr.

1. To strengthen or make more secure the position of (a person, persons or an institution) by lending one's assistance or backing; to uphold the rights of, stand by, back up (another). Also const. in or to do (something). Also ellipt., without object.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) vii 28.
Oure indeficient adiutorie, … That neuer saw Scot yit indigent nor sory, Bot thou did hym suport, with thi gud deid
1533 Bell. Livy I 48/29.
He … commandit this bischop to be chosin of sic preeminence and wisdome, that he mycht support the pepill be his consultacioun
1544 Aberd. B. Rec. I 212.
And gif thai misterit ony mair help thai sald be supportit as thai misterit and requirit
1570 Sat. P. xxiii 121.
Quhat neids ye skar, thocht Ingland do support vs
(2) 1466 Reg. Morton II 214.
The said reuerend fader [etc.] … sal support, supple, manteine and defend the said James … in all his lachfull and leful actions
a1500 Lanc. 2499.
Mony o knycht That cummyng war … Hyme in the wer for to support and serf
1535 Stewart 19130.
Greit thank … Be to thy king … That wald deding … Ws to support in oure necessitie
1535 Stewart 46576.
That tha supportit [hed] into sic thing The Norrawayis agane thair awin king
c1550 Lynd. Test. Meldrum 68.
Thair heuinlie constellatiounis Did me support in monie natiounis
1568 Reg. Morton I 37.
Sche hes promisit to support and mantein the erle of Murray … in the vsurpatione of my authorite
(3) 1536–7 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 81.
To support and help the toun of Edinburgh to pay thair pairt of the said taxt
1597 Cranna Fraserburgh 203.
Quhilk honorabill intentioun … [sc. to found a university] … sold be furtherit … and the said Sir Alexander … helpit and supportit to do the samin
(4) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 25.
And all this wes … reprochit to thame be the doaris of thir mischevis saying that thai had enterit thame in dangeare and not supportit in mister samekill as to cum and ly in Lauder [etc.]

b. To give spiritual assistance to (a person or institution). c1515 Asl. MS I 321/16.
Susan deliuerit be Daniele, figuris haly kirk supportit be Crist
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 181/23.
Lyk as thais quhilkis ar in deidlie syn be the sacrifice of the mes ar supportit (it beand offerit for thame)
1567 G. Ball. 138.
That Lord maist sure, In eird he hes me support

c. To augment; to make stronger or more potent. 1533 Bell. Livy I 9/5.
The power of men is supportit be commixtioun of goddis

d. To uphold the validity of, give backing to (a course of action). 1699 Fountainhall Decis. II 67.
The pursuer's active title being found lame and defective, any new gift impetrate from his majesty cannot be retrotracted to support a process raised before the date thereof

2. a. To provide for (a person) financially. b. To cover, pay, refund (expenses).a. c1475 Wall. ii 413.
Syluer thai had, all with him has he tayne Him to support; for spendyng had he nayne
1531 Bell. Boece II 82.
He supportit the indegent pepill with the commoun gud
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 231.
Besekand yowr grace … to sopport me or my departyng … for trewly, Madame, ther is myster
1558-66 Knox II 300.
[It] was not knawin … what sowmes of money wald sufficientlie susteane the ministrie … nor yit how mekle was necessar to supporte the Quenis Majestie abone hir awin rentis
1585 Thanes of Cawdor 187.
The rest of my haill geir I gyff to the lard of Calder; frie to support hym and the hous I com of
1558-66 Knox II 301.
The ferd parte … may be sufficient to … supporte the Quenis Majestie to interteany and sett fordworte the commoun effaires of the countrey
b. 1457–8 Acta Conc. II xv.
To support sum pairt of thair expensis thai [sc. Lords of Session] sall haif the kingis unlawe of thair awne court
1553 Treas. Acc. X 175.
To the … wardane of the myddill marchis, to support his expensis, xl li.

3. To provide with sustenance, maintain, minister to the needs of (a person). 1562 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 7.
Mekle les luff thai God gife thai support nocht thair awin fader and moder
1568 Reg. Privy C. I 627.
Lord Sympill … to … intromet with the said hous, place and fortalice of Boghall … unsufferand the said Johnne … to be supportit … be the said hous
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 327/9.
Oppres not bot support the pure

b. To satisfy (a person) (with the thing desired or of a need). c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 467.
I have ane secrete servand rycht sobir of his toung That me supportis of sic nedis quhen I a syne mak
1533 Bell. Livy I 144/17.
Indigent pepill sall nocht alanerly be frelie exonerate of al tribute … bot sall als be supportit with all chargis & necessaris be the riche men of the ciete
1535 Stewart 58471.
Wes nane … to mak him remeid, Or him support with ane byte of gra breid
a1578 Pitsc. I 332/13.
He could on no wyse support him of his desyre nether witht artaillȝe, pulder nor bullattis

c. To help (a person) to obtain (to) (something). 1562 Treas. Acc. XI 214.
To Walter Barde … to support him to ane naig

d. To provide, supply, more generally. 1632 Lithgow Trav. i 25.
This prouince is mainely watered … with stately Po … The rivers Ladishe, Montanello [etc.] … supporting the shoulders of it

4. To satisfy (a need), make up for, make good (a deficiency). a1500 Lanc. 2320.
And yhow, sir, richt hartly I exort In to this ned my myster to support
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 159/35.
Telȝouris and sowtaris … Supportand faltis with ȝour supple
1513 Doug. ix iii 27.
Hattyr gestis stowt Quhilk glaidly I haue gevin … Strang Eneas … Fortill support the mysteris of hys navy
c1530-40 Stewart in Maitl. F. 396/26.
Bettir is gutt in feit nor cramp in hands The falt of feitt with hors thow may suppoirt
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 11.
The principal sal support the defectis of absens of the public reidar and regentis

5. To lend military assistance to, to fight alongside. 1531 Bell. Boece I 134.
Petulius yit, ithandly went about the Romanis quhare thay faucht, and supportit thaim
1533 Bell. Livy I 162/21.
Mamilius … tuke certane manipillis of Latynis … and went fordwartis … to support the Tarquinis
a1578 Pitsc. II 166/16.
The quens brother come out … to the sie witht viij schipis to haue supportit the quene aganis the Protestantis

6. To endure, put up with, tolerate. 1549 Compl. 16/13.
Heir I exort al philosophouris, historigraphours [etc.] … to support & til excuse my barbir agrest termis
1549 Compl. 126/17.
My impaciens suld be supportit be cause that the occasione of it hes suppedit my rason
1549 Compl. 157/25.
The maist part of the vicis that thy tua brethir hes committit maye be supportit & excusit be rason of there ignorance

7. To save, safeguard (another's life). c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1434.
Men mycht no help mak to thare wyfis Nor ȝit support thare bairnis lyfis

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"Support v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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