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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Swith(e, Swyth(e, adv. Also: suith, suyth(e, switht, swytht, swycht, swyith, -eth, suyith(e, sweith, sweit. [ME and e.m.E. suythe (1154), swiþe (c1175), swithe (Layamon), suith (Cursor M.), OE swíðe.] Swiftly; immediately; straight away.(1) 1375 Barb. ii 316.
Till armys swyth, and makys ȝow ȝar!
1375 Barb. v 136.
A lady of that cuntre … wes vounder blith Of his arivale, and als swith Sped hir till hym in ful gret hy
a1400 Leg. S. i 446.
He schew thame the blessit brede, And thai swith fled of that stede
?1438 Alex. i 979.
He … fellit him stane-dede richt thare He deit suyth, and sa did ma
?1438 Alex. i 1976.
c1420 Wynt. vi 2447.
Wyth wynd at wyll the trad held thai, And in Ingland come rycht swyth
c1420 Wynt. viii 3264 (C).
1460 Hay Alex. 2105.
Pas on swyth Say to my mother that sche hald hir blyth
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1788.
The swallow swyth [Bann. suyft] put furth ane pietuous pyme
c1475 Wall. ii 275.
The womannys mylk recomford him full swyth
a1500 K. Hart 308.
As scho commandis so swyth all is done
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 236.
In twynklyng of ane eye to scip thai went And swyth [B. swift, M. swyft] up saile unto the top thai stent
a1570-86 Dunb. in Maitl. F. 388/7.
1513 Doug. ix ii 9.
Swith hynt ȝour armour, tak ȝour wapynnys all, … speil vp on the wall!
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xiv 21.
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke xv 22.
1535 Stewart 18596.
The lordis … Ressauit him that samin tyme full swyth, With all honour
1575 Reg. Privy C. II 458.
The said James … bad him tak [? erron. for pak] him swyth, or ellis he sould [blank] ane pistolet throw his body
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 781 (T).
Taid bak, swith pak
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 222.
How soon she came in his sight he bade her swithe away
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 562.
Swyith turne agane, and say, that I and ȝe Freindis ar maid
a1500 Rauf C. 623.
Pas agane, porter, and lat him swyith in
1528 Lynd. Dreme 971.
Swyith, harlote, hy thé hence
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2286 (Ch.).
Suyith! stand abak! I trow this man be mangit
c1590 Fraser Wigtown 392.
Mr Williame come furthe him self and bad hir suyithe [pr. snyithe] pack hir furthe, harlot lowne
(c) a1500 Bernardus 310.
Fra company my swet sone draw thé swycht To thi chalmer
(d) a1500 Prestis of Peblis 733.
‘Sweith’, he said, ‘bring him now heir to me’
15.. Clar. i 1154.
With Godis grace ȝe sall recover sweith
a1651 Calderwood VII 540.
‘Sweith away!’ said the bishop, as if he had been speaking to a dogge: ‘Pack, you swinger!’
(e) 1460 Hay Alex. 245.
The maisteris louit him oure all thing, He was sa sweit to lare and to techeing
1535 Stewart 16090.
Beseikand thame richt sweit to cum him to
(2) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 380.
Syne thay sought to the chalmer, swiftly and swith
1535 Stewart 31330.
Dongallus of him … wes rycht blyth And in his armes hint him sone and suyth
1535 Stewart 47395.
King Edward … suddantlie and suyth, Or euir tha wist, betuix thame and the toun Ane forra brak

b. Suddenly, without warning. 1513 Doug. i ii 61 (Sm.).
Switht [L. subito] the cluddis, hevin, sone, and days licht Hid

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"Swith adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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