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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Unce, Uns, n.1 Also: unch(e, unȝe, wnce, wns, wnece. [ME and e.m.E. vnce (Manning), unch (1464), OF unce, L. uncia twelfth part (of a pound or foot).] An ounce, the unit of weight. Also comb. with trone, wecht. = Ounce n.1For further examples see Pais n.2 1 b, Trois adj. and Tron(e n. 3 e.For further information on the ounce and its relationship to the pound, see Allen Simpson ‘Scots ‘Trone’ Weight: Preliminary Observations on The Origins of Scotland's Market Weights', in Northern Studies 29 (1992), 65-6.sing. 14.. Acts I 309/2.
The unce contenit in King Dauidis time xx gude and sufficient sterling penijs and now it sall wey xxi penijs for the demynicioune of the mone
a1500 Henr. Practysis 71.
Ane vnce of ane oster poik at the nethir parte
1506 Aberd. B. Rec. I 434.
Ane cors of gold, weyand half ane unce
1554 Treas. Acc. X 263.
To … ane unce of silver to mak certane peces of money to be an assay of his cunigie
c1575 Balfour Pract. 90.
The unce contenit in King Davidis tyme, xx gude and sufficient sterling penies; and in King Robert the Bruce's tyme, xxi penies; and in King Robert the thirdis tyme, xxxij penies
1578 Reg. Privy C. III 32.
That thair salbe ane penny or pece of gold … cunyeit … to have cours and passage for fourtie schillingis money of this realme contenand ten in the unce and to be callit the Scottis croun
1581–2 Reg. Privy C. III 462.
Thair suld be ten schilling peces struccin of ellevin penny fyne, quhairof foure suld mak ane unce
1597 Acts IV 122/1.
Bulȝeoun the vnce thairof being of xij deneiris
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I 355.
Allowing for everie unȝe of silver of ii d. fyne 5 sh. 4 d. sterline
1641 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I xxxi.
That the vnce of vtter fynne gold by the A.B.C. is worth 43 li. and the vnce of ellevine deneirs fynne silver goes out at worth 3 li. 10 d. ¼
16… Cochran-Patrick Coinage I lxxiv.
King James 3d raised the siluer first to 10 s. 8 d. the wnce and the gold to 5 li. 12 s. the wnce
pl. 14.. Acts I 309/2.
The pund sould wey xv vncis
1482–3 Acta Conc. II cvii.
Certane silver weschale contenand a hundreth unces
1496 Acta Conc. II 17.
Ane chene of gold weyand thre uncis of gold
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1526.
Golyas Quhais speir heid wecht thre hundreth vnces was
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 36.
Ane haly watter fatt weyand vj merkis vj uncis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4062.
Howbeit ȝour elwand be too skant, Or ȝour pound-wecht thrie vnces want
1541 Treas. Acc. VIII 21.
For thre unces pasmentis of gold and silk … price of the unce xxx s.
1568 Misc. Maitl. C. II 314.
Thatt the four pennye laif … keip the mesour and pais of xxij unceis
1626–7 Glasgow Chart. II 583.
Sewin pundis sex wneces twa deineris bullioun of twelf deineris fyne
1661 Old Ross-shire I 343.
Being heavally disseased [of] a great pluressie [blank] I was forced to cause draw off 24 unces of bloud
1681 (1691) Consideration on the Scots Mint 23.
The Dean of Gild's weights of Edinburgh … are heavier than the Scots Troy weight by two unces and a half every stone weight
uninfl. pl. 1436 Acts II 23/2.
Of ilk sek of wol that sal pas out of Scotlande the Scottis merchande … to bring hame in Scotlande to the maister of the kingis mone thre vnce of bulȝeon
1442 Aberd. B. Rec. I 9.
The penny lafe [to] wey xxiiij vnce of bakin brede at the leste
1456 Montrose Baillie Ct. 6a.
Statutis the pas off the brede for xx wns
1473 Treas. Acc. I 14.
iij vnce of silk … , price of the vnce v s.
1489–90 Acta Conc. I 135/1.
A chenȝe of golde weyande thre vnce thre quarteris of ane vnce & half a quarter of ane vnce of the fynes of the Rose noble
1491 Acts II 226/2.
[Former statutes concerning measures to be observed] and specialy of wechtis alswele of wax as spice and xvj vnce in the pund
1496 Treas. Acc. I 279.
For tua vnce of cannel to the king
1502 Treas. Acc. II 288.
For ij½ unce grene ribanes … ilk unce vj s.
1507 Treas. Acc. III 256.
iij½ Franch crownis, j unicorn, j leo, ij salutis, j ridar, quhilk maid in the hale ij½ unce gold
1519 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 54.
To geiff your pais to ilk bakhous of xii uns to be kepit of the pennebred
1529 Linlithgow B. Ct. 15 Oct.
And this is the pas at this tyme xx s. quhet xvj vns the twa penny laif of bakyne bred the penny laif viij vns
1551 Dundee B. Ct. II 107b (5 Nov.).
The pace of xxtj vnce the plak leif & the twa penny breid to be ten wns of weil bultit floure
1591 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 130.
[That] na baxteris of uther tounis sall haif libertie to sell ony bred in this toun, without thay gif twa unce mair nor our awn baxteris of ilk viii d. laif
1690 Foulis Acc. Bk. 126.
6 unce syboes seed
(b) 1454–5 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i 228 (10 March).
xxj vnche of siluer
1520 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 58.
[That] the bred be of bakyne bred xiiii unch under the [payne] of viii s.
(c) a1578 Pitsc. I 218/30.
The king … gart mak ane belt of irone and wore it dailie about him and eikit it everie ȝeir during his lyftyme certane wnce wyght
1587 Acts III 521/2.
The stane contening sextene pund trois ilk trois pund contening sextene wnce
comb. 1516–17 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 166.
Quhat cost or expenssis that the saidis fermoraris of the petie customes makis vpoun fyrlottis, pekkis, and on the vnce trone
1555–6 Edinb. B. Rec. II 230.
Vtheris baxteris … sall eik ane vnce weycht … to the quantite foirsaid
1583 Edinb. Test. XII 92.
Hir siluer belt … with … pendes of siluer weyand foure vnce wecht
1592 Edinb. Test. XXIV 214.
I leif to … my dochter my siluer brotche of thrie vnce wecht

b. Uncis of land, unces lands, ouncelands, measures of land (here, in Skye) which formerly paid a tax of an ounce of silver to an overlord.See SND, s.v. Ounceland, and cf. Penny-land n. 1610 Bk. Dunvegan I 79.
His twa uncis of land of Trotirness with the pertinentis … twa unces lands of Troutirnes [etc.]

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"Unce n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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