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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.

Up(a)land, Up on (the) land, adj., adv. and adv. phr. Also: uplande, up alland, up(p)e-, uppo(l)and, upolande, uphaland, wp-aland. [ME and e.m.E. vp o-londe (c1300), vp on lond (Chaucer), vp of land (c1440), all adv. phr., uplande (1566) adj., OE uppe on londe adv. phr., uppelande n.; Up adv. and Land n.1]

A. adj. That lives, or is situated, in the countryside as opposed to the town; landward; rustic, rural. Also proverb. = Outland attrib. or adj. 2.In early use as a place-name.For further discussion see Murray Early B. Organ. I 19, 588, and II 317, 366, 446 n. 2, 458 n. 2.(1) c1280 Liber Calchou 94.
De Dedrig per metas inter Vppeland flat et Hermelandes
(2) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 30 (B).
And gyf the vpland man [A. that churl burges] chalange a burges dwelland in the burgh [etc.]
14.. Acts I 27/2.
Of the borowyng of uplande mannis pundis
1593 Elgin Rec. II 29.
Certane vphaland peopill fornicatoris being summonit to this daye
(3) 1598 Elgin Rec. II 65.
The merchantis … to be present the morne to gif thair adwyse anent the fortefeing of the richt thay have to all the uphaland mercattis round about thame
1600-1610 Melvill 419.
It behovit him to be debarrit St. Androis, and tak him to an upeland roum
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1689.
Upaland folks hes murelands maners

B. adv. and adv. phr. 1. (Living, etc.) in the countryside as opposed to the town. = Aponlande.Freq., with a verb such as live or dwell merely implicit in the context.(a) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 56 (B).
Burges vppoland dwelland ar nocht streigned to cum til vthyr courtys bot to tha thre
14.. Acts I 26/2.
Hym behofis to haf a party of … thaim at duellis upolande to wytnes
14.. Acts I 27/2.
Men upolande may borow thair pundis thryis fra wolk to wolk and syne thre dayis and na mare
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 165.
Twa myis … Of quham the eldest duelt in ane borous toun, The vther wynnit vponland [Asl. apon land, Bann. vp on land,] weill neir
a1500 Henr. Fab. 177.
Scho tuke in mynd hir sister vpon land [Asl. wp aland]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1268.
This volf I likkin to ane schiref stout Quhilk … dytis all the pure men vp on [Bann. of] land
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1773.
Vpon the land quhair I wes left allone I tuke my club, and hamewart couth I carie
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 68.
With barbarus termes bland And with trym termes maist vsit vp on land
1590 St. A. Kirk S. 661.
The gentill men upon land of this parrochin
(c) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1268 (Bann.) (see (b) above).
Vp of land
(d) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 205.
Now upaland [M. vpon land] thow leivis on rubbit quheit
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 99/19.
At feastis and brydallis up aland [M. wp aland] He wan the gre and the garland
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4172.
Quhen I was ludgit vpaland
1560 Bk. Disc. 209.
Yf it be upaland, whaire the people convene to doctrine bot once in the weeke, then must … the reidar or … minister … take cayre over the children … to instruct them
1560 Bk. Disc. 222.
Thir … exactionis to be clene discharged … as the uppermost claith, the corps-present the clerk-maill, the pasche offeringis … and all handlingis upaland
a1568 Jok & Jynny 39.
Jok tuk Jynny be the hand … And maid a brydell vp alland
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 158.
For vpaland thay haue not dew seruice
1574 Misc. Maitl. C. I 115.
Syndery boyith of the citie and gentillmen upaland schot at the samin [sc. the papingo]
c1575 Balfour Pract. 53.
Burgessis, dwelland upaland, ar not compellit to cum to ony court within burgh bot to the said thre heid courtis allenerlie
1598 Melvill Propine 149.
Learne to play the marchants pairt, … or husband labour vpaland
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xxv 3.
This is no lyfe that I live vpaland On rau rid herring reistit in the reik

2. Jok (Jhone, etc.) up(a)land, a generic name for a country-dweller as district from a townsman. Also possess.Cf. late ME Jacke Upland, Jak Uplonde (both 1402).See Lynd. III 61 n. 1529 Lynd. Complaynt 407.
Jhone upeland bene full blyith, I trow, Because the rysche bus kepis his kow
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 132.
That day dame Ceres goddes of the corne Full ioyfullie Johane Upponland applesit
1567 Sat. P. vi 8.
Rashely in thair court to thring, By th [blank] comission lyke Johne vpaland
a1568 Bann. MS 94a/52.
Jesu … grant him grace that weiris the croun To ding thir mony kingis doun Thus said Johine vponland
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis 1.
Jok up land being lodged in ane honest mans hous newis he heires over all quher he vses to travell
possess. c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis Title.
Jok vp a Landis Newes And dreames
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis 1.
Jok up Landis Newis

b. In weakened sense, as a rhyming tag with the phrase (to) die in (one's, etc.) hand, to come to nothing. a1650 Row 463.
Many are gaping for it, and using moyen at court to gaine it, but it will be Jok up-a-land; it will die in thy hand, (pointing at Mr. Andro Forrester)
1658 R. Moray Lett. 241.
I do but seldome let Jock up a land dy in my hand as long as there is any thing to be said thus upon what occurres

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"Upland adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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