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

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

Ȝo(u)ng man, n. Also: young man, ȝongmane, yhong-, yonng man, ȝungmane. Pl. also ȝounge men, ȝunge men, yhong men, ȝyng men, ȝing men. [ME and e.m.E. ȝunge mann (c1200), yongmon (a1250), ȝong mon (a1375), young man (1589).]

1. A young man, one in early manhood. Also proverb. b. A lover. c. A seaman. d. A soldier or warrior.Cf. SND Young adj. 1 (4). a1400 Leg. S. v 141.
Twa ȝounge men in that place Stud
a1400 Leg. S. v 147.
Ȝunge men
c1420 Wynt. viii 3078 (W) (see Ȝeman n. 1 a sing. (d)). c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark xiv 51.
A yonng man [W., P. ȝong man] clethit with a lynnyne clathe
a1538 Abell 85a.
Ane fair agit man & tua fair ȝoung men … castand petis
1562-3 Winȝet II 58/13.
Thair is a gret difference betuix the floure of barneage and the maturitie and rypnes of the eild. Bot ȝit the samyn ar auld men quha afoir wes childer … Litle ar the membris of infantis, grete of the ȝoung men, ȝit tha ar the samyn self membris
1565 Edinb. Univ. MS La.iii.388a, 4a.
Vtheris literat ȝoung men haveand licence of the lordis to heir and leir the practik
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 997.
I trow young man your mouth yuiks
b. a1400 Leg. S. xliii 16.
Scho … ves handfast vith a ȝungmane
a1500 Seven S. 1088.
Thow leyis … Thow has bene at a ȝoung man
1535 Stewart 3598.
And ilk ȝoung man … With his lamen … to dance and sing
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 520.
Thay saw ane ȝoung man … With hir allone in ane ȝaird intermell
c. ?14.. Ship Laws c. 8 (B).
Of debat … The maystyr hyris his men [etc.] … And ony of thaim le … he sal pay iii d. And gyf the maystyr leis ony of his yhong men [H.1 ȝong mene] he sal pay vij d.
?14.. Ship Laws c. 14 (B).
A yhong man [H.1 ȝongmane] is ladysman of a schyp and is hyryt to bryng it to the recept
?14.. Ship Laws c. 17 (H2) (see Ȝeman n. 1 c).d. 1513 Doug. xii iii 79.
I se that ȝong man [Sm. ȝong man, Ruddim. ȝoung man] haste … To mach in feild with fatis inequaill
1533 Boece 36a.
Iber … having ȝong men and gallandis in reddines, to vse thare vassalage as the tyme requirit
1533 Boece 380b.
Ȝoung men fra al plesouris suld abstene, thai suld bot anys euery day tak refectioun quhilk suld nocht be delicate metis [etc.]
c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 335.
Ane nobill ȝoung man, callit Williame Wallace, … tuke part with the puyre pepill, and defendit the realme
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 19.
Ane … young man … invaiding the Inglis schippis hapnit to droun
(b) 1513 Doug. viii iii 38.
From a hill or a know To thame he callys: ‘Standis, ȝyng men [Sm., Ruddim. ȝing men] howe!'

2. One enjoying the characteristics of a youth or young man. 1587-99 Hume 161/198.
Hee that shall be an hundreth yeares ild shal die as a young man

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"Ȝong Man n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Feb 2024 <>



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