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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rain, Rayn(e, n. Also: raine; rane; rean. [ME reine, pl. renas (1154), reȝȝn (Orm), rein, reyn(e (c 1449), ME (Rolle) and e.m.E. rayn(e, e.m.E. rain (1598), raine, OE regn, rén, OFris. rein, ON regn, Goth. rign.] Rain, in the usual senses.

1. Rain; the falling of rain; raindrops, collectively; rainwater. Also proverb.(1) 1375 Barb. iii 241.
The rayne thus lettyt the fechtyn
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1709.
Cluddis blak … Outȝettand sic copy of rayne
c1420 Wynt. iv 355.
Jupitere wyth rayne [C. rayn, W. rane] hym wete
Ib. 396.
It layit on sa fast off rayne
1456 Hay II 100/14.
That the rayne is prouffitable, ȝit cummys thare with the rayn grete thonder and fyre flaucht
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 294.
Ane swerd … rowsty for the rayne
1490 Irland Mir. I 77/32.
a1570-86 Kennedy Maitl. F. 235/29.
The schip of faythe is stormyt with wynd and rayne [: trayne, fayne] Off heresye
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 195.
The schour of arowis rappit on as rayn
1513 Doug. iii iii 95.
The rayn and royk reft from ws sycht of hevin
Ib. viii 21.
Hyades betakynnand rayn
a1585 Maitl. Q. 202/46.
Teiris … lyik flowing stremis of raine
1595 Aberd. Pynours 68.
Salt and uther girnell guid subject to the perrell off weyt and rayn
1673 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 28 June. 1683 Inv. in Donibristle Mun. (Earl of Moray's MSS) 7 (9–10 May).
Ane divyce to hold over on's head for the rain
1688 Whitelaw Sc. Arms Makers 157.
[Arms] spoiled with rain and salt water
1690 Fraser P. 268.
Ane intack … by quhich the raine enters the wall
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xl 574.
Thare-with fel the rane sa thycht That [etc.]
a1500 Seven S. 2030. a1497, 15.. Gray MS v 21.
Smal as droppis of rane, Wan wormys
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 35. 1513 Doug. ix vii 152.
The chesbo hedis … Bow down thar knoppis … chargyt with the hevy rane [: grane]
1531 Bell. Boece I xv.
The wind meridiane, With wingis donk, and pennis full of rane, Awalkenit me
1533 Boece 155b.
Grete multitude of paddokis in maner of rane, out of the are fell
1535 Stewart 50983.
Fers as ane eill war new tane in the rane
1549 Compl. 34/21.
Quhen the rane cummis, ve pas vndir the thak
Ib. 58/23. 1549–50 Treas. Acc. IX 373.
Thai tynt … breid be see and rane or it come to the campe
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1422. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 1521.
The rane … nurischis also sum time of ȝeir
1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. II 158. a1568 Scott iii 26.
Reckles nocht ȝour eirand for the rane
1596 Dalr. I 288/16.(c) 1600-1610 Melvill 330.
Ther fell a cloud of rean upon Kellie Law
Ib. 222.(2) 1513 Doug. iv iv 66.
Thik schour of rayn myddillit ful of haill
1603 E. Melville Godlie Dreame 86.
As thristie ground requyris ane shoure of raine
1704 Strathendrick 31.
Thair being then a little shoure of rain
proverb. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 119/27.
Purpos dois change as wynd or rane
Ib. 174/19.
Wes nevir sic drowth bot anis come rane
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 776.
He is not worth ane swayn that letis his labour for the rain

2. With the indef. art., also ony. a. A period of rain, a shower. b. A sort of rain.a. a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii 508.
Of the hewine a rayne gert fal, Sa wyolent … That [etc.]
1535 Stewart 12856.
Like ony rane the bitter teiris ran
Ib. 46111.
In harvest fell sic ane rane and weit
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 93.
Efter ane rane
1549 Compl. 59/15.
The myst … is the … superfluite of the cluddis, the quhilk fallis fra the ayr in ane sueit rane
b. 1549 Compl. 59/17.
Hail stonis is ane congelit rane

3. pl. Periods of rain, rainfalls, showers. c1420 Wynt. i 402.
Ranys … Fowrty dayis wytht forsys fell Schot out thare schowrys
Ib. v 5371.
In hys tyme gret raynis fell
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts xiv 16.
He gaue raynis [P. reyns] fra heuen
1655 Lamont Diary 89.
Ther wer many great and hauie rayns in this last May
16.. Abercrummie Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 11.
The water of Dynoyk … soon swells with rains

4. attrib. and comb. 1513 Doug. v viii 76.
Als fast as rayn schour rappys on the thak
1490 Irland Mir. MS fol. 235a.
The wattir naturale and elementare as is the rane wattir of the sey
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 144.
Rayne water
1670 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 27.
The skayth of the raine weit in the housses

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"Rain n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2023 <>



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