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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rural(l, -ale, adj. Also: -ell. [Late ME rural (Lydgate), F. rural(e (1370 in Larousse), L. rurālis, f. rur-, oblique stem of rus country.]

1. Of persons: Living in the country; leading a pastoral (as opposed to urban) way of life. Passing into: b. Simple; unsophisticated.Chiefly in verse. a1500 Henr. Fab. 169.
This rurall mous in to the wynter tyde … tholit grit distres
Ib. 245.
This … royall feist May weill suffice for sic ane rurall beist
Ib. 1608.
Thir rurall men that stentit hes the net … Waittit alway amendis for to get
1513 Doug. x vi 53.
The rowtis of the lauboreris Or rurall husbandis
1533 Boece 34b.
Thai … had ado bot with rurall men vincust afore
Ib. 72.
Scottis and Pichtis curing nowder the rurell febill pepill nor mwnyciouns … made hereschip and rubery throw all the cuntre
1535 Stewart 56557.
Rurall men … Bairfit and bair leg for to saif thair lyfe, Fra hill to hill rynnand as tha war hyrit
Ib. 547.
b. 1513 Doug. viii vi 87.
Ane feirfull reuerent religioun … The ery rural pepill dyd affray
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 66.
Because myne mater bene so rude Off sentence and of rethorike denude, To rurall folke myne dyting bene directit
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 328.
Thy self present to nobill men and gude And fle the sect of rurall folke and rude

2. Dene (decan) rural, a rural dean.‘The decani rurales … had a jurisdiction over the clergy of a certain district quite well defined and known as a rural deanery. C. Innes Sc. Legal Antiquities (1872) 183.
The Rural dean's jurisdiction was made up of a delegation of the general pastoral authority of the bishop and of the jurisdiction of the archdeacon.’
c1450-2 Howlat 216 (A).
The ravyne … Was dene rurale to reid
1538 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 199.
The denis rurall
Schir James Lawder dene rurall of Dumkell
1538 Comm. Univ. III (St. A.) App. 182.
Sua as we be not trublit be them, nor be the decanis rurall within quhais deanries our benefice lyes
1602 Colville Paraenese 69.
Thai vill haue … no dene rurall bot visiteur

3. Of writings, style, language, etc.: Simple, unpolished; unrefined; ‘rustic’. c1475 Wall. xi 1431.
All worthi men at redys this rurall dyt, Blaym nocht the buk, set I be wnperfyt
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 2150.
Ressaue this roustie rurall rebaldrie, Laikand cunning, fra thy pure leige vnleird
Id. Æn. i Prol. 43.
I wald into my rurall wlgar gros Wryte sum savoryng of thyne Eneados
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 204.
I lose my tyme, allace, for to … wrytt in to my raggit rurall vers Mater without edificatioun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 126.
Without cullour or feit … In rurall ryme to set it furth I sall
a1568 Bann. MS 217a/10.
I dar nocht speik in dreid that scho dispyt My rurall termes
a1585 Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. 140/6.
That troublit hairt makis a rurell ryme

4. Characteristic of, or generally associated with, a. Country people; peasants. b. Country, as opposed to urban, life or ways of living.a. 1513 Doug. i Prol. 316.
And ȝit persave I weill, be my consait The kyng of poetis ganys nocht for rurall estait
Ib. xi xiii 72.
He held intill his hand A rural club or culmas in sted of brand
a1538 Abell 9a.
Ȝong men wes … haldin in plewch and harro and rurall laubour
b. 1513 Doug. xi xi 77.
Na rurall byggyngis nor ȝit na strang cite Wald hym ressaue

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"Rural adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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