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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.

S(c)harp, adj., adv. and n.2 Also: s(c)harp(p)e, charp; sarp; s(c)hairp(e; s(c)herp(e; scheirp; schearp; schirpe. [ME and e.m.E. s(c)earp(e, scharp, also sarp, OE scearp.]

A. adj. 1. Of an artefact, freq. a weapon, or a natural thing. a. Having a keen edge capable of cutting or severing. b. Tapering to a fine point capable of piercing.There is freq. ambiguity between a and b.Also transf.a. (1) 1375 Barb. x 176.
& ber Ane hachat that war scharp to scher Wnder his belt
a1400 Leg. S. l 852.
Foure quhelis … Of the quhilkis the felyis all With scharpe houkis fichit be sall
?1438 Alex. i 2093.
His sword that sharpe was of steill
Ib. ii 8339.
Ilkane in hand had dart or spere Or hand-ax that was schairp to schere
c1420 Wynt. iii 28.
Than gert he ma A scharpe suerd wytht edgys twa
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 105.
Quhen schaiffyne is that ald schaik with a scharp rasour
1513 Doug. vi xiv 30 (Sm.).
With heding swerd, baith felloun, scherp, and gair
Ib. vii xiii 40 (C).
Thai that with scharp cultyr teil and scheir … the hilly knollis hie
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1924.
With his scharp sword he claif his heid in tway
a1585 Maitl. Q. 281/26.
O cruel deith thow wes nocht ȝit content To cutt this noble lord with thy scharp huik
1604-31 Craig vi 3.
These suords, the sherp and bloodie tools of warr
(2) 1460 Hay Alex. 232.
His teith was scharpe and sum part lang
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1559 (Bann.).
Thay [sc. mice] tuke no knyfe, thair teith wes scherp ennwch
1570 Sat. P. xv 46.
Thow pelican, prepair thy beik, And grind it scharpe and lang
b. (1) 1375 Barb. xii 521.
Speris that wer scharp to scher
a1400 Leg. S. xxii 470.
& lourdanis mad thame al bowne With scharpe forkis
?1438 Alex. i 1035.
Ane spere schairp and weill scherand
Ib. ii 8339 (see a (1) above). c1475 Wall. iv 549.
Arrous … bath lang and scharpe with aw
Ib. x 42.
He … Gert set the ground with scharp spykis off burd
Ib. 383.
[He] in the bowalys him bar Wyth a scharp sper
a1500 K. Hart 108.
The grundin dairtis scharp and bricht to se
a1500 Seven S. 1299.
He his hors with spurris scharpe Straike
a1500 Bk. Chess 1929.
This brother said, I am in sic a dreid Off ȝone scharpe swerd that hingis be ȝone threid
1513 Doug. ix xi 4.
Thai … Scharp querrellis and castyng dartis furth send
Ib. ix xiii 35.
With thar invasibill wapynnys scharp and squar … And he … seand the scharp poyntis [etc.]
Ib. xi xvi 62. 1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I 176.
Ane scherp rak for ledder ane blunt rauk [pr. rank]
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 157.
Than drew he furth ane sharp dagair
a1568 Scott ii 18.
With spurris als scherp as breiris And kene
a1578 Pitsc. II 139/27.
To fight … in singular battell on horsebak witht tuo scherp speiris
1582 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 121.
iiij naillis scharp at bayth the endis
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xix 122.
The feynd … passit-by Thru thornis scharpe
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 445 (D).
One erne … Wytht his rywand & sharpe tallons
c1420 Wynt. i 697.
And sum … Lyk off hewyd tyll hwndys are, Wyth naylys scharpe
a1450 Fifteen Ois 225.
The scharp brodis of breris
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1749.
With our [sc. birds'] naillis scharp and small, Out off the eirth scraip we ȝone seid
Id. Orph. 292.
Our a mure with thornis thik and scharp … he went And had nocht bere throu suffrage of his harp Wyth scharp pikis he had bene schorne and schent
1494 Loutfut MS 40a.
The hawthornes … has foissoun of scharp pikantes
1549 Compl. 148/33.
Be rason that the palme tre hes schearp broddis and pikis
1590–1 Crim. Trials I ii 218.
As if he had been lying upon sharp thorns
(3) transf. c1420 Wynt. v 4528.
And slwe that herytyk … Wyth that scharpe schot suddanly
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 13.
The scharpe crown of thorn
1513 Doug. xi vii 55.
The folk … of Rutuly This grund sawys full onthriftely With scharp plewis and steill sokkis seir

c. absol. In superlative: The sharpest part; the blade or point (of a sword). ?1438 Alex. i 1557.
He thame comfort ay Richt with the scharpest of the brand

d. comb. or quasi-comb. With or as the complement of a participle.Scharp nebbit, sharp-pointed.(1) c1475 Wall. viii 266.
He … a felloun strak him gaiff … with his scharp groundyn glaiff
1513 Doug. vii viii 52.
The flane flaw fast with a spang fra the stryng; … The scharp hedit schaft duschit with the dynt
1567 Dundee B. Laws 372.
Thair sall na printeis wear ane quhingear nor scharp nebbit knyf during … his printeschip
(2) 1513 Doug. vii viii 110.
Nocht … With … blunt steyngis [etc.] … Bot with scharp scherand wapynnys
1691 Kirk Secr. Commonw. (1964) 416.
Against the sharp-pierceing beast
(3) c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 111.
Dredefull arowis grundyn scharp and square
a1568 Bann. MS 263b/8.
The knyfe … Ay forgit scherp with sorrow

e. Of a thin stick or cord, etc.: Liable to cut into or abrade and thereby injure (the body). a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 910.
Thu sal it by One thi body dere inuch With wandis that are scharp & tucht
Ib. xxxvii 207.
Ryfe hyme for-thi with irne scharpe
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 764.
On leth and breid with scharpe cordis thai tak That nobill corps quhill thai the banis twyn
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3997.
For and ȝe … come vnder correctionis band Ȝour grace salbe … ane gud scharp cord

2. a. Of a net (Net n. 2): ? Rough, ? harsh, severe. b. Of rocks, terrain, etc.: Rough, rugged; jagged. Also transf.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1911.
The feynd plettis his nettis scharp [B. stark] and rude
(2) 1513 Doug. v iv 89.
[The ship] on the scharp skelleis … Smait
Ib. xi x 90.
Ane narrow peth … Full scharp and schrowit passage wonder sle
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Luke iii 5.
Schrewit thingis salbe into dressit thingis and scharp thingis into playn wayis
1531 Bell. Boece I 143.
The Romanis wer … irkit with scharpe and difficill passage full of breris and thornis
1596 Dalr. I 9/16.
The montane Grampius, and vtheris ruch, scharpe and hard hillis full of mosse, more and marrase

3. Of a person: a. Quick of intelligence or apprehension; intelligent; discerning. Passing into: b. Alert in practical matters; quick to weigh up and profit from a situation; smart; experienced.a. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 670.
For thu ȝongare is thane I, Scharpare of wyt
a1500 Bk. Chess 204.
Folk that wantis sicht … Scharpar of wit and knawlege will thai be
c1500 Harl. MS 4700 279a.
Of the … keys of the court … The thrid crownaris & seriandis of the court wyse lele & scharp
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1286.
Be quick and schairp voidit of variance
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 209/58.
Sen thow art so expert So scharp of lerning and so wyse
1570 Innes Sketches 513.
Sum scharp boy that can writ and reid
1571 J. Maitland Maitl. F. 434/11.
Schaw thy self bayth sage scharpe & sinceir Indewit with wertew wit and worthines
a1578 Pitsc. II 165/2.
He was slaine … for quhom the quene maid greit mone, for this captane was ane werie scharpe man
c1610 Melville Mem. 306.
Scharpe of engyn
b. 1513 Doug. v ix 35.
Nixt scharp Mynestheus … hes halyt vp … Baith arow and eyn etland at the mark
1549 Corr. M. Lorraine 297.
The Mour … is als scharp ane man as rydis
a1568 Bann. MS 144b/33.
Sir penny is baith scherp and wyis
a1585 Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. 126/39.
He that can best his nychtbour vndermyne Is hauldin schairpe weill workand & wittie
1587-99 Hume 71/104.
The maistres sharpe of fuiles Experience
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xlvi 6.
Sharper shuters ner the mark will shute
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1738.
Ye are sharpe and wyse ye bred of smal drink

c. Of the mental powers: Acute, active, vigorous. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1291.
Ȝe Musis nine … Len me a recent schairp fresche memorie
1562-3 Winȝet II 48/5.
Of … sa scharpe, sa gentil ingyne
1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii 41.
To preif my spreit and say my scharp ingyne
a1700 Hay Geneal. Sainteclaires 69.
He was a man of sharpe wit

d. Of discourse: Sagacious. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1223.
Be his prudent schairp relatiounis He was expert of all thing as it semit

e. Of sight: Keen, acute. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 914.
The sparhalk is … schairp of hir sicht
1596 Dalr. I 106/27.
Quhen God saw with that scharpe sychte quhairwith he al things sies, that [etc.]

f. Of observation: Vigilant. 1570 Leslie 142.
The king causit him to be keipit within the castell … with maist scharpe and delyverit watcheing

4. a. Of one engaged in conflict or struggle: Active in opposing; eager for battle; vigorous. Also transf. 1490 Irland Mir. I 54/18.
That we lere to be mare scharpe agane oure innemeis
1517 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 88.
He … wyll mak hym sarp to do mar service quhen he ondirstandis that it is my lord gowernouris wyll to dystrw the wykyt blud of the Ylis
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. i 14.
Scharpe in wair
Ib. iii 14.
Acri Lycurgo, bellicoso, strenuo, scharpe
a1578 Pitsc. II 109/18.
They war nether hardie nor scharpe that persewit it [sc. the town]
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Acer, schairp and bauld
transf. 1568 Cal. Sc. P. II 466.
The odious and scharp handis puttin in our souverane lady

b. Of an emotion or feeling: Keen, ardent. Also transf., of the person experiencing the emotion. a1400 Leg. S. v 501.
Rycht sa manis deuocione … sal the scharpar be
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1086 (Harl.).
Perce my hard hert with thi scharp luffis lance
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 176/23 (A).
The scharpe dreid of Goddis iustice
1513 Doug. i xi 54.
With scharp amouris of the man alyve
transf. 1533 Bell. Livy I 190/23.
Attius Tulius … was … ay scharpest inemye to Romanis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 198.
A scharp craver never a gud payer

c. Of conflict, attack, etc.: Carried on with vigour; energetic, fierce; eagerly pressed home. c1420 Wynt. vii 1980.
A batell fell Wes dwne bathe sare and scharpe and snell
c1475 Wall. xi 896.
With felloun salt, was hydwys scharp and strang
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 177/31 (A).
Thai … that … fleis the scharpe assaltis & danger of thar enemys
1492 Myll Spect. 284/8.
Medea s[e]ing the scharpe persoit of hir fader, tuk [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 170.
Thair scharp assayes mycht do no dures To me
1531 Bell. Boece I 115.
Followit, ane scharppe bergane
Id. Livy I 122/23.
Quhare ony batallis ar mare langsum than scharpe
Ib. II 47/13.
Rais ane scharpe pley on athir syde
1535 Stewart 5727.
Scharpe schutting gart mony cowart quaik
Ib. 13493.
Thair scharpe schutting maid mony syde till sow
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 20.
Gif the governour makis scharp perswyt on … your grace [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. Schort Schawing 16.
Baith Scottis & Inglis of Leith lay at the toun With schairp asseige
1562-3 Winȝet I 139/34.
That a part of ȝou nixt sal lay a scharpear seige to heuin
a1578 Pitsc. I 236/2.
The scharp weiris that he had maid on … his cuntrie in tymes bygaine
1596 Dalr. I 166/25.
On thame he laid a scharpe chaisse
Ib. 283/10. a1691 Kingston Contin. Ho. Seton 56.
Having had there att that time severall sharpe raincounters with the king's pairty

d. Of storms, showers, etc.: Violent. e. Of wintry weather, frost, etc.: Bitterly cold.d., e. c1420 Wynt. vii 3276.
A tempest fell Off gret weddrys scharpe and snell
1456 Hay II 132/7.
And the wyndis ar scharp and snell and sare bytand
1513 Doug. vii Prol. 50.
Flaggis of fire, and mony felloun flaw, Scharpe soppys of sleit
1531 Bell. Boece I 259.
Ane scharp schoure … full of haill and sleit
1535 Stewart 11396.
Furius flaggis of scharpe haill and sleit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4197.
This day is sour, sa wonder schairp and cauld
Ib. 4384.
I knew nathing of thair schairp winter schouris
a1570-86 Shaw Maitl. F. 384/8.
Thairfoir bewar with ane scharpe blawar
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 10.
In the schairp tyme of wynter
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 389.
Sharp storms that did take the hide off their face
1676 Misc. Hist. Soc. I 283.
The aire of St. Andrewes may be too sherp for him

f. Of a person or animal: Quick-moving; quick to react. 1490 Irland Mir. III 140/34.
The snale that beris hir byrding on hir bak can ga na far gate na is nocht richt scharp
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 717.
Ȝit clerkis bene … in the deid als schairp as ony snaillis
1533 Boece 581.
Ane active man and scharp oure fersly rynnand in myrknes … fell in the revere and drownit
a1568 Bann. MS 92b/45.
Quhay is ignorant Quhay scharp in word and in deid negligent
1600-1610 Melvill 69.
Als meik as I seimed he wald find me scharper nor anie he had delt with
c1650-1700 Descr. Zetland 17.
Their horses also small but sharp

5. a. Of a person, esp. one with power or in authority: Harsh, severe. Also absol.To be scharp on (upon) or to (a person or his wrongdoings), to treat with (sometimes, undue) severity; to be hard on.(1) a1500 Prestis of Peblis 621.
Sa sharp ar thay … Thay pluck the puir as thay war powand hadder
1517 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 94.
Thame that wald be scharpest to punys the persouns committaris of the said slauchtir
1533 Boece 225b.
Appollinare of Laodiens, scharp persewar of the Porphiriane heresie
1533 Bell. Livy II 37/23.
He was callit Treboneus Asper, that is to say, the scharpe tribune
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iv 411.
The syse was verray discontent That Venus was sa scharp and impatient
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (STS) 401.
As he hes bene scharp and vigilant in marking the enormiteis of the spiritualitie
a1585 Maitl. Q. 210/69.
The blak Pluto thocht he war neuer so schairpe Morpheus [sic] mouit With sueitnes of his hairpe
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 68/6.
The ouer commoune use of it … requyres the king to be a shairpe censurer thairof
1625 Garden Kings 29.
This noble prince … himself a scharpe justiciare schawes
(2) 1533 Gau 85/30.
Thow may richtuslie be ane scherp iuge apone ws pwir sinners
a1538 Abell 11*b.
Wemen oftymys ar scharpest on the puyr
1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 292.
Your grac maun be vere scherp batht on the Franch men and on the Scottis men or it will nocht be weill
1561 Exch. R. XIX 475.
Thomas not to be too scharp wpoun the said Alexander for payment of the said soum
1596 Dalr. I 161/13.
He was so scharpe vpon his abuses
(3) 1546 Corr. M. Lorraine 162.
Oliver Sinclare menis him to your lordschip that I am scharpe to him
1565 Edinb. Univ. MS La. iii 388a fol. 26b.
That the iudge in ansuering be scharp to the aduocattis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 657.
That the judges be sharp and austere to the advocatis
a1586 Maitland Geneal. Setoun 37.
His brother Johne … was … sumthing schairp to the said Lord George
absol. a1500 K. Hart 323.
The scharpe and als the soft can with him deill

b. Of measures taken, a law or process of law, judgment, punishment, etc.: Severe, rigorous.In the (all) scharpest maner (sort), with all possible severity, with the utmost rigour.(1) 1522–3 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 161.
That your wisdomes be nocht movit to use nor practik hiear and scharpar ways
1533 Ib. 406.
1533 Gau 96/27.
O heuinlie fader … keip vs fra thy scherp iugiment
1533 Acts Sederunt i 22.
That ye provid and see the scharpast way possibile for the stanching heirof
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 105.
Put ane charp ordor in thir he at[tenttatis ?] don to your gracis attorate
1547–8 Ib. 214.
Quhar I traist in God your lordschip sall hyr off scharp neippyng
1549–50 Sel. MSS Q. Mary 53.
And we will abhorre Franche lawes and thei be scharpe
1567 G. Ball. 81.
The decreit, and scharp hand wryte That stoppit vs fra the Father quyte
c1579 Lennox Mun. 281.
In the maist ample and scharp forme vsit in sik cais
1588 King Cat. 59. c1590 J. Stewart 61/172.
Thair dochtie hands than draife … Schairpe sousing skelps
1594 Conv. Burghs I 445.
To putt the acts of parliament maid thairanent to scherp executioun
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 61/1.
Other penalties shairpe aneuch to be usid aganis thame
15.. Crawford Mun. Invent. II 55.
My letters sal be dischargit and his sall hawe strynthe quhilkis is rycht scharpe to me
1615 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 21 March.
Incaice he mend not the censr of the kirk wilbe scharp aganis him
(2) 1530 Aberd. B. Rec. I 131.
To delait and agrege the said mater in the charpast maner
1531 Ib. 141.
Our soureigns lords lettres suld be execut on thame in the charpest maner
1531 Bell. Boece I 41.
He sall punis him … in the scharpest sort that micht be devisit
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 44.
Send his advocat to accus ws in the scharpast maner he can
1558–9 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I lxi.
And the Cheptoure of Aberdene sall do sicklike amangis thaim in all scharpest maner

c. Of something imposed, as a test, trial, command, etc.: Stringent; onerous; rigorously precise. a1500 Lanc. 35.
The scharp assay … Of dowblit wo me neulyngis can constrein
1512–13 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 139.
Bot that thay mak scharp tryall and diligence to eschew the samyn
1513 Doug. ix xiii 58.
Iris … Onto hys spous … Ful scharp chargis bryngis and command
1533 Gau 17/9.
Bot the time sal cum quhen thay sal giff scherp count thairfor
1536 St. P. Henry VIII V 50.
Ȝe will gar gyfe scharpe charge to all the wardanis and ther deputis
1558-66 Knox II 341.
That collectouris may be appointed … and that scharpe comptis may be tacken … of thair receat [etc.]
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 116/4.
Take a shairpe coumpte of thaire intromission

d. Of an utterance, etc.: Sharply worded; expressing anger, rebuke or censure; hurtful. ?a1500 Remembr. Passion 311.
O Lord Jesu, maid a man for mankind, quhilk tholit hunger, … telland [? = tholand] mony scharpe wordis
1533 Bell. Livy I 297/19.
Of the scharpe orisoun made be Valerius & Horacius aganis the ten men
1535 Stewart 13997 heading.
How the lordis … gaiff ane richt scharpe ansuer … to thair king
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 291.
With mind dement vneis scho micht sustene The words scharp quhilk scho thocht al to hicht
Id. Seven S. 819.
The empreour … Vnto vs seuin hes send ane schairp wryting
1558-66 Knox II 333.
Your wourdis ar scharpe yneuch as ye have spocken thame
a1578 Pitsc. I 44/10.
Witht right scherpe threttnings and braging wordis
Ib. 221/18.
The grose and rude speiche and scheirp accusatioun of Lord Dawid
Ib. 256/22.
Bischope Forman … wrait hame [from France] ane schirpe bill to the king
a1585 Maitl. Q. 188/64.
The generous anser of that lord that he maid to his schairpe demand
1596 Dalr. II 181/3.
To … had doun his … coragious spirit with sharp and feirful wordes
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 404.
And scharper language suld have been directed to them
a1650 Row 324.
Whilk occasioned the king to writ doune a verie sharp and boasting letter
1654 Cramond Kirk S. 16 July.
The sessioun finding … that none of them was drunk, doe dismisse them with ane sharpe rebuke for thair miscariage

e. Of a way of life, experience or hardship: Painful; involving suffering. Also transf., of tears. a1500 Lanc. 23.
Sufferans in loue … The scharpe dais and the hewy ȝerys
c1500 Rowll Cursing 42 (M).
Off warldlie scharp aduersateis
1513 Doug. viii vi 18.
Ane kynd of men … Quhilkis … as thir bestis … Thar fude of treis dyd in woddis fet Or of the wild veneson scharp [L. asper … venatus] to get
1533 Boece 5.
To sustene ane scharp adversite
Ib. 71.
Fleand to the montanys … quhare leiffing ane scharpe and naro life [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 18/22.
Gif … our souerane mother … haid nocht helpit ws all the schunar we sould haue tholled schairp [? for schairper] persecutioun nor ony of ws culd perceawe
1616 Crim. Trials III 587.
Thair is hingand aboue your heidis … ane moir hard servitude and schearper captiuitie than [etc.]
transf. Arundel MS 256/44.
Scharp bludy teris hir cristell eyne out ran

f. Of pain: Sharp, searing. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 109.
With his hard hurcheone scyne sa heklis he my chekis [etc.] … I schrenk for the scharp stound bot schout dar I nought

6. Pungent in taste or smell; acid, sour. 1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. Prov. No. 63.
Scharpe sauce gifis ane guide taist to sweit meate
Ib. Prov. No. 195.
The swetest wine tourneth to the scharpest wineger
1614 Misc. Spald. C. I 263.
The finest tabacco is that which pearceth quickly the odorat with a sharpe aromaticke smell

7. Of a measurement or weight: Barely correct; ? fractionally less than the length or amount specified. 1583 Edinb. Test. XIII 34.
Ane siluer pece … weyand ten schairp vnce or thairby
1593 Ib. XXV 191.
Fyve quarteris scharpe blak figureit taffetie
1647 Ib. LXIII 142.
Thrie scherp elnes of rid and quhyt stuff
1696 Cochran-Patrik Coinage II 264.
The twenty fourth journall … [of] fourtie shilling peices [was] sharp standart weight … The twenty sixth journall … [of] fourtie shilling peices of standart weight [was] very sharp

8. Of a meal or diet: Sparing, scant. 1596 Dalr. I 90/10.
At evin only thay first prepaired the table, and that verie scharpe and skairs
Ib. 335/27.
Simpler cled bischop than abbot, scharper dyot ryche than pure

9. fig., or in fig. context. In uses involving more than one of the above senses. a1500 Quare Jel. 67.
The scharp deth mote perce me throuch the hert
1513 Doug. i Prol. 29.
Far grettar difference betwix my blunt endyte And thy scharp sugurate sang Virgiliane … with nevir a word invane
1535 Stewart 7992.
Arrowis, scharpe as ony schouris Of frost or haill
Ib. 38722.
Ay flycht for flicht, als thik as ony snaw, And scharpe as haill, lang in the feild tha [sc. arrows] flaw
c1540 Lynd. Kitteis Conf. 46.
Goddis word Quhilk scharper is than ony sword
15.. Clar. iii 181.
[A word] Scharp as ane lance
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6872.
Thair toungis ar schairp As ony sword is wrocht with hand
Ib. 7820.
Of doly deith he sufferit the scharp schour
1567 G. Ball. 99.
Fra thame that hes thair tungis scharp & ground
a1568 Bann. MS I p. 40/27.
I mycht nocht hairtly do sustene So scherp ane sermone blawand in myne eir
1570 Leslie 23.
The king wes put to sic a sharp point, that he wes determinit to haif left the realme
c1590 Fowler I 105/30.
Leonidas … did … Propyne a denner hard and sharpe vnto his men of weir

10. a. Of a note in music: Pitched half a tone above the ‘natural’ note; ‘sharp’. c1550-c1580 Art of Music 46b.
Concordance is ane consonance and mixtur of grawe and scherp soundis sweitly to aeris convenient

11. With reference to shape or outline: a. ? Involving sudden change of direction; abrupt. b. Tapering to relative narrowness. c. ? Not rounded off. Cf. 2 above.a. 1581–2 Misc. Stair Soc. I 115.
The first letter capitall I … in the auld instrument indentis witht schairpe nukis and in the new instrument the samen is flat and plane
b. c1420 Wynt. vi 1409.
Gyve a man wald in thame thryst A scharpe brode or … wald styke In to thai sergis a scharpe pryke Quhare the ayre mycht hawe entre Swa sloknyd mycht thai lychtis be
1596 Dalr. I 135/14.
Gret kairnis of stanes, four square vndirneth, and scharpe abone, ryseng vpe poyntlings lyke a steiple
c. 1594 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 531.
For baking the same [chair] with ane schairp quhit irne band

B. adv. a. Briskly; eagerly. b. As with a sharp edge or point. c. Abruptly; steeply. d. It standis scharp with me, I am short of money. Cf. A 7 above.a. c1420 Wynt. viii 318.
He made this ansuere scharpe and swne
1546 St. P. Henry VIII V 566.
Ingland invadit the realme the scharper for the obedience gevin therbe to this sette and observing of religioune
b. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 151/42.
With knyvis that scherp cowd scheir
c. 1591 Crim. Trials I ii 246.
Ane hie ribbit neise, falland doun scharp lyke the beik of ane halk
d. c1550 Exch. R. XVIII 502 n.
Gyf I may nocht get the xl s., send me les at your awyn discretioun, for it standis scha[r]p with me at this tyme

C. noun. a. A sharp weapon; a sword. b. A ‘sharp’, as opposed to a ‘natural’ or ‘flat’, note in music. c. The top of a ridge. Cf. 18th c. Eng. = each of the two raised edges forming the sides of a mould (1703).a. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 7028.
Of the deith the schairp he sall assay
b. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 96 (Wr.).
Compleetly and sweetly She firdound flat and sharp
c. 16.. Butler Life Leighton 522.
Better to be in the midst, between the two pointed racks of deep penury and high prosperity than to be on the sharps of either

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"Sharp adj., adv., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Feb 2024 <>



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