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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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S(c)herar, S(c)heir(r)ar, -er, -are, n. Also: s(c)hearer, shierer; shirer; (shearerer). [ME and e.m.E. sherar (1318–19), scherer (Wyclif); Scher(e v.]In early use as a surname in sense 1. — 1324 Reg. Cambuskenneth 59.
Willelmo Scherar, Egidio de Mundrum [etc.] … tunc balliuis
1365 Rot. Sc. 898/1.
Johannes Sherere canonicus S'te Crucis de Edynburgh
1398–1400 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) 82.
Videlicet per Robertum filium Dauid, Johannem scherar [etc.]
1444 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 242.
Willelmo Scherar
1493 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 126.

1. One who shears the nap of cloth, in sense 9 of Scher(e v. Also attrib. 1473 Treas. Acc. I 17.
To Sandy Balfoure the scherare for certane clath schorne be him to the king
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I 80.
The masteris and craftismen of the walkaris and scheraris of claith
1509 (c1580) Ib. 122.
The armys of the said scheraris and wakeris to be now put in the webstaris bannaris gif thai may be gudlie formit and gottin thairvntill
1530 Ib. II 33.
The saidis scheraris, walkaris and bonetmakaris war incorporat … vndir ane oureman
1543 (c1580) Ib. 113.
1601 Conv. Burghs II 117.
Anent the tuelff Flemingis send hame be Alexander Hunter for making of claithis and stuffis … Perthe [received] … Jacob Petirsoun scherar … ; Dundy ressauit Claus Losseir sherer … ; Air ressauit … Arane Iansoun sherer
1601 Edinb. B. Rec. V 289.
[The council] ordanis Thomas Speir, baillie, … to tak ane buyth for the Flemyng scherers of clayth in sic place as may be maist meitt for the toun that others may lerne thair craft
Ib. VI 312.
I haif brocht from Amsterdame 4 young men verie skilfull dressaris and scheirraris of the claythe
Ib. 313.
We must haif … scheirraris of clathe with the skowreris … and the lytstar
1603 Ib. V 318 (see Dry scherar n.). 1606 Glasgow B. Rec. I 254.
To be askit of … Marioune … quhat scheraris schewr with hir
attrib. 1511 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 134.
James Hume, kirkmaister of the scherer and walker craft

2. One who cuts standing crops; a reaper, a harvester. Also fig. and proverb.A rig of scheraris, see Rig n. 9 a. 1562 Knox Ressoning 172.
The reaper or scherer cutteth it [sc. the wheat] doune
1573 Rec. Earld. Orkney 351.
Uphaldand ane daylie scherar in tyme of hervist
1574 M. H. B. Sanderson Scottish Rural Society in the 16th Century (1982) 21.
To ane pyper to play to the scheraris in harvest £4
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (STS) 90/16.
As scheraris ressauing thair denner on the haruest feild
1603 Elgin Rec. II 117.
Robert Fyndlay … and Elspet Fyndlay, scheraris of corne
1611 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 77.
The scherares convenand on the Sabboth day to be hyret
1640 Kirkcaldy Presb. 183.
Ane act from the committee of warr at Kirkcaldie anent sherars and mawers and thair fees sein and allowed and ordeaned to be intimate in all the kirks
(b) 1595–6 Reg. Privy C. V 275.
Taking of the sheiraris huikis fra thame and stopping thame to sheir the cornis
1612 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 124.
1612 Peebles B. Rec. I 360.
The best men scheiraris xxx d., the wemen scheiraris ij s.
1639 Acts V 594/2.
That pairt of the supplicatioune craving the feing of sheireris vpon Sooneday to be dischargit
1660 Ure Rutherglen 65.
The hervest fie of an able man sheirer is not to exceid eight punds and a peck of meill
1662 Peebles B. Rec. II 53.
To each able man scheirar four schilling Scottes; and to each woman shearer fourtie pennies Scottes
1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 322.
Ane band wenn of sheirers
1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 298.
(c) 1620 Old Kirk Chron. 90.
That abuse in feying of sheareris on the Lords day
1649 Cupar Presb. 145.
The scandalous and sinfull fying of shearers on the Sabboth day at Abernethy
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II 18.
1656 Cramond Kirk S. 31 Aug.
That no hyred sheareris within the paroche stay from the kirk in the tyme of haruest
1662 Peebles B. Rec. II 53 (see (b) above). 1673 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 406.
Ane bandwind of shearerers
1687 Monimail Reg. Ct. 22 June.
Except … everie doubll house in Callessie that is to say those who pay tuo shearers ten cartfull of peats
(d) 1633 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II 138.
That everie ane of thair absent shiereris fra the lairds corne shiering this harvest sall pay to the laird 6 s. 8 d.
fig. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xiii 39.
The ripe corn is the ending of the warld; the scheraris [P. reperis] ar angellis
a1538 Abell 34b.
Than I say to the scheraris that is to the angellis ministeris in the generall jugement [etc.]
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 72.
An ill shearer gat never a good hook

b. possess. and comb.Scheraris darg, = Schere-dawark n.possess. (1) 1567 Edinb. Test. I 39b.
For sex scheraris dargis ȝeirlie of the saidis ȝeiris ilk darg sex penneis
1646 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII 87.
Sheirars dargs and uther services
1661 Edinb. Test. LXX 123b.
Thair was restand awand … to the Lady Congiltoune thrie scheirers darges at iiii s. the peice
(2) 1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 10.
And absolvis the said Adame of certane scheraris fie
comb. 1697 Foulis Acc. Bk. 213.
To 2 shearer men helped to put in the hay

3. A coal-miner, ? engaged on preparations to extend the working. Cf. shear = a cut made in the coal (1770), shearing = the most advanced part of a working coal-face (1866) (SND, s.v. Shear v. B 1 (2) (ii)). 1681 Fawside Coal Compt 82.
The coallheuers & shirers

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"Sherar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Feb 2024 <>



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