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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PEACE, n., int. Also paece, paice, pace, pays, peas(e); adv. pesablie (Sc. 1712 Culloden Papers (Warrand 1925) II. 32). Sc. forms and usages. [pis, pes]

I. n. 1. As in Eng. Sc. combs. and phrs.: (1) folk (men) of peace, the fairies, the “little people”, a mistranslation of Gael. sìth dhaoine, the fairy people, confused with sìth, peace; ¶(2) peace-brule, a breaking of the peace, disturbance, an artificial formation of peace + Brulzie, a commotion, brawl; (3) peace-warning, a notice to quit, a precept of warning, see Precept. Hence to peace-warn, to serve a notice of ejection (on a tenant). Cf. Eng. peace-warrant, a warrant issued by a Justice of the Peace; (4) phr. to be (sit, etc.) at (in) peace, freq. in imper. to an unruly child, = “Sit still!”, “Don't fidget!” Gen.Sc.; (5) phr. to gie one peace, usu. in imper., = “Let me alone”, “Don't disturb me”. Gen.Sc.; (6) to play (at) pease-mum, to be silent, not utter a word, “to mutter” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.); (7) to tak peace (afore, apo oneself), to calm down, be quiet, become pacified, assume a quiet, good-tempered demeanour (I.Sc. 1965); (8) wand of peace, the rod of office, formerly carried by messengers-at-arms, the executive officers of the Court of Session, on official duty. It was ceremonially “broken” (see 1946 quot.) to mark attempted resistance to the civil authority. See also Wand; (9) wi peace, in peace, peacefully, without disturbance (I.Sc. 1965).(1) Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona i.:
I am nameless like the Folk of Peace.
Highl. 1960 I. F. Grant Folk Ways 137:
The fairies of the Highlands, politely spoken of as the Daoine Sith (Men of Peace).
(2) Sc. 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah liii. 8:
Our peace-brule it was, like a lade had him fangit.
(3) Edb. 1872 J. Smith Jenny Blair's Maunderings 34:
Some are peace-warned, an' maun be forcibly expelled if they refuse to quit.
Sc. 1896 W. K. Morton Manual 125:
Various forms of notice or peace-warning, such as chalking the door, etc., are in use in different burghs.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy xvii.:
I hae a peace-warning to deliver to Mathy Armour, . . . that will send him oot o' this comfortable doonsittin'.
(4) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 76:
He's niver at paice; he's eye in hehdinex wee something.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (1 Dec.):
Doo's hurtin' me shakle bane. Be in pace, man!
Sh. 1901 Ib. (16 Feb.):
Geng ower ta Magnis an' Tamy aless doo's in paece. Be a good boy!
Abd. 1925 D. Scott Hum. Stories 83:
I made 'im staun' at peace a meenit.
Sc. 1933 J. Bridie Sleeping Clergyman i. iii.:
Sit at peace and enjoy the sunshine.
wm.Sc.1 1955:
To boisterous or obstreperous children or animals: “Och, be at peace, will you”, or: “Be at peace now”.
m.Sc. 1986 John McKenzie City Whitelight 129:
'Lovely nothin',' he muttered. 'Just stay at peace. Ah'm goin' to ask you somethin' and Ah want you to tell me the truth. ... '
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
" ... There's nae Sabbath Schule the day - Mrs Barron the dominie's nae weel sae ye maun sit throw the sermon wi me. It's guid fur ye, tae learn tae bide at peace fur an oor or twa."
(5) Sh. 1901 Shetland News (16 Feb.):
So, Willie gie hir paece, boy.
wm.Sc.2 1962:
Can ye no gie me some peace, bairn?
(7) Sh. 1899 Shetland News (9 Dec.):
Girzzie 'ill no tak' paece wance 'at shü begins ta loss paeshens.
Sh. 1951 New Shetlander No. 29. 15:
Here's dee a bröni. Noo gaeng furt an tak paece afore dee.
(8) Sc. 1722 W. Forbes Institutes I. ii. 192:
The Badges of a Messenger are a Blazon, and a Rod or Wand, called the Wand of Peace, whereby his Authority is discovered.
Sc. 1761 Session Papers. Spence v Tennent (11 Nov.) 2:
[He] touched the Complainer on the Arm with his Wand of Peace in common Form, and told him that he was his Prisoner in virtue of a Caption.
Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute i. iv. § 32:
At their [Messengers-at-Arms'] admission they receive a silver blazon, on which the king's arms are engraved, as a badge of their office, and a wand or rod usually called the wand of peace; and it appears that, as early as 1426 . . . the mairs or serjeants who attended on the sheriffs and other judges-ordinary were not allowed to travel through the country without a horn and a wand.
Sc. 1781 Session Papers, Petition J. Murdoch Proof 4:
James Gordon declared that he was deforced, used the formality of breaking his wand of peace.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xlii.:
The legal officer, confronted with him of the military . . . produced his short official baton, tipped with silver, and having a moveable ring upon it — “Captain M'Intyre — Sir, I have no quarrel with you — but if you interrupt me in my duty, I will break the wand of peace, and declare myself deforced.”
Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 94:
Wand of Peaee. A baton of a messenger-at-arms “the breaking of which (done by withdrawing a ring from one end to the other) is declaration of deforcement.”
(9) Per. 1885 W. Pyott Poems 112:
We'd like a bit grund o' our ain Where we wi' peace might stray.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 82:
It's lang daylicht eynoo, an a'body can see to gyang aboot wi' peace.

2. As a substitute for “God”, “Lord”, etc. in such expletive phrs. as peace be here, -wi' us, I wish to peace, surely to peace, please peace!, etc. Gen.Sc. Cf. Guid, III. 5. (1).Ayr. c.1790 Burns To Dr. Blacklock iv.:
I'm turned a gauger — Peace be here!
Mry. 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 123:
Then up she got — cried, “Peace be we's, I fear I'm miss'd!”
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 10:
I wish tae peace she'd brak yer legs.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 155:
“I wush to peace we could get saut” was a saying at one time pretty often heard about Whithorn, — employed to signify that the speaker was not financially in a position to indulge in luxuries.
Abd. 1880 G. Webster Crim. Officer 119:
I never saw man nor 'oman hangit yet, an' please Peace never will.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) vi.:
Shurely to peace a scone's bigger than a bit o' a scone!
Lnk. 1902 A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 15:
I declare tae peace if I wad hae grudged tae pay for't.
Bwk. 1943 W. L. Ferguson Vignettes 70:
I wush to peace I'd got anither.
ne.Sc. 1954 Mearns Leader (20 Aug.) 6:
Fat wis gweed aneuch for Royalty wis, surely tae peace, gweed aneuch for the likes o' hiz.

II. int. A call for a truce in a game, “pax!” (Slg., Fif. 1959 I. and P. Opie Lore and Language 152, peas; Ags., Slk., Uls. 1965). Cf. Barley, Parley.Uls. 1884 Cruck-a-Leaghan & Slieve-Gallion Lays and Leg. 6:
He'd throw the best av the boys, an' before you'd say “Pays!” the whole fair wid jist be as quet as you plase.

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"Peace n., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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