Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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QUALIFY, v. Also qualifee. Sc. usages. [′kwɑlɪfi]

1. Sc. Law: to establish by evidence, to authenticate, testify (Sc. 1825 Jam., 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 71). Sc. 1705 W. Forbes Church-Lands 210:
No Title of possession needs to be qualified, or condescended on.
Sc. 1790 Boswell Johnson (1934) III. 63 n.:
It is curious to observe that Lord Thurlow has here, perhaps in compliment to North Britain, made use of a term of Scotch law, which to an English reader may require explanation. To qualify a wrong, is to point out and establish it.

2. To acquire or give legal sanction by the taking or administration of an oath; specif. in regard to Scottish Episcopalians who until 1792 were permitted to exercise their religious functions only on renouncing allegiance to the Jacobite monarchy; to swear allegiance to. Hence qualified chapel, meeting-house, minister, etc. Now hist. Sc. 1709 H. G. Graham Social Life (1901) 384:
Mr. James Greenshields, an Episcopal though “qualified” minister, read the English service-book in the dwelling-house.
Sc. 1712 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1842) I. 361:
It's not expected Mr Cockburn will have his meeting much increased if he get not in Mr Fullartoun in to assist him, under scogg of his qualifying.
Bnff. 1731 W. Cramond Ann. Bnff. (S.C.) I. 204:
Town Councillors regularly qualify to His Majesty, King George, by taking the oaths of abjuration, allegiance, supremacy and assurance.
Hdg. 1734 J. Miller Lamp Lth. (1900) 209:
[He] answered, that they had come in order to qualify him and the other members in order to the electing of a Convener.
Sc. 1747 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 608:
An organ was set up in one of the qualified Episcopal meeting-houses in Edinburgh about the beginning of December.
Ayr. 1763 Ayr Presb. Reg. MS. (31 Aug.):
An attestation of Mr Murray's being qualified to the Government, & also of Mr McQuhae's being qualified in like manner.
Ags. 1776 First Hist. Dundee (Millar 1923) 161:
Those of the Qwalifyed or English Episcopal persuassion.
Gsw. 1861 Glasgow Past & Present (1884) III. 231:
For more than half a century St Andrew's was a “qualified chapel,” but not defiant of the Scotch Episcopate, although the legal penalties necessitated its position.
Sc. 1951 F. Goldie Hist. Episc. Ch. Scot. 61:
There was no opportunity for public worship except in the English “qualified” chapels, which were outside the jurisdiction of the Scottish Bishops.

3. To pass the qualifying examination (see 4. (3)) for admissibility to secondary education. Gen.Sc., obsol. Hence qualifying class, course, etc. Sc. 1914 Report Council Educ. Scot. (Northern Div.) 36:
The numbers of pupils qualifying during each of the last four sessions.
Sc. 1925 J. Stewart Education in Edb. 21:
Transfers of pupils from the qualifying classes of Elementary Schools to post-qualifying courses takes place twice a year.
Sc. 1930 Edb. Educ. Cttee. Annual Report 10:
In Session 1928–29 the percentages of “qualified” and “unqualified” pupils leaving Primary Schools were 87 and 13 respectively.
Sc. 1939 N. A. Wade Post-Primary Educ. 144:
Available statistics show a slow tendency toward a lower average age of qualifying.

4. Ppl.adjs. in Combs.: (1) qualified oath, Sc. Law: an oath upon reference, qualified by special limitations restricting it, which must be Intrinsic, q.v., to be valid (Sc. 1774 Erskine Institute iv. ii. § 11, 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 803); (2) qualifying examination, an examination on the attainments of pupils at the end of their primary school course about the age of twelve, formerly conducted by the Scottish Education Department but later, in 1922, delegated to Local Authorities and now in some places abolished, which qualified successful pupils for promotion to secondary education. It corresponds to the so-called “11-plus” examination in England. Also in reduced forms qualifying and colloq. quali, qual(l)y, quallie. Sc. 1774 Erskine Institute iv. ii. § 13:
A defender to whose oath a libel is referred, if he wants to adject to his oath particular qualities or circumstances which may tend to elide any part of the libel, may protest for a qualified oath, i.e. that the qualities adjected by him may be held as part of his oath.
Sc. 1806 Morison Decisions 13201:
Where the Qualified Oath imports a Denial of the Libel.
(2) Sc. 1909 J. Strong Hist. Sec. Educ. 261:
In the code of 1903, provision was made for a two years' course of specialized instruction, under the term “supplementary courses”, for pupils who would leave at the age of fourteen or so, and, in harmony with this, the examination for the merit certificate was transferred to the end of these new courses — thus continuing to mark the termination of an elementary career — and its former place was taken by the “qualifying examination” which carried with it no certificate.
Sc. 1910 J. Kerr Sc. Education 393:
Many schools aim at bridging the gulf between the Infant Department and the Qualifying Examination in five years. Under the old regime the normal period for doing this would have been six years.
Sc. 1915 A. S. Neill Dominie's Log 142:
All the Supplementary and Qualifying pupils had . . . gone out to the roadside. I turned to give the other classes arithmetic.
Sc. 1957 Bulletin (26 Oct.):
Despite the opposition of city head masters, Glasgow Education Committee are going ahead with their plan to abolish the “qualifying examination.” . . . The new plan means the abolition of the “quali,” and intelligence test at the end of the primary course.
Sc. 1966 Scots Independent (29 Jan.) 3:
If you didn't pass the “Qualy” you stayed on in the Advanced Division and had the “Three R's” hammered into your head.

[O.Sc. qualify, = 1., 1564.]

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"Qualify v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Feb 2020 <>



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