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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PLEASURE, n., v. Also pleis(h)ure (Rxb. 1916 Kelso Chron. (5 Feb.) 2),  pleisur; pleesure (Kcb. 1894 Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet iv.), pleeshir (Rxb. 1912 Jedburgh Gazette (19 July) 3), -ur (Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 83), pleezher (Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xxx.), -ure (Abd. 1926 Abd. Univ. Review (July) 227); pleeser (Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 107), pleesur (Sc. 1808 E. Hamilton Cottagers of Glenburnie xiii.), pleaser; pleasour (wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 111), plaesur (Sh. 1898 “Junda” Klingrahool 14, 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (19 May)), -ir, plaisir.  Sc. forms and vbl. usage of Eng. pleasure. [′pli:zər, ′plez-; now more commonly ′pli:ʒ-]

I. n.

Sc. forms:Abd. 1987 Sheena Blackhall in Joy Hendry Chapman 49 56:
A springtime snawdrop, derkened b' an aik
She's spukken for langsyne - yet, incomplete
His sun's her pleisure, mindin on his maik
Is pure delicht, her trimmlin sap replete
m.Sc. 1987 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 50-1 78:
Howanever, nae doot the young teacher o English on his lee lane frae Embro wis glad to forego the pleesures o the barley bree for the delichts o James King's hoose, ...
m.Sc. 1991 Donald Goodbrand Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 136:
The days they spent in pleisure,
The nichts, lay side be side.
em.Sc.(a) 1994 Kate Armstrong in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 84:
Her deepest pleisure, in normal times, is tae sink a fork intae the soil, and feel its brief resistance afore crumblin apairt, daurk and halesome-smellin, ...
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 48:
Maisie's mither surveyed her handiwark wi pleisur. "Ay, ye'll dae! Here's yer hymn book. Noo, rin an open the yett - I hear the kirk bell dingin."
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 63:
' ... Even you wi yer odd sympathies, John, I think would find it no possible tae imagine hoo onybody could get pleisure oot o carnal relations wi a horse.'

II. v. Also with impers. subject.

tr. To please, content, give pleasure to, satisfy (ne., em.Sc.(a), Lth., Gall. 1966). Now obs. in Eng.Per. 1766 A. Nicol Poems 22:
I'll strive to pleasure my sweet lass With kisses and caresses.
Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems 22:
Tae weave mysel' a simmer snood, Tae pleasure my dear fellow.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet xi.:
Aweel, what for should I not pleasure the young gentleman?
Fif. a.1870 J. M. Morton Broken Bowl 31:
Whan ane wad greet she'd pleaser't sae aul' farr'n.
Sc. 1886 Stevenson Kidnapped xii.:
There was a Stewart to be starved and a red-headed hound of a Campbell to be pleasured.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xiii.:
Walter, will you not pleasure us with your company tonight?
Kcd. 1895 M. M. Black Cargill 16:
Commin' back to her auld hame wad pleasure her fine.
Fif. 1896 G. Setoun Robert Urquhart 28:
A little thing like that pleasures an auld body.
Ags. 1915 V. Jacob Songs of Angus 35:
To lie his lane, And pleasure himsel' nae mair.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xiv.:
Ye'll hae to pleesure her. It canna be for long.
Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 32:
anerlie the yin snode airt
whaur leerielicht, guid watter an scran, an the crack o men
pleesure the hert.

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



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