Early Scots (also called Older Scots) is the name given to the written tongue which was taking shape in the northern Middle English speaking lands of Scotland before 1450. Northern Middle English has itself was born out of Northumbrian Old English. Throughout this time, the speakers called their own tongue Inglis (English).

Early writings such as Barbour's The Brus and Wyntoun's Chronicle are better thought of as works written in northern Middle English rather than as forerunners to later Scots, a name first given to the tongue later, when it was Middle Scots.


Northumbrian Old English speakers had settled south-eastern Scotland as far as the Forth ea in the 600s and mostly yet dwelt there until the 1200s, which is why in the late 1100s Adam of Dryburgh spoke of his whereabout as 'in the land of the English in the Kingdom of the Scots', and why the early 1200s writer of de Situ Albanie thought that 'the firth of Forth cleaves the kingdoms of the Scots and of the English'.

Ric shifts in the 1100s helped the spread of the English tongue. Bodies such as the burghs first built by David I, mostly in the south and east of Scotland, brought new settlers into where they were built. Incoming towndwellers were mainly English (moreso from Northumbria, and the Earldom of Huntingdon), Flemish and French. Although the warlordship spoke French and Gaelic, these small townships seemed to have been speaking English as something more than a shared tongue by the end of the 1200s. Although the indwellers of even the greatest burghs would have reckoned in hundreds rather than thousands, a groundshift happened whereby many Gaels were drawn into the new setup and its tongue.

The rising economic sway of the burghs indrew further English, Fleming and Scandinavian inwandering. As the economic might of the burghs grew, Gaelic-speakers from the hinterland found it furthersome to gain a working knowledge of English. The institutional tung of the burghs was made up of wordstock of almost wholly Anglo-Saxon roots such as toft (homestead and land), croft (smallholding), ruid (land let by a burgh), guild (a trade gild), bow (a bent gateway), wynd (lane) and raw (row of houses).

Norman French and English were becoming working tungs of the Kingdom and in the 12th hundredyear the folk of the land were called "Franci, Angli, Scoti et Gallovidiani" (French, English, Scots and Galloway-men). The end of the House of Dunkeld led to the throne being given to three lowland households, the Balliols, Bruces and Stewarts who more and more linked themselves with the Anglish-speaking land within the kingdom. The outcome of this was the headtown shifted from Perth to Edinburgh, although Robert the Bruce was himself a Gaelic-speaker, and James IV (Stewart) also spoke it. By the 14th hundredyear, the kind of Northern English that come about from the above happenings, called Inglis by its speakers, had outshoved Gaelic (Scottis) and Cumbric in much of the lowlands and the Norman French of the court. It had also come to outshove Latin as a tung for writs and booklore. In Caithness, it came into contact with both Norn and Gaelic.


The main wordstock is of Anglo-Saxon roots though Scots kept many words which fell out of

use further south. The flow of outlandish borrowings, such as Romanish by way of churchly

and law Latin and French, was much the same as that of English at the time but was often

unlike in detail for that of the ongoing sway of the Auld Bond and the clever use of Latin

words in bookcraft.

Throughout this time many words of Anglo-Saxon wellspring, such as anerly (alone), berynes

(grave), clenge (cleanse), halfindall (a half deal), scathful (harmful), sturting

(tilting, wrangling) thyrllage (thralldom) and umbeset (beset), were now only or almost

only found in Scots.

French borne warfare words such as arsoun (saddle-bow), bassynet (helmet), eschell

(battalion), hawbrek (coat of mesh), qwyrbolle (hardened leather), troppell (troop), vaward

(firstward) and vyre (crossbow bolt) became part of the tung along with other French

wordstock such as cummer (godmother), disjone (breakfast), dour (stern, grim), fasch (irk),

grosar (gooseberry), ladron (knave), moyen (ways), plenissing (fittings) and vevaris


The wordstock of Scots was eked out by the speech of Scandinavians, Flemings, Dutch and

Middle Low German speakers through trade with, and inwandering from, the low kingdoms.

From Scandinavian (often by way of Scandinavian swayed Middle English) came at (that/who),

byg (build), bak (bat), bla (blue), bra (hillside, slope), ferlie (wonder), flyt (outtake),

fra (from), gar (compel), gowk (gowk), harnis (brains), ithand (tireless), low (fireshoot),

lug (an outgrowth, ear), man (must), neve (fist), sark (shirt), spe (foresight), þa

(those), til (to), tinsell (loss), wycht (fearless) and wyll (lost, bewildered).

The flemings inbrought bonspell (games match), bowcht (sheep pen), cavie (henhouse), crame

(a booth), furisine (flint striker), grotkyn (a gross), howff (hallyard), kesart (cheese

vat), lunt (lightstick), much (a cap), muchkin (a flowstuff mete), skaff (scrounge),

wapinschaw (gathering of folkward), wyssill (change of sterling) and the geldtokens plak, stek

and doyt.

A few Gaelic words such as breive (deem), cane (a tribute), couthal (deemhall of fairness),

davach (a mete of land), duniwassal (blue-blood), kenkynolle (head of the kindred), mare

(geldman) and toschachdor (leader) were found in early law writs but most became obsolete

early in the time frame. Gaelic words for landscape features have endured bogg (mire), carn

(pile of stones), corrie (hollow in a hill), crag (stone), inch (small island), knok

(hill), loch (mere or fjord) and strath (ea dale).


The Tung first came to light in bookcraft in the mid-14th hundredyear, when its written

word differed little from that of northern English byspeeches, and so Scots shared many

Northumbrian borrowings from Old Norse and Anglo-Norman French.

Wording from Legend of the Saints (Anglish: Folktale of the Holymen) 14th Hundredyear XXXIII.--GEORGE.

Ȝete of sancte george is my wil, gyf I connandes had þere-til to translat þe haly story, as wrytine in þe buk fand I. for he wes richt haly mañ & fele tynt saulis to god wane, nocht anerly thru his techynge bot erare thru sample geffine, hou men to god suld stedfast be & thole for hyme perplexite, of lyfe na ded dout hafand nane, bot to resyst ay to sathane & lordis of mykil mycht. & men callis hym oure lady knycht & men of armys ofte se I in til his helpe mykil affy, & namely quhen þai are in ficht.

Wording from The Brus by Barbour (1375 Downwritten by Ramsay in 1489) (a) THE POET’S PROEM. (Anglish: The wordwrights foreword.)

Storyß to rede ar delitabill,suppoß þat þai be nocht bot fabill,þan suld storyß þat suthfast wer,And þai war said on gud maner,Hawe doubill plesance in heryng.þe fyrst plesance is þe carpyng,And þe toþir þe suthfastnes,þat schawys þe thing rycht as it wes; And suth thyngis þat ar likand Tyll mannys heryng ar plesand. þarfor I wald fayne set my will, Giff my wyt mycht suffice þartill, To put in wryt a suthfast story, þat it lest ay furth in memory, Swa þat na lenth of tyme it let, na ger it haly be forȝet. For auld storys þat men redys, Representis to þaim þe dedys Of stalwart folk þat lywyt ar, Rycht as þai þan in presence war. And, certis, þai suld weill hawe pryß þat in þar tyme war wycht and wyß, And led thar lyff in gret trawaill, And oft in hard stour off bataill Wan [richt] gret price off chewalry, And war woydit off cowardy. As wes king Robert off Scotland, þat hardy wes off hart and hand; And gud Schyr Iames off Douglas, þat in his tyme sa worthy was, þat off hys price & hys bounte In fer landis renoenyt wes he. Off þaim I thynk þis buk to ma; Now god gyff grace þat I may swa Tret it, and bryng it till endyng, þat I say nocht bot suthfast thing!

Links to leaves about tungs (adight)
Tungs Kin of tungs
Indo-Europish tungs
Theedish tungs North Theedish tungs: Faroish tung - Norish tung - Icelandish (High Icelandish) - Old Norse - Old Gutnish - South Jutish - Danish tung - Swedish tung - Elfdalsh tung (moot) - Norn tung (dead) - Gutnish tung (moot)
West Theedish tungs:
Weser-Rhine Theedish tungs: Old Low Frankish - Netherlandish tung - Highsunlandish tung - Limburgish tung - Zeelandish tung - Flemish tung (moot)
Elbe Theedish tungs: Old High Theech - Theech tung - Allmenish tung - Bairish tung - Wymysorys tung - Lombardish tung (dead) - Littleburgish tung - Hunsridgish tung - Yiddish tung - Ripuarish tung
North Sea Theedish tungs: Saxish (Old Saxish - Middle Low Saxish - Low Saxish tung) | English (Old English tung - Middle English tung - English tung - Anglish (moot) - Lowland Scottish tung - Northumberish tung (moot) - Yola) | Freesish (Old Freesish tung - Western Freesish - Northern Freesish - Saterland Freesish)

East Theedish tungs (dead): Gottish tung - Wendish tung - Burgundish tung

Celtish tungs Mainland Celtish tungs (dead): Celtiberish tung - Cisalpine Gaulish tung - Galatish tung - Gallaecish tung - Gaulish tung - Lepontish tung - East Celtish tung - Iberi-Celtish tungs
Gelish tungs: Irish tung - Scots Gelish tung - Manx tung - Galloway Gelish (dead)
Brythonish tungs: Cornish tung - Welsh tung - Wonted Brythonish tung (dead) - Cumbrish tung (dead) - Breton tung - Ivernish tung (dead)
Other: Pictish tung (dead) - Shelta - Beurla Reagaird(craftspeech)
Balt-Slavish tungs Slavish tungs:
East Slavish tungs: Russish tung - Borderish tung - White Russish tung
West Slavish tungs: Slesish tung - Polish tung - Bohemish tung (a.k.a Checklandish Tung) - Slovakish tung - Kashubish tung
South Slavish tungs: Serb-Croatish (Serbish tung - Blackbarrowish tung - Bosnish tung - Croatish tung) - Bulgarish tung - Macedonish tung - Slovenish tung

Baltish tungs: Lithuish tung - Lettish tung - Old Prussish (dead) - Kurish
Italish tungs Sabellish tungs (dead): Oscish tung - Old Venetish - Umbrish tung

Latish-Faliscish tungs (dead):
Latish (Folklatish) - Faliscish tung
Romanish tungs: Italish-Western tungs:
Italish-Damatalish: Damatalish tung (dead) - Istriotish tung - Tuscish tung - Venetish tung - Corsicish tung - Sassarish tung - Sicilish tung - Neapolish tung - Italish tung
Western-Romenish tungs: Gaulish-Romanish (Old French tung - Middle French tung - French tung - Picardish tung - Wallonish tung - Normandish tung (Angle-Normandish) - Burgundish tung (Romanish) - Arpitish tung - Savoyardish tung - Gallosk tung - Romansh tung - Occitsh tung - Catalandish tung - Piedmontish tung - Ligurish tung - Lombardish tung (Romanish)) | Iberish (Spanish tung - Aragonish tung - Galicish tung - Leonish tung - Jewish Spanish (Ladino) - Mirandish tung - Falash tung - Portugalish tung - Mozarabish tung (dead) - Sephardish tung)
Eastern-Romanish tungs: Romeenish tung - Arromeenish tung - Sardinish tung

Greekish tungs Greekish tung - Grikosh Tung - Tsakonish tung - Pontish tung - Yevanish tung - Cappadocish Greekish - Calabrish tung
Tocharish tungs (dead) Turfanish tung - Kucheish tung - Kröanish
Anatolish tungs (dead) Hittish - Lydiash - Luish - Lycish - Palaish
Indo-Iranish tungs Indo-Aryish: (Hindlandish offshoots: Hindish tung - Urdu tung) - Bengalish tung - Roma tung - Punjabish tung

Iranish: Balochish tung - Pashto tung - Persish tung - Kurdish tung

Other Indo-Europish Albanish tung - Armenish tung - Dacish tung (dead) - Illyrish tungs (dead) - Old Ligurish tung (dead) - Phrygish tung (dead) - Thracish tung (dead)
Other tungs:
Semitish tungs Amharish tung - Arabish tung - Aramaish tung - Hebrew tung - Akkadish tung (dead) - Assyrish tung
Ulgarish tungs Estish tung - Finnish tung - Ungarish tung - Sami tungs - Livonish tung
Turkish tungs Oghuz: Mickleyard Turkish tung - Azerish tung - Turkmen tung - Urum tung - Gagauz tung - Qashqai tung - Khorasani tung - Salar tung

Karluk: Uzbek tung - Uyghur tung - Ili Turki tung - Chagatai tung (dead) - Karakhanid tung (dead)

Khalaj: Khalaj tung

Oghur: Chuvash tung - Turkish Bulgar tung (dead) - Khazar tung? (dead) - Hunnic tung? (dead) - Avar tung? (dead)

Siberish: Sakha tung - Tuvish tung - Altai tung - Dolgan tung - Tofa tung - Khakas tung - Fuyu Kyrgyz - Shor tung - Western Yugur tung - Chulym tung

Kipchak: Kazakh tung - Kyrgyz tung - Tatar tung - Krimlandish Tatar tung - Bashkir tung - Karachay-Balkar tung - Kumyk tung - Karaim tung - Krymchak tung - Urum tung - Cuman tung (dead) - Karakalpak tung - Siberish Tatar tung - Nogai tung - Fergana Kipchak tung

Japonish tungs Japanish tung - Ryukyu tungs (moot)
Mongolish tungs Khalkha tung - Buryat tung - Oirat tung - Moghol tung - Dagur tung - Ordos tung
Southialandish tungs Philippine: Philipslandish tung - Yami tung - Ivatan tung - Ilocano tung - Ibanag tung - Gaddang tung - Pangasinan tung - Kapampangan tung - Sidefolkish tung - Waray tung - Hiligaynon tung - Asi tung - Romblomanon tung - Onhan tung - Kinaray-a tung - Aklanon tung - Cebuano tung - Tausug tung - Maranao tung - Tboli tung - Tombulu tung - Sangirish tung - Gorontalo tung - Mongondow tung

Malayish: Malay tung - Indonesish tung - Menterap tung - Iban tung - Remun tung - Mualang tung - Seberuang tung - Sebuyau tung - Kendayan tung - Keninjal tung - Bamayo tung - Urak Lawoi tung - Minangkabau tung - Banjarish tung - Betawi tung

Polynesish: Tongish tung - Niuafoou tung - Niuish tung - Wallisish tung - Futunish tung - Pukapukish tung - Rennellish tung - Tikopish tung - West Uveish - Futuna-Aniwa tung - Mele-Fila tung - Emae tung - Anuta tung - Samoish tung - Tokelauish tung - Tuvaluish tung - Nukuoro tung - Kapingamarangi tung - Nukurish tung (dead?) - Takuu tung - Nukumanu tung - Ontong Java tung - Sikaiana tung - Vaeakau-Taumako tung - Rapa Nuish tung - Marquesish tung - Mangareva tung - Firelandish tung - Tahitish tung - Austral tung - Rapa tung - Taumotuish tung - Rarotongish tung - Rakahanga-Manihiki tung - Penrhyn tung - Maorish tung - Moriori tung (dead)

Sinitish-Tibetish tungs Sinitish: Chinish tung

Tibetish-Burmish: Burmish tung - Tibetish tung - Dzongkha tung - Gongduk tung - Lhokpu tung - Olekha tung - Lepcha tung - Sharchop tung - Pyu tung (dead) - Meitei tung - Karbi tung - Tujia tung - Puroik tung

Niger-Congo tungs Swahilish tung - Wolof tung - Yorubish tung - Igbo tung - Xhosa tung - Zulu tung
Koreish tungs Koreish tung - Jeju tung (moot)
Kra-Dai tungs Thai tung - Lao tung - Ahom tung (dead)
Southasiatish tungs Vietnamish tung - Khmer tung
Forbinded Tungs Papiamento tung - Loudwyeland French - Haitish French
Lone tungs Baskish tung - Ainu tung
Other Cherokee tung - Coptish tung - Canaman Folktung - Esperantish tung (crafted) - Etruscish tung (dead) - Folkspraak tung (crafted) - Greenlandish tung - Georgeish tung - Klingon (crafted) - Laadanish tung (crafted) - Lakotish tung - Toki Pona Tung (crafted) - Volapuk (crafted)
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