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The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Elizabeth KnowlesElizabeth Knowles


a member of a Gaelic people that migrated from Ireland to Scotland around the late 5th century. The name is recorded in Old English (as Scottas, plural) and comes from late Latin Scottus, of unknown ultimate origin.

Down to the reign of Alfred, Scottas was the ordinary word for Irishmen (as Scotland for Hibernia). In the next reign there were relations between the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and the kingdom of the Scots in North Britain, and from that time onward the name was no longer associated with Ireland except in historical statements.