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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Mete, Meit, a.1 and adv. Also: met, meite, meitt, meyt, meyit; meet(e, meett-; miet, mit; meat, meatt-; mait. [ME. (Cursor M.) and e.m.E. mete, meet(e, OE. (Anglian) *ᵹe-méte, WS. ᵹe-mǽte, with normal loss of the prefix.]

1. That fit(s), in the material sense: well fitting, made to fit, of the right dimensions.As said espec. of clothing and footwear.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xii. 50.
Thar-for of spechis a cowyne Tha mad til hyme met & syne Lad hyme in
Ib. xlv. 209.
[He] gert a kirtil be mad meet [: fete] For hire
c1420 Wynt. viii. 7010.
Swa mete till hym he made that crowne And sete it swa on his hevyd
c1475 Wall. i. 220.
Gyff me thi knyff; quhat dois thi ger so mete [: fete]?
(b) (c 1550) Fifteen Ois 59.
And quhen the boris wes nocht meit Thai drew Thi handis and Thi feit
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2481 (H). Id. III. 103/22. c1500 Rowll Cursing 217 (B). a1508 Kennedy Pass. Ckrist 787.
To the boris thai maid His body meit
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxviii. 13. 1513 Doug. ii. vi. 116.
The dyrk nycht hyd ws with cloys schaddowis meit
Ib. x. 199.
[I] schot my left arme in my scheild al meit
Ib. v. xii. 160.
Plankis and gestis gret, squair and meit, Into thar schippis ionand
Ib. viii. viii. 10.
Apon his feyt his meyit schois hoit War buklit
Ib. ix. v. 182, vi. 142. 1532–3 Selkirk B. Ct. 169 b (18 Mar.).
To consider James Bagbe jak, and wha gef it ganes nocht for James, we ordand James Tailȝour to mak hyme ane meit jak
15.. Clar. ii. 726.
My uther harnes they may as patroun taike, And thay thairby the meitter sall it make
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lix. 28. 15.. Lichtoun Dreme 67. 1567 G. Ball. 37.
Schone … The quhilk are trim and wounder meit
1589–90 Crail B. Ct. MS. 24 Feb. 1614 Laing MSS. I. 138.
Stokeins meit for ane lardge young womanis leg
(2) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 52/19.
proverbs Sermonis for the plesuir of euery auditour, efter the fassoun of schipmenis breiks, mete for euery leg
1571 Ferg. Serm. iii Malachi Sig. C. i b.
Sa gif we wil examine our selfis, we sal find thair schooe (as we vse to say) meit aneuch for our fute
1594 Misc. Bann. C. III. 168.
At last the coup gat ane meit couer; ane tyran fand ane tratour
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 857.
It is als meit as the gudewifes kirtle, that wald not gang on quhill her sark was af

b. spec. Close-fitting. 1501 Treas. Acc. II. 31.
For iiij elne wellus to be ane meit cote to the King, with sleffis
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxx. 85.
Thair meit doublet dois thame reioyis Thay spred abrod thair buffit hois
1686 Depred. Clan Campbell 104.
Ane meet cassick and 1 pair breeches

c. transf. Of limbs: In correct proportion (to the body). ?1438 Alex. i. 1304.
Fare schankis, leggis and feit Weil maid, all to his body meit

2. Of a person or persons: Suitable or acceptable for some position, function, occupation or the like; competent, capable, well-qualified; apt, fit.Const. for, to and infin.(1) 15.. Christis Kirk 51.
Thome Lutar was thair menstrale meit [: sweit, forleyt, discreit]
1513 Doug. v. ix. 25.
Than euery man, accordyng thar strenth ful meyt, Thair byg bowys gan bend
1568 Q. Mary in Ellis Orig. Lett. i Ser. II. (1824) 254.
Guef ȝe send a mit mesager Y wald wysh ȝe bestouded it … apon her
1568 (16..) Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 129.
The laird of Pitcarro and Mr Henry Balnaves were appointed with such of the kirk as they sall think mait
1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii. 80.
Ȝit furtherit I becaus thay fand me meit
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. 4 b.
The cownsell of trew freindis reikis Sweitnes to the sawll that is meitt
c1610 Melville Mem. 262. 1620 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 330. 1636 Justiciary Cases I. 277.
And knawing that Jon Hammiltoun burges induelier in Edinburgh is a meit and qualefeit man fit for useing [etc.]
compar. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4460 (B).
He war far meitar [Ch. meiter] in the ketching Amang the pottis
1581 Sat. P. xliv. 139.
Na metar cuik nor Durie, that fed loun
Ib. 165.
c1610 Melville Mem. 365.
My brother was far meiter nor my self, being a gud scollair
superl. 1592 Prestwick B. Rec. 82.
Thai think the rycht hon oll Johne Wallace of Cragy meittast & admittis him to be thair provest
1592 Reg. Privy C. V. 8.
1596 Milne-Home MSS. 61.
Nether be theis [persons designated as advisers to an executrix] thocht in mony respectis meattest seclude I ony well affectionat freind
1600-1610 Melvill 456.
The meittest sould be chosin at the beginning, wha wald grow ay meittar and meittar
1613 Glasgow Trades House 46.
And four persounes of the meittest of the rank of craftismen
1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 35.
A session … of the meettest men in his congregation
1535 Stewart 29372.
Beseikand him sen that he wes maist meit That he himself wald tak on hand sic thing
1577 Conv. Burghs I. 52.
As maist meit
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvii. 75.
Ane lufe so fare, so gud, so sueit … And for the kynd of man so meit
1513 Doug. xi. i. 50.
And all the ȝonkeris meyt for swerdis dynt
1559 Declar. Lords in Knox I. 431.
And sum of thame sua meitt for thair office … as ane sowtar is to saill ane schip
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4813. a1585 Maitl. Q. xx. 29.
For ane ȝoung las I am not meit I am sa auld
1580 Inverness Rec. I. 284.
Being meite and qualifeit for the samyn vacand tak
1581 Sat. P. xliv. 216.
[He is] Ȝour meit ambassad for Sathan
1584 Melvill 196.
And sic uther lerned men of thair diocease as salbe thought meit for that purpose
1592 Digest Justiciary Proc. P. 7.
Gif he knew ony vemen to be trastie & meit for the executioun of the said purpois
1585 James VI Ess. 54.
Alyke meit for the reading of this worke
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 161. a1634 Read Buch. 202. c1650 Spalding II. 4.compar. 1571 Douglas Corr. 368.
None … more meeter for the charge
superl. 1560 Cal. Sc. P. I. 510.
An embassy … whereof Lord James shall be principal as meetest for many respects
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxii. 113.
As metest merchand for ane maister steik, Baith fals of kynd and in the craft expert
1593 Acts IV. 45/1.
Sic prouest baillies and counsale … as thay thocht meitast for mantenance and setting fordwart of thair seditious purpois
a1650 Row 16. 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 249.
Sa mony of thame as salbe thocht most meit for aggrieing or dressing of us
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 466 (T).
Ane imp of all ill most meit for thair airt
1598 Conv. Burghs II. 39. 1605 Dundonald Par. Rec. 92.
That cognitioun sould be tain … quha war maist meit for the office of elderis and deacones
1616 Edinb. Test. XLIX. 164 b.
To be put to sum craftis and occupaciouns sic as thei salbe maist habill and meit for
(3) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 1136.
Quhairfoir to me, nor sic, he is not meit
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxiv. 27.
Practicians guid and to [Q. for] that senat meit
(4) a1550 Ave Gloriosa 95.
The haly spreit … maid thé meit Our blis to beit
1545 Douglas Corr. 154.
Ane luste ȝung man and meit to be exersit in varefare
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xix. 17. Ib. clxxvii. 35.
Inglis forcis … ar nocht meit for to decyde our querrell
1576 (1650) Dundee B. Laws 117.
[To] elect sick as sall be thocht meit to be in the office
1614 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 422.
His slaunderous lyfe … , quherby … he is not meitt and sufficient to edifie at the kirk of Killillen
1622-6 Bisset I. 268/13. 1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 50.
Sundrie young peiple who shortlie will be meit to communicat
1628 Elgin Rec. II. 204. 1629 Orkney Antiq. Soc. IV. 33.compar. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lii. 9.
Ȝour hienes can nocht gett ane meter To keip your wardrope
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlviii. 63.
Far suetar & metar To haue bein Paris feir
1600-1610 Melvill 728.
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis 9 a.
1566–7 Reg. Privy S. V. ii. 319/1.
Hir hienes knawing nane mair meit nor kyndlie to be servand to hir derrest sone James
1603 Philotus xv.
Ane bairnlie lasse … Mair meit his oy nor wyfe to be
superl. 1570 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) I. 84.
1578 Reg. Privy C. III. 36.
a1578 Pitsc. I. 316/1.
He war meatest and ablist of ony for to deliuer the King to his libertie
1589 Cal. Sc. P. X. 211.
My Lord Boithuile wer the metaist man to [etc.]
1595 Edinb. Test. XXVIII. 288.
To ony vther freind quhom thai think meittest to intromet with my bairnes
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 113/10.
Not choosing thaime that uaire meittest to serue me but quhom thay thocht meitest to serue thaire turne about me
1603 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 191.
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. I. 49.
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 380.
Most meit to gather mussillis in to Maye
1582–3 Reg. Privy C. III. 544. 1654 Cramond Kirk S. 13 Aug.

b. Jocularly: ‘Competent’, ‘capable’, ‘able’; apt, ready. — a1568 Bann. MS. 158 b/74.
To drynk he is evir meit

3. Of things: Fit or suitable for some purpose or occasion. a. Appropriate. b. Agreeable, consonant. c. Fitting, proper, becoming.Variously const. c1420 Ratis R. 1217.
To gare vs vnderstand … Quhat is ill sytand and quhat is met
c1420 Wynt. v. 4330.
He … ay to plesans and delyte Made in metyre lnete his dyte
1513 Doug. iii. ii. 98.
Ganand offerandis ful mete [: Crete; L. meritos honores]
Ib. vi. 67.
I sall thé schaw takynnys tharof ful meit Quhilkis thou sal hald within thi mynd secreit
Ib. ix. viii. 70. 1535 Stewart 57469.
Tha had no mes that wes meit for ane Scot
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2474.
Ȝour mowth war meit evin to drink owt a jurdane
1555 Montgomery Mem. 154.
The said Erles freindis … thinkis the samin [contract] meit of parage, lefull, convenient and honest
1584 Acts III. 296/2.
Materis … not meit to remane as accordis of treuth to the posteritie
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 110/3, 1596 Dalr. II. 377/7. 1606 Melville Chart. 151.
Quhensoevir … anie meit occasioun to mariage sall offer
a1650 Row 199.
The age meet for mariage
compar. 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 71.
Ane hous … meitter for ane slauchter-hous than for mannis dwelling
1570 Leslie 67.
The king … thoucht her a pray metar for ane emperour nor soldiouris
1600-1610 Melvill 424.
A dwabbling countrey ryme, meittar to be swipped away with the mouse-wobbes nor [etc.]
c1650 Spalding I. 241.
The memberis of this college thocht this geir wairit vpone him wes loist, and meiter to haue bene bestowit vpone thame
superl. 1494 Loutfut MS. 113 b.
Bot it mycht be allegit that assise war metast than [etc.]
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 38.
To thame (said I) quhat mater is metest?
a1585 Maitl. Q. i. 5.
& metest mirrour of manheid martiall
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxx. 64.
Now filthie speche is thocht purpois maist meit
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 252 (H).
Send for a powder … For thy mug mouth most meit [: spreit]

d. Apt, convenient, expedient, useful, ‘good’.(1) 1570-3 Bann. Trans. 297.
I asked … what were the thingis you thought meit, for I have sindrie thingis … not vnmeit for that purpose
1571 Sat. P. xxvii. 37.
Be meitar meaines thow mon thatt mak mend
1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 164.
I fand ane meit tyme, hes grace beane queyet
? 1615 Old Ross-shire II. 8.
Let thame set furth ane meitter course
1622 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 461.
Ane meit and convenient calsay in the kirk gait
1644 Spalding II. 502.
Where was a meeter chamber, altho at a dearer rate
(2) 1483 Haddington Hammermen's Seal of Cause in E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II. 103.
Sic statutes and ordinances as sall be meitt and expedient for the honour of God
1562 Reg. Privy C. I. 200.
That thai ar nocht than meit for eiting
1567 G. Ball. 31.
How Christis croce is for ȝow meit
1566 Inv. Q. Mary lxxxviii. n. 1.
Sum waik poulder meit for mixing of fyre work
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 23. 1597 Rec. Earld. Orkney 322.
Uppoun ane patent place … meit for numbering of money
c1615 Chron. Kings 113. 1600-1610 Melvill 252.
For rowing nather was ther eares meit nor handes
1613 Old Dundee I. 145.
The place … thoucht to be a meitt meane for covering of his unlawful tred in barrelling of tallow
1613 Conv. Burghs II. 419.
To forsie anye thing … that they think meitt for thair awin weyll
c1650 Spalding I. 280.compar. 1567 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lv.
Finding na place mair meitt nor commodious for hir majestie to remane into
superl. 1583 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 697/2.
The place … metest for his eis is thocht to be Stirling
1597–8 Crim. Trials II. 35.
As place meitest for accompleisching of thair crewall … murthour
1618 Breadalbane Lett. 17 Aug.
What meittest cours may be takin … for prevention of your vnfreindis intentioun
1631 Macgibbon & Ross V. 560.(3) 1559 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 35.
Quhilk mycht be ane sufficient and meitt roume to iij choppis
1647 Douglas Bequest 25 Sept.
To mak sic statutes … as salbe fund necessare meitt and expedient to the honour and glorie of God
(4) 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 209.
Sic thingis being in my handis as wer meit to decoir the historie
1596 Dalr. I. 36/13. a 1681 Hay Fleming Six Saints II. 64.
[He] being such a polish'd shaft meet to be laid to the Lord's work
compar. c 1602 Wemyss Corr. 41.
I haue twell thowsand markis … , quhilk var meiter to be in his awin handis
superl. 1576 Waus Corr. 123.
Your avis … quhat way ye think meitest to be followit
1616 Laing MSS. I. 147.
The ordour quhich yow sall find most meete and reddy to repair all necessar defectis
(5) 1596 Dalr. Il. 373/5
Al maist was na … place meit quhair sik childre mycht meit, quhair commounlie thai mett not

e. Predicatively, of an action.(1) a1500 Bk. Chess 2099.
Vnto a quene be richt it is nocht meit To go to batall
1535 Stewart 59183.
Me think it is nocht meit With thame my storie for to intertryik
1567 G. Ball. 39.
Thairfoir to vs it was full meit For to reioyis
1589 Misc. Spald. C. II.278.
And quhow meit … it is to ws twa to knet vp ane sower freindschip
compar. 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 238.
Whither it is meitter to make it as it were a contract [etc.]
1638 Henderson Serm. 318.
It were meeter for him to stay down laigh in the body of the kirk
a1540 Freiris Berw. 267.
It wer mair meit in to ȝour bed to be
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iv. 676.
It war mair meit seik to sum uther place
superl. 1600 Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lxxvi.
I think it sall be meittest to be convoyit quyetest in ane bote
1593 Conv. Burghs I. 395.
Inform ws … be thi awin wisdome, quhat is meittest to be done
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 760 (Bann.).
Vpoun this bellye ware sett a bolt full mete
a1568 Bann. MS. 64 a/12.
It war full meit … That all this pryd of silk war quyt laid doun
1590 Reg. Morton I. 168.
It is meit … that ȝour lordship considder the waliditie bayth of ȝour awin landis and his
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 259.superl. 1589 Annandale Corr. 26.
How it salbe metaist that we proceid at this tyme
1625 Justiciary Cases I. 22. 1630 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 321.
It is meitest that ye and our sone tak some course
(3) a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 537.
It is as meit as a sow to bear a sadle
(4) 1568 Campbell Love-lett. Mary 49.
It was thought mete … that … the original lettres … shuld also be shewed
1572 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. 102.
It was than thocht meitt be the said regent … that … thair sould have bene coinyeit allayit money
1583 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 311.
The provest [etc.] … thinks it meitt … that the sam [house] be sett in few
1597 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 127.
The present assemblie thinkis meit that the sacrament of the Lordis Supper be ministrat [etc.]
1599 Ellon Par. 18. 1580 Hume Promine 37. 1604 Writers Signet 234.
I think meit … that ye convene thame all and [etc.]
1612 Sc. N. & Q. i Ser. II. 117.
[The Council] finds it werie meit & expedient that thair be ane loft biggit in the auld kirk
1625 Justiciary Cases I. 25. 1642 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 293.superl. 1596 Maxwell Mem. II. 183.
I think it far meitest that ȝe … sie the same done … as becumis [etc.]
1600 Glasgow Wrights 41.
It wes fund meitast and maist rationable that [etc.]
1600-1610 Melvill 441. 1601 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 173.
The presbyterie thocht it maist meit that he suld communicat at the Lordis tabell on Sonday
(5) 1564 Rep. Menzies MSS. 9.
For to output the Glengregour and impute vther brokin men … we jugeit nocht mete to be done
1603 Lett. Eccl. Affairs I. i.
The presbytrie thinkis meit the congregatioun … to giwe lyt to the presbytrie
1613 Highland P. III. 136.
The first course … wes thoght meete to be followed oute
1657 Rothesay B. Rec. 15.(6) 1576 Rep. Menzies MSS. 17.
[With] quhat charge the noblemen … thocht meitt to burdyn ȝow
1597 Acts IV. 119/2.
His maiestie … hes thocht meit … to restreane the hamebringing [etc.]
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI 39.
1600-1610 Melvill 331. 1625 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 236.
Thai thoght meitt to make the first offer thairof
1630 Ib. 316.
1647 Culross Rec. in Sc. Ant. IV. 26.
superl. 1600 Reg. Privy C. VI. 150.
That … thair wairdane thocht meitest to ask [etc.]
1600 Crim. Trials II. 232. 1612 Marischal Coll. Rec. I. 121.
I have thought maist meit … to bestow [etc.]
(7) 1625 Elgin Rec. II. 191.
To be taxit for ther absence as the seat thinkis meit
1631 Justiciary Cases I. 174. 1644 Row xxvi.
As I suld think meitt
Ib. 59.
He should take the chairge of a flock as the brethren in these bounds thought meit
superl. 1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. (ed.) 31.
My l. to punis him as he thinkis metest
1587 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 141.
In any course that we thocht meatest
1593 Acts IV. 27/2.
For … making of new cunȝie of better … availl as salbe fund metaist be the saidis commissionaris
1594 Ib. 73/1. 1615 Edinb. Test. XLVIII. 217.
To be imployit … as he sies meitest
1647 Misc. Bann. C. II. 273. 1614 Fraser P. 235.
Grant to the beirer sic sharitabill suppoirt … as your m. … thinkis maist meitt

4. adv. a. In a well fitting manner, well, neatly or closely fitted. b. ? In close contact.a. 1513 Doug. ii. xi. 116.
To town agane I sped … Claspit ful meit into fyne armour brycht
Ib. xiii. Prol. 85.
Syde was this habyt, round and closyng meit
b. a1568 Bann. MS. 263 b/8.
Chyding so haldis scho fast the knyfe Meit at his cheik Ay forgit scherp with sorrow

c. In a fitting, suitable or appropriate manner; fittingly, appropriately, properly. c1475 Wall. x. 149.
That taill full meit thow has tauld be thi sell
a1500 Henr. III. 150/7.
Als ȝour medicyne by mesour I haif meit met it
1567 G. Ball. 63.
To graith our place full meit, He is ascendit hie
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxv. 68.
Diana keeps this margarit Bot Hymen heghts to match hir meit

5. In the following instances the precise application remains somewhat uncertain: a1500 Henr. III. 115/37.
Of mariagis to mel with mowis met [: leit, suet, beit; M. with our mouthis meit]
Ib. 147/37.
The miracles ar mekle & meit Fra luffis ryuer rynnis
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 89.
The feildis all ar occupyit full meit

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