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

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Nowt, Nout, Nolt, n. Also nowte, nowtt; neout; nowit, nowyt, nouit; nolte, noltt; nowlt, noult(e, nould; noalt; note, noyt, noat. [ME. (appar. chiefly north. and north midl.) nowwt (Orm), nowte, naute (c 1420), e.m.E. noote (1525), note (1544), (north.) naut (1657), ON. naut (Norw. naut, Sw. nöt). In the mod. dial. Sc. and north. Eng. as nowt, also nawt, and north. Eng. note.] Much the most common spelling is nolt.

1. Cattle; oxen, bulls and cows, collectively. See also, for further examples, Gud(e n. 7. (1) Ȝe sal haf thred … Of nowt, schepe, hors and ky; Leg. S. xl. 1121.
Hors & nowte; 1398 Acts I. 212/2.
His landys … heryit Bathe off nowte and schepe and ky And all othire gudys halyly; Wynt. vii. 3043.
He sal sel gude flesche dede and nowt and swyne; Burgh Laws c. 74 (B).
Bestis … schepe or nowt; Hay I. 58/30.
1468 Peebles B. Rec. I. 157.
Wall. viii. 1059.
Nowtt; King Berdok 22.
1553–4 Prot. Bk. Sir Wm. Corbet 19.
Na fleschar … sleyand ony scheipe nowt or vaill; 1579 Crail B. Ct. 3 Nov.
Heiland menn of Athoill … twik away ane pwind of nowt; 1591 Reg. Morton I. 176.
Nowtt; Hist. Kennedy 18.
1616 Inverurie 200.
As aither nowt or ship; 1691 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. i. 409 (4 Oct.).
(b) All infekit novt; 1534 Selkirk B. Ct. MS. 185 (22 Oct.).
Quhen nout fechtis togither; Dalr. I. 123/6.
Ib. 7/1.
And uthir faires of hors, cattell, scheip, nout and siklyk; 1633 Dumbarton B. Rec. 42.
1641 Fraser P. 121.
1651 Milne-Home MSS. 102.
1662 Crim. Trials III. 613.
I [would] rather steal all the horned nout in the parish; Presb. Eloq. (ed. 2) 84.
(c) Scheype or nowyt or gayte; Wynt. ii. 580.
Ib. v. 2620.
Nowit; 1443 Milne-Home MSS. 21.
Certane nowit and hors; 1533 Treas. Acc. VI. 139.
[All] novit scheipe and monie [belonging to him]; 1540 Prot. Bk. Sir J. Cristisone 72.
(d) To kepe the toune nolt for the ȝher; 1437 Ayr B. Ct.
1472 Peebles B. Rec. I. 169.
Wall. x. 551.
1482 Reg. Morton II. 244.
1489 Acts II. 219/2.
1503 Lanark B. Rec. 13.
Thocht he fra nolt had new tane leif; Dunb. xxii. 73.
1517 Misc. Spald. C. II. 80.
1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. MS. 159 (26 Feb.).
Boece iii. xii. 109.
Stewart 18309.
His compt of all ky and vther nolt ȝowis & vther scheip; 1544 Lochleven Compt Bk. 15 b (5 July).
The nolt maid noyis vitht mony loud lou; Compl. 39/2.
To keip nolt and scheip; Ib. 45/3.
Ib. 64/20.
Witht certane stollin nolt; 1550 Treas. Acc. IX. 458.
Thre birnyng irnes to nolt and scheip; 1566 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 102.
Nolte; 1571 Crail B. Ct. 22 May.
Thair … garrit nolt; 1589 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 190.
1594 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I. 217.
Nolte; 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 107.
The startling nolt; Hume 29/119.
To haue left a peice land to the gudmane for the noltis caus; 1603 Elgin Rec. II. 114.
That na nolt … sall be … broch on the stibbels; 1605 Inverurie B. Ct.
1616 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 193.
Act anent louse nolt; 1637 Elgin Rec. I. 257.
Spalding I. 162.
Exonered … of any sick nolt and sheip and kayne fowlles; 1652 Buccleuch Mun. II. 299.
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. ii.
Skene Agric. MS.
Cleland 26.
1684 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 127.
1696 Lanark Presb. 127.
(e) Nowlt; 1527 Carnwath Baron Ct. (ed.) 60.
Novlt; 1549 Banff Ann. I. 24.
Nould; 1566 Kinnaird Farm Bk. 51.
1584 Burntisland B. Ct. ? June.
1605 Inverurie B. Ct. 1 Nov.
The yeild nowlt; 1623–4 Peebles B. Rec. I. 413.
Noulte; Balfour Ann. IV. 342.
(f) Noalt; 1668 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 15 Jan.
Letting in sum noalt to destroy his corns; 1693 Banff Ann. II. 63.
(g) The noys … Of noyt & schepe & menstralsy; Leg. S. i. 37.
Wytht hors and noyt and othir fe; Wynt. ii. 100.
Either horse, noat, vebs or any vther thing to be sold; 1662 Crim. Trials III. 608.
Ib. 612.
(2) The awaytakin … of xiiij hede of nolt; 1482 Acta Aud. 109/1.
The … wranguis takin of viij hed of nolt out of the mylne landis; 1510 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 59.
Ane firlott quhyt aittis ilk heid of nolt nightlie; 1633 Ib. II. 365.
Three score heids of nolt; 1698 Misc. 3 Spald C. II. 108.

b. With numerals and adjectives of plurality: = (Two, etc.) head of cattle. iijxx xvij nolt; 1467 Acta Aud. 7/1.
vj nolt of thre ȝere aldez and ane ox of vj ȝere alde; 1474 Ib. 31/1.
How mony nolt was takin fra thame; 1483 Acta Conc. II. cxxviii.
The fogage of lx of nolt; 1493 Ib. I. 270/1.
A hundreth nolt; Dunb. xxxiii. 103.
Thre or four schore of nowt; 1545 Corr. M. Lorraine 144.
Ten ȝeld nolt; 1550 Lanark Sheriff Ct. MS. 38 b.
Ane certane nolt; 1556 Peebles B. Rec. I. 228.
Thre noltt; 1563 Crim. Trials I. i. 433.
Aucht ȝoung nolt; 1575 Edinb. Test. III. 288 b.
xij ald oxin, xvj alld ky, v young note of iij yeir ald, v young note of ij yeir ald, iiij stirkis of ane yeir ald; 1589 Berw. Nat. C. XXI. 273.
But few nolt; 1577–95 Skene Celtic Scotl. III. 431.
Ane grite nowmer of nolt; 1599 Reg. Privy C. VI. 5.
Na mair nor sax nowlt; 1605 Inverurie 190.
Foure fed nolt; 1616 Anal. Scot. I. 365.
Hume Orthog. 27.
Threttie noult auld and ȝoung; 1629 Dumfries Test Ia. 181 b.
1629 Justiciary Cases I. 101.

c. With plural inflexion. For sklenting of bowts And startling of other mens nowts; Pleugh-Song in
Wode's Psalter (ed.) 240 a.

d. As a singular: An ox; one head of cattle. All lyk a nowte thoucht man he ware; Wynt. iii. 936.
Ane scheip or ane nowt; Abell 31 a.
Mugio, to rowt like a nowt; Duncan App. Etym.
For the intrallis of ane nout coft ane yeir sensyne; 1597 Paisley B. Rec. 201.
1659 Stitchill Baron Ct. 16.
Tuo shilling for ewry ox or cow or nolt; 1665 Forbes Baron Ct. 259.
As the grass maill of ane nolt; 1674 Stitchill Baron Ct. 76.

2. Attrib. and comb., also possess. a. Of, pertaining to, deriving from or consisting of, cattle. See also Nowt-fald, -hird, -market. (1) You did bring ane nolt best [etc.]; 1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 247.
Tuo nolt bestiall; 1658 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 172.
Bubile, a nolte byer; Duncan App. Etym.
In nowte cresche or swyne sayme; Burgh Laws c. 76 (B).
[Arrears] be Robert Cuninghame … for his nolt custume; 1578–9 Ayr B. Acc. 144.
1609–10 Ib. 242.
Thrie scoir nolt and scheip flekkis; 1573 Edinb. Test. III. 30.
Horse graith nolt graith and ther plennishing; 1658 Ib. LXIX. 119 b.
To the making of the gun mulde … For twa stane nolt hare thairto; 1541 Treas. Acc. VIII. 125.
For 8 stane wecht nolt hair for plaistering; 1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 66.
1628–9 Misc. Maitl. C. III. 370.
Gait skynnis, nowte hydis; 1581 Inverness Rec. I. 288.
Thrie nolt hydis price iij lib. vj s. viij d.; 1589 Edinb. Test. XXI. 89.
In making … schone maid of horse leddyr for nowte leddyr; 1568 Inverness Rec. I. 167.
Ony barking of nolt ledder; 1570 Elgin Rec. I. 124.
Ane daiker of dry nowt ledder; 1591–5 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 195.
In … taking away of ane greit numbre of barkit nolt ledder; 1616 Inverness Rec. II. 149.
1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. i. 25 (31 Jan.).
That all nolt licht within this Burgh be sauld to all our Soverane Lords liegis for xlvj s. viij d. the stane weight; 1604 Paisley B. Rec. 269.
There is no sic dearth that a nolt liver wil give half a mark; Carmichael Prov. No. 1588.
The nowte roddyng; 1502 Prestwick B. Rec. 37.
In the byre, 12 set noult staicks; 1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII. 367.
He sawe the said Cuthbert hafe twa kye to sell in the nolt stand of Brigend; 1577 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. XII. 140.
The stane of nolt taucht for x d. to the nytboris; 1549 Banff Ann. I. 24.
Nolt tallown for xij s. the stan; 1570 Elgin Rec. I. 123.
(2) William Telfer, nolt-driver; 1605 Edinb. Test. Index II. 307.
1625 Edinb. Marriages 277.

b. Nowtis gres (gers), pasture for cattle or the payment for this. ij nowttis gres pament gyffin to Jhon Justis aith; 1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. (ed.) ii.
Twa noltis gyrs and ane hors gyrs to be pasturit and lesurit vpon the said … landis; 1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 29 b.

c. Nolt price, noltis price, (in the south-west), payment due for cattle. For the sovme of iij punds restand of ane gretar sovm of nolt price; 1563 Dumfries B. Ct. 197 b.
iiij lib. xv s. quhilk he is awand him of noltis price; 1593 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. 296.
Nolts pryce; 1678 Ib. MS. 31 July.
Four shilin starlin restand of neouts pryc; 1678 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 265.

d. Nolt-fute (pl. -feit), the foot of an ox or cow, esp. as food. Also attrib. with -oyll. [She] sett meit in hy Ane sowsit nolt fute and scheipheid haistely; Freiris Berw. 254 (B).
Coft of drinke to souse the the nowlt feit and panchis with all 6 gallonis; 1596 Oldcambus Acc. 12.
Thre wyldgeis thre gang noltfeit; 1598 Household Bks. Jas. VI 23 April.
Twa gang nolt fitt; Ib. 25 May.
attrib. For nolt foot oyll to the cherrut 18 s.; 1663–6 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp 31.

e. Nolt-head, the head of an ox. Also applied to a person, = blockhead. Also in the mod. dial. as nowt-head, id. Cf. also Neatshead n. Sed hunc corn-greivus heros Nout-headdum vocavit; Polemo-Mid. 41.
Sheep bones … and ane nolt head, all which were leatly wanted by the neighbourhead; 1698 Hector Renfrewshire Rec. II. 150.

f. Noatis tongue, neat's-tongue, as food. For seck claret aill beir and a noatis tongue 3/8/0; 1663–6 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp 66.

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"Nowt n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 May 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/nowt>



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