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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Relict, n. Also: -licte, -licht; -lect; -lickit, -lyquhitt. [e.m.E. relict a deserted person (1592), a survivor (1598), otherwise appar. only Sc. till 1646, L. relict-, p.p. stem of relinquere to leave behind. In sense 5 ‘more immediately ad. med. L. relicta sb. or OF relicte (14th c.)’ (OED). See also Relik n. and the note thereto.]

1. A relic. = Relik n. 1.Relict Sonday, see Relik n. 1 d. 1535 Stewart 19064.
In his armes that relict he did brais, Oft kissand it
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2086 (Ch.) (see Relik n. 1 a (b)). 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 4.
[James IV] was verray … stoudious in bigging of kirkis, sercheing of relictis of sanctis
1638 Nat. Covenant in Facs. Nat. MSS III xcvii. 1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 19.
One of the fathers … did let us sy the relicts of the church
1688 Soc. Ant. II 456.
A box with relicts, wherein were lying amongst silk [etc.] … pieces of bones
attrib. 1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 344.
Gottin on Sanct Gelis day and Relict Sonday for Sanct Gelis day, in fre money
1555–6 Ib. 363.

b. An object preserved because of an association with the past. 1632 Lithgow Trav. v 195.
The apple … there [sc. in Constantinople] is reserved for a relict of the fruit of the forbidden tree

2. A reliquary. Cf. Relik n. 4. 1518 Perth Hammermen 3.
Giffin for brokin silver to the relict
1535 Treas. Acc. VI 248.
Ane relict … weyand xxxvj vnce iij grote wecht
a1689 Cleland 88.
And wearing relicts, cross, or beads

3. A sacred ornament of value. = Relik n. 5. 1535 Stewart 53348.
Tha … spulȝeit it … Of chaleis, crowat, and censuris also, … and mony relictis mo

4. coll. and pl. That which remains, is left over, or is left behind. = Relik n. 6 a and b. b. A surviving trace (of sin).(1) 1570 Sat. P. xxiv 41.
Ganȝelons gettis, relict of Synoins seid
(2) 1560 Bk. Disc. 220.
To be comptit ilk yeare anis, with the relictis of the Principallis to be layed into the samin
b. a1658 Durham Commandments (1675) Ep. Ded. (J).
He hath thought it fit that some relicts of sin … should indwell

c. The remains of a deceased person. = Relik n. 3. a1649 Drummond Wks. (1711) 45.
The blushing hyacinth and rose Spred on the place his relicts do enclose

5. The widow (of a man). = Relik n. 7.Also without const., and ? comb. in relict executrice.Chiefly in formal writings, esp. legal documents. c1335 Liber Scon 123.
[Cristana quondam relicta Andree de Aynstrothir
1347 Reg. Dunferm. 263.]
Cristiana Beseth relicta quondam domini Johannis Beseth
(1) 1513–14 Dundas Fam. P. lxxiii.
Margret the relict of umquhile William Dundas
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 198.
Frow Maite the relict of wmquhil George Muncreife
1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I 175. 1569 Prot. Bk. J. Robeson MS 85.
Janet Scot the relict & intromissatrix with the geir & gudis of the said vmquhil Allane Andersoun
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. I 25.
That nane brew except fremen or the relictis of fremen
16.. Old Ross-shire I 30. 1606 Rollock's Thess. Dedication.
What … kyndnesse ye have vttered … towardes his relict and postume
c1610 Melville Mem. (1683) 128. 1622-6 Bisset II 19/6.
Gif … he … deceissed, thereftir his wyfe and relict suld bruik and joise the samin [lands and possessions]
c1630 Grant Chart. 225.
1631 Morison Dict. Decis. 8034.]
[The L. Whittingham … pursues the Lady relict of his said author for contravention
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 18.
That the relict of ane lord of sessione should enjoy the priviledges of the lords of session indureing her viduity
1664 St. A. Baxter Bks. 131.
Quhat sumeuir brother or brotheris relict sall … giue ane leaff to the dusson [etc.] … that ilk brother or brother relict mark thair bread with thair name and surname
1686 Cramond Kirk S. II 5 Sept.
Mistres Hume a ministers relict
(b) 1491 Acta Aud. 154/1.
Elizabethe Countas of Rothes the relect of the said vmquhile erle
(c) 1565 Prot. Bk. Gilbert Grote 68.
1646 Army of the Covenant II 496.
Payed to his relickit for the vse of his childrine, £15
(2) 1552 Reg. Cupar A. II 106.
Margaret … relict of vmquhile Johne Fyf
1597 Crail B. Ct. MS 31 Oct.
Jonnet Thomsone relicte of vmquhill Maister Johne Robertsone
1616 Brechin Kirk S. 21 May. 1617 Orkney Bp. Ct. 17b. 1635 Elgin Rec. II 230.
Thomas Carmichell was contracted and handfastit with Marjory Man, relict of vmquhill Nicoll Duff
1696 Galloway P. 10 March. 1561 Reg. Privy S. V i 225/2.
Agnes Murray relict and aucht faderles barnis
(b) 1554 Dundee B. Ct. II fol. 326 (27 July).
Jonet Makeson relicht of vmquhile Andro Dauidsone
(3) 1574 Reg. Privy S. VI 483/2.
At the instance of the relict … and the remanent kin and freindis of umquhile Walter Innes
c1630 Hope Minor Practicks (1726) 24.
If the relict and bairns … desired the office of executry [etc.]
1640 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 89. 1642 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 24 March.
Gewen doune be the relict [12] scheipe mae nor is in the testament
1662 Decis. Lords G. 24.
Till the term of payment of the annualrent, the relict could not live perquire
1681 Stair Inst. ii vi § 14.
The sheriff … must also … ken the relict to her terce
(4) c1575 Balfour Pract. 114.
Leivand behind him a relict, or lady tiercar
1686 Fountainhall Decis. I 726.
Even as a relict will get as many coals out of a going heugh … as may serve the use of her family
(5) 1661 Edinb. Test. LXX 11b.
In full … satisfactione to my said spous of her awin pairt callit the relicts pairt
1681 Stair Inst. iii iv § 24.comb. 1577–8 Reg. Privy C. II 664.
In the saidis Margaret Dundas as relict executrice … and hir said spous for his interes passive

b. The widower (of a woman). 1647 Falkirk Baron Ct. 14 Sept.
James Aitkeine in Falkirk relict of vmquhill Agnis Galbreathe

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"Relict n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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