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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Aquavite, -vytie, n. Also: aquavitae, -vitte, -wite, -wyte, -vitey, -vitye, -vetie, -vyttie, -wyttie; acquavitie, -y, -vittie, -vytie, -witie, accquauitie; accavytie, acavite. [ME. aquavite (1471), L. aqua vītæ, ‘water of life’: cf. Iskie-bae n.] Whisky.(a) 1497 Treas. Acc. I. 373.
The barbour that brocht aqua vite to the King
1531 Bell. Boece I. lvi.
Quhen thay kest thaimself to be mery thay usit maist aqua vite
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 886.
Gude aquavite, wyne, and aill
1584 Ayr. & Gall. Arch. Coll. VI. 230.
To pay … for aqua wyte
1596 Dalr. I. 17/8.
In this cuntrie thay lykwyse sell aqua vitae, quhilk heir in place of wine thay commonlie vse
(b) 1562 Treas. Acc. XI. 226.
For expensis … upoun spicis, vinagre, aquavitie
1590 Thanes of Cawdor 193.
In furnessing of acquawitie
1606 Aberd. Kirk S. 50.
To have abused tham selffis … be extraordinar drinking off aquavytie
1611 Irvine Mun. II. 251.
Ane schopen accavytie
1648 Thanes of Cawdor 310.
Ane quart of aquawyttie spent one the funerall
1658 Laing MSS. I. 309.
A teastting of our wastland hearrings and Glasgowe acquavytie to disgestt them
1687 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 395.
Wynes, brandy, aquavyttie, strong wateris
(c) 1626 Black Bk. Taymouth 318.
Of accavytie iiii gollones
1640 Ib. 347.
Tua lang schankit siluer cuppes for acavite
1651 Stirling B. Rec. I. 310.
For 17 pints acavite

b. Attrib. and comb. with bearer, box, falt (?), maker, man, pot, roubour (cask), wife.(1) 1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. 174.
The pypis of ane aqua vite falt [?fatt]
1574 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 9.
Proclamatioun to be maid ... discharging the aquavite sellaris in Leyth
1582 Index Edinb. Test. I. 8.
George Almous, aqua vite maker
1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 333.
Aquavitie roubouris
1604 Elgin Rec. II. 129.
W. Ysone, skynner, aquavitie man in this burgh
1646 S. Leith Rec. 74.
Catherene Robertsone, aquavite wife, was ordained to pay 1 dollar for hir comon scolding
1649 Dingwall Presb. 143.
Frequent prophanation of the Lordes day in this paroich by aquavitey bearers
1659 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 424.
Ane new acquavytie box
1680 Gen. Reg. Hornings Min. Bk. 21 June.
John Robertson, acquavitaman in Dundee
(2) 1557–81 Inverness B. Rec. I. 18.
Ane aquavitte pot and ane caldron
1640 Black Bk. Taymouth 350.
Ane great acavite pott
1644 Elgin Rec. II. 249.
Carieing of caldrones and acquavity potes on the Salbbath day

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"Aquavite n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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