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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.

Cast, n.1 Also: caste, kast. [ME. cast (c 1300), f. the vb. or ON. kast.]

1. The act of casting or throwing; discharge of missiles; also, the thing thrown, the distance covered by a throw. 1375 Barb. xvi. 383.
The vay Wes nocht a penny-stane cast of breid
a1400 Leg. S. xvii. 74.
Thai slew the fellone beste … With spere & swerde & caste of stane
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1149.
She hurt als sere with stones cast Of Gregeois
c1420 Wynt. ii. 509.
I red that we … behynd ws stanys kast … And off tha castys eftyre grewe Men and wemen
Ib. viii. 4746.
The fyrst kast that it kest … It hyt the towre a mery strak
c1475 Wall. ix. 167.
The cast it was rycht awfull on athir sid
Ib. x. 851; etc.
Thai bykerit wondyr fast, Amang the Scottis with schot and gownnys cast
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 469.
Thou wald cuk a cartful at a cast
1526 Reg. Privy S. I. 526/2.
The slauchter … committit apoun sudandte be the cast of ane by-knyfe
1533 Boece iii. xv. 113.
Romanis in cast of dartis war mare exercit than inemyis

b. A quick or forcible movement; a turn in affairs; a chance. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2266.
With hole cast [we] syne vpone thaim soucht And a thousand of thaim can slo
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 117.
Behald quhat change and sa onkouth a kast May be mysknaw
Ib. ix. v. 14.
Nysus and Eurialus … Glaid of this cast … Besocht thai mycht be admittit [etc.]
1533 Boece iv. xiii. 145 b.
Sua vsis instabill fortune [to] turne with ane suddane cast the cais of mortall affaris
1535 Stewart 2527.
The haill communitie … tuke purpois for to flie, To keip thame on till ane better cast
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 189.
Chais na pure tyke frome his midding, Throw cast of court, or kingis requeist

2. A throw of the dice; fig. one's lot or fate. 1375 Barb. xiv. 321.
He about him, … Wes gaderand men … , For he thocht ȝeit to cowir his cast
a1500 Rauf C. 33.
He cachit fra the court, sic was his awin cast, Quhair na body was him about
a1578 Pitsc. I. 267/24.
To ieopardie in the play on ane cast ane roisnobill aganis a glied half penney
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 340.
Shoe that cares for thy cradill, cauld be her cast

3. An ingenious or clever turn or device; a trick or stratagem. c1420 Wynt. vi. 2012.
He a wys man wes of cast, And in hys deyd wes rycht wyly
c1450-2 Howlat 771.
In com japand the ja, as a juglour, with castis and cawtelis
c1420 Ratis R. 1580.
Gyf God ordanit ilke thinge. For to endur for-out failȝeing, Quhat wald men say of sic a cast?
c1475 Wall. v. 740.
He was full sle, and ek had mony cast
Ib. vi. 100.
Bot this fals warld, with mony doubill cast, In it is nocht but werray wariance
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 352.
May scho wyn out, scho will play ȝow a cast
1533 Boece ii. iii. 60 b.
Ferleig … began devise secrete castis contrare the king his eme
Ib. viii. xii. 277; etc.
Gif Hengist had devisit ony castis to the hurt and skaith of Britan
1535 Stewart 1063.
The belleall Britis … With greit dissait assalit hes ane cast To brek that band
c1550 Rolland C. Venus iii. 548.
Bot quhen ȝe pleis, sic castis ȝe can inuent, Me to defraude with gyle, and circumuene
Id. Seven S. 3735.
To se gif thay culd find the way or cast, … Or ony help to saue thame self fra deid
a1578 Pitsc. II. 239/25.
The flesche of man … will easilie be corruptit be the cast of that wicked serpent
1583 Sat. P. xlv. 43.
Then finding out ane new fa[l]s cast, Amongis the prentars is he past

b. A design or aim. 1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 20.
May he cum to hys cast be clokyng, but cost, He rekkis nowder the rycht nor rakles report

4. A turn or twist. c1475 Wall. vii. 416.
Than festnyt thai with wetheis duris fast, To stapill and hesp, with mony sekyr cast

b. A turn or trick of expression. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. ii. 48.
In that airt … Of castis quent, rethorik colouris fine
Id. Æn. i. Prol. 255.
The quent and curyus castis poeticall … Quhairin Virgill beris the palm
Ib. 909/14.
Kepand na facund rethorik castis fair, Bot haymly … termys

5. The mould in which something is cast; character, form, or course. a1500 Seven S. 2445.
Thare is na clerk … That suld the tane knawe be the tothire Off body, colour, voce and cast
1533 Boece iii. xxi. 124.
He directit all the cast of his life to defend his kinrik
1535 Stewart 4678.
With … all wapynis that neidfull war in weir, … With courtlie cast of cot armour abufe

6. A jess for a halk. 1504 Treas. Acc. II. 456.
To the goldsmyth of Drumfreis for castis of silver for halkis

7. A ditch; an excavation. 1580 Rep. Milne Home MSS. 51.
Passand … to the west syde of the Peitpothoillis be ane auld cast cassin be umquhile Johnne Hepburne
1588 Prot. Bk. J. Robertsone 45 b.
Ane cast and ane mylne laid or watter drawcht besyd the bischoppis ward
1603 Reg. Great S. 506/1.
Passand eist fra the samyn dameheid as the deip of the cleir water gangs endlangis the cast castin in the loch or medow in the Barnis
1648 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 129.
For … removing of the red fra the cast that is making for the wining of the quarrell
1660 Dunferm. Kirk S. 55.
The kirkyaird may be maid dry if there were … ane open cast for convoying the water away
1676 Glasgow B. Rec. III. 224.
That some persones … hes clandestinely castine a cast fra the Provand Loch … for taking the water that way

8. A particular number or quantity of certain things. 1612 Bk. Rates 324.
‘A cast of herrings, haddocks, oysters, &c.; four in number’ (J). Pottis … vncovered the 1c cast contening ane galloun to every cast
1623 M. Works Acc. XVI. i. 5 b.
For ten cast of plenscheour naillis
1629 Ib. XXI. 39.
10 cast of grit fluiring naill boir maid of purpois
1680 Irvine Mun. II. 287.
Five cast of singell plenshor [nails] for the window bands for the mill
1699 Foulis Acc. Bk. 256.
For 5 cast of whitins

9. An estimate, assessment, or rating. 1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 343.
A cast of the militia foot to quarter at or about Edinburgh, … A cast of the militia horse come up, which consists of 310 at computation
Ib. 348.
The commissioners of assesment of this shyre, … did cast ane cast of the small heretors … and sent the said cast to the leaders
1693 Lanark B. Rec. 244.
Considering the augmentation of the cast upon the burgh for reparatione of the manse

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"Cast n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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