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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.

Consait, Consate, n. Also: consayt; conseit, -set, -seate. [ME. consayte, conseyt(e, -seit(e, etc. (late 14th c.), variant of conceite, etc., Conceat n.]

1. A device or scheme; a stratagem. c1420 Wynt. vi. 1259.
Be sum consayt yhit than agayne The Empryowre wald he had bene slayne
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2866.
He vmbethocht him self of ane consait … to taint thame with ane trane
a1578 Pitsc. I. 18/27.
With ane merwellous conseit scho hes taine away hir sone and brocht him now to ws

2. An idea, thought, fancy.(a) c1420 Wynt. viii. 2876.
The Brws than be this payment Consayt had off the Erlys intent
1491 Acta Conc. 173/1.
For the quhilk [cause] thai tuk ane consait of suspicioune of the said mater
a1500 Colk. Sow iii. 83.
As oft woman is, Quhile passionat that all consaitis kennis
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 338.
Als oft as ȝe hym reid, … Ȝhe fynd ilke tyme sum mery new consait
Ib. x. 37.
Hark my consait, quhat wys this may be done
1549 Compl. 6/31.
I … hes tane ane temerare consait to present to ȝour nobil grace ane tracteit
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2828.
Now I haue tane in thocht Ane gude consait
a1568 Scott xxvi. 3.
I muse and mervellis … Quhat way to wryt … The quent consaitis of wemenkynd
a1578 Pitsc. I. 87/1.
Thir mutuall iniurieis and dispytfull consaittis movit on ewerie syde exasperit baitht the parties
1622-6 Bisset I. 64/2.
All the said Makbaithis devillische consaittis wes overthrawin
(b) 1513 Doug. v. Prol. 16.
Quhou mony hedis als feil consatis beyn
1533 Boece iv. xvi. 151 b.
I haue ane gude consate that this iournay … sall this day deliuer all Britan to liberte
1533 Bell. Livy I. 206/17.
The vane beleif of thir and siclike consatis armyt the Ethruschis aganis the Romanis
(c) a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxx. 33.
Lo heir a toy and licht conset And loveris new devyce, Both for the auld and sage vnfet
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xvi.
That not onely for a religious respect were they separated from the places of God, but in a politick conseate also from their owne

b. An idea or opinion of one. 1533 Boece vi. vi. 196 b.
The king … enbraissing Carance … exhortit he suld of him haue gude consate
Ib. vii. i. 220 b.
That the pepill mycht haue ane consate and opinioun of his nobilite, he gaif him to be manerlie and curtes in cumpany
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xciv. 74.
Be na dansar, for this dangeir Off ȝou be tane ane ill consait That ȝe ar able to waist geir
1579 Acts III. 176/1.
To put ȝow in suspitioun and wrang consait of thame that hes euir faythfullie seruit ȝour progenitoris
1614 Lett. Eccles. Affairs II. 372.
His Lordschipis consait of me, whilk I neuer merited

c. A fanciful device; a fancy article. 1590 Burel Pilgr. i. xxix.
To sit thair, On sick consaits to glaik
1608 Crim. Trials III. 11.
Haveing maid some consaitis of pastyme in the house
1673 Leith Customs MS. 48.
Some consaits of glase worke, shelues trenchers & spons

3. Power of thought, or imagination; intelligence, mind, judgement.(a) c1450-2 Howlat 284.
So that the spirituale staite And the secular consait Mycht all gang in a gait
c1420 Ratis R. 140.
Heringe of thine eris twa That gevys consait to thé alsua
a1500 Colk. Sow ii. 81.
He coppeit this ȝoing wench attentely In his consait with sad degestioun
1513 Doug. i. xi. 39.
Dydo … Mycht not refreyn nor satisfy hir consait
Ib. ii. ii. 71.
Knawyng hym self gylty, by hys consait
c1550 Rolland C. Venus iv. 652.
Thame to rehers it excedis my consait
1562-3 Winȝet II. 73/11.
Euery man efter his consait consauis sindry opiniounis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 50/21.
This William, … creipand peace and peace in to the kingis consait, tairreit wpoun opertwnitie of tyme to be revengit wpoun his enemeis
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 944.
Na thing he saw In age, bot anger, slack and slaw, And cankerit of consait
(b) 1513 Doug. vii. vi. 40.
With huge complaynt for … Troiane wedlok contrar hir consate
Ib. xi. i. 42.
Provydand in ȝour consatis for bargane
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 316.
Vthir sum in consate At leser drest to dance
a1568 Scott i. 33.
Cast thy consate be counsale of the sage

b. In consate of, in the opinion of. In consate with, in favour with. Out of consate with, dissatisfied with. 1533 Boece i. i. 33 b.
The Grekis seing thare chiftane sa weill cherist, thai belevit him to be sa hie in consate of the king that [etc.]
Ib. ix. i. 287.
Subtelly to be in consate with the king … he spend certane dayis in [preparing] serupis plesing to the taist
1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 184.
I suspect thir lesyngis be maid to put ws out of consate with France

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"Consait n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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