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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
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Faith, Fayth, Fath(e, n. Also: faithe, faythe; faitht, faytht, fatht; faicht, facht. [ME. faith, fayth, varr. of feith, feyth, OF feit, feid. The forms with final -tht and -cht are partly editorial expansions of scribal contractions, as fayt.]

1. Religious belief. a1400 Leg. S. xliii. 528.
Of conscience gud & clere, & fath vnfenȝet
1456 Hay II. 52/31.
Be faith men has all gude knawlage … of God … , and but faith man is wer na nocht
c1450 Cr. Deyng 51.
Thai suld rehers to hym the gret faith and paciens of marteris ande vthire haly men
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxviii. 28.
Our fayth is now refoundit
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 476.
Without that we, throw lack of faith, Of his godheid incur the wraith
c1552 Ib. 480.
Quhat faith is that that ȝe call ferme?
1562-3 Winȝet II. 30/24.
The wtheris [precepts], quhilkis ar decretit of fayth
a1578 Pitsc. II. 239/28.
We aucht to pray … that we may have ane trew fervent constant fayth in him

b. With various qualifications, or absolutely: The Christian religion.(1) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 130.
He … besyly gert sek all thai, That Cristine fath before can ta
c1450 Cr. Deyng 53.
How wychtly thai sustenyt al tormentis … for the faith of haly kyrke
1467 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 403.
Quhasa euir brakis in ony of thir condicionis sall be haldyn … [to] ranunce the fatht of Criste
1490 Irland I. 21/21.
To … be ferme in our mynd throu the faith catholic
1551 Hamilton Cat. 4.
The doctrine of our christian faith & religioun
1562-3 Winȝet II. 23/29.
Be thame he … wald cal agane almaist the hail warld … to the auld faith
1596 Dalr. I. 210/15.
To instruck the rude and barbarous people in the christine faythe
(2) 1456 Hay I. 74/16.
It is ane of the principale poyntis of oure faith
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 413.
Think Ȝe not schame For to gif credence till ane dreame? ȝe knaw it is aganis our faith
1596 Dalr. II. 382/18.
The deuises of sum limmeris, quhilkes the artikelis of thair faith commounlie tha call
(3) c1450-2 Howlat 486.
Thus in defence of the faith he fure to the fecht
c1450 Cr. Deyng 25.
Sa thai that … deis in the faithe … suld nocht dreid thare ded
1490 Irland Mir. 11/27.
He had gret victorye agane the innemeis of God and the faithe
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2331.
Quhow, the faith for to fortifye, Thay sufferit pane rycht pacientlye

c. A statement of belief. a1578 Pitsc. II. 143, n.1
They … gart prent thir actis and constitutionis … and sealled [= sold] thame … for twa pennyes, quhilk eftirward was callit the twa penny faith

2. Belief, credence. a1400 Leg. S. xxiii. 393.
Thocht na fath to me ȝe gefe, Ma fal to thame ȝe wil belif
1490 Irland Mir. I. 136/4.
That this lady suld traist this weraly; and gif ferme credens and faithe thar till

b. Credit, validity. 1492 Acta Conc. 249/2.
The said Instrument is false and aucht nocht to haf na faithe in iugement nor vtouth
1535 Grant Chart. 79.
Vnder the pane of cursing … and tinsale of perpetuale faytht, lawte, and cridence
1626 Aboyne Rec. 261.
Therefter all wrytis … maid to me … sall have no faythe nor crydet quhaire evir they be fand
1615 Misc. Spalding C. v. 218.
It is ordanit, that all the old actis that beis not put to executioun sall be annullit heireftir and haif no fayth

3. Observance of promises or obligations; good faith, faithfulness, fidelity. ?1438 Alex. i. 371.
Be the faith I to ȝow aw, … Behind [me] thair sall nocht leif ane
1456 Hay I. 248/10.
A reugle generale is that quha brekis faith, faith suld nocht be kepit to thame
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 138.
Quhare that kingis & ledaris of the law Brekis faith to God be lost allegians
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W.460.
Faith hes ane fair name bot falset faris better
a1578 Pitsc. I. 43/25.
He had experience of the governouris … faitht and lawtie in sic caces
1596 Dalr. II. 372/13.
Concerningthe gude wil and fathe of the Scotis toward the Frenche

b. Qualified by gude, rarely evil. 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 105.
Oblysande me straitly & fermly undyr ony gud fath and undyr the payn of al my gudis [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 164/21.
I brek my law and brevis myn honour, again God and gude faith
Ib. II. 159/7.
Have na traist in man of evill fayth

c. In the phrase be the faith or faithis of or in (his, thair, etc.) body or bodeis, used in solemn assurances of good faith or loyalty.(1) 1472 Liber Aberbr. 168.
[I] Nicholl Monypenny … oblisis me be the fath off my body … in the sowme off fowrty s.
1478 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 339.
The said Alexander Irwin … bindis and oblissis him and his airis be the fatht of thair bodiis [etc.]
1481 Ib. II. 331.
The sade Williame is bundin be the faytht in his body and lawete neuer to disheres forther than is forsaide
1520 Maxwell Mem. I. 245.
I bynd and oblis me to kep this forsaid constablery … be the fayth and trewth in my body
c 1532 Breadalbane P. (Reg. H.) Doc. No. 43.
Athir of the saidis parteis ar bund and oblist till vtheris be the faith and treutht in thair bodeis
(2) 1420 Reg. Great S. 30/1.
The forsaid lord and his forsaid squyar ar oblist ilkane til other be the faythis of thair boiddis
1463–4 Cal. Chart. (Reg. H.) Suppl. 22 Mar.
The saidis … bindis and oblis thaim … be thir present endenturis and the faithis in thair bodyis
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 455.
The said Patry and his ayres salbe bundin and oblist be the fathis of thar bodiis to the said knycht
1554 Misc. Spalding C. II. 276.
This band of manrent … to remane and induir perpetualie … be the faythtis and trewthtis of our bodyis

4. Declaration of good faith, fidelity, or loyalty. With the verbs make, give, and take.(1) 1385 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 138*.
I made bodely fayth it ryhtwysle to dome
Bodely makand gude fayth that [etc.]
1427 Acts II. 16/1.
That na clerk … pas oute of the realme bot gif he cum to his ordinare first … & mak faith … that he do na baratry
1466 Acta Aud. 5/1.
The quhilk Robert … deponit and made faith that the said Ranald … gafe our the said office to him
1520 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 198.
Iames Wardlaw maid fayth in jugement that he sould lelelie … keip the premissis
1562 Prestwick B. Rec. 66.
The sad Jhone Ondirwod mad fath at [he] gayf the copy one morne, quhilk was xv days & ane day rynand betuene
1600 Crim. Trials II. 200.
Ruthvene … wald nocht depairt, quhill his wyff maid faith that they had na powder
1622-6 Bisset I. 244/10.
Gif any man … makis faith or offerris to mak faith that the guidis poynded … pertenis to him
1707 Corshill Baron Ct. 234.
Witnesses … made faith to depone as follows
(2) 1405 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 201.
At all this … be yemit and kepit in fourme and effect, bath … partiis hase gifin bodily fayth
1456 Hay I. 87/12.
Sen … he has maid him athe, and gevin him his faith, than suld he stand with him to the utterest
(3) 1456 Hay I. 120/30.
For war it nocht his will to save in tyme, he had nocht tane fayth of him
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 243/29.
He … tuke faith of all the gentillis clerlie

b. Allegiance to a ruler or sovereign. c1475 Wall. vii. 869.
The blessit men, that was off Scotland borne, Fwnde at his faith Wallace gert thaim be sworn
1494 Dunferm. B. Rec. 52.
It is found that the said Thomas deit at the faith and pece of … the king
1537 Colquhoun Chart. II. 342.
Iohnne Colquhone … died vest and seased of Saulnte myln, with the pertinence, at the faytht and pex of our souerane lord

c. Confirmation. 1437 Reg. Panmure II. 231.
In faitht and witnes of the quhilk thing to this my letter my seil is affixit
1454 7th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 720/2.
In fath and wytnes hereof, the seile of the office of the schirefdome of Forfare [etc.] … ar appendit

5. In faith (also in gude faith), assuredly.(1) a1400 Leg. S. vii. 608.
Wil thu vndirta That I and thai that are with me In gud fath sal vnschait be?
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 10.
I haue followit the Court so lang, Quhill in gude faith I may no mair
a1540 Freiris Berw. 93.
In gud faith, we will both be deid or day
1578 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 42.
In gud fayth it is the thing in erd I desyre maist
(2) 1398 Bower Chron. II. 423.
Quha so pykkis at her, I sal pyk at his nese, in faith
1456 Hay I. 281/24.
In faith, I traist that the king, … aw to punys him be law of armes
c1475 Wall. i. 433.
This day for me, in faith, he beis nocht socht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. vi. 75.
In faith I am mair fule than he
c1550 Rolland C. Venus iii. 124.
Gif sa fall, in faith I hald thé fey

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"Faith n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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