Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lak, v. Also: lake, lakk-, lac(k), lacke, (lact-). P.t. and p.p. lakkit etc., lakt. [ME. lacke, lakke, -yn (c 1320), north. and north midl. lak, lac (Cursor M.): var., with unlengthened vowel, of Lake, Laik v., prob. partly by influence of Lak n.1 (but cf. the similar occurrence of the short vowel in Sc. in the verbs mak and tak). (Cf. also Inlak v.) After the 15th c. sense 3 is Sc. only (and chiefly confined to this form: see the following note).Some examples of the pres. t. spelling lake (in Leg. S.) and the p.p. lakit (in sense 3) are included here, when the rhymes clearly indicate the pronunciation with the unlengthened vowel. Some or perhaps all of the other examples given under Lake v. 3 (which is uncommon in this sense) may also similarly belong here.]

1. intr. To be wanting or absent; to be short or lacking.(1) a1500 Henr. III. 170/15.
Than regnyt reule, & resone held his rynkis; Now lakkis prudence, nobilitee is thralde
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiv. 38.
Quhen curage lakkis the cors that sowld mak kene
1533 Boece iv. x. 141 b.
Hir mynde was to distroye hir fays; hereto lakkit strenth
1596 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II. 297.
Thair lakt not persones aneugh thair that knew all the roumes
(2) c1515 Asl. MS. I. 154/9.
The thiknes of the erd sall be almast vjm & vc myle saif ix that lakkis
c 1567 Melville Corr. 232.
Theyre is four hundrethe [stones] lakkyng awght or nyne

b. Of a person: To be found wanting or at fault in. c1450-2 Howlat 994.
Bot gif I lak in my leid, that nocht till allow is

2. tr. To be deficient in or in respect of; to be in want of; to be without, to lack.(1) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 21 (Asl.).
Sa now all staitis of grace lakkis the licht
Ib. 213.
I lak gud langage thar panes till expreme
a1500 Colk. Sow i. 253.
His feit maid sic dynnyng, He lakkit breth for rynning
a1578 Pitsc. I. 234/19.
[In jousting] he lackit no hardiement strength nor curage
Ib. II. 95/15.
The Inglischmen war to depairt hame to Ingland because they lacit wictuallis
1589 Berw. Nat. Cl. XXI. 273.
Mair he swoir he laccit i ald sow and thre hogis
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae (Wr.) 854.
By kinde ay, we finde ay, Few lackes them [the senses] at the least
1587-99 Hume 78/331.
Obserue this realme throughout … , if any [man] be opprest, Quhilk justice lacks
1590-1 Bruce Serm. 32.
Thou lacks all the grees of preparation
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 243/2.
Thoucht brutale bestis be irrationale, That is to say, lakking discretioun
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 314/13.
Jowis … laking the sennonis that suld force the body, that figuris thai lak the faith of Crist
(3) 1558-66 Knox II. 128.
Yf the poore … had thair awin, his keching wald lack two parttis
1636 Re-examination of the Five Articles Preface.
The house of God shall … not lack … the kaipstone
1653 Soc. Ant. XXIII. 304.
In the West Galery … the windowes lacking two brodds

b. ? To diminish, reduce, or ? to defile, mar, sully. 1456 Hay I. 293/16.
As knychthede may be in all kingis … nocht lakkand thair honour, sa may ryaltee and name of king be in all emperouris. nocht lakkand thair honour
Ib. II. 98/10.
Mekle lauchter gerris a persone sone seme alde, and lakkis reverence
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1658.
Wo worth reason ill used, for it laketh reverence

3. To find fault with; to censure, blame, revile; also, in weaker sense, to belittle, disparage, deride. a. Persons. b. Things.a (1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 6757 (E2).
Men may see wisdome is nane To lak one vthir natioun
?1438 Alex. ii. 1255.
Lak nocht the lord that all suld lout
c1460 Consail Vys Man 98.
Na lak hyme nocht of his delyt
c1475 Wall. viii. 906.
At his will thai wrocht, Thocht he wes best, no nothir lak we nocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xliv. 6.
Rycht grit dishonour vpoun him self he takkis In word or deid quha evir wemen lakkis
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 275.
Na man will I lakkyn nor dispys
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 1580.
The folk of Grece … lakkis vs maa, I trow, na louis
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 140.
Loyf all leid, and no man lak
1540 Lynd. Sat. Prol. 136.
He lovis him self, and vthir men he lakkis
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 516 (T).
They leit it, they lift it, they loif it, they lak it
(3) c1420 Wynt. viii. 1614 (W).
For he wes trowit of gret arghnes, With mony he lakkit than wes
Ib. 1633.
Set he wes lakkit of lourdnes, His message did he neuertheles
a1500 Henr. Fab. 278/64.
Thocht I vnlusty be to luk vpone, I haif no wyt quhy suld I lakkit be
1560 Rolland Seven S. 395.
Sa fra studie he salbe ay abstractit, And we all seuin with greit displesure lackit
1570 Sat. P. xii. 113.
Think ȝe not schame to heir ȝour lordschipis lakit [: detractit]
1571 J. Maitland Ib. xxvii. 2.
Maist loyall lord, ay for thi lawtie lowitt Now be nocht lakkit for deloyaltie
b (1) 1456 Hay II. 46/36.
That thare suld nouthir … isse throu his gorge thing that suld be villanie na lak thing to the honour of the ordre
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 419.
Thai lak al menys gouernans, Wenand throw that thaim self to vans
c1475 Wall. xi. 1460.
Quha will nocht low, lak nocht my eloquence
1533 Gau 17/25.
Thay that lichtlis and lakkis thair nichtburs guidis to oders
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxviii. 49.
Gif ȝe be blythe ȝour lychtnes thai will lak
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii. 67.
That sic ane leirnit man as ȝe Sa lychtlie suld disdaine and lak Ane ordour that vyse men did mak
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 577 (T).
His luggis baith lang and lasie quha can bot lak?
1587-99 Hume 9/1.
Not lawfull loue, bot lecherie I lacke
Id. Promine 38.
Quhen they lak or lauchis at my letter
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xliii. 17.
Thy leiving no man laks, Bot thé immortall maks
(2) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 550.
Quharefore to colȝearis … my ryme sall be diractit, With cunnyng men quhowbeit it wyl be lactit
1560 Rolland Seven S. Schawing 22.
Quhair falts ar found, correct thame, Ȝit war I laith ouir far that it war lakit [: mak it, tak it, crakit]
(3) proverbs c1460 Consail Vys Man 3248.
To lak the met he lufis dere
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1125.
Manie man dois lack that quhilk he wald have in his pack
Ib. No. 1179.
Manie lacks that the[y] love full weill
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (S.T.S.) No. 608 (MS).
He is ane ill gairdner quho lackes his awin leeks

c. absol. Freq. opposed to lofe, love (to praise).(1) c1420 Wynt. ix. 1475.
Yhe wene to lak bot yhe commend
1513 Doug. vi. Prol. 14.
Bewar to lak, les than ȝe knew weil quhat
1535 Stewart 142.
Mony man, … Quhilk ar inclynit erar to lak nor ruse
(2) c1420 Ratis R. (S.T.S.) 174/9.
Lak na lofe to largely
c1460 Consail Vys Man 339.
Rus nocht thi-self na loif na lak
Ib. 374.
Lak nocht quhar thow has louit mekle
a1500 Rauf C. 87.
For first to lofe and syne to lak, Peter, it is schame
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 98.
Thairefter love, lack, prayse or condempne

d. To lak (gerundial infin. used as adject. phrase), = to blame, disparage, etc.; blameworthy, despicable. a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 111.
Sum men sais it is to lak That the hart to the knycht spak
Ib. xxxvi. 912.
This Herrod of quham I spak Wes nocht to lofe bot al to lake For his gret iniquite
Ib. xl. 652.
The face als to the bake It [a child] had that gretly wes to lake
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 238 (Ch.).
With twa men and ane varlot at his bak And ane libberly ful lytil to lak
Ib. 406.
Quhat euer he be, to loife or ȝit to lak
c1578 Reid Swire 149.
Good Ederstane was not to lacke With Kirktown, Newtown, noble men

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Lak v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: