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

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

Lang, a.1 Also: lange; launge; laing, layng. [North. ME. lang, midl. and south. long, OE. lang (lǫng). Cf. also Long.]Early examples occur in the place-names Langelaw (c 1170 Liber Dryburgh 69), Langelandes (c 1200 Liber Calchou 108), Langeside (c 1225 Liber Dryburgh 131), Langefelle (c 1270 Maxwell Mem. I. 129); and in the surname of Adam Lang (1341 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 69); cf. also Thoma Layng (1461 Cart. S. Crucis 151), Thoma Laing (1467 Reg. Neubotle 261), etc.

Long, in various uses.

1. In spatial extent or measurement.Large and lang, see Large a.(I) 1375 Barb. vii. 109.
A mwre … That wes bath hee [&] lang & braid
a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 458.
A lang plat of fyftene fute of lynth
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 88.
With vesage lufly and lang
Ib. 553, etc. c1500 Crying of Play 49.
He had a wyf was lang of clift
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1053.
Apoune the croce all nakit thai him hing … To the boris his armes wes nocht lange
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 169.
Thy lang lene craig
Id. lxxii. 66.
To gar his lymmis langar wax
1506 Treas. Acc. III. 273.
To ane pan with ane lang hand
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 62.
Gret ische schouchlis lang as ony speir
1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 174.
Ane grit lang kist of aik
15.. Clar. i. 963.
[The lion's] awfull cluikis was lang and square
1570 Canongate Ct. Bk. 274.
His lang chalmer of his lugeing
1596 Dalr. I. 4/25.
[The breadth of Britain] in sum places it is langre, in some places schorter
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 976.
Lang & smal lyk the cats elbow
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 231.
A wide tharme had never a lang arme
1674 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS. 17 Oct.
The lang hill
1680 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II. 91.
[The head of the] lange syde
(b) a1400 Leg. S. ix. 52.
With … fare barbe, that sumdele launge is
(c) a 1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 61.
A pair of gallowse lairg and layng
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxxvi. 763.
Thre jorne lang is that cunctre
14.. Acts I. 336/2.
That the horne and the eir ar in like lang
1498 Halyb. 162.
A mat … 20 fut lang and alls brad
a1538 Abell fol. xvi a.
Arthuris schine bane … wes langer iii inch nor the leg and the kne of the lairgest man
?1549 Monro W. Isles 49.
Ane thicke dyke … ane penney stanes caste lange
1596 Dalr. I. 30/10.
The Lennox … quhairin is a freshe watir loch, lang myles xxiiii, bot in bredthe viii
c1420 Wynt. v. 1750.
A wall lang off a hundyr myle
1497 Treas. Acc. I. 331.
For xxij lang sparris, of xxxvj fut lang or thareby
1596 Dalr. I. 170/17.
A woundirful wall … of aucht thousand pase lang
1497 Halyb. 82.
A stek … langs 30 ellis
1559–60 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 338.
xiij swane treis of xxx fut langis

b. Tall. Said of persons, also of standing stones and grave-stones.(1) 1474 Treas. Acc. I. 53.
To the mekle lang man that had the quhyte doublat
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 21.
Of stature not ouir greit, nor ȝit ouir lang
1511 Treas. Acc. IV. 268.
The lang doctor of Denmark
1640 Kirkcaldy Presb. 157.
A lang weill favoured young man
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 87.
Ressauit fra lang Patric Hume [etc.]
1497 Acta Conc. II. 82.
Jhone of Wemys, callit Lang Jhone of Wemys
1502 Dunferm. B. Rec. b.
Lang Male and hir sistir
1506–7 Treas. Acc. III. 375.
To lang Jok
1542 Elgin Rec. I. 71.
Alexander Chapman, alias Lang Sande
(b) 1557 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 31/2.
Georgii Irvin, vocati Laing Geordie
(2) 1535 Stewart 2930.
Vpoun the graif of euerilk nobill man … Ane greit lang stone [he] gart set on end vprycht
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 213.
The said William suld big the … rowme of the Croce … and set the lang stane as it is now
1601 Reg. Great S. 391/2.
And thairfra to ane lang standand stane

2. Designating things of the longer variety of their class.a. Lang band, breid (= bread), burd (= table) (also lang meitburd, side-burd, see these words), button (cf. lang-stalkit buttonis, see below), cale (= kale), irnis, kale, tale. Also lang bowlis, breid (Brede n.2 4), cairt, gadde, kale, paper, thing, see these words.b. Designating weapons and fire-arms: lang swerd, sword (cf. e.m.E. (1593) long-sword), lang knyf; lang pike, speir, staff, and wapoun (wappin) (= any pole weapon); and lang gun (e.m.E. (1530) longegunne), and lang hagbuit, hakbut, see the latter nouns.c. With articles of dress, viz. lang gowne, lang hois (long hose, long trousers).d. Of building material in wood or stone, as lang gest, tymmer, tre and lang stuf, werk, lyntale, stane.e. Lang cannel, stick cinnamon. Lang piper, = long pepper (OE. lang pipor, L. piper longum).f. Lang arrage, cariage (carrage); also lang draucht (Draucht n. 1).a. 1614 Wedderb. Compt Bk. 252.
39 stane lang band hemp 3 quarter steane of schoirtband hemp
1610 Irvine Mun. II. 251.
Ane choippen of wyne and ane lang breid
1522 Dunferm. B. Rec. 209.
Ane flesch barrell ane lang burd
1566 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 97.
2 lang burdis, … 1 chalmer burd
1585 Elphinstone Mun. 11/2.]
[In the greit hall ane mekill auld lang eattin buird, with ane lang furme
1571 Treas. Acc. MS. 122.
v dosane lang buttonis
1581 Ib. 902.
Lang buttonis and round buttonis to the clock
1660 Reliq. Scot. iv.
Jonet Geddis, princesse of the Trone adventurers, ... where she used to dispense justice to the rest of her langkale vassals
1679 Th. Kirke A Modern Account of Scotland (1679) 15.]
[(Refreshment at the change-houses consists of) perhaps eggs with chucks in them, and some lang-cale
1596 Crim. Trials I. ii. 376.
The fader beand in the lang irnis of fiftie stane wecht
- 1429-30 Act in Ayr B. Ct. 6 March.
That the comonys wyffis ... wer owthir lang tale na syde nekkyt hodys
 b. (1) 14.. Maner of Battale 231.
All … the wappinis … for batall that is to say … ane lang suerde, ane schort swerde [etc.]
c1475 Wall. vi. 143.
Ane maid a scrip, and tyt at his lang suorde
Ib. 145.
With thi lang suerd thow makis mekill bost
1503 Treas. Acc. II. 207.
Ane lang riding suord with hilt and plomet ourgilt
1506 Ib. III. 182.
vj lang swordis and sex schort suordis for justing and tournaying and for the bar
a1500 Seven S. 741.
With a lang knyf he straik him than
(2) 1585 Elphinstone Mun. 12/1.
Threttene lang pikis
c1450-2 Howlat 786.
He couth … mak … A lang sper of a betill
1513 Doug. x. x. 24.
The tother … Buyr at hym mychtyly with a lang speir
1578 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 67.
Ewery ane … sall have ane lang speir, by jakkis, steilbonettis, suord and bukler
1586 Reg. Privy C. IV. 63.
Bodin in feir of weir, with jakkis, steilbonnettis, langstaffs, pistolettis
1546 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 122.
With jak, gavilling and halbart, or siclyke lang wapoun
1552–3 Ib. 177.
That thai haue lang walpynnis thairin, sic as hand ex, jedburgh staif, halbart, jawalyng and siclik lang walpynnis
1593 Ib. V. 101. 1613 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 105.
How evill the nyghtbors of this burg ar furnishat of lang waponis … throwcht over seindill using thairof
(3) 1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 21.
All bodin in feir of werr with jakis steil bonetis pistollis lang gunnis bowis
1592 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 76.
In armour, jack, steil bonat, spair, halbert, or lang gun
c. (1) 1474 Treas. Acc. I. 38.
For a lang govnne to the Quene, vij elne iij ½ quarteris of rede crammacy
1488 Ib. 135.
For xxij elne of blak veluus for ij lang gownis and a half lang gowne to the King
1489 Ib. 137.
For xiiij elne and a half of veluus for a lang gowne and a schorte
1492 Ib. 202.(2) 1489 Ib. 158.
For the makin of ix payre of hoyse lang ix s.; For the makin of xviij … schorte hoyse ix s.
1569 Cal. Sc. P. III. 57.
[We (Mary) gave him the first] coit he did weir, [so would we be glad he had the first doublet and] langhois [likewise of us]
d. (1) 1530 M. Works Acc. MS. I. 44.
To the sauaris for xix drauchtis of the cuttis of the lang gestis
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 254.
The hail tymmer … except the lang tymmer that is of the lenth of standartis
1488 Lanark B. Rec. 2.
Leding of treys viij d. Item, for iiij lang treis iiij s.
1494 Treas. Acc. I. 249.
For drawyng of the lang treis fra the bate to the ȝard
(2) 1532 M. Works Acc. MS. II. 44 b.
Lang stuf vij fute Iang for … harthis for chymnais
Ib. (ed.) 85.
For tua peis aslar lang stuf for lyntalis
1529 Ib. 11.
For vii peis lang werk of xl fuytis of lentht in the haile togidder price of the fuyt fre tailye of lang werk iii d.
1530 Ib. 49.
Woun be the quareouris … xxiiii peis for muildry and vi peis of vi and v futis for lyntalis of durris … price of the peis schort werk iiii d. and the lang werk iii d.
1532 Ib. 88.
xij pece of lang werk for harthis
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 193.
The fute of lang werk that passis five fete v d.
1558 M. Works Acc. (ed.) 293.
For wynnyng of ane lang lyntale to the park yett
1535–6 Ib. 139.
For v lang stainis for soill and lyntell
e. 1496 Halyb. 57.
4 li. lang canel, cost 5 s. 6 g.
Aberd. B. Rec. (J).
Twa pund lang cannell
1504 Treas. Acc. II. 445.
Half ane pund lang piper
f. 1545 Reg. Privy S. III. 185/1.
Et cum carragiis, vulgariter ane lang carrage and ane schort carrage prius prestare solitis
1576 Reg. Great S. 708/1.
8 lie lang cariagiis inter dict. baroniam et dict. monast.
Ib. 710/1.
2 sol. pro 2 lie lang cariagiis infra Strathilay et Kinlos
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 177.
With harrage, carrage within the maines, togedder vith lang arrage

g. In the combinations lang-boddiet, -schankit, -shafted, -slevit, and lang-stalkit (buttonis); and Langtaillit.(1) 1613 Edinb. Test. XLVII. 203 b.
Ane lang boddiet cairt and ane schort bodiet cairt
1640 Black Bk. Taymouth 347.
Tua lang schankit siluer cuppes for acavite
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1623.
They have neid to have lang shafted spunes that sups kail with the devill
1578 Inv. Wardrobe 220.
A lang taillit gowne … laich nekit lang slevit
(2) 1551 Treas. Acc. X. 36.
Ane dosane lang stalkit buttonis, put on the slevis of the samyn [cloak]
1552 Ib. 80.
Half ane dosane of lang stalkit buttonis put on the samyn cloik

3. Of or with reference to duration of time: long-continuing or lasting, and in various special applications.Lang hame, the grave: see Hame n.1 1(2).For the phrases but (foroutin, withoutin) (ony) langar abade, bade, delay, delaying, discrepance, frist, hone, kepe, lat, let, tary, tarying, see these nouns.(1) 1337 Liber Plusc. 285.
Quod videns Blac Annes dixit … Or lang time by pas, I sal ger thi sow fery agayn hir wil
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1187.
That never yhit … Sa lang a day wes sene beforne
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xl. 5.
This lang Lentern makis me lene
1513 Doug. vi. viii. 89.
With hevy curis lang Of irksam weir and sad
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts xx. 7.
He drew lang the sermoun till into mydnycht
1533 Gau 16/16.
Inordinat eiting and drinkkine and lang slepine
1531 Bell. Boece II. 61.
On quhome followit the Britonis with lang chace
1533 Boece vi. v. 194.
[The hounds'] spede, fairnes, lang rynnyng and audacite
1549 Corr. M. Lorraine 290.
God gyf your grace lang heill
a1568 Scott iv. 61.
Sum luvis lang trollie lolly
1567 G. Ball. 32.
Think on hell, the lang mischeif
1570 Misc. Bann. C. I. 48*.
Gif ye succumbe, it is nocht possible to it for to induir ony lang tyme
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 109.
I am assurit ȝour heichnes thinkis the tyme as lang as I do
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 4 b.
[A man] of lang experience concerning the effaris of the common vealth
1594 Acts IV. 71/2.
[A house] throw lang tyme decayed
1618 Sutherland Corr. 136.
The rest I will gett lang conteinowatioune for
1619 Ellon Presb. 104.
Efter lang and advysit travell
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS. 14 Oct.
Men of lang age
1692 Pitcairn Assembly (1817) v. iii. 97.
The curate! He has had o'er lang a lend of that … stipend
1498 Acta Conc. II. 257.
Lang termes war contrar the law
1565 Chart. Coupar A. II. 214.
Lang or schort takis
1586 Reg. Cupar A. II. 294.
The … fermes … being sett in feuferm and the teindis in lang takkis
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 374.
In few or lang tackis
(b) 1582 Colville Lett. 8.
Blis hir with laing and happydayes
compar. 1375 Barb. vii. 381 (E).
For to mak thar langer duelling
c1420 Wynt. vii. 1757.
Thai askyd a delay Till a langare awysment
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II. 408.
That na langare delayis be put thareto
1596 Dalr. I. 103/6.
Perchance our orisone hes bene langre … than … hes bene desyret
1567 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 102.
We … will cumber ȝou with na langer letter
1597 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 31.
Cessing farther to impeshe your hienes with langer letter
(2) proverbs a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 908.
Lang speiking part will spill
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 930.
Lang tarriing taks al the thanks away
Ib. No. 959.
Lang lend maks hemeld cattell
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 104; Ib. Nos. 382, 1031, 1509, etc.
After lang mint lidder dint
(3) 1535 Stewart 26891.
Syne into ver. quhen that the da grew lang
1572 Peebles B. Rec. 343.
To walk nychtlie … enterand at ix houris at ewin quhill thre houris in the mornying quhill the nycht grow langar
1618 Ritchie Churches S. Baldred 176.
To caus them come, the dayis now falling langer
(4) 14.. Acts I. 30/2.
Na the bailȝe may nocht … sett a langar day than xv dayis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 329.
The said partie defendar … sall have ane lang day to call the air … to wit fourtie dayis
1565 Instit. Ct. Sess. 26 b.
The iudge to assigne ane new day to the defendare … lang or schort eftir the quantitie of the causis
(5) c1515 Asl. MS. I. 301/14.
Matusale, langast of lyf that euer was
Ib. 326/26.(6) 1565 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 327.
Dauid Watt vicare … hes bene ane lang seruitour … to oure souerane ladyis derrest moder
1585 Edinb. Hammermen III. 39.
[He] protestit that the dekyn and maisteris sall nocht brek thair awld ordour … anent the admitting of lang servandis to thair assayis
(7) 1531 Bell. Boece I. ii.
Quhare that I haue failȝeit In letter, sillabe, poyntis lang, or schort
1585 James VI Ess. 57.
That ȝe ryme ay to the hinmest lang syllable (with accent) in the lyne
Ib. 60.
Monosyllabis … , the maist pairt of thame are indifferent, and may be in short or lang place, as ȝe like
c1616 Hume Orthog. 9.
If this argument reached as wel to i short as i lang [etc.]

b. In adverbial phrases with nouns of duration of time. See also Lang-time adv., Lang quhile adv.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 77.
[He] suld my womanheid weild the lang winter nicht
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 99.
I dyd tak kepe Latonya, the lang irksum nyght
Ib. xii. Prol. 93.
Als far as catal, the lang symmyris day, Had in thar pastur eyt
1535 Stewart 16880.
All the lang da thai huntit
1549 Compl. 139/30.(2) 15.. Wyf Awcht. 67.
Quhen he had … jwmlit … a full lang houre
1584 Sat. P. xlv. 681.
[He] stude ane lang hour at his yeatt
1600-1610 Melvill 81.
The place … continowed void for the space of a lang houre
(3) c1420 Wynt. viii. 6623.
A lang qwhille he lay thare
a1578 Pitsc. l. 322/9.
[He] ȝeid … dissagyssit ane lang quhill
a1568 Scott i. 12.
Richt and ressone … Quhilk sa lang seasoun hes bene soir supprest
1513 Doug. ii. xi. 139.
Gif goddis likit lynth my life langar space
1533 Bell. Livy II. 146/11.
To absent fra thare … wyiffis langare space than thai afore war accustumate
1560 Rolland Seven S. 158.
Ane lang space scho lay in deidly swoun
c1420 Wynt. iv. 55.
The Romanys … Lywyd in pes … A welle lang tyme
1489 Chart. (Reg. H.) No. 545 A.
The said Adam had … the said landis a langtyme or [etc.]
1535 Stewart 42414.
My pen wald tyre … To occupie so lang ane tyme and space
(4) 1545 Reg. Great S. 752/1.
The gret hurt … quhilk hes bene this lang time bigane usit
1580 Dickson & Edmond 206.
[He] has this lang tym bygane vsurpitt … the priuelege of ane frie burges
c1590 Fowler II. 43/7.
This lang time as S. Paull hes forespokin, he hes sittin [etc.]

c. In various predicative uses, mostly with the verb to be.(1) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 830.
Vthire ill dedis … That war lange to rekine her
1405 B. M. MS. Cott. Vesp. F. vii. fol. 86.
The qwilk the maneir thair of war ourlang to put in writing to ȝw
1456 Hay I. 7/I2.
Becaus it war our lang and prolixt thing to count all
c1475 Wall. viii. 910.
The toun to sege thaim thocht it was to lang
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 14, 15.
It war to lang, for thé to ryn that race, And far langar, or that … flour Bryng home … ane kyng
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 45.
It wer to lang to reherse
1610 9th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 240/2.
Sicke vane reasons that war lang to wryte
(2) 1591 Crim. Trials I. ii. 245.
The dewill ansuerit, he soud do quhat he could, bott itt wald be lang to, because it wald be thoirterit
(3) 1456 Hay II. 139/2.
Evill wateris ar … lang to tak hete and … langer haldis thair hete
a1568 Bann. MS. 158 b/87.
He is lang in lasing and bucling vp his geir
1558-66 Knox II. 169.
Quhilk I trust sall not be lang a doing
1570 Reg. Morton I. 54.
Keip thame quhill he send for thame quhilk will not be lang
1587-99 Hume Epistle 166.
Their process will be lang in seeking out

d. To think (full, greit, richt, sa, verry) lang, also to think it lang: to be or become weary or impatient with expectation or longing; to long or yearn (that (quhill) something may come about, to (till) do something, for something or someone); also, to grow weary or impatient (of something or of doing (to do) something, and absol.).This use chiefly Sc.(1) a1508 Kynd Kittok 27.
Sche lukit out on a day and thoght ryght [B. verry] lang To se the ailhous beside
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxi. 35.
Thy tardatioun caussis ws to think lang, For of thi cuming we haif rycht grit dispair
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1014.
I lat ȝow wit, I thocht not lang, Thocht I had taryit thair quhill none
1587-99 Hume 35/41.
Though thou a stranger be, and thinks great lang, Anone thou sall pas to thy natiue land
(2) c1475 Wall. ii. 424.
Quhill he him saw, in hart he thocht full lang
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 663.
Thai think so lang, quhill thai to ded him draw
15.. Dum Wyf 48.
Thocht lang will it was ewin
1577 Sat. P. xx. 99.
Fall to … My lords … And think it lang ay quhil ȝe fang The feiris that did inuent This crueltie
(3) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 9608.
In this meane time Lodwik, he thocht greit lang To luik about, to the wall heid did gang
1567 Sat. P. vi. 122.
Gif ye think lang in honour for till ring
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 30.
Hamiltoune … watchit all the nycht thinking lang to haif the Joy of the approcheing of the croun to thair hous
(4) 1567 G. Ball. 44.
That prince on croce thay lyftit on hicht, For our redemptioun, that thocht sa lang
1596 Dalr. II. 192/9.
Quhill now al in Scotland thocht lang for the gouernour, the Erle of Surrie … brak the bordour
1614 Lanark B. Rec. 122.
And, to be schort, I thocht never sa lang for the bailyies til have sein the sam
(5) a1500 Peblis to Play 55.
Ane ȝoung man … Said, Mirrie madinis, think nocht lang, The wedder is fair and smolt
c1475 Wall. ix. 1275.
Till gud Wallace thai war als trew as steill; To folow him thai twa thocht neuyr lang
a1500 Rauf C. 277.
The King thocht lang of this lyfe, and lap on in hy
a1500 Bk. Chess 1917.
A nakit swerd abone his hed thair hang Bot with a threid and thairof thocht he lang

4. ln adverbial and prepositional phrases, quasi-noun.Of lang, since a long time ago, for long; also, of length or extent. At (the) lang, at some length, fully; at length, at last, finally: (cf. 16th c. F. à, au long). On lang, along the length of: cf. Alang, Endlang, Inlang and Lang prep.(1) a1500 K. Hart 43.
Thir folk … That wer vpbred as seruitouris of lang
1577 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 65.
That the hors pleyabill … teill ane aiker of lang for trying of his gudnes
(2) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 45.
And at lang the Quene be avyis of hir oncles, devysit to destroy the erl of Murray
Ib. 45.
The Chamæleon … at the lang … cled himself onlie in the Quenis colouris
Ib. 49.
At lang having deliberat to take him with him … , he fand [etc.]
Ib. 51.
To hald the haill cuntre in rebellioun … to consume at the lang the regent quhilk thai knew to be puir of substance
1622-6 Bisset I. 113/17.
The cais quhairof they sall cause be at lang debaitted be the pairties procuratouris
(3) 1456 Hay I. 64/6.
The traytouris … had ordanyt ilk ane of thame ane broche of stele of gude lenth put doun on lang his hos

5. Of wine: Thick, ropy.So MDu. lanc, G. lang and Eng. (a 1648) long. 1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 21.
The said Allane Watsoun … failyeit in … deliverance of the saidis twa tunnis wyne except onlie ane pype lang wyne thairof

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