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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.

Laute(e, Lautie, n. Also: lawte(e, lawete(e; lauty, lawti(e, -y, -ey(e; latey. [ME. (? once only) laute (Cursor M.); var. of and early supplanting Leaute(e. Cf. also Lauta, Lauteth and Lauchty.]

1. Loyalty, loyal conduct or disposition, in friendship or love, or towards one's sovereign, country, lord etc.; fidelity.(a) 1375 Barb. i. 364.
[He] our all thing luffit lawte
Ib. x. 285, etc. Ib. v. 162 (E).
For luff off me And for thair mekill lawte [C. for mekill gud laute] Thai nobill men … Ar destroyit sa welanysly
?1438 Alex. ii. 5042.
Throw lele lufe and laute fyne The furriouris … Came to the ȝet [etc.]
c1420 Ratis R. 623.
Cherytee … is louand in kind lawtee
1456 Hay I. 244/8.
To consale a grete lord … to put him in the will of men that he knawis nocht thair lautee na thair fastnes
Ib. II. 105/1.
Be athe and faith and lautee castellis ar kepit
c1460 Consail Vys Man 350.
Be stark and stedfast … For lawte brekis nocht for no mycht
1463 Acts XII. 31/1.
The lordis … declaris his lawte, and innocens of al maner of crymis
a1500 Bk. Chess 1159.
Sa thocht this knycht desyrit to be fre His lawte maid him presoner to be And for the commoun proffet of the land He chesit him as presonere to stand
a1500 Seven S. 1275.
The king marijt this worthy woman For hir lawte
1492 Myll Spect. 276/24.
Nature … in the making of wemen … forȝet to gyf thame faith or lawte
1544 Corr. M. Lorraine 73.
That … Your Grays ken owr lawte and trow serwes
(b) Brus v. 530 (C).
Nane may treson do titar than he That man in trowis lawtie [E. leawte; H. into lawtie]
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 547.
Thy lufe, thy lawtie, and thy gentilnes, I countit small
1525 St. A. Formulare I. 271.
I discharge all bandis … othire of lautie, kyndnes or manrent
1535 Stewart 7305. Ib. 2118.
Quhair is thi lautie that thow cannocht be leill
Ib. 19754.
This Maximus commendit him richt he … Of lautie, honour, and of nobilnes
a1568 Scott xi. 5.
Thocht ȝe witht ȝour ladyis daill, Ressoun; Bot and ȝour faith and lawty faill, Tressoun
1577 Reg. Privy C. II. 632.
Respecting the said Nickeis lawtie in remaning with him
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xix. 47.
Ane husband … full of constance and lautie
1604-31 Craig v. 12.
Thy lawtie inloue, bout lucke, nought avayles
a1500 Sir Eger 1908.
I loved you above all thing … And in lawtie there is no lack
Ib. 1915.
Your lawtie is above all other, That ye had rather give your brother All the worship

b. Loyalty as a duty or obligation; the loyalty due to an overlord, the sovereign etc., allegiance.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 2978.
To thame oblyst nevyr wes he In fayth, falowschype, na lawte
1424 Acts II. 5/1.
Be thar lautee that thai aucht to the King
1456 Hay II. 47/34.
Sa suld the knycht be till his lord bounde in lautee as till his awin hert
1495 Bk. Carlaverock II. 450.
The aithe of suthfastnes, manrentschip, and lawte to be kepit
(b) 1521 Liber Melros 630.
Our allegiance faitht lauty and fydelitie to … the King alanerlie excepit
1554 Prot. Bk. R. Lumsdane MS. 23.
Gif … the said William faillis in his lawty and kyndnes to the said Alexander
1653 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 126.
I … promitt fealtie and lawtie to … the King's grace
(2) 1468 Ayr & W. Coll. III. 133.
Thai sal … stand in afald lufe, laute, frendschip and kindnes
1485 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 137.
[They] ar bundyn ilk ane till vthir in lawtie and kyndnes in all thair actiounis
1501–2 Chart. (Reg. H.) No. 86.
That aither … sall stand and keip afauld lawte and kindnes ilkane to vtheris

2. a. Faithful adherence to one's plighted word or to one's obligations, good faith, integrity.(a) 1375 Barb. I. 125.
Ȝe traistyt in lawte As sympile folk, but mawyte
Ib. xx. 552.
Wes neuir man that swa For laute bar hym till his fa
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 626.
That he na mycht rewengit be In the contrare of his lawte
?1438 Alex. ii. 6410.
I haue hard … Of the great laute and franchis That in ȝour body nurist is
Ib. 6733.
He that all couetis, all mon tyne, Or ellis of laute les the lyne
1456 Hay II 104/28.
And tharefore oure all thing, kepe thy condiciounis … that thou confermes be thy lautee
c1460 Consail Vys Man 171.
For atte last lawte is kend, And falsat sal neuir mak fare end
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2278.
For it is said in proverb: But lawte All uther vertewis ar nocht worth ane fle
a1500 Bk. Chess 1169.
For worschip of thair blude And for the lawte that thair towne in stud He tuke this man
1533 Boece 6 b.
Saxouns faleȝeing in lawte … to extreme myscheif Britan was brocht
Ib. vi. i. 185.
Athirco … mare be boist nor lufe … kepit the freyndis conquest afore be liberalite and lawte
1535 Grant Chart. 79.
Vnder the pane of … tinsale of perpetuale faytht, lawte and cridence
1550 Coll. Aberd. & B. 181.
Incaise owir … administrator … hes giffin thair consenttis … in prejudice off the said M. Duncanis tytill and in proditioun of thairis faime and lawte, we … reuokis [etc.]
(b) (1570) Rauf C. 603.
[He] gat furth glaid, To se gif the coilȝearis lawtie was leill
c 1500 Justiciary Rec. (Reg. H.) I. 156.
He haid experience of the … chanceleris faithe and lawtie in sik caceis
1535 Stewart 23616.
Ȝone ar the men that lawtie hes forlorne, Faithles and fals
1559 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 58.
The saidis personis sall nocht be callit for the saidis evidentis … becaus thair lautie is apprevit to the toun thairanent and experimentit befoir-tyme
1570 Leslie 46.
Postponand the band of his lautie and honour
1571 J. Maitland Sat. P. xxvii. 1.
Maist loyall lord, ay for thi lawtie lowitt
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. cxi. 9.
Fra lawtie so thai leip … Thair will na kyndnes blude nor band Gar sum thair credence keip
(c) 1544 Maxwell in Bk. Carlaverock II. 29.
Geyff hanny Scottis man … wyll bid at it that I hayff fallyt in my lawteye to the Kyngis Maisstye [sc. Henry VIII]
(d) 1599 Colquhoun Chart. 175.
Vnder the pan of perjurie, … and tinsall of faytht, latey and credeit forewir

b. Faithful adherence to high standards of conduct, upright or honest behaviour. (1570) Rauf C. 509.
Ane lauchfull man … That leifis with mekle lawtie and laubour
1487 Acts II. 182/2.
That … our souerane lord deput a persoun that his hienes traistis be of lawte and knawlage to be maister of his moneye
1533 Boece i. vi. 46 b.
Quhare reif is mare estymyit than sincere lawtie
1542 Elgin Rec. I. 71.
The forsaid … sall makhis greit ayth that he knavis to her bot lauty, honesty, and is ane trev persone
1554 Duncan Laideus Test. 152.
Falsheid had him [Truth] ay at mortall feid And Thift brocht Lawtie finalie to deid
Ib. 153. 1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 366.
For dechting od the steipill to the wobsters and walkers to wirk in for thair probatioun of thair laute
a1568 Scott i. 100.
Thai … that governis weill thame sell, And lelalie on lawtie layis thair lyne
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxix. 2.
Meiknes with mesoure Lawtie and labour Bringis thé till honour
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1065.
Lautie is a fair cloke
1637 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 302.
To try the … abillitie, substance and lautie of sick craftsmen as sall enter within the said cittie

c. Integrity in the administration of the law, justice, equity.(1) 1375 Barb. xiii. 711.
God grant that thai … maynteme richt and ek laute
1456 Hay i. 298/35.
Quhen thai that was paganis … kepit justice and lawtee sa wele
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1292.
This cursit sone of couetice Loist hes baith lawtie and eik law
1533 Boece ii. i. 58 b.
To se … pepill rynnyng disordorit but reule or law and richt few curing owthir lawte or resoun
1535 Stewart 1848.
Keipand alway his kinrik in gude rest, With lufe and lautie
1567 Sempill Sat. P. iv. 90.
Lawtie is banist, justice and equitie
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxviii. 12.
Rycht and lawtie … sall stand quhill domysday
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 803.
The Jow askit, as wald lawte, The gud agane to payt be

3. The truth. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 161.
Thou … of na man makis excepcione, Bot ewynly sais the lawte
c1420 Ratis R. 224.
Quhill thow art ȝonge With wordis of lawte vs thi twnge
1456 Hay I. 31/18.
The quhilkis lordis … may nocht be boucht to be agayne the lautee na the suthfastnes of the faith
Ib. 110/34.
Thir ressounis be apperance ar gude, ȝit may thai hald na fut in lautee
Ib. 127/17.
Bot to say the lele lautee, I am nocht behaldin to put my body in perile of dede
Ib. 216/14.
The quhilkis … allegeancis I say … for ground of lawtee and of veritee
a1500 Seven S. 2554.
The man … That kest his son in to the se For caus he him schewe nakit lawte

4. In senses 1 and 2 in various special collocations. a. To hald, kepe, observe lawte, the or one's lawte, = allegiance, fidelity, good faith, honest conduct. 1375 Barb. xix. 140.
His air eftir hym suld be In peis, gif men held thair laute
1452 Maxwell Mem. I. 171.
And for the maire haboundance of lawte to be kepit enterchangeabilly to thir endenturis has set [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 113/16.
Till a gude knycht efferis to kepe wele his athe and his lautee till his maister
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 195.
Thai [women] suld kep lawte day & nycht
a1500 Bk. Chess 1429.
To kepe lawté, and neuer to pas thairfro That ocht may hurt the party innocent
Ib. 1440.
Thir men of craft suld kepe a gret lawte Off fallowschipe
1513 Doug. ii. iii. 32.
Sa mot thou … Kepe me thy promys and thi lawte baith
Ib. vi. v. 105. 1531 Reg. Soltre 108.
He keipand his kyndnes and lawte to me … anent the ingetting … off the teindis
1533 Boece ix. x. 310 b.
[He] was gevin to obserue lawte and fidelite with Scottis and Pichtis
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 99.
Gude brother Lanceman, Lyndesayis dog, Quhilk ay hes kepit thy laute, And neuer wirryit lamb
1570 Leslie 190.
Quha rewardit him … for his treuthe & lawtie keipit to his native cuntrey

b. To mak or brek lawte or faith. 1470 Prestwick B. Rec. 1.
Quhove mony burges … lefand that had maid lawti and atht to the fredom of the said burghe
1474 Reg. Cupar A. I. 215.
The Said Willȝame has made to ws fathe and lawte and manrent
1513 Doug. vi. ix. 175.
Tha not eschamyt thar promys to forswer, Brekand lawte plight in thar lordys hand

c. (To stand surety) for another's lawte (= loyalty or good faith). 1461 Peebles B. Rec. I. 141.
He sal haf na seruandis in the myllis bot … at he sal stand for thair laute
1517 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 82.
[He shall find them] souirte for his lawte and sure keping of the said castell
1545 Stirling Ant. IV. 215.
They sal … pay 10s. … as dewtie for the said prentis and becums suretie for his biding and lawtie
1558–9 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 27.
[That he] tak souertie … for his lawte and suir keping of the saidis jowallis
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 112.
The said Robert become … souertie to him for the lawtie of the said Alisoun
1588 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 521.
Gif any maister … sall tak … ony vther prenteis or seruand, that thai caus thame fynd sufficient souerty, … for thair lawty and remaning
1641 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 70.
Robert Ross is becum … souertie … for her crydet, lawtie and honestie
1649 Stirling Merch. Guild 64.
For … his lawtie, remanyng and fulfilling the said premissis … his father is becume bundin

d. (To swear, promise, undertake, declare, etc.) in (intill), on (upoun), be (by) or efter one's lawte(is), = on my honour, by my troth, upon my allegiance, sing. and plur.sing. (1) 1375 Barb. xii. 318.
I [sc. Bruce] hecht heir, in my lawte [etc.]
Ib. xiv. 10.
The Erischry of Irland, That in thar lawte [E. leawte] tuk on hand Of Irland for to mak hym king
c1420 Wynt. viii. 927.
Nocht agaynstandande the gret ath That thai swor in till lawté The matere suld all decleryd be
1463 Liber Aberbr. 132.
[He] has promittit in his lawte twechand his brest that he sal kep … this appoyntment
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxiii. 309.
Be lawty thu telis ws now … quhare that thu Has stowine this tresoure
1452 Reg. Great S. 132/1.
I … lelily … oblisis me be the faith and lawte in my body … to stand [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 149/9. Ib. 183/16, etc.
Thou kennis … how straytely thou art oblist to me, the quhilk thou has suorne be thy lautee
Ib. 266/6.
Bot it may suffice to say, be his lautee and be the ath of his body [etc.]
Ib. II. 104/28. 1481 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 331.
[He] is bundin be the faytht in his body and lawete neuer to disheres forther
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 165.
By the faith onfylit, and leil lawte
Ib. iv. vii. 23, etc. 1532–50 Breadalbane P. (Reg. H.).
[They are] to delyuer in the forsaid caus be thair lawte, connyng and counschiance
(3) 1544 Maxwell Mem. I. 287.
[They shall] sentence furth gif, efter faith, lauty and gvid conscience
(4) 1558-66 Knox I. 354.
We … obleise us, upoun our lautie, fidelitie and honour, to … keape [etc.]
plur. 1463 Liber Aberbr. 131.
We … declarys … in our lawteis that we war present … quhen [etc.]
1488 Acts II. 211/1.
In thar lawtez & allegeance ilk man for him self declaris [etc.]
1488 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 170*.
We … beand sworne … to deliuer tharapon eftir oure vnderstanding, lawteis and guegment
1498 Acta Conc. II. 322.
As thame self kennis on thair lawteis gif thai be on liffe
1500 Ib. 410.
On thare lawteis and honesteis
1523 Mar & Kellie MSS. 13.
The saidis lordis ar ordanit … to keip all the pointtis foirsaid on their honouris, lawteis and dowiteis that thai aw to the Kingis Grace
1583 Glasg. B. Rec. I. 101.
The foirnamit dekynnis … on thair lawteis and treuth declarit [etc.]

e. In (into) and with lawte, faithfully, honestly, equitably.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 88.
Thai trowyt that he … as freyndsome compositur, Wald hawe jugyt in lawte
Ib. xx. 147.
The lordis … Till thir twa vardanys athes swar, Till obeis thame in-to lawte
?1438 Alex. i. 2954.
He thocht … he wald serue him in laute
1456 Hay II. 86/12.
Quhasa desyris gude counsale but fayntis, in lautee he sall have it
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 251.
I counsall all cristin creatouris … To leif in lawte justlie but injure
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 3947.
To forbere inyqwyte And deme wyth lauch and lawte
Ib. vii. 849.
Thare he heycht thame wyth lawte Thare cas to ger decleryt be
Ib. 1592.
He gat that archebyschapryk Noucht wyth lawte, bot wytht swyk
c1420 Ratis R. 876.
To schap to leif in sympilte, Evynlyk, honest, and with lawte
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2710.
The lyfe is half ane Purgatorie, To wyn with lautie leuing as effeiris
a1585 Maitl. Q. xv. 63.
Send our burges wit … With lawtie [to] sell thair geir And to vse … mesour leill
1591-2 Rob Stene .
Lo all is heir That he proffeitit in sevin ȝeir With lawty for he could not steill

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"Laute n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2024 <>



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