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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.

Lavar, Laver, n. Also: lawar(e; lawer, lavver, lawwer, lavyer; lewar(e; lavo(i)r, lavour; laiver; lair, laar. [ME. lavo(u)r (1340), lavure (15th c.), laver (1420), OF. laveoir, -eure washing, vessel for washing (= med. L. lavatorium laver, ewer).]

1. A vessel to hold water for washing, chiefly or only, a jug or ewer; also, a jug for wine, etc.As used in private houses and also in church services (as mass, communion, baptism).Very freq. coupled with Basin n., q.v. for some further examples.(a) 1398–1407 Aberd. B. Rec. in Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIII. 35.
Fra Will of Foty a basyn & a lawar, xxvii d.
c 1450 Coll. St. Salvator 161.
Ane ewar [altered to lawar] for wyn
Ib. 162.
A lawar of lede in the vestre
1457 Peebles B. Rec. I. 119.
A bassyn and a lauar
1490 Acta Conc. I. 131/1.
A hingand laware
a1500 Seven S. 2703.
The King … to the dynere schupe in hy: The fader the lawar sone couth get, The moder the towall on kneis fet
1511 Treas. Acc. IV. 330.
Pait for mending of the Quenis lawar
1529 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 230.
Ane wesching towell of dornik with basyne and laware of siluir
1540 Inv. Wardrobe 110.
Ane basing and ane laware of gold, with thrissillis and lilleis round about the samyne
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 89.
For twa kaisis to twa lawaris of silver xx s.
1549 Compl. 7/30.
Ane goldin vattir lauar
1559–60 11th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. vi. 223.
Ane lawar of siluer with hech strowpis
1565–6 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 97.
4 water pottis of tynne, i basing, i lavar of tynne
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 103.
The prince was bapteist … on this maner … the basing and the lawar [were borne] be the lord Ross
(b) 1421 Douglas Chart. 57.
A basyne and a lawer of siluer, gylt about the borde
a1500 Sir Eger 293.
A laver they have gotten soon, Warm water into it was done, And in a silver basen [etc.]
1505 Treas. Acc. III. 173.
For ane cais to the goblatis and laver and chandelaris to the kingis chamir
1505–6 Ib. 184.
vij cowpes xviij tasses 1 goblatis and tua laweris of glas
1535 Stewart 56059.
Sittand at thair suppeir … With basing, lawer, disches and plaittis fyne
1540 Maxwell Mem. I. 409.
Ane glassing lawwer that keippis walter to the mes
1542 Inv. Wardrobe 63.
Ane bassing and laver siclyk maid for hir in hir barneheid the tane of aget the uther of jespe sett in gold
1562 Ib. 158.
Twa blew laveris with ane gilt coup … ane litle laver blew gilt
1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 269.
Twa basingis, twa lawers of Flanders poyder, price of the basing and lawer owerheid l s.
1596 Fraser P. 229.
In the hall … tua pewdar laweris … ane hingand lawer
1610 Hist. Kinloss A. xii.
Ane gilt bassen and lawer, weying 120 wnce
1615 Haddington Mem. II. 288.
Ane siluer basine, with the lawer, percell gilt
1632 Inv. Newark 6 a.
Item of silver salt fatis … , Item of vineger laweris
1633 Stirlings of Keir 448.
Ane silver baisoune, ane silver lauver
a1651 Calderwood V. 344.
[Baptism of Prince Henry:] The Lord Sempill caried the lavyer with water, the Lord Setoun the basine
1675 Elgin Rec. II. 310.
Thomas Ogilvie, merchant, hes givine in ane basone and ane laver for the vse of baptisme and sacrament
1694 Inchmahome Pr. 160.
Ane large basone and lawer of silver
(c) 1485 Acta Conc. I. 108*/2.
Twa siluer basingis a lewar of siluer
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 85.
A leware of siluer ouregilt with a couir
(d) 14.. Burgh Laws cix (B).
The ayre sal hafe of the hows thir vessaile that is to say the bettyr burde the bordclath the towale the bassyne & the lavour & the best bed
1617 Acts IV. 534/2.
That all the paroche kirkis … be prowydit off basines and lavoiris for the ministratioun of the sacrament of baptisme
1618 Churches St. Baldred 169.
The parishoneris of Tyninghame … conveined … for providing of basingis and lavoiris for … baptism
1631 Buccleuch Household Bk. 29 Oct.
A bassine and a lavor tua siluer stropis
(e) 1657 Montgomery Mem. 320.
Ane great gilt bassen with three feit and ane laiver conforme
(f) 1562 Inv. Wardrobe 158.
i basing and lair with aipis wormes and serpentis
1585 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 387.
Bocht ane bassin and laar [supra of tyn] to the babtisne in the kirk [£3 13s. 4d.]
1645 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III. 43.
A baisin and lair of siluer with ane siluer stowp

b. Rendering Vulgate labrum, the large brazen vessel for the ablutions of the priests in Old Testament times. 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Gutturnium, labrum, a lawer
1647 R. Baillie Anabaptism (1647) 166.
The laver … made by Moses was not of the capacity for one man to bath

c. transf. and fig. The spiritual cleansing of baptism; a spiritually cleansing or purifying agency: cf. Lavac(h)re n.(1) 1533 Gau 56/8.
Christ … hes veschine it [the church] with the lawer of water throw the vord of liff
1551 Hamilton Cat. 171.
Christ … hes gevin him self … for to hallow it [sc. the Church], be the lawar of baptyme and the word of God
1554 Misc. Bann. C. III. 76.
Ȝit than as ȝit he was nocht regenerate be the lawer of halie baptisme
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 227.
Christ clainges his kirk be the lauer of water
(2) 1562-3 Winȝet i. 81/12 (MS.).
It is writtin, that God makis ws sauff be the lawer of regeneratioun
1590 Bruce Serm. 39.
Christ, in his blood, as he is the lawer of our regeneration, is the thing signified in baptisme
a1599 Rollock I. 446.
He that waschis us is he that pouris on the precious lavver of the Spreit
1638 Henderson Serm. 429.
His blood is as the laver of purgation, wherein we are washen

2. ? A washing-place in a convent or the conduit and spout supplying water to this. 1532 Reg. Cupar A. I. 313.
[To] Robert Murray, plumbar, … for … reparing watter theicht our Abbay Kyrk queir and stepill, togidder with the lawaris thairof and all vthir ledin werk within the said abbay
Ib. 314.
We the said abbot and convent sall hald in the dam heid quhair the watter enteris to the saidis lawaris

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"Lavar n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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