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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
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Lawit, Lawid, Lawd, adj. Also: lawyt, lauit; lawide, -yd(e, lauid; lawde, laud(e. [North. ME. lawed, laud (Cursor M.): cf. Lewit adj. Cf. also Lawic and Layit (and the note to Laic adj.).]

1. Of or pertaining to the laity; lay, secular.Lawd brodir, lay brother. Freq. lawit patron, patronage (in the earliest examples, = of the Crown as opposed to the Church).(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 1416.
Gret cumpany Of lawide men and of clergy
1424 Acts Jas. I (Edinb. Univ. MS.) 84 b.
That with the clerkis thair be ordanit lawyde men be the schirraff depute
(b) c1420 Wynt. vii. 2644.
He assoylyd … then Alysawndyr our Kyng and his lawd men; But the byschapys and the clergy Yhit he left in cursyng ly
1490 Irland Mir. I. 8/9.
Perchaunce lawde pepil comprehendis nocht the profound verite tharof as dois clerkis
a1538 Abell 120 a.
Thare is ane lawd brodir amang the laif callit Petir of Gante
a1568 Scott i. 156.
Kirkmennis cursit substance semis sweit Till laud men with that leud burd lyme ar lyttit
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxxv. 28.
The alde abbot … gert he get hyme thane The habyt of a lawyt mane
Ib. xl. 561.
To visy … hou lawit men can wirke In the treuth of haly kirke
14.. Acts I. 113/2.
That na kirkman … na ȝit ony lawyt man the quhilkis has rentis … sal presome to … send gudis or rentis utouth the kynrik
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 377.
The lawit folkes this law wald neuer ceis
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 44/1.
The prayer of lawit people is richt proffitable, thocht thai vnderstand nocht the wordis
1533 Boece xiii. xi. 521 b.
Cardinal Egidius … resauit nocht litill [money] fra the clergy and lawit pepill
1532 Acta Conc. & Sess. (Stair S.) 44.
[This matter is civil … and the pursuer … is a] lawit [man]
1551 Hamilton Cat. 221.
Because a preist hes the keis … and sa hes nocht ane lawit man quhilk is nocht ane consecrat preist
1558 Dumfries & Galloway Soc. Ser. 3. XIV. 100.
Considering that the said Harlo had no commission to mak sic preaching bot [wes] ane lauit-man
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 23.
Thair was condempnit twa blak freris … , ane preist and ane lawit man
(2) c1420 Wynt. vii. 720.
That the Kyng Na na lawyd patrowne be staff na ryng Suld mak fra thine collatyowne
1575–6 Reg. Privy C. II. 496.
To the dangerous exempill … to be usit upoun all utheris lawit patronis … , quhillkis at the granting … of the thridis of benefices wer nevir callit thairto for thair interesse
1579 Acts III. 179/2.
Without preiudice alwayis of the lawit patronis quha notwithstanding salbe haldin to present qualifijt personis [to be bursars]
(3) 1497–8 Acta Conc. II. 124.
[The] accione … apone the wrangus impetracione of the parsonage [of] Forbas, quhilk is lawid patronage, … with violacione … of our soverane lordis actis of Parliament tharethrow
(b) 1489 Acta Conc. I. 123/2.
To haue na daile … witht the said benefice … in hurting of laude patronage
1490 Ib. 129/1.
Nain of thaim … to mak … persecucioune … of the said mater at the court of Rome, sen it pertenis to laud patronage
(c) 1489 Acta Conc. I. 123/2.
The complaint maid … anent the purchessing of his benefice of Culter in the court of Rome … witht derogacione of lawit patronage
1498–9 Ib. II. 328.
Gif the Kingis hienes or his lawit patronage he war hurt tharethrow
1516–7 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 77.
[William Lamb] sinisterly purchest in the court of Rome [a yearly pension of £50 Scots out of the benefice … without license, knowledge or consent of Erroll] makand na mentioun that it was ane lawit patronage
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 196.
Quhill the saidis prouest … gif freilie to ane of the said Androis sonis … ane benefice of ane lawit patronage
1567 Acts III. 23/2.
The presentatioun of lawit patronageis [to be] alwayis reseruit to the iust and ancient patronis
1575–6 Reg. Privy C. II. 496.
Yit wes it nevir menit … that the thridis of lawit patronages salbe gevin in pensioun … without consent of the possessour or patroun
a1651 Calderwood V. 404.
Dimitting of them [benefices] for favour or money, that they become lawit patronages

2. Unlearned, unlettered, untaught.In some instances it is not clear whether this or sense 1 is intended.(a) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2634.
Quhilk orisione … Quhilk we lawid folk the paternoster call
(b) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 68/20.
This, that lawde & commone pepil reputis faute and jmperfeccioune, js perfeccioun of thare natur
Ib. fol. 192.
I haue spokin mare profoundly for clerkis na heire for lawde men
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3439.
I pray … ȝe wald please to preiche In Inglisch toung, laud [pr. land] folk to edifie
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 1471.
I haf translat The story … In Ynglis townge that lawit mene In thare langage ma it kene
c1420 Ratis R. 739.
A clerk gif that thow be, I pray thé reid the buk, … And gif thow be a lawit man [etc.]
1531 Bell. Boece I. 224.
I have maid this translation mair for pleseir of lawit men than ony vane curius clerkis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1117 (B).
Sen lawit men knew the veritie Pardonaris gettis no cherretie
c1552 Id. Mon. 2328(L).
Quhen lawit folk upon thame [images] luikis It bringith to rememberance, Of sanctis lyvis the circumstance
1567 G. Ball. 190.
The ignorant peple sa lawit bene and febill, That thay wat nocht quhome to wyte
Ib. 194.
The lawit folk trowis the heuin will clatter. Thay sing with sic deuotioun

b. Coupled with lerit (also lernit), chiefly absol.(a) a1568 Bann. MS. 145 a/6.
Abowt hir beir na bell to clynk, Nor clerk sing lawid nor lerd
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii. 1819.
Off all condytyowne nane sparand, Leryd and lawde, nwne and frere
a1538 Abell 63 a.(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 782.
Al that about stud thare, Quhethyre thai leyryt ore lawit ware
1400 Yester Wr. 41.
At the wil of any man lerd or lawyt that happynys to duele with the said land
c1420 Wynt. ix. 1943. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1080.
Sal neuer freik on fold … Gar me lurk for ane luke, lawit nor lerd
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 760. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 169.
Of fatheris sho maid me ane futher Of lawit men and leirit
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 101.
Into the quhilk [congregation] ar contenit ȝoung and auld, pure and ryche, lernit and lawit

c. Lacking in literary graces, unpolished, rude. c1420 Wynt. iii. 1108 (W).
Thare names … to rehers … It suld bot tary space and tyme, And ȝe suld call it a lawd ryme
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 412 (Sm.).
I say nocht this of Chaucer for offence, Bot till excuse my lawit [B. lewit] insuffitience
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 326.
Thou barrant buik … commoun folk will call thé lawit and lidder

3. Belonging to the lower orders, common (men, people). 1529 Lynd. Complaynt 495.
God hes haill at His command … Sum tyme of lauid men to mak lordis, And, sum tyme, lordis to bynd in cordis
c1552 Id. Mon. 5339.
Cunnyng clerkis hes … comparit The sonne to the stait spirituall, The mone to princis temporall, … [and] the sterris … To the lawd common populare
Ib. 5436.
Lawd peple followis ay thare heidis

4. ? Wicked, nefarious. transf. (= Lewd adj. 3). 1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 92.
Sum latyt latton but lay lepys in lawyd lyt

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"Lawit adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Feb 2023 <>



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