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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.

(Lefe-,) Leifsum, a. [ME. lefsum (? a 1400) and thereafter only Sc., f. OE. léaf (Leve n., Lefe n.2): cf. Levesum and (much the most common form) Lesum.] Permissible, right, proper, licit. a1500 Bk. Chess 2176.
Leifsum it is this povne him to defend
1513 Doug. xii. xiii. 48 (R).
Sustenand … euery stres baith leifsum and vnleif
1545 Grant Chart. 93.
It sall nocht be leifsum to ws … to tak [etc.]
1545 Wemyss Chart. 171.
To tak our afald part in … our causis, actionis, questionis and querelles, leifsum and honest
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6074.
The secreitis quhilk he saw Thay wer nocht leifsum for till schaw To na man
Ib. 2400. 1557 Reg. Cupar A. II. 131. 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 123. a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xv. 72.
Grace be to the gude burges wyffis That be leifsum lawbour thryveis
Id. Ib. xx. 15.
All leifsum promeis keip justlie
Id. Ib. cii. 60.
Leifsum myrrynes
1577 Fam. Rose 269. 1625 Misc. Spald. C. V. 223.
It sall not be leifsum to na husbandman [etc.]

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"Leifsum adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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