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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.

Leit, n.2 Also: leite, leitt, leyt; lete; leet(t; leat; lait(t. [Aphetic f. Eleit n.: cf. the older Lite n. Unlike the latter, surviving in the mod. dial. as leet. Only Sc.]

1. plur. The persons listed as nominees or selected candidates for an office; hence occas. in sing. sense, a list of candidates. = Lite n. 2.(1) 1590 Conv. Burghs I. 321.
The leytis for electioun of the prouest [of Aberdeen] nocht to be restranit to the name of Menȝes, thair freyndis and allyais
1592 Ib. 386.
The present prowest, bailleis [etc.] … being changit … as said is, nochtwithstanding that for obserwing of the forme, thair names be insert in the saidis leittis viz. the eleittis of prowestrie, Alexander Ruderfurd [etc.] … and for the leittis of the bailleis the four present bailleis and to be eikit to thame saz of the saidis mercheandis … that sall remain onchossin of the saidis leittis of counsall
1649 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 105.
Furth of the thrie leitis for the provestrie, … Mr. Thomas Gray was chosin provost; and furth of the aucht leitis for the baillies [etc.]
1683 Edinb. B. Rec. XI. 85.(b) c1630 Scot Apol. Narr. 117.
The King would needs have the leets changed, and a neutrall man chosen
(c) 1656 Irving Dumbartonsh. II. (App.) 325.
The said deacons [etc.] … sall give in yearly … the names of six persones of said craft out of the whilk number the said … counsell sall choise thrie to be letes of deaconhead
(d) 1655 Rothesay B. Rec. 6.
As lykwayis the brughe for the cause foirsaid hes put him of the laits of thesaury
1657 Ib. 15.
The said old and new counsell thought meit the persounes following to be on the proveist laittes
(2) 1570-3 Bann. Trans. 187.
The lord of Mar … being in leittis with Argyle and Mortoun, be pluralitie of voitis was elected regent
1600-1610 Melvill 469.
They put a nomber of the … maist estimed breithren upon the leittes, wharby … the vottes of the best breithring [were] distracted
a1650 Row 290.
The Province … did never choise him moderator of their Provincial Assemblie, though he was often on the leetts
1647 Baillie III. 20.
At last … I gott myself off and Mr Robert Dowglas on the leetts [for Moderator]

2. A list of selected candidates, a ‘leet’. Also freq. (to put, nominat, be or go etc.) in, on (upon), to leit, in or upon the leit. = Lite n. 3, 4.(1) 1592 Conv. Burghs I. 386.
For the leittis of the bailleis, the four present bailleis, and [eight others] … to compleit the number of tuelff vpon the said leit of bailȝearie
1610 Stirling B. Rec. I. 126.
To be chosine out of the leit of the persones following
1629 S. Leith Rec. 17.
The nichtbours and sessioune being conveined for chussing a leit for the second minister
(b) 1593 Cal. Sc. P. XI. 83.
He desires them to appoint a leet of five or six
1590-1 Bruce Serm. 9.
At the very same time Edinburgh lacked pastors and they made a leet of some and gave them up to the General Assembly
1647 Baillie III. 20.
I … resolved to absent myselfe from the first meeting, if by no other mean I could be shifted the leett
1692 Edinb. Kirk S. in Sc. Ant. XIII. 73.(c) 1654 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 123.
The … electores … elected the said Mr. Jhon Paterson from ther lait to be ther minister
(d) 1673 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 151.
That we have proceded orderly in giving in our leat by putting in sex qualified persones
(2) 1590 (1650) Dundee B. Laws 102.
The said Prowest … and Council … sall have power to put in leit three of the number of the Counsell
1632 Culross 178.
Elders on lete nominat
1641 Kirkcaldy Presb. 201.
Mr. Frederik Carmichell and Mr. Mungo Law being put to leit Mr. Frederik be pluralitie of voyces was chosen Moderator
c1650 Spalding I. 318.
Doctor Williame Guild, and … Mr. Robert Baillie, wes put on leit, who suld be chosin principall in the Kingis Colledge
1620 Calderwood VII. 448.
Take heid ye put none in the leite but such as ye will be sure to gett
1664 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 329.
[Two persons] to continewe for this present yeir and to go on wpoune leit for the ensuing yeir at ther ellectioune
1672 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 132.
He past his vote for John Lawder to be provest … as being one upon the leit to be provest
1673 Stirling B. Rec. II. 14.
The persons in leit to be master of the grammer schoole

3. A list, in general. 1688 Musselburgh 27.
The counsel condescends to allow my lord Lauderdale all the carts can be had … conforme to ane leet to be made thereof by the baillies

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"Leit n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Feb 2024 <>



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