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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.

Licht, n.1 Also: lichte, lycht(e, light(e, lyght, lyicht; leicht, leycht, le(i)ght; lich, lych, ligh, lith. [ME. liht, light, liȝt, etc., lith, (15th c.) leght, early also leocht, OE. loht (Angl. lht).]

1. Light, that which illuminates. a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 144.
Licht & merknes I can ma
c1420 Ratis R. 437.
It lovis licht and cumpany
1456 Hay I. 282/29.
Of all thingis that God maid, the claritee and licht is the maist noble
c1500 Rowll Cursing 163.
In hellis hole quhair never is lycht
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6007.
Frome thare sycht Sall taking be all kynde of lycht
1562-3 Winȝet I. 57/12.
The commoun practik … to mak of obscuir mirknes a commentare to the cleir licht
Ib. II. 33/10.
Mair cleirlie than the lycht the cause is oppinnit
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxv. 11.
Ȝit I am lyik the blind that blamis the licht

b. Light that is received by anything or that a person sees by. Also fig. in to sit in one's (own) licht, and to be in another's licht (= to be a stumbling-block or obstruction to).(1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 5532.
The mwne … As it passis betwix oure sycht, … [of] the swne lattis ws the lycht
?1438 Alex. ii. 7618.
Porrus … With … stout visage to se be licht
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1043.
Sall neuer sege … se me with schame Na luke on my lekame with light nor with leme [sic for: levin]
1490 Irland Mir. I. 27/27.
As a candill may gif lycht to diuers als weill as to ane
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxii. 15.
Ȝour stinkand styll that standis dirk Haldis the lycht fra ȝour parroche kirk
1513 Doug. iii. iii. 8.
With ful gret lycht graithly I haue thame seyn
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics iv. 298.
Oblique lucem recipientes, ressaivs licht of sklent
(2) 1513 Doug. ix. Prol. 84.
Quhar I mysknaw myne errour, quha it fyndis For cheryte amendis it, gentil wight, Syne pardon me, sat sa far in my lycht
1535 Stewart 22316.
Quhairfoir … I wald nocht it war tald, Syne efterwart quhen that we haif no micht, We sat ouir far into oure awin licht
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1868.
Ye bred of the gudemannis mother, ye are ay in the burds licht [No. 1446, lith]
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1862) I. 226.
And do we not sit far in our own light, to make it a matter of bairn's play

c. An individual manifestation of light. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 537.
Fra hewine schane doun a mekil lycht And vmlappyt hym son all
Ib. xii. 447.
Thane our Lorde in to gret lyicht Come, & aperit to his sycht
1513 Doug. vii. ii. 114.
Eftir that semyt this gudly wight Tobe involuyt in ȝallo reky lyght
Ib. ix. xii. 18.
A glowand new lyght brystis from his eyn
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 69.
The lichtis that wer sene out of the hiest part of ȝour hous all the nicht lang wer … put out
1619 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 83.
Within a quarter hour efter scho brocht a candle, but scho did not sie the lyght

2. Light as emitted by a luminary or object. Also, heavenly or angelic light.See also Lamp n. 1 b (2) and 2 c.(1) 1375 Barb. vi. 216.
Sa saw he with the monys licht Schynyng of scheldis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlvi. 11.
Vndir this brench ran doun a revir bricht … Agane the hevinly aisur skyis licht
15.. Dunb. App. viii. 29.
The sone, quhen he no lichtis gaif
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1331.
Seaven starnes in the lift schawis mair licht nor ane
(b) 1375 Barb. viii. 228 (E).
Thar … Scheldis Off lycht enlumynyt all the feldis
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 100.
Latonya … Hir subtell blenkis sched and watry lycht
1528 Lynd. Dreme 389.
The mone … hes none vther lycht Bot the reflex of Phebus bemes brycht
1549 Compl. 53/33.
Venus … in the mornyng … gyffis ane grit lycht
1556 Peebles B. Rec. I. 234.
To walk nychtlie quhill the mone grow to the proud lycht
(c) 1494 Mill Mediæv. Plays 225.
For payntin of the spere of leicht
(2) 1375 Barb. xx. 476 (C).
Quhar our Lord for his mekill mycht Thair saulys haue to hevynnis licht!
c1568 Lauder Minor P. ii. 91.
That we may ones inbrace the lycht of heauin
1581 Burne in Cath. Tr. 158/11.
Lyk as the Deuil, callit Lucifer, ane berar of licht, transfiguris him self in ane angel of licht

b. Daylight or the time of daylight, day-time. = Dayis licht n., Daylicht n. This licht = this world, this life.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1630.
[The bat] Quhilk lurkis still als lang as licht of day is
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 279.
Wele aucht thou be afiret of the licht
1535 Stewart 14366.
Fra morne airlie that tha mycht ken the lycht
Id. Bann. MS. 140 a/1.
Thow leis, loun, be this licht, Ȝone ar sowttaris be sicht
c1568 Lauder Minor P. iii. 90.
Rycht as the daye is tryit be the lycht
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 28.
Not only to forbeir the company of men bot alswa from luking on the oppin licht
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 263.
The lieutennentis … causit hang … twa of thair souldiouris vpoun ane trie … in sicht of thair aduersaris, in lycht
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxviii. 82.
Quhen day hes lost his licht
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. v. 26.
All day … I loth to sie the licht
1611 Crim. Trials III. 214.
It is cleir … that Reidhous wes vpone the ball-grene playing with him … the haill lycht and sa … could nocht be darnit of befoir in the leght
(2) 1554 Misc. Bann. C. III. 77.
Erile Mawnis, maist glorious martyre … the quhilk … passit fra this licht till euerlestand

3. Lighting, illumination, artificial light; also, the illuminants used to provide this, as lighted candles or lanterns, and attrib. with -silver.Also candill-licht, Candill n. 3.(a) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 477.
Spedfull War … That to Achilles grave go ȝhe And thar aforne to kendle gret lyght
c1475 Wall. ii. 281.
A burd … Wyth carpettis cled and honowryt with gret lycht
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 100.
To Sanct Stevinnis lycht, a demy
Ib. 102, etc. 1501 Acta Conc. III. 6.
Til pay til the … convent of Cowper of ane stane of walx til the lycht of the sammyn yeirly
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxii. 46.
Quhen licht wes owt and durris wes bard
a1540 Freiris Berw. 249.
Sche stertis vp and gettis licht in hy
1540 Elgin Rec. I. 52.
That Isbell Leslie ... sall pay 1 li. vax to Sanct Gellis lych
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4986.
Betuix thir bathis and this continuall licht
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I. 121.
That thay will appeir to have candlis and licht and swordis
1606 S. Leith Rec. 4.
Alexr Hendersone … cuming throche the kirke ȝairde … saw licht in the counselhouse; … the lichts cam in the cownsell house of the kirk
1619 Elgin Rec. II. 161.
Hers, candill, … fyve merkis, … to furneis licht to the mercheantis hers
attrib. 1503 Lanark B. Rec. 13.
For li[ch]t silver vj s. viij d.
(b) 1521 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. 355.
To pay sex s. viii d. to Sanct Eloy leicht
1594 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 3 b.
For the leycht xxx li.
1649 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII. 216.
That ilk taverner and inneis keiper put furth leight and lanternes befoir their doores

b. In Galloway: That part of candle which provides light, candle-wax or -tallow. 1600 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 385; 1613 Ib. II. 140, 1670 Ib. MS. 4 Oct., 1672 Ib. 9 Oct.
That the pund of candill be sauld for ane yeir for iij s. the pund tua pairt licht and the thrid pairt weik
1604 Inv. Kenmure in Reliq. Antiq. Sc. 5.
In the seruandis handis … sex stanis of candill and fyve stanis licht
1648 Galloway P. 29 Dec.
[To pay] £20 ȝeirlie for the said Croftmariot with ane stane of licht
1671 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 281.
[The yearly rent of 20 merks Scots with] thre qwartres of light [and] sixe powtriei fowles

4. A body which emits light, a luminary. a. A heavenly body, as sun, moon etc. c1400 Troy-bk. i. 484.
The mekle lychtys twa That God has in-to heuen done
1456 Hay II. 157/34.
In mannis hede thare is twa eyne that ar comperit to the twa lichtis that is in hevin, that is to say the sonne and the mone
a1568 Bannatyne Bann. MS. 230 b/3.
As Phebus bricht in speir merediane … Passis the licht that cleipit is Dyane
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. i. 40.
His tube once levelled at the sky Sindry, yet hid, lights doth espy

b. An ignited candle, lamp or the like. a1400 Leg. S. xvii. 162.
Thai that [tha] lichtis [sc. candles] suld kepe, For hewynes fele one a slepe
1471 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 53.
The prior … sal fynd tua lychtis at the dirige and at the mes
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1254.
With grete lightis on loft … Sexty torches ful bright
1503 Lanark B. Rec. 13.
Ane pund off wax to geiff Sanct Renyan lichtis, iiij d.
1533 Boece xv. xiv. 601 b.
In quhais honoure gret noumer of lichtis … the ilk day is ȝerlie brynt
1533 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 149.
All the takismen of the watteris … to pay … yeirlie … the lithis of wax to the honour of God [etc.] … that is to say, euery takisman of the raik … thre lithis; … euery takisman of the pot … ane licht, weyane ilk licht half ane lib. … to be gevin to the lichis of our altaris of [etc.]
1545 Stirling B. Rec. I. 41.
[The council] ordanes lychtis and bowettis to be set out … for geving of lycht to the pepil to se
1556–7 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 261.
That na … persone be fund on the hie gait … efter x houris … without ane lycht, viz. lantern, bowet [etc.]
c1590 Fowler I. 54/189.
Her eyes lyke hevinlie lamps and lighs that so inflams my hart
1591 Crim. Trials I. 246.
Johne Fyen blew vp the kirk durris and blew in the lychtis, quhilkis wer lyke mekill blak candillis
1619 Conv. Burghs III. 86.
The gift grantit … for setting vp of lichts vpone the Fairnie yland
1637 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 121.
At morning … prayeris, the said Thomas is injoyned to putt … lightis in … the … hearssis
1641–2 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 46.
For the lightes of Mey 8 li.

5. fig. a. Applied to persons and to God: A shining light or example; a person of supreme excellence or beauty, a paragon; a source of spiritual or intellectual illumination, a luminary.Also, the light of one's eyes, in whom one specially delights.(1) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 129.
God … Of this warld callit thame the lichte
a1450 Fifteen Ois 275.
O Jesu Christ … Of Thi Fader the schynand lycht
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 318/3.
As Dauid … first of that age a gret licht in erd
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 10.
Haill, silk to graipe, to sicht rycht lycht in dern
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 259.
Chaucer, … Was thou noucht of oure Inglisch all the lycht?
1513 Doug. xiii. vii. 44.
Enee … O schynand gloryus light to folkis of Troy
1562-3 Winȝet II. 11/15.
The lichtis and lampis of the Kirk of God, Athanasius, Gregore, [etc.]
1567 G. Ball. 45.
Call on the Lord, our gyde and lycht
Ib. 58.
Of hethin folk, blindit so soir, He is the verray lycht
1600-1610 Melvill 14.
Haiffing the happe of sic maisters as war the graittest lights of that age
1618 Trial Isobel Inch .
The devill … had maid hir associatis quho war the lichtes of the caus to be thair awin burrioes
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xlv. 125.
Cristyane, my dochtyre brycht, That of myne ene is souerane lycht

b. Of things which provide spiritual or intellectual illumination. 1562-3 Winȝet II. 7/2.
A tweche stane of the treuth, a cleir licht to schaw the way
1588 King Cat. 3.
This faithe is the lycht off the saull
1596 Dalr. I. 68/16.
The historie quha is … the lychte of the truthe

c. Spiritual or intellectual illumination, as a possession or condition of the mind, or as derived from some particular source. c1420 Wynt. v. 1407.
Quhen that the lycht Off oure redemptyowne schynyt brycht
Ib. iv. 1976 (W).
Fra thai be growin to welth and weill, … Till honour and excedand lycht
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 21.
Sa now all staitis of grace lakkis the licht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxiv. 45.
Sum spark of licht and spiritualitie Walkins my witt
1513 Doug. xii. xi. 121.
And hys rememberans The lycht of ressoun has recoverit agane
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5346.
Quhen pastouris … schew greit licht, The temporall stait wes rewlit richt
1533 Gau 4/14.
Thay quhilk befor ves blindit and ar nou illuminat be the licht of Godis vord
1580 Hay in Cath. Tr. 51/2.
That quha so ewer hes aines imbraced the lycht of your evangell can never perische
1567 G. Ball. 173.
Warkis, inuentit with the slycht Of Sathan, contrair to thy lycht
c1590 Fowler I. 193/10.
I mak thir verse but light and beames perqueire
1596 Dalr. I. 106/23.
Priestes quha may … feid thame [the laity] with the pure and sinceir lycht of the religione
a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 435.
Gif thair be a spunk of licht left in nature [etc.]
1610 Calderwood VII. 80.
Definitiouns … furnish als oft mater of contentioun as the light they promise
c1616 Hume Orthog. 2.
[His Majesty] quhom God hath indeued with light in a sorte supernatural

d. (To give or have) spiritual illumination, or elucidation or information.(1) 1456 Hay I 27/22.
Rycht sa ar the prelatis … likenyt to the sternis in the hevin of the faith to geve lycht to the small people
1609 Acts IV. 435/1.
That sic as ar … ignorant of the factis … be nocht … drawin frome thair awin … affaris for materis whereof they ar nocht hable to gif ony light
1619 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 171.
The Laird of Many can give yow some licht and informatioun in this erand
(2) 1600 Misc. Bann. C. I. 167.
I wald haue farder licht or I preichit it

e. The state of being exposed to view. To bring to the licht, to produce, bring forth. To come to the lycht, to appear openly. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 17/18.
This Rhea … brocht atanis to the licht twa twynnys
1568 Buch. Indict. 44.
Bot standing one na triflis sche come to the lycht schortlie and past to Setoun

f. The state of being known or published abroad, esp. to bring to licht to reveal, make known, publish, and to cum (also pas, ga) to (the) licht, to transpire, become known, be disclosed, be published abroad.(1) 1533 Gau 106/32.
Our saluiour Jesu quhilk … hes brocht liff and immortalite to licht throw the vangel
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 252.
Gif you do nocht your extreme devoir thairin to bring the samyn to lycht
1568 Charteris Lyndesay Pref. Adhort. 7.
In vulgar toung for to behald and heir Vertew and vyce disclosit and brocht to licht
1571 Sat. P. xxix. 42.
The grace of God his trumpry bringis to lychte
1611 Annandale Corr. 277.
Do ye what yee can to bryng thir things to leicht
1660 Cramond Kirk S. 3 June.
That God … had … unexpectedly broght a new presumption to light
(2) 1556 Lauder Off. Kings 208.
Sett ȝe nocht furth Godds wourd on hycht And mak it cum vnto the lycht
1567 G. Ball. 44.
For thairby it sall cum to lycht That ȝe ar my disciplis rycht
1583 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 505.
What clocked knaverie he convoyes, … It comes to licht now at the last
c1590 J. Stewart 54/42.
To lycht [or] vitnes neuir cam his ak
c1650 Spalding I. 258.
Howsone this peice cam to licht
1531 Bell. Boece Proh. (M) II. 406.
Pas now to lith [1821, licht] with all thi sentence hie
1568 Charteris Lyndesay Pref. Adhort. 82.
Lat Lyndesay now as he war ȝit on lyif, Pas furth to lycht with all his sentence hie
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 3.
Befoir quhome suld this mater ga to licht
(3) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlix. 27.
Thocht it fra licht Be smord with slicht God schawis the richt
c1590 Fowler II. 9/16.
Quhensoeuer … thay ar mindit to commit their laubours vnto licht, they do harbour them [etc.]

6. A window or opening in a wall to admit light; also spec., one of the openings or divisions between mullions of a window.Falland, lyand, standand licht etc., see the adjs.Also coll. plur., without inflection. 1387 Edinb. Chart. 35.
The ylk men sal mak in ylk chapel … a wyndow with thre lychtys in fourme masoune-lyke
1527 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 230.
All the durris and wyndois and uther lichtis maid of new be the said Thomas in his said land
1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 31.
For … thre uprychtis and ane thortour for the lycht of the trance
1532 Ib. 94; etc.
The south round lycht of myd chalmeris contenis of glas xxviii futis ½
1542 Soc. Ant. III. 162.
The said stepill … with lychtis at all partis for the sound of the bellis … to be persit
Four lycht to be biggit in the southsyd wall … squair lintalit
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 45.
The caus of the falling … wes … partlie be breiking of grit lichtis and eistmentis in it
1597 (1650) Dundee B. Laws 145. 1599 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 366. 1649 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 95.
To caus … strick out lightis and ane entrie
1682 Edinb. B. Rec. XI. 57.
To the prejudice of them and ther tenants ther sight and lights of ther houses

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"Licht n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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