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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.

Like, Lyk(e, Lik, v.1 Also: lick, lyck, lyik, liek, leyk. P.t. and p.p. likit, lykit, etc., lykkyt, lyckit, -ed, licked. P.t. also likt. P.p. also liken. [ME. like(n, lyke(n, (15th c.) lijk(e, early likie(n, lykye(n, (north.) leke (15th c.), e.m.E. like, lyke, leeke, OE. lícian (ON. líka).Appar. a type with shortened vowel, represented by the spellings lik, lick, existed in Sc. alongside the regular, form with the orig. long vowel, and is also found in some mod. dialects of Shetland.]Among the adverbs which might be used with this verb in its various senses, weill (well) had intensitive effect, ill reversed the sense of the verb, and how expected one or other of these or some other adverb of equivalent sense in reply.

1. intr. Const. to (unto) or till (a person etc.) or dative noun or pronoun: To please, content, or be agreeable (to one).The indirect object might be placed either before or after the verb.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 505.
For it likit till his will He gave his assent sone thartill
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 387.
Till all it likit that he sad
1558-66 Knox II. 428.
Thair ar three thingis … that nevir lykeit unto me, and the first is [etc.]
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 188.
The self ded sal mar lik me Than myn modir defamyt be
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9600.
Ȝour langage liks me weill
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 127.
For quhat-sa beste lykis hyme … Hyme thinkis beste quhat-sa it be
Ib. 533.
Al that in oure pressonnis ware, That lykit hyme, he tuk away
c1420 Ratis R. 1089.
My sone, do as I say, And it sal lyk thé
1513 Doug. i. v. 93.
This is determyt, this lykis the goddis
Ib. v. Prol. 18.
Twa appetitis oneth accordis with othir; This lykis thé, perchance, and not thi brothir
Ib. xii. ii. 60.
My messynger … rehersyng My wordis, quhilkis lykis hym na thyng
1590 Reg. Morton I. 170.
The turne … mon ather be dealt furth be sum vther men that can lyk ȝou beyth or ellis [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I. 143/10.
That thay sulde imbrace quhat religione lyket thame best frilie
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. vi. 31. 1612 Lett. Eccl. Affairs I. 297.
Ther is none that will better lyke your people
(3) 1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 44.
With swilk gudely haste as yhow likis
1439 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 190.
Wytht qwhat four of thir fornemmyt at hym likis
c1475 Wall. i. 308.
Our kyne ar slayne and that me likis ill
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 237.
I wald that … I wer in a beid broght with berne that me likit
(b) c1420 Wynt. iv. 441.
How evyre hyr lykyd this consale, Scho gert [etc.]
1513 Doug. iii. iv. 98.
No mair thame lykis assayng sik batell
Ib. iv. x. 3. Ib. ix. Prol. 47.
Weil hym lykis the goshalk glaid of plume

2. In quasi-impersonal or impersonal constructions. a. Likis me etc., me likis, and b. It likis me etc., it pleases or suits me, l am content (to do something, that something is or will be so, etc., or with ellipsis of the infin. or noun clause).Also absol.: it contents us, them, etc. (well or ill), we etc. are (well or ill) pleased. See also Likand a. 2.Also in the deferential courtesy phr. (gif it) likis (lyk) or likit ȝow, ȝour grace etc. (sc. to learn something, to attend to or hear one).a (1) ?1438 Alex. i. 2725.
Likit him than to leif the fecht … I trow he micht
1486 Mill Mediæv. Plays 133.
Of ony twa sufficient men quhilkis likis him erast to present to be resavit in the fraternite
a1500 Bk. Chess 2058.
He has the moving of a knycht … quhen lykis him to steire Befor the notar [etc.]
1513 Doug. vii. xii. 1 19.
Evir lykis thame to cach and dryve away The recent spreith
(2) 1375 Barb. xvii. 272.
Quhill thame likit thair to ly
1388 Douglas Chart. 33.
Als lang as hir likys thar to duel, scho sal be ondistrenyt throch ws
1406 Rep. Hist. MSS., Varr. Coll. V. 79.
Qware sa hir happins or likis to sujourne
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 173.
Yone lusty … says him likis … your langour to lis
Ib. 364.
Ws likis thi lair listin and leir
(b) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 666.
Quhat kind of tre Hym lykit one to hangit be
1390 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 19.
Gyf yhow lykes nocht to full his request
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 85.
Sene hym lykis erar to be Carlyche than curtase
?1438 Alex. ii. 9804.
Dame Fesonas … That me hes lykit to se sa weill
1456 Hay I. 180/22, 194/18. a1500 Rauf C. 613.
Bot he be lattin in beliue, him lykis not to leif
1513 Doug. ix. iii. 22.
Ful weill me lykyt thar to walk oft sys
(3) 1397 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 35.
At qwhilk of the thre places … hym likis that the day sal be haldin
1513 Doug. xi. iv. 68.
Weill lykyt me that he had endyt syne
(4) a1400 Leg. S. xliii. 557.
I may, Gif me lykis, now sla thé
1423 (1430) Reg. Great S. 31/1.
To fysche in al our lowis about Louchmabane als oft as hym lykis
1456 Hay I. 139/31.
The King of Fraunce mycht nocht have accione … to compell him to send him socours bot gif him lykit
Ib. 247/28.
Quha sa first gettis thaim [sc. seditious letters] may brek thaim or bring thaim to the justice, quhethir him lykis better
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 75.
That I micht cheis, and be chosin, and change quhen me lykit
1535 Stewart 3531.
The counsallouris … Till heid or hang as thame self lykit best
1584 Acts III. 360/1.
As gif he sould do quhat him lykit acknawlegeing na superiour
(5) c1450-2 Howlat 249.
Propone thin appele … as lykis thé best
1596 Dalr. I. 237/22.
He … thocht he mycht do quhat lyked him best
(6) 1400 Red Bk. Menteith I. 170.
Excellent … Prince, likis yhour realte to wit [etc.]
1401 Aberd. B. Rec. (S.H.S.) 210.
Reuerence and honour, likit yhu to wit that [etc.]
1405 Douglas Corr. 63.
He … prynce, likit to ȝour henes to wyte [etc.]
1424 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 14. 1587 Rait & Cameron King James' Secret 147.
We would, and lyk your Majestie, first know the cause [etc.]
(7) absol. ?1438 Alex. ii. Prol. 14.
For ane … That I haue luffit, all lyke hir nocht, Na neuer gat thing of my will
Ib. 9570.
Now mon thow thole, all lyke thé ill, That another by hir ly
c1450-2 Howlat 460.
Tham lykit full ill
1513 Doug. vi. vi. 32.
Weill lykis ws, it doith ws not offend, Thocht … ȝour … portar Ȝowland affray the ded gaistis
b (1) 1375 Barb. vi. 655.
‘It likis ȝou to say sua,’ said he
1479–80 Cart. St. Nich. Aberd. II. 335.
He sal … mak sic serwice in the kirk as he can … alslang as it likis the toune til hald him
1581 Prot. Bk. J. Robertsone MS. 10.
Gif it sall lik the said Barbara to marie
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 15 b.
It likis na noit to be maid imperfyt
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 429.
It lykis now ful wele to me To lef al wardly dignite
1398 Acts I. 210/2.
Gife it lykeis owre lorde the Kynge til excuse his defautes
1454 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I. 14.
Quhat tyme at it lykis hym or thaim vse and jois the profitis
1513 Acta Conc. MS. XXVI. 23.
That it lykit and plesit the said Kingis graice of France till [etc.]
(2) 1375 Barb. iii. 170.
It semys it likis thé … That he slayis ȝongat our mengȝe
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5200.
It sall lik til ws That ilk man ryn his falow till In kyrtill allane
?1438 Alex. ii. 3458.
Now lykis it God I am ȝour cheif
Ib. 4997. 1456 Hay I. 186/11.
Quharfore, schir, gif law will that I have passage, lykis it ȝow that I have it?
(3) 1375 Barb. iv. 389.
Oftsis, quhen it wald him lik [: Brathwik], He went to hunt
1398 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 38.
Gif it lik to bath the kyngis this ordinance sal be kepit
1443 Reg. Cambuskenneth 126.
As it sall like to the said venerabill fader
1475 Reg. Cupar A. I. 203.
Coniunctly and seueraly as it likys tham erast
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii. 52.
Ȝit men may speik as they haue feill, Quhidder it lykis thame euill or weill
1570 Leslie 62.
[To] pas as ambassadouris … for the Kingis mariage, quhair it sould best lyke the King
(4) 1400 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. No. 53.
I as ane of yhour poer kyn gif it likis yhow requeris yhow of help
1550–1 Corr. M. Lorraine 344.
Gife it lik your grace, … I harde ane sclanderus bruit

c. Also with ellipsis of the dative noun or pron.And quhy than may thai nocht alswele tak twa ane armes, or thre, or alsmony as lykis? Hay I. 277/33.

3. tr. To find it agreeable (to do something): to be pleased or willing; to choose; to enjoy or like. Also with ellipsis of the infin.(1) c1475 Wall. i. 164.
Thai tuk all at thair will, Nonnys, madyns, quham thai likit to spill
Ib. ii. 37.
He likyt weill at that mercat to be
Ib. iv. 67. a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 267.
Quha had bene thair and liken for to heir His facound toung
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 155.
Or how ȝe like lif to leid in to leill spousage
1516 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 50.
Geiff ony man liked to brow dowbill aill for xvi d.
1535 Stewart 45907.
Thair names now I like nocht to rehers
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 375.
Likit we to do to thé our det
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xiv. 30.
Sancte Lucas … mad a buke To thame that lykyt thare-in to luke
1397 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 166.
The Kyng sall resaiyve all resignasyounys at the sayd Dame Isabell lykys to malk
c1420 Wynt. viii. 397. ?1438 Alex. ii. 2103.
Gif ȝe … lykis to lufe … ȝe sall nocht faill
1456 Hay I. 287/15.
And he persevere in his outrageous langage and lykis nocht till amend
1513 Doug. v. vi. 13.
Syk as lykkyt swyftly on fute to ryn
1535 Stewart 30610.
Giff ony man lykis to do the best, With his nichtbour be ay at pece
1567 G. Ball. 175.
Quha lykis to speid thay may
1589 Prot. Bk. J. Borthuik MS. 56.
Katherene … to cheis quhilk of thame scho lykit best to marie
1611 Crim. Trials III. 153.
He remanit prissoner dyverse oulkis in the tolbuith … quhair ony man that lyket to haif accuset him mycht haif [done so]
16.. Hist. Kennedy 29.
And he byd be that deid, he suld repent the same, do for him quha lykitt
(2) 1456 Hay I. 157/9.
Quhasa war tane in sik weris, … [the captor] mycht sla him gif he lykit
a1500 Sir Eger 1808.
If he be at inn with thee And likes better than come to me
1513 Acta Conc. MS. XXVI. 12.
[To] bringthe said gudis … till all … merkatis quhar thai lyke best
a1578 Pitsc. I. 313/8.
The Earle of Angus and the rest of the Douglassis rullit all as they lykit
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxvii. 1.
Sen thocht is frie, think quhat thow lykis
1576 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 377.
If provision be not … made … , no man may brooke his wife, nor no wife her husband longer than they lyke
1596 Dalr. I. 152/11.
Euerie ane mycht marie how mony wyfes he lyket
1650 Stirling Ant. IV. 159.
The said Barbara … being interrogate if Geills Finnies tongue was faldit in her mouth when she wes dumb, answerit, ȝe may fald ȝour tongue if ȝelyk it

b. absol. To like wele (ill), to find (circumstances) (dis)agreeable, to be (dis)pleased or (dis)content. a1500 Rauf C. 38.
Be that it drew to the nicht, The King lykit ill
1490 Irland Mir. I. 99/33.
His gret chaumere of rest … quhare he likit best and was maist sacret, was this haly lady

4. tr. With noun or pronoun object: To find agreeable or congenial; to be pleased or content with, or suited by; to approve; to have a liking or preference for. b. Also with accus. and infin. construction as object.(a) c1475 Wall. x. 997.
The castellis off Scotland King Eduard … Deuidyt syn to men that he wald lik [: kynrik]
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1015.
Be that Schir Wawane the wy likit the wer
Ib. 1188.
We like yow ay as our lord to were and to weild
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 407.
For neuer I likit a leid that langit till his blude
1665 Lauder Jrnl. 102.
His wife … wandring from hir house to hir commorads, likt better their houses then hir oune
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 189.
If there were no law in the kingdom but clublaw (which the Gordons licked)
(b) 1535 Stewart 13910.
With tuo feiris quhome that he lykit best
c1563 Reg. Panmure I. xxxv.
The haukes cheiflie he lyked were gooshaukes
1567 G. Ball. 152.
Thay lykit not my leuing
a1568 Bann. MS. 233 b/27.
O schir, how lyk ȝe this solace? Content ȝe this?
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 79.
I lyke well the mannis policie
1587 Warrender P. II. 41.
Anna, if the king did lyk her, he suld haif her
c1590 J. Stewart 132/12.
The nobile nymphs lyks not thir vauering iaws
1606 Dunblane Test. III. 103 b.
In contentatioun of all thingis that scho micht lyk or craive be deceis of hir mother
(c) a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxi. 29.
Ȝit mair & mair I lyik thy lair
b. 1577 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 395.
He lykit weill Mr Andro Melvill … to be directit to the said counsell

c. In the passive: To be approved or favoured, to enjoy or find favour (with, of someone). 1560 Cal. Sc. P. I. 464.
Not being fully assured how it sall be lyked with you
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 387.
Mr James … preichit in the kirk … , whilk was lyked of all the auditour
1593 Bk. Univ. Kirk III. 807.
The brethren to be lykit of his Majestie to be placit … be the presbyterie quher his Grace salbe resident for the tyme
1599 Conv. Burghs II. 49.
Resting to ȝour ansuer quhat may be lieket thairanent
1660 Lauderdale P. I. 20.
He asked me how Middleton wes lyked

5. intr. To like of (something or someone), and in the passive. = prec. sense.Also to like the worse of (a person).(1) 1456 Hay I. 185/13.
The duke ansueris that of sik weris he has nocht ado, na of the pas settis he nocht, na lykis nocht
1570-3 Bann. Trans. 435.
It was said be thame of the castell, … that he of whome they suld lyk of to be the od personage was the King of France
1578 Moysie .
Quhilk [action] he doubtis not They lyk weill anuiche of
1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 149.
Leyk they not of thair sarvice, furnis them schipping and thay shall retourne home agene
1593–4 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 106.
The forme of prayer … thai liket weill thairof and approvet the sam
1600-1610 Melvill 64.
Uthers, altho' nocht of sa guid apeirance, he wald lyk of and be hamlie with
1608 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 152.
Ane father … quha lykes better of the blobering speches of his awine cheldrene … than [etc.]
1610 Edinb. Test. XLVI. 176.
Ane duill weid … of the best schairge of Florence, or uther best stuff thai lyke of
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. II. 42.
They sawe mor power putt into the bischopp's handes then they lycked weall of
(2) 1646 Earl of Loudoun Severall Speeches (Edinb., 1646) 28.
We hope your lordships will pardon us … and not like the worse of us
b. 1570 Leslie 208.
The Frenche King perchance wald not have weill lyked of to haif bestowed thair forces in that maner
c. passive. 1562-92 Wode's Psalter (Tenor) 137.
Maister Gudman … wes meruelly weill lykit of in this congregation
1574 Acts III. 88.
Gif ony beggaris barne … salbe lykit of be ony subiect of the realme
1629 Red Bk. Menteith II. 14.
To sound how his majesties decreete is lyked of

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