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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.

Lime, Lym(e, n. Also: lymb, limne, lymn, leim. [ME. lim(e, lym(e, OE., ON. lím.]For many additional examples of senses 1 and 2 see Chalder n., Dosoun n., Drake v., Draucht n., Harl v.2, Kill n.1 2, and Lade n.1

1. Mortar or cement used in building.Freq. coupled with stane (also stanys). — a1400 Leg. S. x. 150.
How men suld make a toure to wyn Hewyne … & nocht be warke of lyme & stane
Ib. xl. 260.
A kirk faire of stane & lyme
c1420 Wynt. v. 239, viii. 5616, etc. 1461 Liber Plusc. 384 (B).
Of lawest lyme of erd al maid are we
c1475 Wall. xi. 680. 1513 Doug. viii. i. 62.
Ascanyus sal do beld of lyme and stanys The cite hait fair Alba
1516 Treas. Acc. V. 93.
For beting of the ij kechynggis … with sclattis and lyme
a1538 Abell 20 a.
He left his stane house laid without lyme abowt 24 cubit on hecht
1565 Prot. Bk. J. Scott MS. 31.
Dauid Orme … kuist vpe agane the saidis staneis and lyme of the brokin wall
1611 Macgibbon & Ross V. 7.
And the said William sall caus his borrowmen mixe the lyme
1622 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 144.
To the Inglisman and his man that did dres lyme and hair
1643 Dumfries Treas. Acc. MS. 11.
1689 Cramond Kirk S. III. 26 Dec.
The foresaid workmen … pointeing with lymn the manse and office houses
1698 Acts X. 151/1.
That each puncheon load of lyme be refreshed at least with one or two loads of sea sand besides the old rubbish of lyme that may be made use of

2. Calcined lime, quick-lime; also the raw material of this, limestone, quarried lime.Chiefly made by calcination of limestone, also from sea-shells.Used as the chief constituent of mortar, by tanners for dehairing skins, as a bleach, and in agriculture.(1) 1400 Chart. (Reg. H.) Honess Doc. No. 1.
My landis … to be hade to the forsaid Alexander … with col and lyme, with smethiis [etc.]
1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 528.
For iij dosane of lyme and vj dosane of sand to poynt the palais
Ib. 529.
For a mannis wage, riddilland the lyme vj dais, iiij s.
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 278.
For twa dozone and twa laid Gilmertoun lyme
1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 133.
For biging of the fald for keping the lyme
1632 Reg. Great S. 663/2.
6 celdras 14 bol. lie keaine-lyme
1639 Black Bk. Taymouth 284.
To burn the chelis [= shells] in lyme
1654–6 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 602.
For washing with glewed shell lym som rowms in the humanist's mans
a1688 Wallace Orkn. (ed. 2) 46.
The whole country is serv'd no other way with lime but by those shells burn'd, which makes a very fair lime, and does very well in plaister, though I doubt whether it be so proper for building as stone lime is
(b) 1605 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 266.
That na schip … be sufferit to enter … with wairis … except coll and lymb
1612 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 101.
For bearing watter to slokin the tounis lymb
(c) 1683–90 Soc. Ant. LIV. 237.
For sand, labour, and water to this limne, at six shilling the boll
(d) 1702 Irvine Mun. II. 319.
For six bolls leim
(2) 1568 Inverness Rec. I. 168.
William Hay confessis half daker [of hides] in bark, thre in lyme, thre in the watter
(3) 1633 Acts V. 49/1.
That the bleatchers of lining cloath and vther cloath be inhibited from bleiching any cloath with lyme
1693 Ib. IX. 312/2.(4) c 1670 Haigs of Bemersyde 483.
Midein water clarified with unslacked lime, and mixted with about a tenth part of stronge waters

3. Short for Lime-pot(t n.2 1652 Edinb. Test. LXVI. 1.
Lying in the lyme potts 7 daiker … oxine hydes, … in the lymes handlinges and baits with ruch salt hydes lxvj daiker

4. = Bird-lime n. Only fig. or in fig. contexts.See also Limp v. and Lamp v.2 1535 Stewart 3102.
[He] mony lymmer lappit in the lyme And on ane gallous maid thame all to die
1573 Sat. P. xxxix. 203.
The suddartis luiffis wes sa ouirlaid with lyme, Sum gripit gold [etc.]
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxi. 34.
Fra hand I fand My fethers in the lyme

5. Attrib. and comb. (Chiefly in sense 2.)In lyme-beirar, -coals (for lime-burning), -dub (= Lime-holl, Lime-pot(t n.2), -fauld (in which to store lime), -hors, -hous (orig. for storage of lime), -leiding, -measur, -met, -riddill, -riddillingis, -trowcht, -tub, -yaird.Also Lime-burnar, -craig, -kill etc. 1629 M. Works Acc. MS. XXIV. 9.
Tuelf sand and lyme beiraris
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII. 134 b.
The lyme stone and lyme coals wpone the grund worth v lib.
1584 Ib. XIII. 323.
In his lyme dubbis thrie daker of hydis
1529 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 3.
To xii werkmen this olk with the masounis and in the lyme fald
1531–2 Ib. 71.
Sand for the poynting of the said plais and lyme tane furth of the lyme fauld
1535–6 Ib. 184.
For ane new lok to the lyme fald dure iii s.
1530 Ib. 36.
To the lyme hors of Coustoun and Gilmertoun for the inbringing of deid sand
1538–9 Ib. MS. VI. 28.
To vj werkmen berand the … aikin tymmer … to the lyme hous … quhare it wes howsit
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 278.
For mending of ane lok to the lyme hous dure [at a quarry], and nalis to the barrois
1612 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 100.
For bearing lymb & sand fra the lymbhous to the schooll
1648 Dunferm. Kirk S. 26.
Mariorie Hutton being delated for harlotrie … to be put in the lymehous to remain therin … 8 days
1650 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II. 209. 1563 Inchaffray Reg. 86.
Peitsleiding lxxx creilis, lymeleiding vj laidis
1614 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 362.
For a lyme measur xii s.
1595–6 Misc. Spald. C. V. 63
To Gilbert Blak, … couper, for ane coill, lyme, and salte mett
1529–30 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 5; etc.
For ane small lyme ryddill, x d.
1535–6 Ib. 153.
Puntionis, lyme ryddillis, bukattis [etc.] … to the furnesing of the masonis
1537–8 Ib. 207, etc. 1616 Ib. II. 4, etc.
Lime riddellis
1539–41 Ib. I. 270.
vi hors ledand lyme riddillingis and pulder fra the palice to the brewhous and caichpule
1692 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 3 Dec.
For 18 cairts drawghts of lime ridlings for mending the hors gate
1535 Prot. Bk. M. Fleming MS. 85 b.
Patryk Lyon balȝae … gaeff staeit & saesing … of ane lytill bakhowse & thre wder bakhowsis togydder with ane lyme trowcht
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 207.
For … barrellis for mortar tubbis, … for making of certane lyme tubbis, bukettis [etc.]
1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 176.
Ane skep, ane schod schuill with ane lym tub
1598–9 Ayr B. Acc. 198.
[A hogshead] to be lyme tubbis
1615 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 357.
For nyne girdis to the lyme tubbis
1591 Exch. R. XXII. 537.
Unacum … lie kilyaird, … et lie lymeyaird [pr. lyne-] olim occupata per Georgium Scott

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"Lime n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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