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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.

Lint, Lynt, n. Also: lintt, (lunt). [(1) Late ME. lynnet (c 1400), lynt (Prompt. Parv.), e.m.E. lint(e ravellings or scrapings of linen cloth used for dressing wounds, medicinal lint, (2) e.m.E. (? chiefly north.) lynt(e the flax-plant (Turner, 1548), and (3) the fibre of flax (north., 1562, and Harington, 1591); ultimately related to Line n.1Mod. south. Eng. dial. retains the disyllabic form lin(n)et, linnit in the senses ‘dressed flax’ and ‘shreds of linen’ (EDD.). ? Cf. (1) MF. linette (see Linget n.), which however occurs later than the Eng. and Sc. word and only in the sense ‘linseed’, (2) med.L. (Eng.) linta (1401, Du Cange), L. (and med.L.) linteum linen cloth, f. linteus adj. linen.In the mod. dial. the following uses are confined to Sc. and north. Irish, and north. Eng.]For further examples of sense 1 and (chiefly) sense 2, see Bound n.2, Bun n.4, Hemp n. 1 and 2, and Knok n.4

Flax. 1. The flax plant. a. The growing plant. b. The plant as just pulled or in the early stages of manufacture into yarn.a. 1458 Peebles B. Rec. I. 128.
Al the wast land that was lynt or corn sawin
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1785 (C).
Luke to the lint that growis on ȝone le
Id. (see Line n.1 1). 1527 Treas. Acc. V. 324.
Gevin … for lynt, cale and corne distroyit be his seruandis at the huntyng
1587 St. A. Test. II. 81.
Samekill lint plukkit and vnplukkit as will extend to twa dwsoun of lyning claith and twa dwsoun of twedling
1590 Crim. Trials I. ii. 207.
Haifing past to the feild to pluk lint
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 203.
At lazer as lint growis
1662 Stitchill Baron Ct. 24.
For keiping of swyne in corne and lint in summer
b. 1473 Prestwick B. Rec. 22.
Sayande hir barnis brocht ham lynt in gers of other personis
1502 Acta Conc. MS. XII. 84.
Foure thraiffis of lynt … the price of the thraif ij s.
1512 Prestwick B. Rec. 44.
Scho … haldys fra him a burdyn of lynt, the quhilk the burne tuik away
1531–2 Reg. Soltre 195.
The teind lynt and hemp set for xxiiij s.
1606 Acts IV. 287/2; 1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 438.
That na persone nor persones … lay in lochis and rynnand burnis ony grene lynt
1643 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 174.
Ane ȝoung quoyak calfe whilk did eat ane beat of lint unto ȝou
1657 Lanark B. Rec. 161.
That no persone … put up any lint within thair braices for drying in tyme comeing
1658 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 401.
Divers … persones … , wha hes ony lint growing, … steipes ther lint in the water holles ther
1666 Ellon Par. Rec. 127.
5 libs. 10 s. to John Auld in Ardlethen whose house is brunt by lint
1692 Misc. B. Rec. 129.
The teind fish and lint of the burgh
1698 Lanark B. Rec. 262.
Table of the customes, … sheiff lint, 4 d., heckled lint, 2 s. 8 d.

2. Flax fibre, in the course of preparation, or as prepared, for spinning; also rarely applied to spun flax, linen yarn. c1420 Wynt. i. 101.
Thai wroucht nothir lynt na wowlle Bot levys of the trecan powle
Ib. v. 1380.
He ordanyt als the corporalle Off clene lynt to be made hale, Fayre and quhyt, but ony lyt
1478 Acta. Aud. 67/1.
A stain of lint spunnyne in ȝarne
1511 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 135.
Anent the voydour callit cord and canves to be tayne be the petit custumeris … of pakkis of lint
a1568 Bell. Bann. MS. 7 b/273.
Sardanapall, the prince effeminat … Twynand the threidis of the purpour lynt
1541 Peebles B. Rec. I. 59.
Bying and selling of woll … irne, lint, ter … and vther stapill gudis
1546 Reg. Privy C. I. 36.
The hundreith wanescott, xx li.; … the scoir lynt, viij li.
1547 Reg. Great S. 20/1 n. 1564 Reg. Privy C. I. 281.
Becaus maist danger [of perishing] apperis to be amangis the lynt, that the samyn be loissit … in Sanct Colmis Inche, oppynnit [etc.]
1567 Edinb. Test. 89 b.
Foure pund of hekklit lint ix s.
1609 Dundonald Par. Rec. 185.
His vyf to … hekill lint on the Sabath
1617 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 169.
Of all hameit guids sic as … lynt, hemp
1629 Justiciary Cases I. 108.
It is offerit to be provin that the fyre fell out be the said Lilias Knowis awin negligence in handling of her lynt at the fyre
1667 Glasgow Merchants House 126.
Als mutch fyne Hollandes lint
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1751) 24.
He had … A top of lint for his panash
1682 Craven Ch. in Orkney 101.
That hemp or lint was not spun that would be a sackcloth to him
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 598.
William Grig, from Dantzick with lint and cnapold

3. Flax or flax waste, used as a combustible or for caulking.(1) 1375 Barb. xvii. 612 (E).
Pyk and ter als haiff thai tane And lynt and herdis and bryntstane
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 593.
Sone of … iniquitie And lynt to bet the fyr of hell
c1475 Wall. vii. 423.
With lynt and fyr that haistely kendill wald
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 535. 1513 Doug. viii. xii. 48.
The kyndillyt lynt and hardis byrnand schire
1535 Stewart 10482.
Sa mony bleises … Of pik and tar, of brintstone and of lynt
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 338.
Mr. James Balfour … put vnder the said vmquhile Kingis bed all the powder, and with his awne hands pat in the lint
c1590 Fowler I. 210 § lxxiv. 8.
Yea, never lunt more lint nor poulders yre Inkendled soner than ȝow me, my dame
1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 325.
The Councill … discharges the inhabitants to keep any powder lint … rosit or any other combustable matter in there housses
(2) 1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 490; Ib. 493, 495.
For xxiiij stane of lynt for calfetyne and gunnys and fyre speris, price of the stane v s. iiij d.

4. Attrib. a. In sense 1. Lint-boll, -bow, see Boll. n.2 2. Also Lintseid n.(1) 1456 Exch. R. VI. 211.
[Camerarius ultra Spey:] De iij s. iiij d. de firmis terrarum de Lynthalch
1552 Elgin Rec. I. 116.
The lynt haucht beyr
1552 Prot. Bk. A. Gaw (S.R.S.) 24.
The lynt land and hemp land
1668 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 227.
The halff of the sauch yeard and ridge of the lint yeard adjacent therto
(2) 1566 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun (S.R.S.) 151.
[To uptake] teynd lam, teynd woll, Pasche fines, lynt teynd [etc.]
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 633.
The yearly annual rents … loch mealls … Kings mealls and teindlint silver
(3) a1585 Polwart Flyt. 539 (H).
Athort his neatie nowe Ilk lous lyes lucked lyk a lardge lint bow
1640 Mouswald Kirk S. MS. 1 July.
Drying of lynt bollis [on the Sabbath]
a1689 Cleland Poems 95.
Flocks of crowes Devouring corn and their lint bowes
(4) 1680 Cramond Ch. Grange 36.
By haveing … danceing … in his house late upon Saturdayes night at lint beating

b. In sense 2. Lint-quheill, a spinning-wheel for flax (common in 17th c. only).(1) 1443 Ayr Chart. 28.
Clamand fredome … to tap bradeclaith ande narow, … ter and lynt claith and al uthir smal gudis
1620 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 243.
[For] torturing … in lint cordis David Beans his servitour
1646 Aberd. Council Lett. III. 40.
Fyve spynnells small lynt yairne
(2) 1611 Wedderburn Compt Bk. 103.
Thomas Thomsone … at his hame cuming out of Queinisbrig to gif my wyf a fyn lynt quheill worth 3 lib.
1617 Edinb. Test. L. 24 b.
Ane lint quheill price fourtie schillingis
1658 Boyd Fam. P. No. 236.
Ane meiklle spinning wheelle, three lintt queillis quherof ane doublle, tua brassin heckllis [etc.]
1715 Crail Squaremen 29.
[A wheel-wright permitted] to make lint whils, ul whils, chak riels and hemp whils
1628 Edinb. Test. LIV. 241 b (see fining quhele, Fining vbl. n. 2).1635 Ib. LVII. 220 b (see Chak Reill n.).1663 Ib. LXXI. 102 b (see Chak Reill n.). 1667 Ib. LXXIII. 107 (see Chak quheill n.).1675 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 129 (see fining quhele, Fining vbl. n. 2).  — 1642 Edinb. Test. LX. 144. 1643 Ib. 280.1645 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III. 44.1664 Edinb. Test. LXXI. 258. 1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII. 362. 1689 Haigs of Bemersyde 479.

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"Lint n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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