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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Linth, Lynth, n. Also: -the, -tht (-cht), lienthe, lynt and lyngtht. [sc. var. of Lenth n.: cf. ME. (once) lingþ (14th c.).The localised quotations for this form in our collections indicate a wide geographical distribution north of the Forth (including Stirling and Fife) and in the area of the Clyde and in Ayrshire, but excluding a large part of southern Scotland: cf. Leinth n. which, though less commonly recorded, may have a similar distribution.]

Length, in various senses.

1. Length, longitudinal extent.(1) 14.. Acts I. 375/2.
For ilk inch of lynth of the wound xij penijs, for ilk inch of bred of the wound xij penijs
1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 396.
To sustene … the brig … in sik stait, stryntht and fasoun, lyntht and breid
1535–6 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 179.
For othir iiii jestis of the samyn lynth
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 1 b.
Ane figur of quhilk the lynth dois dubill the breid
(2) 14.. Acts I. 387/2.
The balk … sal be in lynth an elne and j quartar
(b) 1513 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 88.
[To] byg and upmak thar fossis … in xvj fute in lyngtht
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 705.
Ane heyt yrne … of lynth fyftene fut
Ib. xxxi. 459. c1420 Bute MS. 119.
The ynch salbe off lynth off thre ber cornis without the talis
1508 Reg. Cupar A. I. 274.
The said net salbe xxxiiij fawdome of lintht
1519 Stirling B. Rec. I. . 1549 Compl. 16/23.
Ane vord … ful of sillabis half ane myle of lyntht
Ib. 81/7, 96/25. 15.. Bk. Dean Lismore 183, 199.(b) 1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 50.
Of lynt and breid, it is thrie myllis of lynt and thrie myllis of breid
(4) 14.. Acts I. 387/2.
The tong [of a balance] salbe the lynth off a schaftmonthe and j ynche
1515 Glasg. Chart. II. 489.
To put up ane hewyn spowt of stayne in the est part of the said Mowngous bak wall the lyntht of the samyn
1525 Orkney & Sh. Rec. 248.
Ane pece of kletht of gold the lyntht of ane Flanderis ellin

b. Coupled with brede, espec. in the formula (land(s) ly(is) in lynth and brede. Also in, of lynth and brede, over the whole (of the person's body, thing, etc. in question).(1) 1434 Liber Coll. Glasg. 249.
Til haf gyffyn … ane akyr of land … lyand in lynth and brede on the north syde of … the Ratownrawe
1464 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 59.
That the said John … bruk … the south tenement vpthrou and donethrou in lynth and breid as it lyis
1478 Colquhoun Chart. II. 296.
Liand in lyntht and breid fra the crag downe of my awyn ȝard to the channale at the end of the said Schir Johnnis land
1483 Grant Chart. 35.
As thai ly in lyntht ande brede
1493 Liber Aberbr. 279.
As the muyr strykis in lynthe and bred to Auchynhaglys
1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 60.
[They] sall make thair … bastalye as it is fondit in breid and lintht
1516 Stirlings of Keir 309.
As the said landis lyis in lyncht and breid
1531 Prot. Bk. M. Fleming 17 b. 1532 Glasgow Prot. IV. 51.(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii. 156.
Thar-for in a frame stent hyme In lynth & brede, lith & lyme
a1497, 15.. Gray MS. v. 44.
[He] That lichtly may sone downe drif This wrechit warld of lynth & breid

2. Distance. fig. (Cf. Lenth n. 2 d). 1663 Aberd. Council Lett. IV. 243.
The actione persewed be the toune … is brought so fare ane lynthe as Pitfodelis is summonded the second tym
1675 Ib. V. 454.
I resolved to cause the money alreadie in hand goe as far ane lynth as it may

3. In the combinations but-, elne-, furschot-, sperlynth, q.v. under the first elements. 1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 178.
That nane of thaim cum neir the watter moutht on the south sid within a pair of but lynthis, nor on the north syd within twa pair of but lynchtis

4. A person's ‘length’. 1549 Compl. 42/22.
Quhilk generit sik mirknes & myst that i culd nocht see my lyntht about me

5. Length of time, long duration. a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 882.
God hym lent Lynt & space hyme to repent
Ib. xxix. 9.
Men cesis seldine for to syne … [and] pennance to begyne. Bot drawis it erare in to lynth
Ib. xxxvi. 88.
Considerand that he & his wyfe Barand ware bath fore lynth of lyfe

6. At lynth, at mare lynth: = Lenth n. 8 a.(1) 1477 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 200.
The quhilkis rollis … beand considerit … at lyntht
1488 Reg. Paisley 407.
Witnes … at lynth herde
15.. Crawford Mun. Invent. II. 55.
Therefter informe tham at lynthe
1533 Gau 8/18.
As … sanct Paul vritis at lintht in [etc.]
1534 Liber Coll. Glasg. 261. 1545 Douglas Corr. 160.
Quhar they wald common at lyncht with my lord in the saidis afferis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1878; 1558 Huntly in Corr. M. Lorraine 430; 1559 Arran in Cal. Sc. P. I. 251. 1661 Aberd. Council Lett. IV. 135.
As Thomas Merser will show you at lynth
(2) 1492 Highland P. II. 193.
Lik as at mar lynth is contenit in the endentit charteris
1509 Thanes of Cawdor 120.
At mayr lyntht
1513–4 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 13.
We haif schawin our mynd at mair linth to our forsaid thesaurer
1514 Red Bk. Grandtully I. 47; 1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 172; 1521 Boyd Fam. P. No. 3 (3 Nov.). 1529 Stirlings of Keir 331; 1537 Hunter Fam. P. (S.R.S.) 21; 1542 Fraser P. 181; 1557 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 302; 1569 St. A. Kirk S. 328. 1630 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 331.
As in the said testament at mair lynth is conteaned
(3) 1517 Douglas Corr. 318.
As more at lienthe your said writing purporteth

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"Linth n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Mar 2023 <>



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