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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.

Live, Lyve, v. Also: liv, liwe, lywe. P.t. and p.p. livid, lyvit, lywyd etc.; p.p. also lyven. [ME. live(n, livien, lyve(n, -ie(n, lywe (15th c.), early ME. also lifen, OE. lifian (beside libban). Cf. Leve v.4 and Lif.In the 17th c. sometimes so written (after e.m.E. live), where the rhyme requires the pronunc. leve, leive.]Appar. the most common form in the Royal MS. of Wyntoun.See also Livand pres. p. and Living pres. p.

1. intr. To live, in various senses: = Lif v. 1–3, Lefe v.3 1–4, Leve v.4 1–4.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 19.
The dedys Of stalwart folk that lywyt ar
Ib. 295.
Nane that lyvys thaim can tell
c1420 Wynt. vii. 1823.
He wes, the tyme that he lywyd [v.rr. liffit] here, Off the kyrk a stark pillere
1521 Thanes of Cawdor 139.
Incontrary al mane that lywys or de may
1567 G. Ball. 31.
Quhill in this present lyfe he liue
1596 Dalr. I. 341/10.
That quhat he forspak the quickest ingine that lyuet culde neuer perceiue
(2) c1420 Wynt. i. 1388.
Thare nakyn best off wenym may Lywe or lest atoure a day
Ib. viii. 5367.
Bot he lywyd efftyr in gud hele
1588 King Cat. 72.
My saule is irked to liue
1615 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 168.
If William Bigland livid schoe wald die, And thairfoir God forbid he leive
(3) c1420 Wynt. vi. 434.
A mayden … But mete or drynk lyvyd yheris thre
1456 Hay I. 121/14.
That als lang as he lyvit the were suld never end
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 4/31.
To lyve to thin eild
1596 Dalr. II. 391/16.
He suld be named King of Scotis, how lang the Quene lyuet
(4) c1420 Wynt. ix. 2094.
He … lyvis in joy perpetualy
c1520-c1535 Nisbet II. 292 marg.
That thai conuert and lywe
(5) a1605 Montg. Ch. & Sl. 393 (Wr.).
Quhat can thou losse quhen honour lyuis?
1609 Garden Garden 34.
Thy name, thy fame, into this land shall live [: priue = prove]
(6) c1420 Wynt. ii. 740.
To leve it fayntly And lyve as lowndreris cayttevely
Ib. iv. 1927.
Bewyt off lordys thow suld lywe [: gywe]
1456 Hay I. 16/26.
[They] lyvis in dispaire
1549 Compl. 6/20.
Men of veyr ande vthirs that lyuit vitht out lau
a1578 Pitsc. I. 3/16.
Ane … livis in vo and pinschis at his tabill
1596 Dalr. I. 63/11.
Mair bountiful and large thay lyue than evin thair
1603 Elgin Rec. II. 109.
Gif he live nocht honestlie
(7) c1420 Wynt. v. 3432.
Crystyne men That wndyr hys powste lywyd then
(8) c1420 Wynt. v. 3351.
A foule herytyk he wes And lywyt [v.rr. liffit] all in to that fay That Arryus held
—(See, for further examples, Lay n.1 b, Law n.1 8 b.)(9) 1456 Hay II. 117/3.
Sayand that he ete in entent to lyve lang, and lyvit nocht in entent till ete
1644 D. Buchanan in Knox II. 467.
To shew … how little he did live to himselfe, he brought out of the intrals of actions many choise … secrets
(10) a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 24.
Sic as thai, quhen tha thare lifis [H]as lyvit lang, callit wis wifis
(11) 1375 Barb. v. 508 (E).
The maist dowtit man That in Carrik lywyt [C. liffit] than
c1420 Wynt. i. 720.
Wytht-in Ynde … Thare lywys a folk wytht-owtyn hede
1615 Highland P. III. 225.
Better be fre nor liwe thair with sik crosis as I knaw men uill haue in thatt place
1640 Lithgow Poet. Rem. 202.
She springs through briers and 'mongst sharpe thorns doth live [: relieve] Like to the rose
(b) 1596 Dalr. II. 267/24.
The Erle of Bothuell … quhen lang he lyuen had in Vinice to Scotland he maid returne
(12) c1500-c1512 Dunb. vii. 30 (Ch. & M.).
Welcum, … Withe us to liue and to maik recidence
1588 King Cat. 33.
The quhilk sancts … to quhome is gewine … to liwe maist familiar withe Christ

2. To feed on; to subsist of or upon. = Lif v. 4 a, b, Lefe v.3 5, Leve v.4 5.(1) a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 884.
I cannot liv on the air, I am no salmond
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1790.
Ye live on love as lavroks dois on leiks
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 3139.
Thai … thocht tyll lywe [v.rr. lif] off thare tresore
1456 Hay I. 159/20.
That thai have sum thing to lyve on
1558-66 Knox II. 298.
For unto that tyme the most parte of the ministeris had lyved upoun the benevolence of men

b. To get or enjoy a living. 1456 Hay I. 243/10.
For in tyme of pes thai [plunderers] can nocht lyve
1620 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 367.
[To] sie that in sum mesure he may liwe as vther scholaris in vther professionis

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



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