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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
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Male, Mail, n.1 Also: mal, mall(e; maile, maill(e, mayl, mayll(e, maell, mayall; mell(e; mele, meil(l; meal(e, meall. [North. ME. male (Cursor M.), midl. and south. mol, late ME. maile (1430–1), and thereafter appar. only Sc., early male accus. (Orm), late OE. mál pay, payment, terms, agreement, ON. mál neut., speech, agreement, etc., mále wk. masc., contract, terms, pay.]

1. Rent. sing. and plur.Chiefly as paid in money as opposed to kind: cf. Ferme n. 2, and penny-mail Penny n., silver-male Silver n. On the other hand, cf. quot. 1473, sing. (a) below, and victale male, quot. 1498, 2 b below. Also Male-fré a. Also as a valuation of land.For Kingis mayll, malis, = paid to the Crown, see King n. 4.sing. (a) 1389 Wemyss Chart. 24.
Gyfand … yhere be yhere … at Qwhyssonday and Martimes … aucht penys of syluer … into name of male
1405 Lennox Mun. 57. c1420 Wynt. ii. 367.
In husbandry for ferme, Ilke yhere at certane terme, He set thai landys and the male The fyft part off thare wynnyng hale
1423 Edinb. Chart. 55. 1460 Stewart Mem. 64. 1461 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 22.
Ony man … at withhaldis in his handis vnpait fra a terme til ane vthir his male or ony vthir siluer
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 182.
Tha payand ȝerly to ws for the male ix chalder of vitale
1474 Ib. 193, 1475 Ib. 203, etc. 1473 Acta Aud. 24/2, 1474 Ib. 35/2. 1479 Acta Conc. I. 44/2. 1483 Ib. II. cxxxiii.
To distrenȝe the said Johne … for the said fermes, male, cane and dewities
1484 Acta Aud. *146/1. 1485 Acta Conc. I. *100/1, *113/2. 1501 Acta Conc. III. 14.
In the takin of the sade terme male and mele of the sade Mertymes terme fra the sadis tennandis
1541–2 Treas. Acc. VIII. 59. 1551 Acts II. 491/2. a1568 Bann. MS. 266 b/32.
Quhen … every lord settis land but ferme or male
1565 Knox VI. 414.
[If] malinges should be raised from male to ferme, from one ferme to two, and so going upward
1594 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. (Reg. H.) 76 b.(b) 1402 Scone Indenture (Reg. H.).
The forsaide Katerine sal haf al the mal of the landis of the Cragtoun
14.. Acts I. 361/2.
Comone merchandis … aw custom and mall althoȝt thai haf the samyn fredom that has the barounis of barronyis
1475 Lennox Mun. 104.
1575–6 Lanark B. Rec. 71.
1622 Linlithgow B. Rec. 25 Oct.
Na flescheris to ber any mal of the standes
(c) 1456 Peebles B. Rec. I. 116.
Sir Jon Loch … planyheit … that he cwt noch get hys Martemes mayl of Sant Mechallis land
1460 Newburgh B. Ct. 2 b.
For the lordis mayll
1465 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. 49.
Payand … ane barele off butter [etc.] … batht for maill ande for tende
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2754 (Bass.). 1493 Maxwell Mem. I. 204.
For mail and gersowme, or for ferme
1498 Peebles B. Rec. I. 198. 1500 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 218. 1504 Perth Guildry 468 (29 May).
Fourtene scoir of merkis … of fre & cleir maill to be pait to thaim ȝerelie
1518 (1584) Perth Hammermen .
Quha that takis ane uther mans boith … or that hychtis him in till his maill
1532 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 77. 1535 Selkirk B. Ct. 194 b (13 June).
To pay … iii s. ii d. for ane mail of ane ȝaird
1536–7 Ayr B. Acc. 8. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 2569. 1551 Hamilton Cat. . 1567 Liber Calchou 531. 1576 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 7. c1575 Balfour Pract. 276.
That … na … portiouner within the maill of ten pundis of new extent … give ony suite … befoir the schiref
1579–80 St. A. Kirk S. 446.
Baith in the hows scho payis maill for, and in the said Jhonis awin hows
1581 Reg. Privy C. III. 417. 1609–10 Ayr B. Acc. 242.
The townis auld rentell of the maill of the woll trone, irn trone, firlottis [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset I.299/19, 20.
Gif thow sit attoure that charge [to quit], to pay dalie maill xx s. for the maill of the ground
1658 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 171. 1689 Haigs of Bemersyde 479.(d) c 1604 Urie Baron Ct. 178.
The Glithnothe peyes sax markes mell at tua termes, … , tua vaddiris [etc.]
(e) 1491 Acta Conc. I. 199/1.
Girse mele
1527 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 91.
Wilyem Bennat to pay Jenot Broun thankfully hir meill
1557 Reg. Dunferm. 400.
To pay … tua ȝeiris mele at the intre of ylk air
1585 Reg. Privy C. III. 751.
(f) 1598 Brechin Test. I. 174.
For the meall of his steidding xxxiij lib. vj s. viij d.
1607 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 36. 1651–2 Peebles B. Rec. II. 191. 1654 Elgin Rec. I. 296. 1666 Decis. Lords G. 132.
That tacks of wodset lands set after redemption for half meal or nearby should not be keept unless they were set for the very meal or worth of the lands
1672 Stirling B. Rec. II. 13.
With ane hous to dwellin or the meale of an hous
plur. (a) 1386 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 10.
Al the proffitis malis and rentis of the saide landis
1419 Wemyss Chart. 45.
That wrangwysly he had ressavyt the malys of the Wemys to the somme of a thusand markys
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5852. 1439 Sutherland & Cai. Rec. (Viking C.) 225.
That we sall gyf alsmekyll landys … with all profitis that sall extende till alsmekill malys yerly as all the landis of Dunbeth
1439 Edinb. Chart. 64. 1450 Peebles B. Rec. I. 16. 1456 Hay I. 123/24.
[The lord] suld … pay his wageouris with his malis and rentis
1482–3 Acta Conc. II. cxx.
That the malis and fermes of the said landis remane in the tennandis handis
1489 Wemyss Chart. 114. 1504 Treas. Acc. II. 280. 1513 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 27 a.
The haill malis for all the said termes in numerit … money to the said Allan payit
1531 Bell. Boece Proh. lx.
Thanis that is to say gadderaris of the kingis malis
1536 St. P. Henry VIII IV. iv. 667 in Robertson Concilia Sc. I. cxxxvii.
Payand … for his teyndis syklyk as he payes to his landis lord of his malys
1542 Boyd Fam. P. 30 June.
And the sadis lands ar vorth nov be ȝeir the fife malis & in tyme of peax the ald male
1549 Compl. 123/29. 1552 Treas. Acc. X. 89. 1562 Reg. Privy C. I. 199. 1599 Misc. Spald. C. II. 143.(b) 1456 Peebles B. Rec. I. 116.
(c) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xvii. 13.
In mailis and gersomes rasit ouir hie
1527–8 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 92.
c 1567 Liber Calchou 489.
The greit maillis of the said towne, … the small maillis of the cottaris therof
Ib. 528. 1570 Fam. Rose 255. 1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 270.
To pay their maisters maillis exhorbitant
1593 Grant Chart. 295.
1596 Dalr. II. 297/14. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 116. c1650 Spalding I. 184. 1699 Cramond Kirk S. IV. 13 Nov.
Not to suffer … any … to poynd … for the mailles of the poores dwelling houses
(d) 1516 Reg. Privy S. I. 424/2.
Payand … gressumis, rentellis, mellis and dewityes … as the Kingis rentell proportis
1568 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 84.
Fyve honder the markis quhilkis he resauit of the covmon melles
(e) a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI 224.

b. To or for male, = for (money-)rent or as a tenant. Esp. to set and to or for male lat: see Lat v.1 6 a (1) and Set v. 14.. Acts I. 33/2.
He … that servis in the Kyngis mylne or has it to male
1480 Acta Conc. I. 70/2.
Land … vnset for termes or for male and vnwedset
1530 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 146 a.
Ony landis or anvell or assedationes haldin for maill
1638 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 392.
That na burges … sett for maill dewtie or vtherwayes … any hous … wntill [etc.]

2. With qualifying words specifying a. the subject, and b. the nature, of the payment.a. Also burrow-, buth-, buttok-, chalmer-, crag-, few-, gate-, gers- (girs-, grass-), girnall-, hous-, kill-, land-, loch-, loft-, mill-, pew-, schore-, sellar-, stand-, toft-, watter-male, etc., see the various first elements. b. See also Blak-maill n. and, under the first elements, byrun (also byrunnyn), double, fore, kirk-, liferent-, and victale-male. 1498 Acta Conc. II. 239.
[He] denyit the taking … of the sadis fourti bollis of victale male mele of the fermes and deweteis
1541 Treas. Acc. VIII. 24.
For his hous mayall
1554 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII. 48.
Alsua chargit with … aker males, burro males and hauch males
1557–8 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 90.
The chop maill
1558 Inverness Rec. I. 26.
[Two] flescharis for xx s. of the rest of thair bucherre malis of the Mertimes terme
1583 St. A. Test. II. 15 b.
For the hows and barn maill xiij lib. vj s.
1608 Paterson Ayr & Wigton III. 185.
Thrie bow teynd meill of the said cropt and ȝeir
1618 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. iii.
For a yard maill in Leith for keiping the tymber
1644 Lochwinnoch Par. 175.
Of provendar maill, xxvj s. viij d.
1651–2 Peebles B. Rec. II. 191.
Sheip meallis in Kaidmure
1660 Edinb. B. Rec. IX. 224.
That the janitor keip a book for the chamber maills [of the college]
1666 Argyll Rentals II. 12 July.
[2 s.] as ground meall for each lasts salting
1687 Brechin Test. VII. 172 b.
For malt house meal

3. Attrib. and comb.a. Of land, buildings, etc.: Subject to rent, for which rent is paid. b. Applied to a person paying rent. Also Male-man n. c. Of stock or a commodity: Paid as rent, constituting rent.a. 1460 Newburgh B. Ct. 4 b.
His bern the qwylk was his maill hous
c 1626 Sel. Biog. I. 351.
At Pasche (1624) he warned me from the rest of my mail-rooms in Salt-coats and East Mains, having taken my farm-room from me of before
1522 Acta Conc. MS. XXXIII. 62 b.
The profitis that he mycht haue had of his said maile landis
c 1639 Sc. Lore I. 163.
The haill rent of the maill lands conforme to the subscryved rentall
1535–6 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 207 (29 Feb.).
Our voddis batht in common and in maill eird to be keipit
1550 Cupar B. Rec. 2 June.
In the ombesetting of the said Nicol … being at his awyn ȝett & wythin his mailerd
b. 1507 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 140.
An of hir houshold seruantis or mail tennentis
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v.
Firmarius, ane mail-payer, ane mailer or mail-man
c. 1440 Exch. R. V. 88.
Expense martarum, que dicuntur malemartis, de dictis insulis [sc. Bute and Arran]
1444 Ib. 164, 1445 Ib. 213.
1454 Ib. 666.
1592 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 39.
For owt putting of the best of thair merttis in defraude of the lairdis meill merttis
1531 Prot. Bk. J. Cristisone 19.
William Gordoun … to pay … forty brood sheep of two years old, commonly called mailscheip
1543 Reg. Cupar A. II. 24.
Payand ȝeirly … for the teind schewis … iij turs of teind fodder and ane maill turs
1548 Ib. 54.
The said Patrik … sall … pay ȝerelie to ws … iij male turssis of fodder, xlviij pultre, [etc.]
1595 Exch. R. XXIII. 440.
Unacum sexdecim lie maill foullis et tuelf dayis schering
1607 Reg. Great S. 665/1.
4 den. pro qualibet 24 lie maill-foullis, 40 sol. pro ceteris firmis
1644 Lochwinnoch Par. 162.
Mathew Flemyng, of maill cheis and wedder, iiijxx x li.

4. ? transf. Remuneration to persons for a service, wages, pay.Unless, conceivably, Male n.2 or n.4 is meant. 1562 Treas. Acc. XI. 198.
To the said capitane to five wache men remanand within the said castell of Dunbritane for thair wache male for the lammes terme last bipast

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"Male n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Mar 2023 <>



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