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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mal(e)-, Mail(l)-fre, a. Also: maile-, meal- and -free. -frie. [Male n.1] Rent-free.Also hous mail(l) frie.(1) 1471 Acta Aud. 10/2.
[To] joyse the tak … male fre for the formale pait be him
1495 Acta Conc. I. 401/1. 1535 Selkirk B. Ct. 201 b. (3 Dec.).
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII. 344.
The hous quhilk he presentlie duellis in male frie
(b) 1498–9 Acta Conc. II. 308.
Mailefrie for al the dayis of his lyfe
1502 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 126. 1531 Bell. Boece II. 170/15. 1582 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. 177. 1585 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 408. 1612 Conv. Burghs II. 364. 1626 Edinb. B. Rec.VII.5. 1633 Banff Ann. II. 169.
1638 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 551.
For we have sitten long mail free
1698 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 322.
They therfore allow the petitioners the use of the forsaid correction house … maill free
(c) 1655 S. Leith Rec. 100.
To dwell into … meal free
(2) 1589 Conv. Burghs I. 301.
[That] all … liegis bringing wictuall [to Pittenweem] … be seruitt hous maill frie thairof
1629 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 230.
They shall keep him hous mail frie

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"Mail-fre adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 May 2024 <>



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