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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.

Met, n. Also: mett, mit; and Mete. [ME. (Orm) and e.m.E. met, mett(e, OE. ᵹemet.]

1. Measure; measurement; a standard, system or unit of measurement. = Mesur(e n. 1 and 2.Only applied to measurements of quantity and, rarely, of dimension, as distinguished from weights: cf. Mesur(e n. 2.Also jug-met, Jug n. 1 b.(1) 1457 Acts II. 50/1.
We sulde haif bot a met and mesure generale to serue all the realme
1503 Blackfriars Perth 32.
Ane chalder of bere of the great met that now is
1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. 18.
To keip the vs of the heidbrowch bath of met & mesour of breid & aill
1549 Banff Ann. I. 25. 1546–7 Perth Guildry 247 (18 Feb.).
That all wechtis mettis mesouris and elwandis … be of just wecht mett and mesour
1551 Hamilton Cat. 105.
Ane mesour pressit doune, quhilk is largear met than the first, quhilk was ane lauchful met
1563 Reg. Cupar A. II. 276.
The comptar dischargis him self … for the deference of the met ij pcs of ilk boll [sc. barley]
1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 293.
That thai and the saidis salteris sall sell salt … of sufficient mett and stuff, according to the mett of Culros
1576 Orkney Oppress. 23. 1579 Reg. Privy C. III. 151.
To ressave thair fermes with the mett of the commoun firlot of Sanctandrois
1587 Acts III. 521/1. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Particata.
Sex elnes lang makis ane fall, quhilk is the common lineall measure and mette
1624 Huntar Weights & Measures Title.
Treatise of Weights, Mets and Measvres of Scotland
(2) 1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 172.
Tha payand ȝerly to ws sex chalder of bere of the Kyngis met
1503 Blackfriars Perth 32.
Half ane chalder of bere, met gude of King Williams met
(3) 1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 491.
Resavit of birsket … estimet be mett of barrell to vm birskett
1549 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 264.
Beir … to sell be mett in tymes cumyng bot with ane straik mesour and the byaris to haue thair mesour strakit allanerlie samekill as tha by
1554 Old Dundee II. 34.
The aits … conteinit be mett twenty-one bolls and ane half
1564 Riddell Tracts 101.
That all medois and mosses … be dewydat be mett and messoure
1722 Glasgow B. Rec. IV. 142.
Fresh herrings shall be sold by mett and not by tale
(4) 1575 Rec. Earld. Orkney 137.
The talis, yairdis and fredomes pertening … be equall met of lyne
1559–60 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 323.
The sowthe syd of the tolbuith, quhilk contenis be just met v rudis thre elnis
(5) 1673 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 55.
Everie burges to have alyke of both in mett and measure, quantitie and qualitie
(6) 1566 Reg. Privy S. V. ii. 132/1.
Twelff bollis of beir, full met
(7) 1572 Sat. P. xxxiii. 343.
fig. Thir vyces Quhilkis for to out with dowbill met and mesure

b. The act of measurement. — (See Mesur(e n. 1 b).

c. Attrib. or comb.: = For measuring.Also Metlume and Met-wand n. 1471 Peebles B. Rec. I. 166.
And that na furlottis na other met wechel gang quhill the samyn hour
1565 Reg. Great S. 384/1.
10 lie met crelis petarum ad dictum locum
1604 Ib. 556/2.
80 lie met-creillis petarum
1571–2 Canongate Ct. Bk. 355.
Ane womill ane mitflacoun

2. A standard instrument for measuring. = Mesur(e n. 3. Also attrib.Chiefly or only, a vessel for measuring quantities of solid or liquid commodities. 1491 Acts II. 226/2.
The statutis … maid baith to burgh and to land alswele of mettis and mesuris [etc.]
?c1500 Rathen Manual 27/2.
All thai that vilfullye haldis vrangvis veichttis mettis or mesouris
1503–4 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 98.
[The] maker of the mettis
1507 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 437. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiv. 50.
Ȝett, quod the deuill, thou [the wine-seller] sellis our deir: With thy fals mett cum unto me
1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 40.
The myllar mythis the multyr with a met skant
1525–6 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 79. 1529 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 13.
All parsonis that vsis mettis, pek, forlot that thai bring thar mettis to the tolbutht
1549 Elgin Rec. I. 96.
For … the wrangus calling of the mettis of the burgh tubbis in the commond markatt
1563 Acts II. 541/1. 1570 Dundee B. Laws iii. 1574 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 20.
Euerie schip and boit of salt passing fourtie bollis to haff a small mett for the dewetie thairof
1576 Dundee B. Laws 119. 1585 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 397.
The said dene of gild … to owersie and reforme the mets and mesouris … with the elvand [etc.]
1587 Acts III. 438/1. Ib. 522/1.
That thair be double standertis of all … wechtis, mettis and measouris maid of brais
1590 Conv. Burghs I. 314.
The mettis of coalis, lyme and salt
1593 Ib. 414. 1597 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 202. 1601–2 Montrose Treas. Acc. 3.
At the braking of the mett at the bailyeis command spendit xiij s.
1605 Glasgow Chart. I. i. dcx. 1611 Conv. Burghs II. 327.
Ane sufficient number of mets all maid be ane patrone, quhilk patrone sall be and conteine according to the number of tua hunder gryne hering
1612 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1898) Oct.
[They made] mettis, measouris and firlottis of thair awne
1613 Inverness Rec. II. 106. 1625 Justiciary Cases I. 29. 1630 Linlithgow B. Rec. 4 June.
The … wrang done be Thomas Johnstone … in wseing of wrong measuris, be reselling and bying of malt with ane heapit peck quhilk sould bein sauld be straik and mett
1637 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 385.
Any missour, met or say
1656 Stirling B. Rec. I. 226. 1659 Old Ross-shire II. 45.
To rectifie the mettis of the said milne
1663 Banff Ann. I. 148.attrib. 1457 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 16.
Parue custume de Leyth de pok pak barell … cum lie met syluer

3. a. In senses 1 and 2, with defining terms, as commoun (= public, general, Commoun a. 1 b) met, dry and liquid met, cole-met (see also Cole n. 4), halfboll-met, etc.Also cuntre-met, mercat-met, girnell-met, hepe-, hepit, prik-, rinnand-, strake-, strakit-met, jug-met, land- and watter-met, for which see the defining words.(1) 1493 Lindores A. 178.
Paying of thare feu-ferm … with the comon mett
1507 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. lxiii. 1551 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 156.
And thairfore hes chosin the persouns … to be mettares … and ordanis all the commoun mettis to be delyuerit to Frances Tennend
1577 Crail B. Ct. MS. 26 May.
[To deliver 4 bolls of beir] within the burgh off Craill with the commone mett and stand thairoff
1594 Liber Dryburgh 321. 1598–9 Exch. R. XXIII. 255.
For the inlaik of the mesour of Dunbar, wanting 2 peckis of the mesour of every boll of the commoun met
1613 Inverness Rec. II. 119.(2) 1624 Huntar Weights & Measures 1.
Liquid metts, as the choppin, the pinte, quart and gallon … drie metts, as the peck, the firlet and the bow, for metting of al cornes
(3) 1526 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 115.
Tua sed mettis
1595–6 Misc. Spald. C. V. 63.
To Gilbert Blak … couper, for ane coill, lyme and salte mett
1601–2 Montrose Treas. Acc. 8 b.
For mending of the burne koll met
For ane barrell to be ane smyddie koll met, x s.
1674 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 190.
For the dewty of the fruitt metts
(4) 1616 M. Works Acc. MS. XV. 6.
For ane halff boll mett
1685 Paterson Sc. Arithm. 8.
The half boll mett of the water measure of Leith containeth 9 pecks

b. Chiefly in sense 1, qualified with the name of a country or locality in which the measure is used or where it originated. = Mesur(e n. 2 (2). 1476 Acta Aud. 48/2.
Sex chaider of mele of the merket met of Montros
1478 Acta Conc. I. 7/2.
Of Annanderdale met
1488 Ib. 117/1.
Fifty quarteris of berlik malt of Inglis met
1497 Treas. Acc. I. 314.
For … xviij bollis of atis of Galloway met
1498–9 Acta Conc. II. 316.1538 Treas. Acc. VII. 3 (see Leonis). 1563 Reg. Cupar A. II. 276.
vbs thrid pairt boll beir … deliuerit with the met of Cupar
1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 454.
The dewtie of the messours and mets of Leith
1565 Edinb. B. Deeds 197 b.
Sax chalderis beir … to be deliuerit vpoun the schoir of Leith with the brint met and mesour of Leith
1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 293 (see sense 1 (1)). 1579 Ib. III. 151 (see sense 1 (1)). 1586 Montrose Baillie Ct. MS. 10 b.
Ane creill of salt of Prestoun met
1596 Conv. Burghs I. 477. 1612 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1905) 56.
Mett and measour of Lawdirdaill
1627 Rep. Parishes 16. 1647 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. i. 1649 Sc. Ch. Hist. Soc. Rec. V. 130.
6 chalder of victuall of Lothiane mett, or four of Tiviotdale mett
1656 Elgin Rec. I. 299.
The just measure of Lithgow mett
1659-60 A. Hay Diary 159.
From John White in Skirling 6 bolls of oats at 5 lib. boll and peck Skirling met
1663 Brown Suppl. Dict. Decis. II. 316.
Four chalders … of … bear of the old met and meesure of Duns
1684 Cramond Fordoun Ann. 54.
To pay 18 bolls meal and 6 bolls bear with the mett and measure of Glenfarquhar or Montross
1684 Symson Descr. Galloway (1823) 98.
The measure by which they sell their beir, malt and oates is their halfe peck … This measure should be … seal'd by the magistrats of Wigton and is call'd … met and measure of Wigton

4. A specific quantity (of a commodity, viz. malt, salt, coal). = Mesur(e n. 4.Also as plur. without inflexion. 1465–6 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 391.
Payand ȝhereli … ane barale off butter and foure met of malt
1501 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 70 (see b below). 15.. Aberd. B. Rec. MS. (Jam.).
Tuelf mettis of salt
1605–6 Montrose Treas. Acc. 3.
Giffin for ane mett of collis
1645 Army of the Covenant I. 274. 1678–9 Arbroath Old Doc. 13/1.
For ane mett of coalls to the toune's fyre

b. Sanct Nicholas met, a petty custom levied on salt brought into Aberdeen, to be applied to the upkeep of St. Nicholas' Church. 1501 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 70.]
[That ale nichtbouris, induellaris of this burghe … that bringis in any gret salt … sale deliuer to Sanct Nicholes work ane smale mett of ilkan hundretht
1529 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 361.
The … counsaill findis that Sanct Nicholas mett has bene in vse of paying … baith of merchandis fremen and strangearis and at it ought to be obeit siclik in tymis cuming
1556 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 299.
The yeiris of his assedetioune off Sanct Nicholace mett
1586 Conv. Burghs I. 212.
As concerning St. Nicolas mett and the assise boll, ordanis the commissioner of Abirdene to produce … quhat rycht or tittill they have to tak vp the samyn

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"Met n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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