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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Obit, Obeit, n. Also: obitt, -iit, -ite, -yt(e, obbit, -yt; abit; obeitt, -eyt, -iet. [ME. (c 1400) and e.m.E. obit, -yte, obbet, OF. obit (11th c.), L. obitus f. obīre to die.]

1. A person's death, chiefly or only as occurring on a particular date on the anniversary of which it is or may be commemorated annually by a religious service. a1400 Leg. S. xxxiv. 357.
& the obyt be-tyd of hyre The aucht day of Octobre
1444–5 Peebles B. Rec. I. ii.
And he sal wryte the day of the obyte in the mes buke of Sir Wilyham Adesoun, and the day of the obite of Sir Wilyham Medilmaste
1489 Grey Friars II. 128.
Every brother that is priest [shall sing] a privy mes … for the saul of Dame Marjory foresaid, the day of her obit
1540 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 671/1.
To feft ane solemne salmes and dirige yeirly the day of my obite
1554 Misc. Bann. C. III. 77.
Efter the obite of Erile Halcon succedit Erile Rolland

2. The anniversary of a person's death on which a memorial service for his and others' souls was performed annually. 1473 Lindores A. 167.
The chapellan on the eyn off his obit to say placebo and dirgy
1526 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. I. 155.
The hand bell of the said tovnn to pas ȝeirlie in the vigill of the said obit throu the tovnn

b. The memorial service itself. 1450 Peebles B. Rec. I. 14.
Ane obit of messis to be don … at Sant Michaellis altare, and our Lady altare euirmar
1455 Edinb. Chart. 79. 1466 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II. 330.
He doande yerely ane obbyt of Sir Johne of Kindelochis saule mes
1469 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 52. 1470 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 27 June.
For ane obyt to be done for the saule of the said John Patonsoun & of … his soun
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 90. 1489 Grey Friars II. 128. 1531 Prot. Bk. M. Fleming 17 b.
For ane obbit & derige to be don ȝeyrly … for Rob Walker
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. 180 b (22 May).
To caus solemplie … ane obeit to be done one Sonday efter the day of the saidis Thomas deceis
1562 Inverness Rec. I. 91.
1568 Ib. 162.
x s. anwell infeft … to the chaiplanis of Innernis … and that for ane obeit to be sungyn yeirle for the said William his fadyr and modyr
plur. 1494 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 55.
xx s. for Barbouris obeytis
1495 Reg. Episc. Brechin. II. 317.
Obbytis to be done ȝerly for the said George and hys wyf
1547 Lanark & R. 19 n.
To found tway obittis in the kirk of Hamiltone … for my fader and moderis saulis
a1568 Scott i. 91.
Thai tyrit God … With owklie abitis to augment thair rentalis

3. a. The payment for an annual memorial service as in prec. sense. 1500 Ayr Friars Pr. Chart. 67.
Alsua the foirsaid convent … sall yeirly haif to thair part of the said obeit of the malis [etc.] … of the said tenement … acht schillingis perpetually
1540 Linlithgow B. Ct. 20 Oct.
And dischargis the said Hendre Forrest of sex lib. quhilk his land lyis in wod of for Hendre Wernokkis obitt

b. After the Reformation: An endowment, or the revenue from it, originally intended for the provision of such a memorial service. 1566 Reg. Great S. 513/1.
Lie almos, dail-silver, obeittis et anniversariis
1567 Reg. Privy C. I. 497.
The annuellis of alteragis, chapellanereis and obittis … quhairevir the samyn sal happin to vaik
1587 Acts III. 500/1. 1596 Stirling Merch. Guild 8.
1612 Reg. Soltre 247.
1619 Stirling B. Rec. I. 152.
The obites and ground annuellis belangand of ald to the chaplenes of this burgh
1641 Peebles B. Rec. I. 103. 1649 Stirling B. Rec. I. 196.
A roll of the tounes obittis to be examinat, copiet and layit
1653 Ib. II. 318.

c. Obit silver, obeittis silver, = a and b above. d. Obite landis, lands which endowed memorial services of this sort.c. 1521 Stirling B. Rec. I. 12.
Na proces leid … sould hourt the saidis feft chaplanis of thar obit silver nor anualis
1567 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 241.
For the saidis maillis … obeit syluer and otheris dewiteis
1568 Liber Coll. Glasg. lxxxii.
All … almois siluer, dailsiluer, obeittis siluer and anniuersarijs quhatsumeuir
1573 Grey Friars II. 261. 1600 Ayr Chart. 132.
Obeit silver
1641 Acts V. 456/2.
Obiet silver
1648 Paisley B. Rec. 97.
Obitt silver
1657 Glasg. Univ. Mun. I. 336.
d. 1588 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 663.
Obite landis attaynted landis in the tyme of hir majesteis gowernment

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



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