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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.

Plate, Plait, Plet(t, n.1 Also: plat, plait(t)e, playt, playit, plaith, plete, pleit, pleit(t)e, pleat(t. [ME. (c 1250) and e.m.E. plate, ME. plat (14th c.), late north. ME. playthe (15th c.), north. e.m.E. plait (1517), OF. plate, f. fem. of plat, plate a. (see Plat a.), med. L. (Brit.) plata: cf. Plat n.2]See also Wall-plate n.

1. A relatively flat, smooth piece (of metal); a (metal) sheet, plate or slab.Both generally and as made to a specific size for a particular purpose.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxviii. 552.
Thane wes of irne mony plat Layd til hyr sydis, brynnand hat
Ib. xxxi. 458. Ib. xxxvii. 288.
& yrne platis brynnand hat Wes laid on hyme to mak hym mat
1456 Hay I. 37/28.
All the wallis all our [were] fensit with platis of metall
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 290.
To cary the pailȝoun treis … to the Castel to put on the bandis and platis on thaim
Ib. 293.
For ij dowbil platis of quhit irne to be gun chargeouris
1506 Ib. III. 354.
For v dosan quhit platis to be lanternis and bowatis, ilk pece vj d.
1513 Doug. x. viii. 148.
Quhilk historeis Eurition … Had carvyt … In weghty platis of the gold massy
1530 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 37. 1537–8 Ib. 218.
For twa pair gret round portell bandis with twa irne slottis rynnand upone platis
1538 Treas. Acc. VII. 210.
To be schone and platis and uthir irne werk to the gun quhelis and stokkis
1571 Misc. Spald. C. II. 79.
jc pare of irne bandis, snekkis and platis for durris and windois
1683–90 Soc. Ant. LIV. 244.
Two quarts of aile [payed to them] at the laying of every plate in the above mentioned works inde the number of plats being five the money extends to [£2]
(b) 1504 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 99.
To gett plaittis for the channell and lowsing thairof [sc. the haven of Leith]
1513 Doug. vii. xii. 97.
Bukclaris thai bair with boys or plait of steill
1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 496.
For ij stane of leid made in a plait of a faldome lang for hir [sc. a ship's] syd
1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 59.
Ane greit bund plait and boist to ane of the forsaid lychtis contenand in wecht xxxiii stanis ix lib.
1537 Treas. Acc. VI. 356.
Alevyn pair of plaittis to the sadillis price of the pair iiij s.
15.. Sym & Bruder 113.
He gatt twa plaitis of ane awld pan, Ane breistplait maid him boun
1566 Treas. Acc. XII. 405.
For xvij plaittis of quhit yron quhairof was maid fyve flambeantis
1576 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 50 a.
iij irne flouris with iij irne plaitis to set candellis vpon the heidis of the saitis in the kirk
1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 296.
Copper in plaitts vnwrocht, round or squair
1614 Stirling B. Rec. I. 136. 1645 Edinb. Test. LXI. 118.
Certane double and single plaits for horneing of poynts
1663–6 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp 26.
For a new lap to the clokbag and some iron plaittis therto
1666 Edinb. Test. LXXII. 194.
Tuo braid plaitts of iron four newked quhairupon the kitching fyre stood
1682 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II. 191.
Ane indented silver standart plaite of sterling fynnes
1692 Foulis Acc. Bk. 147.
For 2 transum plaits, 1 swibar plait, a perch plait, a mainshekell, a houkit clout to the poull end

b. A (brass) plate to bear an engraving. 1569-70 Soc. Ant. VI. 53 (see Plat n.2 1).
1622 Sc. N. & Q. I. 103.
The compt off the pleitt off bress bocht and transportit be Johne Liddell from Antverp … for the buriall place of his brother
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 34.
To caus put on a fair plait of brase vpon the said stane
1645 Ib. 54, 56.

c. In certain other specialised applications.(1) 1508 Treas. Acc. IV. 122.
For vernesing of ane lang culveryn … and the twich plaith half fut lang
1534 Bamff Chart. 65.
[On a marchstone] ane picture of ane scheir with the manner of ane ball within the plaits and schering of the sheiris
1585 Elphinstone Mun. 193/1.
Ane gros culwering of found with hir stok furnetour of irne plaittis and bullattis
(2) 1590 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 402.
For mending the stok lock … & for making ane … baksprent & plait thairto
1654 Peebles B. Rec. I. 423.
For the making up tua new lockis that was brokin … sprentis and plaitis brised and brokin

2. Metal in sheet form.See also Quhite a. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 6984.
And all within with plate of gold ourepast
a1500 Sir Eger 2704.
The earle was served in his state With cup and piece of golden plate
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1482.
Bot all the bordour [sc. of a mirror], circulair euerie deill, Was plait of gold, cais, stok and vtter hem
1506 Edinb. Hammermen 55 b.
For ane cap of quhit plait to put out the candillis with
1513 Doug. iii. v. 6.
A bowand scheild of plait
Ib. vii. x. 75. 1515 Treas. Acc. V. 13.
[61] stane fourtene pundis leid of plait … for reparing of the palice
1548 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 136.
Ilk pund wecht of tin of the best chargeour seruice plaite

b. Attrib. and comb.: (Metal) in sheet form. 1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 144.
iij wolbis of plet leid for the bakkis of the ij windois, weyand xxj stane
1593 Edinb. Test. XXV. 239 b.
Of plait tyn vnmaid viij stane price of the pund v s.
1613 Soc. Ant. X. 222.
For plait led to naill on the schip
1628 Edinb. Test. LIV. 223 b.
Fyne plait peuder pryce of the pund wecht x s.
1644 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII. 54.
For covering with plaitt copper the churche at the Trone
1652 Edinb. Test. LXVI. 84 b.
Ane stand ane half of plaitt tine

c. Plait (gold, silver), very thin pieces (of leaf) overlaid on base metal. Silver plait, perh. id., but cf. b prec. 1628–9 Mill Mediæv. Plays 209.
Siluer and gold bookis, and plait gold bookis
1667 Edinb. Test. LXXIII. 8.
Tuentie four plait silver buttones
1647 Old Ross-shire i. 143.
4 dusane of silver plett buttons to them

3. One of the pieces of sheet metal composing plate-armour.Also Brest-plait and harnes plate, Harnes n. 4. 1367 Rot. Sc. 916/2.
Unum par de platis [1368, 917/1, plates]
?1438 Alex. ii. 9787.
Mony ane plate and mony ane sheild
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5258.
The Talbot on had platis twyne And throw thame bath his spere he bare
1456 Hay I. 141/19. Ib. 142/28 (see Mail(l n.1 (2)).
And his haubergeoun, his platis and his actoun
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 965.
Mony mailye and plait war marrit on the mold
Ib. 708. c1475 Wall. viii. 266.
Erll Patrik … On the the-pes a felloun strak him gaiff Kerwit the plait with his scharp groundyn glaiff
1507 Treas. Acc. III. 394.
For ane plait to the kingis chamferon
Ib. IV. 73.
For ane plait of legharnes to the king
1508 Ib. 137. 1513 Doug. x. viii. 109. 1535 Stewart 7554.
1538 Treas. Acc. VII. 95.
For making of platis of steill to the justing sadillis
a1568 Bann. MS. 37 b/26.
This … king Quhois bricht plaitis attoure all Iuda schone
1571 Bann. Memor. 152.
Bring with thé … a pair gantilotis, tuo sword strypes or plettis [T. pleatis] for the theise and legis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 282/3.
Quhen Mr. Gawin had hard … how he chappit on his breist and persaiffit the plaittis of his jake clattering
c1590 J. Stewart 18/111.
The plaits and malȝeis fiom thair harneis flew
a1646 Wedderburn Voc. (1709) 15.
Squama, the plets of a jack

4. Armour consisting of thin pieces of metal, plate-armour.For further examples see esp. Gluve n. 2, Jak n.2 and Harnes n. 4.(1) 1390 Reg. Morton II. 174.
Aventayl cum cirotecis de plate
14.. Acts I. 113/2 (see Gluve n. 2).
Brus xi. 109 (E) (see Plane attrib.). Plate 1495 Acta Conc. I. 416/1.
In plate and mailȝe
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 59.
With gret treis and gluffis of plait
1506–7 Treas. Acc. III. 363.
For ane breik of plait
1513–14 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 10. 1523 Wigtown B. Ct. 138 a.
Ane glof of plaith
1545 Treas. Acc. VIII. 410.
Ane pair of slevis of plait
1552 Reg. Privy C. I. 130.
With a jack of plett, steilbonet, splent slevis of mailyie or plait
1582–3 Perth B. Ct. 1 Mar.
Ane jak of pleit price thairof four pundis
(2) 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1919.
Royall princes in plait and armouris quent
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 152 (Ch. & M.).
Resoun … In plate and maille as Mars armypotent
Id. xxi. 31 (B).
Is non so armit in to plait That can fra truble him debait
1513 Doug. ii. i. 14 (Ruddim.).
The belly was stuffit … Full of knychtis armyt in plate of stele
Ib. viii. 55 (C).
In schynyng plait and mail, Pyrrus
(3) 1513 Doug. xii. ix. 99.
Nother scheild nor obstant plait of steil
(4) c1475 Wall. iv. 663.
Throu plaitt and stuff

b. Plate of mail, appar. = mail-armour: see Mail(l n.1 (2).

c. Attrib. with glufe and scheld, and in Plate-slefe n. 1596 Breadalbane Ct. Bk. 141.
Ane dorloch, ane plait glufe
1605 Black Bk. Taymouth 343.
Thrie stand of horsmen harnes with thrie plait glufis
1606 Rollock's Thess. 128.
He will get on a croslet and plate-glufe
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5191.
On qwhat manere Will yhe ryn at this justyng … ? Wyth plate scheldis

5. A household plate, a shallow dish as used for food.Freq. with defining word, as beif, broth, butter, chargeour, counterfute, housell, trunscheour; lame (leam), pewder (peuther), quhite, silver, timber, tin, tre (trene, treing), qq.v. for definitions and examples.In plur., also without inflexion.(a) 1504 Treas. Acc. II. 259.
For xxxij stopes, xxxij coggis, and xxxij platis of tree to thaim
Ib. 441.
For ix platis of quhit irne to the quenis chamir
1513 Doug. xiii. ii. 22.
With platis full the altaris by and by Thai can do charge
1531 Treas. Acc.V. 462; etc. 1551 Reg. Cupar A. II. 71. 1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 225.
The xxxij pecis weschell … borrowit … fra him … quhilkis platis wer nocht gottin agane
1694 Inchmahome Pr. 160.
Tuo silver candlesticks with snuffers, plate and chaingȝie
(b) 1489–90 Acta Conc. I. 131/1.
A butter plait
a1500 Henr. Fab. 282 (Bass.).
Ane plait off grottis and ane dische full of meill
1512 Rentale Dunkeld. 227.
[13] plaittis, [8] dischis, [9] sauseris
1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II. 177. 1522 Dunferm. B. Rec. 209. 1535 Stewart 56059. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 8410.
I wesche my handis in the plait
1573 Tyrie Cath. Tr. 9/29.
That a mannis language is lyk vnto ane plait … and the mater that he proponis … is lyk the meat that is proponit in the plait
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Lanx, ane plait, … Paropsis, ane plait
1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 331.
Off trene plaittis in Auchalladour, xxx; item of Inglis plaittis … ii dosane
1601 Crim. Trials II. 354.
The saidis pecis quhilk wer maid of ane pewder plait
1649 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 781.
Fyve dison of plaites pryce of ilk dison threttie sex pund
1655 Boharm Kirk S. 1 Apr.
Given to buy ane plait for the use of the kirk, 42 s.
1662 Glasgow Trades House 378.
Having atteined to the skill and knowledge of the pewtherer tred in casting plaits
uninfl. pl. 1647 Edinb. Test. LXIII. 50 b.
Twa grit leame plaitt
1681 Blackness Customs 16 b.
Six leam plaitt
(c) 1575 Dumfries B. Ct. 20 Mar.
vj plets ij trunschors
1583–4 Crail B. Ct. 10 Mar.
Ane plet, four trounscharis, ane chargour plait
1595 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 10 a.
For stoupes and pletis, xii s.
1634 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 423.
Ane great plett for confectiones
?a1648 Polemo-Mid. 74.
Gruelias … lickere plettas
16.. Nat. Lib. MS. 22.2.11 penult. p.
Mixt together in a plet
(d) 1578 Inv. Wardrobe 241.
Ane pleitt hollit as gif it wer wandis
1580 Coll. Aberd. & B. 391.
Pewter pleittis
1591 St. A. B. Ct. 28 May.
iij puder pleitis
1595 Brechin Test. I. 128 b.
Capes, pleittis & disches
1625 Church Plate of St. Nich. Kirk, Aberdeen in Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. VII. 122.
For ane pleitte [ed. plence] of copper for the wis of the lerd in tyme of kasting of the quhilk pleit I send [etc.]
(e) 1592 St. A. B. Ct. 1 Dec.
iiij pleattis and aucht trunschooris of xx s.
1639 Old Ross-shire i. 126.
Twentie pewter pleats
1651 Buccleuch Mun. II. 291.
Thrie great pleattis. Item, tuentie sewin lesser pleattis. Item, four long pleatts
1677 Maxtones 42.
I could not lipen the pleats to this boye for spoyleing of them
1694 Inchmahome Pr. 160.
Of hollow broth pleats, 3

b. Attrib. with mould (muild) and rack. 1645 Edinb. Test. LXI. 184 b.
Ane plaitt mould of bras. … Item ane vther mould of bras for plaitt … Item ane trinscher & ane sacer mould
1693 Brechin Test. VIII. 75.
Six stone weight of plait muilds
1689 Ib. VII. 211.
Ane plaitt rack or carier, ix s.

c. transf. An amount of food; alimentation. 1577 Reg. Privy C. II. 634.
That scho haif … assignatioun of money and victuallis for the support of hir plate as of befoir

6. a. A plate as the prize for a horse race. Hence b. the race for which a plate is the prize. Plate-run, id.(See also Plat n.2 6, quot. 1682.) 1669–81 Haddington Corr. 194.
On Tyousday bothe the plet runs at which ther is six horsies
1684 Peebles B. Rec. II. 113.
[Beltane race:] The counsell have aggried this yeir to have a plain plait att the value of eight pounds sterling … to be run for upon … the second Thursday of May
1686 Ib. 117.
The last yeirs staikes of the plait and saidle … quhich the thesaurer is to hold compt for

7. A platform supported by a scaffold. 1661 Funeral Acc. i. 5, M. of Montroes.
Ane hundreth daillis to be skaffalds pletts & ane staige … for the doune taking of my lord marques head

8. Vessels and tableware made of silver or gold. 1513 Doug. i. ix. 108.
Of siluer playt ane huge weght furth was brocht To set on burdis
Ib. iii. vi. 210.
Seyr weghty gyftis of massy goldyn plate [1553 gold in plate] Onto our schippis chargit he beir onon
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 45.
Scho tuke away all his plate, let it be pardonit
1591-2 Rob Stene i.
His jowaillis, movabillis and plaitt … Wald mvnt vnto fourty thowsand
1610 Hist. Kinloss A. xii.
The inventorie of the plaite. Item, ane gilt bassen and lawer, … Item 16 silver dyshes
c1610 Melville Mem. 85.
The Quen of Scotland and hir husband had tane on the … [English and Irish] armes vpon ther siluer plait
1617 Melrose P. 299.
1625 Edinb. Test. LIII. 55 b.
Iewellis, pleit [etc.]
1640 Black Bk. Taymouth 346.
The jewells, silver plaitt and vther silver work … left to ws
c1650 Spalding I. 127. Ib. II. 22. 1674 Fraser P. 258.
Inventarey of the silver pleat in the trunk … tuo silver basons [etc.]

9. Precious metal in bulk or unworked, bullion. 1610 Crim. Trials III. 100.
The said Dutche schip … laidnit with ane hundreth kistis of succour, tua kistis of silver plait, ane kist full of ryellis of aucht
1639 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II. 112.
To reseave the hail silver and gold plait as weill English as Scottis plate … and … print the samen … in sufficient coyned gold and money
c1650 Spalding II. 238.
40,000 pundis wecht off pleat and 15,000 pundis wecht of ingotis of gold were brocht to the mynt-houss at Oxfurde
1675 Mint Melting Journals II. 9.
Of London plaite a small lignot … and a small cack
Ib. 11.
From Alexander Reid 1 lib. 12 ounce Scotis plaitte
1677 Ib. III. 2.
Scots pleat
Ib. 14.
Pleate … broken pleatt
Ib. 15 b.
In Spanish plaitte to be reported paid in as bullione

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"Plate n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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