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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Setting(e, Setten, n. Also: -yng, -in(e, -en(e, -ein(e, sattin(e. Abbrevs. ssis, s, st, sett(e, set, settg. [ON séttungr a sixth part.]

1. A unit of weight, chiefly or only, in Orkney, used for dry goods, meat and, less commonly, butter.The sixth part of a mele, (Mele n.2), and equal to a lispund (Lispund n.). For other equivalences see quots., esp. Skene Verb. S.For further examples and information see Mele n.2 2.Abbreviations: Orkney Rentals I always uses ‘ssis’ (the usual Sc. abbreviation for ‘ss’.) in juxtaposition with the usual abbreviation for ‘is’, see edition for actual forms; Orkney Rentals ii the Rental of 1595 uses ‘set’, ‘sett(s’, ‘sette(is’, ‘settgs’ (as well as, less commonly, the expanded form); the Rental of 1614 uses ‘s’ (rarely, ? because of ambiguity with ‘s.’ = shilling which is also used and ‘st’ (though this may on occasion = stone).(1) 14.. Acts I 306/2.
Gyf ony schyp cum wyth walde he sal gyf … for ilk mesure that is callyt a settyng a half peny
1561–2 Craven Ch. in Orkney II 13-14.
Of the victuale of the Bishoprick of Orknay … twenty-sex lastes, seven meilis, a setting, and seven markis cost … £131 10 s. 4 d.
1561–2 Craven Ch. in Orkney II 15.
The foure lastis, twelf meilles, four settingis, twenty-twa markis flesch
1566–7 Rec. Earld. Orkney 286.
Twa settingis meill gevin to me to beit my misteris in my urgeant necessity
c1575 Balfour Pract. 85. 1587 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I 212.
Four settinges malt in teind … twa settinges meill
1593 Rec. Earld. Orkney 169.
Elevin settens vii mark mail, guid and sufficent stuif veyit vpon ony equaell pondlair vithin the parochin
1594 Reg. Great S. 53/2.
Reddendo … pro How 9 lie settingis ordei
1595 Orkney Rentals ii 95.
Sorquoy d. terre, p. Rege, in land mail 5 meils ordei, 20 settings flesche
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Serplath.
The malt, meill, and beare, are delivered in Orknay, be wecht in this maner. Inprimis 24 marks makis an setting. Item 6 settings makis an meill. … The butter is deliuered … in markes and lesh poundes … 6 settings makes ane lesh pound
1597 Edinb. Test. XXX 53.
Thrie stakis of aittis estimat & extending to tua last tuelf meles tua settingis half setting aittis price of the mele l s.
1603 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 85.
Ane setteine seid bere
1626 Soc. Ant. VII 267.
Nota that the watle is payabal out of the pennyland at the rait of halff setting of malt
1633 (1711) Sibbald's Orkn. & Shetl. 32 (see Lispund n.).
1642 Orkney Rentals iv 31.
Ane guise is commonly allowed for ane settin of flesche
1642 Orkney Rentals iv 31 (see Lispund n.). Craven Ch. in Orkney II 32. 1701 Brand Orkney & Shetl. 28.
24 merks make a leispound or setten … which we call a stone
(b) 1655 Retours I Inq. Spec. Orkney et Shetland (69).
(2) 1502 Orkney Rentals i 4.
Et in malt scat iiij m. iij ssis. viz. ix ssis. on the pennie terre
1572 Rec. Earld. Orkney 290.
The x setteis of wytell … deliverit to him
1595 Orkney Rentals ii 3.
Holland, … in land male pro Rege of ane mk. land, and x s. land viz. v kowisworth or ane halfpenny land and ane kowisworth, xj set. cost, tant. flesche, j pultre
1595 Orkney Rentals ii 6.
Holland … payis in teynd … v m. ij sett flesche … ij meils ij settings flesche
1595 Orkney Rentals ii 72.
Mo 3 halfpenny terre, viz. 9 uris scoppis, in butter scat 3 lisp., in scat silver 7 s., in scat and land mail 13 meils 3 setts beir, 9 meils flesche
1595 Orkney Rentals ii 103.
4½ settgs.
1614 Orkney Rentals ii 116.
In scatt silver 3 s., in scat malt 4 m. 3 s. malt
1614 Orkney Rentals ii 118.
Rowisquoy … payis in land maillis 4 lib. butter and in teynd 9 st. cost … Summa of cost 4 lastis 14 m. 3 st. 18 mk.
1614 Orkney Rentals ii 119.
14 d. scat silver and in scat malt 4 st. and in land maillis 4 m. cost

b. comb., setting wecht = 1 above. 1576 Orkney Oppress. 72.
Ane barrell of malt of nyne setteins wecht
1615 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bks. (ed.) 27.
That na caschies be hevier than ane half setting weicht
1633 (1711) Sibbald's Orkn. & Shetl. 33.
Pundler, is a beam … which hath a stone upon the one end, (which stone on the malt pundler should be a setten weight, and on the bear pundler sixteen mark)

c. attrib., concr. Setting wecht, a weight weighing one setting. 1659 Orkney Rentals App. 121.
That the whole pundlars and bismars … be justit conform to the malt settin weight, which being … tryed … is fund to weigh twenty-eight ponds

2. As a rental valuation of land. 1562–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 114.
Hes layid to the sayd Janote ten settenis malene in Clet
1562–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 115.
The ellewin settenis in Skowsattyr playeland
1562–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 114.
In Caro and Grymnis, ten melis fowre settenis
1562 Rec. Earld. Orkney 114.
Nyne settenis malene … to aquiet the forsayd thyrd
1562–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 114 (see Mele n.2 2 d). 1562–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 115.
1570 Rec. Earld. Orkney 131 (see Cost n.3). 1593 Rec. Earld. Orkney 169.
Payand for the saidis haill tuay sellaris and byr and elevin settens vii mark mailing, ȝeirly elevin settens vii mark mail, guid and sufficent stuif
1593 Rec. Earld. Orkney 169.
To haue entres to ellevin settens vii mark malling quhilk thaye presently occupie
1595 Orkney Rentals ii 94.
8 settings mailing … payis in land mail 1 meil ordei 4 setts. flesche 2 part pulrtie
1597 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek 59.
William … gaif stait and sesing of the ten settingis meling lyand in the foirsaid toun
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 34.
Be decreit of court to flitt … fra the ten settingis mailling in Maill in Holme
1616 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. 240.
All and haill my uthall and heritable ane mark land or four settingis mailling
1629 Orkney Bp. Ct. MS 72.
Tenentes and occupyaris of the twa settines mailling of land
1687 Part. Reg. Seisins of Orkney & Shetland IV 2 Ser. 249.

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"Setting n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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