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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).
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Wit(e, Wyt(e, v. Also: wyit(e, vyit, wytt, veit, wait. Pres. also wyttis. P.t. wytit. P.p. wyted, wite. [ME and e.m.E. wite(n (c1200), witte, wijt (both Cursor M.), wyte(n (Chaucer), wit (c1400), wiyte (c1430), OE wítan, MLG, MDu. witen.] tr. a. To blame or reproach (a person) in respect of harm done, to lay the blame on (someone). Also absol. Also const. that he or she did harm, to do harm or of the harm done. b. reflex.c. With a thing as object. Also const. as a above. d. predic.Also with omission of the verb to be. e. absol.f. proverb.a. (1) c1420 Ratis R. 828.
Thow can fynd name for to wyte
1460 Hay Alex. 35.
Thow sall be wite nothing
1490 Irland Mir. II 141/15.
Sene this was destany and ordand for ȝou that ȝe suld nocht wyt me
1513 Doug. xii iii 75.
Wyte [Ruddim. wite] me not bot I thé warnyt haue
1567 G. Ball. 190.
The ignorant peple … wat nocht quhome to wyte
a1585 Maitl. Q. 109/36.
Albeit I wis I wait nane will me wyte
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 723 (W).
That he may wite bot you, The first tyme that he fell
1594 Maxwell Mem. II 28.
Wyte me gif [etc.]
1600 Crim. Trials II 133.
Gif thair be ony difference betuix the principall and the extract, wyte the extracter
1603 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 55.
I can nocht wyte my Lord off Mar
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis 5b.
Ye have taine this burthene one yow willinglie & quher yow find the weight of it wyte no man but your selffis
1644 Law Memor. lxii.
Whereon Christian said, ‘that if ought ailled hir thereafter, she should wyt you’
absol. a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 630.
Bot ȝet durst thai nocht do it, Fore dout that thare prioure suld wit
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 83.
Hyre fadir can hir wit Gretly that scho lefit his ryt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lxxxiv 20.
Sic is thair weird, thairfoir quha sould thame wyte To serue thair beistlie lust
a1568 Scott xi 51.
To lufe ȝour ladeis quho can wyt ȝow?
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 23 (H).
Gooke, wyte me not to garre thé grete
1590-1 Bruce Eleven Serm. 63.
I cannot wite them to think sa of faith
1594 Cal. Sc. P. XI 355.
[Seeing we must believe some church, who can] wyte [us according to our creed to believe the Holy Catholic Church rather than theirs]
a1605 Montg. Sonn. lxiv 5.
I war to wyt, the bureit to bakbyte
(3) 1375 Barb. vii 628.
Amang thaim … Thar rais debate … Ilkan wytt [C. vith] other off thar myschance
1533 Gau 12/16.
Thay that witis the dewil or ony oder creatur of thair aduersite
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 3.
Adam, we may thé wyit of this mischance
1567 G. Ball. 190.
Quhome suld we wyte of this dispyte
1590 Letter of James VI in Taylor Hist. Scotland II 337.
When the gudeman is away he cannot be wyted of the disorders in the house
1613 Elgin Rec. II 136.
Androw Wanes said he wytit Elspet Cuming of his disseis
(b) 1533 Gau 90/24.
b. 1490 Irland Mir. II 73/13.
Wyt thai self and nocht Him
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 126.
Wyte thy self, thow nald Venus obey
a1568 Scott xx 14.
Of thyne adversitie Wyt thy self
1590 Welwod 65.
In that caise let the outredder wyte him self because [etc.]
1638 Henderson Serm. 185.
So we may only wyte ourselves if the Gospel be removed, & not lay the wyte on others
a1651 Calderwood V 761.
If the Assemblie would not embrace the benefite, lett them wyte themselves
(b) 1600-1610 Melvill 462.
Let them wait them selves giff graitter povertie and contempt cam upon the kirk
c. (1) a1400 Leg. S. xviii 612.
Myn hard fortone can I wyt, Bannand the tyme that I was borne
a1500 Bernardus 360.
Forsum nocht thi weilefar … Syn wyt fortowne and thow thi selffe gilty
1535 Stewart 29232.
Penda richt soir blamis and witis Thair negligence
1549 Compl. 64/27.
Allace I vyit ȝour tua fayr ene
1570 Sat. P. xx 7.
Desyring all, … Not for to wyte my rude indyte
a1585 Maitl. Q. 140/8.
Accuse not me bot wyite the wicked tyme
a1605 Montg. Sonn. xxxviii 1, 3, 4 etc.
I wyt myne ee for vieuing of my wo … I wyt my senses vhilks dissavit me so I wyt acquentance [etc.]
(2) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 238 (Asl.).
Of covatis I wyte the rafand rage … That wysemen thus ar bund in thi bondage
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 739 (L).
He wyttis [W. wytis, Wr. wyted] will To be maist [cause] of his myscheife
(3) 1528 Lynd. Dreme 234.
Constantyne, We may wyit thy possessioun poysonabyll Off all our gret punysioun
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 197.
Thay say it is fals destenie And wyitis fortoun of thair misgouernance
d. c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 90.
Nothing thay to wyte
1456 Hay I 182/16.
And sen he has tane sauf condyt of him that na power has, … him self is to wite
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 134.
O fals Cupide, is nane to wyte bot thow
1535 Stewart 36417.
Ȝe wald nocht sa thairof I war to wyit
1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxx 77.
For na offence culd thow be forsit to flyte Aganis thy seruandis, thocht thay wer to wyte
e. a1568 Bann. MS 256b/2.
No delyte I haif of ladeis fair I wyte, I flyte, all in dispyte that evir I leird that lair
f. a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS 102.
All thingis wytis that weill not fairis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1687.
Wyne and women I may wite
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1176.
Manie man wytes his wyf of his awin wanthrift

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"Wit v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jan 2023 <>



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