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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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Wort, Wirt, n.1 Also: worte, vort, wirtt, virt(t, wyrt, wert, woort, woiert, worth, voite. [ME and e.m.E. wort (c1325), wortte (1539), woort (1602), OE wyrt.] The infusion of malt which is fermented to become beer. Also proverb. b. To play the wert, to work the wort, see Play v.1 3. c. comb. With the names of vessels used in the beer-making process, chiefly stand (Stand n. 6) and stane (? Stan(e n. 9 d or, perhaps more probably, further examples of Stand n. 6). Cf. also SND wort stane (Wirt n. 4).(a) 1492 Acta Conc. I 243/1.
The spoliatioun … of … half a chalder of malt in ail & wort
1535 Stewart 39511 heading.
How king Duncane send the wyne and aill browin with mukil wort to king Sueno, quhairwith thai war all drokin
1551 Dundee B. Ct. II 90 (20 Oct.).
Ony baxter … havand … dry malt in to his hous & wanting wort or ayle that the faltour … be expellit fra bakine for ȝeir & day
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 78.
The commons … puttis thair hand in the fat, and finding it sweit, greynes eftir the sweitnes thairof, quhill neither wort nor draff are left unsuppit
1629 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 78.
Sho was ower reddie to geve ane drink of her wort
1655 Dumfries Kirk S. 19 July.
Helein Gluver … hath lost power of her right arme by being brunt in scalding wort
1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 248.
Ther was a barile or stand with worte
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1406.
Sup wort laip wort maks thin aile, oft the ladle in the pot maks thin kaile
(b) 1597 Crim. Trials II 26.
Cristian Saidler bad hir tak thre pyntis of sweit wirt, and seith it
1625 Brechin Test. IV 218.
Nyne barrallis aill … Nyne barrallis virt
1643 Justiciary Cases III 599.
Be applying of ane pynt of new lettin goe [pr. god] wirt … to everie ox, be his devilrie and witchcraft cured the said oxin
1650 Brechin Presb. 32.
That Jonat Couper cam to her hous when shee was masking the fatt, and asked for draff to buy, and I said it was not reddie. Immediatelie thereafter the broust misbhreat the wirt theroff lappered thick and filthily stinked
b. 1669 Meikle Old Session Bk. 95.
[Donald Cargill and his wife, who were delated … for] playing of woort upon the sabbath … compeired and confessed that they had som small woort upon the fyr
(b) 1600 St. A. Kirk S. 922.
(c) 1644 Markinch Kirk S. 14 Jan.
Compeired Alexander Grieg … & confessed that his wyffe & his sister did play wert upon the fasting Wednesday
(d) 1644 Markinch Kirk S. 14 July.
c. (1) 1515–16 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 36.
A maskyntub, a wyrt stand
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 144.
1566 Treas. Acc. XI 517.
Certain lumes as wirt standis, cumyngis, laidgallonis … concernyng brewing
1578 Brechin Test. I 54b.
Ane copir brew caldron … with the brewe fatt and the wort stand … Ane saidis kaldron fatt and virtt stand
1583–4 Crail B. Ct. MS 10 March.
Ane gyll fate ane voite stand ane kymmyng [etc.]
1591 St. A. B. Ct. 2 July.
Ane wort stand or elis viij s. for the pryce thairoff
1622 Falkirk Par. Rec. I 31.
The said Cristiane … [had thrown some liquid into] ane virt stand or tub quharin was small drink
1644 Edinb. Test. LX 376.
In the brewhous … four wirt standes and ane burne stand
(2) 1529 Reg. Great S. 178/1.
A mask fat, a wort stane, price 15 s.
1551 Dundee B. Ct. II 119 (27 Nov.).
To pay to Willem Scrimgeour xiiij s. for ane wortstane
1621 Edinb. Test. LI 34.
Ane stand of brewing lumes with ane wort stane price thairof iiij lib.
1635 Haddington Corr. 300.
In the baikhous and brewhous … ane maskin fatt, tuo cannons with quheills, ane wort stane, ane kneding troch
1658 Rec. of Old Tolbooth in Bk. Old Edinb. C. IV 126.
An copper caldron … an wort stane with the cover
1678 Brechin Test. VII 24b.
Ane wort stone vij lib. 4 s.
1679 Stitchill Baron Ct. 84.
The sowm of 4 merks Scots money as the pryce and worth of a wort-stain
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 365.
A masken fat … A wort stone. A pair of iron taings
(3) 1574 Glasgow B. Rec. I 33.
Ane masking fatt, ane wirt trocht, price of baytht liij s. iiij d.
c1575 Balfour Pract. 235.
Ane laidgallon, ane wort disch, ane pitcher
1580 Reg. Privy C. III 320.
Foure gyle fattis and ane wort tube
1583 Elgin Rec. I 172.
Ane masking fatt, ane wortfatt, ane flesche fatt, ane wort-tub [etc.]
1595 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 324.
Alexander Levenax and Jonet Bell his spous to deliuer to William McCley ane vortstey price x s.
1637 Brechin Test. V 221.
Tua virt bukkatis xx s.
1653 Edinb. Test. LXVI 40.
A wort cog.
1659–61 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 606.
For meanding the wort pan 3 s.
1660 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 295.
Ane Woorttroch
1682 Berw. Doc. fol. 1. No. 6.
For ane wirtt dish & ane chorne [10 s.]
1707 Old Ross-shire II 70.
Brewing vessels, two wort leaglins

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"Wort n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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