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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Pot(t, n.2 Also: potte, pote, poit(e; poot; Pat(t. [Of doubtful origin. In earlier use appar. only Sc., also in the mod. Sc. dial., but some senses also occur in mod. (19th c.-) north. Eng. dial.Largely agrees in sense with Pit(t n.1, but is not a regular phonological var. of this. Has been taken (e.g. by SND, s.v. Pot n.1) as the same word as Pot(t n.1]Found in place-names, in various following senses, from an early date. (Cf. also Pot(tn.1 3.)(1) a 12.. Reg. Dunferm. 190.
Terras totas de Potwell
1541 Aberd. B. Rec. I 177.
To byg ane bryg of tre owr the Pot burne, on this syd of the brig of Dee
1568 Prot. Bk. J. Foulis MS 61 b.
Eist to the Potdaillheid as the pittis and merchis ar ellis set
1575 Dysart Rec. 32.
Ane commoun passage … passand to the pothevin at the west
(2) 1218 Liber Calchou 264.
Usque in Goldingpottes
c 1320 Reg. Great S. 20/2.
Illud carbonarium infra … Travirnent quod vocatur Wawaynespot
1327 Liber Calchou 361.
Persequendo viam ducentem apud Benrigpottes … & a Benrigpottes [etc.]
1470 Prestwick B. Rec. 9.
Till … the hed of Boidis pottis
1617 Cramond Cullen Ann. 30.
Besyd the romling pottis in the land endis of Brounton
1664 Peebles B. Rec. II 60.
The mos betwixt and the Pott of Weyr is als good as the other mos
1683 Coll. Aberd. & B. 101.
Towards the top of the forsaid rock, there are some holes in the earth that bear the name of Blodie Pots
(3) 1333–64 Cart. Levenax 66.
Una cum … piscatura de le Pott
1490 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 300.
Ad molendinum suum apud le Hed de Gedpott
1549 Retours I Inq. Spec. Aberdeen (6).
Super aqua de Doverne, vocata Kirksyde Pottis
1583 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 773.
Cum … salmonum piscationibus nuncupatis the Pott of Bukky super aqua de Done

1. A pit dug in the ground.As an obstacle to an attacker, (espec.) to mark a boundary, or for other purpose.(a) 1375 Barb. xi 364.
He gert men mony pottis ma, Of a fut breid round and … deip vp till ane manis kne
1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 245.
Syn doun the brow til a mykill pot lyke to be castyn with mennys handis
1509 Ib. 353.
Begynnand at ane gret pote quhilk we maid be cassin
Fra the said pot markand evin northt discendand to uthir pottis … and swa merkand evin throu the mos
1533 Boece 560.
Robert [Bruce] … kest depe and large fowsyis and pottis quhar he beleiffit the battall suld be strikkin
1535 Stewart 49946. 1571 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 396.
Beginning at the Green Myre be east the Rashelaw and as it is presently pottit and fra the first pot lineallie to the hight … and fra the said pot west [etc.]
1592 Mining Rec. 36.
That … the said Mr. Henrie … sall caus fill sa money of the pottis cassin and maid be him self as [etc.]
1605 Ellon Presb. 54.
Mairchit and meithit … on the eist and north with staneis and pottis cassin
1650 Elgin Rec. II 362.
Descending from the saids yards by potts and kairnes to head of a bank northward
(b) 1553 Prot. Bk. R. Lumsdane 14 b.
Begynnand at ane poite maid this instant day in the commond gait
Frathin … to the blak bank and graitt poit maid thairat

b. spec. A tanner's pit for bark or lime.= Bark pot n. or Lim(e)-pot(t n.2 1431–2 Newbattle Coll. 20 March.
A part of my land commonly callyt the bark hous with fredom of the bark stok with the mell & of the pottis & of the welle
1591 St. A. Test. II 171.
Of barket and grene ledder in the pottis
1653 Lindores A. 231.
He had drawn leather furth of the pott upon ane Sabboth day

c. spec. A pit from which peats have been dug; one of a number of separate small pits in a peat-moss as opposed to a single long trench or excavation. = Pete-pot(e n. 1492 Prestwick B. Rec. 18.
Quhatsumeuir persoun … castand pettis in Blaris pottis … sall cast in the pottis the sand tane out of thaim or thai cum to the pettis … vnder the pane … for ilke pote [etc.]
1502 Acta Conc. III 186.
The sadis petis … quhilkis the sadis Alexander [etc.] … kest in the pot again of the sade mos of Freuchy
1602 Haigh Mining P. 12 Oct.
[That they] sall cast … the saidis … peittis … be plain forrettis … in the saidis mossis and not be pottis nor hollis to ovirharll the samyn
1673 Elgin Rec. I 317.
That the peattes castine be Francis Brodie and his tenantis in the moss of Mostowie that the dryest of them salbe ledd and the weet peatts to be castine in the potts
1677 Rec. Old Aberd. I 130.
They cast all the … deid earth all in the ground of the pot in great heaps

d. Bukket-pot, a pit dug to receive the sea-water for evaporation, in a salt-works.Presum. so called because the water was hoisted by bucket into the pan. Also in later Sc. (Firth of Forth) dial. as bucket-pot, -pat. 1603 Reg. Great S. 496/1.
In terris de Crommeyis [by Culross] … cum … salinas patellas ac lie pan-rowmes, ollas lie bukkit-pottis et cetera pro eisdem asiamenta
1680 Fawside Coal Compt 55.
For casting my buckitt pott
1680 Torry Coal & Salt Wks. 80 a.
For a clows gavlock to the wester bucket pot weighing 1 stone 5 pund

e. A pit or hole in the ground, whether natural or man-made.In the examples found, coupled with Myr(e n. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 5775.
Sum was drownit in pottis and in myris
1550 (c 1650) Dundee B. Laws 13.
That na flescher bring carion flesh deid in pot or myre
1579 Inverness Rec. I 271.
[The cottar] suld haif kepit the said oxe as the rest fra theiff, wolf, pott and myre
1596 Paisley B. Rec. 189.
To keip the said guids fra pot and myre

2. A mine or pit for minerals; ? specif. one with a more or less vertical shaft; a mine-shaft. 1528 Wemyss Chart. 277.
[If the coals were won] be potts and drawen up be windoses, kreills, or other wayes
1543 Carte Northberwic 64.
The said George sall pay … twyntye pundis quhen the bodum off the pot [supra a colpot] is vp
1548–9 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 585.
The awneris … of the colheuchis … of the quhilkis potis the names followis viz. the pote of Tranent [etc.]
1567–8 Reg. Privy C. I 612.
With power to … serche out … the saidis gold and silver myndis, and to brek the ground, mak sinkis and pottis thairin [etc.]
1572–3 Reg. Privy S. VI 356.
For wynnyng of the said coill to cast pottis and seinkis
1575–6 Reg. Privy C. II 507. 1601 Charter in Dallas Stiles 769.
And for making, casting, [etc.] … of sinks, syers, gutters, eyes, levals [ed. levands], pots, airholls [etc.]
1683 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 14 July.
For bearing rubish out of the pot
1686 Ib. 10 April.
For coffins to tuo bearrers that was killed in the pot

b. ? A water-filled shaft or well. 1677 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 17 Feb.
For … a tow for the water poot

3. A (deep) hole in the channel of a river or stream, a pool in a river or stream. Also as a place-name.(1) 1470 Yester Wr. 69 (see Miln n. 1 c (2)).
Myln pot
1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I 288.
To the myllars … for redding of the pott
c1650 Spalding I 57.
About this tyme ane pot of the water of Brechin, callit Southesk, becam suddantlie dry
And the drying wp of the pot of Brechin
1673 Retours I Inq. Spec. Elgin et Forres (132).
Salmonum piscationibus super aquis de Findhorne lie pottis et poolles earundem
(2) 1533 Aberd. B. Rec. I 148.
Euery half net of the pott, xx s.
Ib. 149.
Euery takisman of the raik … thre lithis … euery takisman of the pot … ane licht
1553 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 216.
Dimedium rethis piscarie de ly Pot super … aqua de Dee
1646 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 67.
For the third of the teynd of the Pot

4. A deep chasm or abyss. a. of hell, (1) so specified, (2), (3) without explicit specification. b. fig. of a (reprehensible) quality.a. (1) a 1500 Statut. Sc. Ch. 6.
Swa be thar saules castyne … into the depast pot of hel
c1500 Rowll Cursing 147 (B). c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvi 119. 1513 Doug. iv v 128.
Deip in the sorofull grisly hellys pote
1681 Soc. Ant. XLV 241.
It may be some of your warnings next will be in the howl pot of hell
(2) 1513 Doug. iv i 53.
In the profond pot [Ruddim. pyt] of deth and dyrk nycht
Ib. v xii 125.
Nor drery pottis [v.r. pittys] deip of saulis paill
a1538 Abell 81 a.
Parttakaris with ȝow in birnand pottis
(3) 1567 G. Ball. 149.
Quhill I my self did chose the deide, To saif thé from the pot
b. 1562-3 Winȝet I 9/8.
That ȝe … be fallin in the pot of ignorance, errour, or vice
Ib. II 63/18.
This wil … inflammit with a certane furious raige of al wices, in al the botumles potis of filthines
Ib. 67/32.
The miserable saul … mot be wappit heidlingis in the pot of hæreseis

5. = Pit(t n.1 4.Bisset (see Pit(t n.1 4).

6. As the second element in a compound, in various senses, esp. 1 and 2.For examples see Bark pot n., Clay n. b, Col(e)-pot n., Lim(e)-pot(t n.2, Pan n.1 7 b (3), water-pot etc.

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"Pot n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Feb 2023 <>



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