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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Relik, -lique, -(l)lyk, n. Also: ri(l)- and -lic(k)(e, -lyke; -licque; -leque, -leick; reliquik. [ME and e.m.E. relik (Ancr. R.), reliqe (Manning), -ique (Caxton), F. relique (1080 in Larousse), L. reliquiæ pl. remains. See also Relict n., Reliquies n. pl.]Perh. (? esp. in sense 7) sometimes a spelling variant of Relict n., just as relict may sometimes be a variant of Relik n.

1. a. An object which remains as a memorial of a dead saint or other holy person, and is preserved and venerated on this account.As, a bone, article of clothing, personal possession, etc. 1464–5 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 160.]
[Due thece de auricalco pro reliquijs conseruandis
(a) a1400 Leg. S. xv 215.
Thare that relyke lang lay hyde
Ib. xxxvii 1406.
The buk … held he As a relik in gret daynte
Ib. xxxvi 865. c1420 Wynt. v 5520.
Crystys kyrtill … Wes … in a coffyre closyd, Thare for a relyk wes reposyd
c1450-2 Howlat 475 (A).
With all the relykis … He gart hallowe the hart
1487 Breadalbane Doc. No. 23.
Ane relik of Sanct Fulane
1494 Loutfut MS 23b.
Reliques [Lindsay MS releques]
c1500 Coll. St. Salvator 159.
Ane gret monstir of siluer with ane burrell in the myddis contenand diuers relikis
Ib. 161.
Ane gret Agnus dei with relikis about Sant Saluatoris hals
1507–8 Treas. Acc. IV 39.
To the kingis offerandis at the reliques, the Hie Altar, the Lady Altar [etc.]
1516 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 71.
Ane bust with reliquis
1518 Thames of Cawdor 129.
Our boydely aithis apone … the relic callit the arwachyll at the Iil of Kilmolmolrue
1552 Coll. St. Salvator 159 n.
[Bishop Kennedy's] reliqueis [included (etc.)]
1567 G. Ball. 194.
ȝe begylit vs …, Schawand ȝour relykis and ȝour ruddis
(b) 1454–5 Edinb. Chart. 79.
With a writ specifiand the bringing of that rillyk be him in Scotland
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece II 390.
Dredand that the rillik suld be tint in the feild
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2234.
transf. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 2086 (B).
Heir is a rillik [Ch. relict] lang and braid Of Fynmakowll the richt chaft blaid With teith
Ib. 2189.

b. pl. The remains, or ashes, of such a person. a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 884.
Men for deuocione Quhare he lyis com to the ton & gat away prywely Of his relykis a party
Ib. xl 731.
His relykis menskis ay, Quhare thai ar ferterit in Galouay
c1420 Wynt. vi 541.
Syne Sanctandrewys relykis thare Wytht honowre gret ressaywyd ware
1533 Boece 13.
The Abbot Rewile brocht the relikis of Sanctandro in Fyffe
Ib. 355.
Ane fertoure of fyne gold for conseruacioun of the relikis of Sanct Andro
a1538 Abell 59a.
The king … did thare deuotioun, kissit his relikis [etc.]
1535 Stewart 28938.
His bodie lyis, quhair I my self hes bene In pilgremage, and his relicques hes sene
1596 Dalr. I 110/13.
The reliques of S. Andro … quhilkes out of Grece he brocht

c. The fest of all relique = Relik Sonday, see d below. 1512 Treas. Acc. IV 191.
One the fest of all Relique

d. attrib. and comb.Relik Sonday, a Sunday, perh. varying from place to place, on which the relics preserved in a church were specially venerated. See also Relict n. 1.Cf. late ME Relyk Sonday (Paston Letters) ‘the third Sunday after Midsummer’ (OED). 1489 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 11.
Sewyn schillingis yerly … tharof viii d. to the Relik awter
1552–3 Edinb. B. Rec. II 336.
I am to be chargit with Sanct Gelis arme on Relik Sonday and Sanct Gelis day

2. Applied to objects held sacred in religions of antiquity. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 185 (C).
Heyre is one ferlyfull relyk … Of the goddes
Ib. 1294 (D).
Throw that relyk … Of the cite the capcioun Maid ws the retardacioun
1513 Doug. ii iii 40.
The fatale rellyk of Palladium
Ib. vi 45.
Phebus tempill preste, Into his armys … The haly rellykkis … beryng
Ib. xiii x 96. 1533 Bell. Livy II 210/19.
The virginis Vestalis … tuke consultatioun quhat haly reliquis pertenyng to divyne sacrifice suld be left behind thame

3. The remains, or ashes, of a deceased person. 1513 Doug. v ii 11.
Sen that the reliqueis [Sm. reliquies, Ruddim. reliquis] and bonys infeir Of my dyvyne fader we erdyt heir
Ib. vi iii 137.
Efter … the gret heit of flambis quynchit was The reliqueis and the dry ammeris syne Thai sloknyt
1596 Dalr. I 207/12.
This king delfeng vpe his fatheris reliques causet thame [etc.]

4. ? A construction, or (chiefly) a receptacle, in which a relic was kept; ? a shrine; a reliquary.Freq. one made of precious metals.(a) 1456 Hay I 27/1.
Mony haly mennis banis [he] gert put in reliquis in gold and silver preciously
1456 Peebles B. Rec. I 116.
The laf to be dissponyt qwar mast ned ys qweder on the kyrk or on the rellyk
1496 Treas. Acc. I 280.
For a relik he maid to the king to offir to Sanct Duthow
1506 Ib. III 73.
Ane relique … maid of the kingis aun silvir … for ij Hary nobles and quik silvir to gilt the samyn
1507 Treas. Acc. IV 34.
For ane relique quhilk wes maid to Sanct Monanes, and syne wes offerit be the king to Sanct Niniane quhilk weyit vj unce
1508 Ib. 137.
For making of ane relique of gold about the kingis hals and ane clasp of gold to the kingis pissane
1540 Ib. VII 396.
Gevin to him to be ane relique to ane bane of Sanctandriane of May, vj unces quarter unce gold of mynde
1554 Ib. X 265.
To bring certane ornamentis reliquis of hir grace chapell ryall to the abbay of Halyrudhous, agane the feist of ȝule
1558 Edinb. B. Rec. III 22.
The said dene of gyld to haif the reliquis syluer chandlaris with the rest of the … ornamentis of the kirk of Sanct Geill to the said thesaurar hous of the castell
(b) 1512 Treas. Acc. IV 349.
To Johne Aitkin, goldsmitht, to gilt ane reliquik to Sanct Niniane, five ducatis of wecht
1559 Fam. Rose 227.
Ane litill reliquik of silwir

5. A precious or valuable thing, a sacred ornament of value.Also, transf., applied to a person.(1) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 887.
Gologras … Armyt in rede gold, and rubeis …, With mony riche relikis, riale to se
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1486.
This royall relick [sc. a mirror], sa riche and radious
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 122.
For mending of the eucharist of the chapell ryall …, twa chandelaris and uthir small reliques
(2) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1007 (Asl.).
Crist … His meike moder … As riall relyk … Hertlie commendit to Jhon the ewangelist
1567 Sat. P. vii 73.
Our prettie prince, the peirle of all this land, … That riche relick and thresour of Scotland

6. pl. That which remains, is left over, or is left behind. a. The remnant, or the surviving portion, of a people or nation; survivors, collectively. 1596 Dalr. I 2/23.
Brutus … was seiking a resting place with some Troiane jwalis and reliques
Ib. 216 marg.
The reliques of the Britonis frome this to Cambrey, now Wallis departes

b. The remaining fragments (of a thing); the surplus. 1633 Johnston Diary I 121.
Al the superfluites and reliques of my yearly rent
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 461.
God send me, if it were but the relics and leavings, or an ounce-weight or two, of His matchless love
1641 R. Baillie Parall. Liturgy 51.
Papists injoyne all the relickes of the hostie … to be gathered together

c. The ruins (of a building). 1667–72 Lauder Jrnl. 179.
[At Kelso] their stands the relicks of a magnifick abbasie that hes bein their

7. The widow (of a man). = Relict n. 5. 1526–7 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 84.
Jenot Huntar, the relyk of umquhill Thomas Trumbull
1532 Ib. 123. 1550 Boyd Fam. P. No. 29 (22 Dec.). 1552–3 Rec. Earld. Orkney 247.
Me Helen Lesk, the relik of umquhile Thomas Flattay
1603 Dundonald Par. Rec. 34. 1672 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 117.
Releick of the deceist
1684 Cullen Kirk S. II 12 Oct. 1689 New Mills Manuf. 210.
Orders that … make a finall end with Major Whyt's relick
1701 Aberd. Journal N. & Q. VI 99.
Elspit Murrou, relick of the deceised Wm. Paull

b. pl. ? The widow and other (unspecified) surviving relatives (but perh. in the only instance of this use the repetition of relickes is erroneous). 1632 S. Leith Rec. 22.
In respect the relickes of umquhil George Thomson and the relickes of William Sim hes beene in use to sit in that seat [etc.]

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"Relik n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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