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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Respit, -spet(t, n. Also: -spitt(e, -spyt; -spite, -spyte, -spyit; -spette; -speit; -sput(t; -spute, -spuit, -spuyt; rispett. [ME and e.m.E. respit (c1290), respyte (Lydgate), OF respit (1112 in Greimas), L. respectus Respect n.1]See the etym. note to Respect n.2 It is also possible that spellings in -itt and -ett are editorial transcriptions of MS -ict or -ect.

1. An extension of time granted (for, of a certain period, or till a later date) (in order to (to) do something). 1375 Barb. i 619.
Ic ask ȝow respyt for to se This letter, and tharwith awysit be, Till to-morn
a1400 Leg. S. xxii 227.
Ȝit respyt gyf me Of twa days ore of thre
c1420 Wynt. viii 2855.
The Brws … wes rycht blyth, That he had gottyn that respyt
c1475 Wall. iv 294.
Quhen at thai fand of Scotlandis aduersouris, With out respyt cummyn was thair fatell houris
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 5/21.
Deid … quhilis … gevis bot ane hour or twa of respit
1494 Loutfut MS 3b.
For in sic mater thair may na respitt bot the samyn hour that is assignit to thaim
1513 Doug. x xi 41.
Gif thow askis a resput or delay, Bot for a tyme or tyll a certane day
a1538 Abell 44a.
All at wes to be accusit thai suld haif ane certane dais of respit to answer for thame self
Ib. 2*a.
Accusit men or wemen suld haif resput ganen to ansuer
15.. Clar. iii 678.
I may ȝow never aquite, That me to leive hes grantit sik respite
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3729.
Gif it pleis ȝour grace For to grant vs respet for ten dayis space [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 122.
Ane man … may haue respit or continuation for payment of his burrow mailes for ane ȝeare
1676 Rooseboom Sc. Staple App. 177, p. ccxxiv.
If … any of the inhabitants … shall come to obtaine letters of respyte of tyme [etc.]

2. Delay; loss of time; procrastination.Only in the phr. bot (withouten, foroute) … respit. 1375 Barb. viii 344 (C).
Thai flede vithouten mair respit
a1400 Leg. S. xxii 561.
Quha twechit that with ony sare It was mad hale but respyt
Ib. xxxviii 488.
Foroute respyte
a1568 Bann. MS 256b/3.
Tit but respyte I clene thé quyte For now and evir mair

3. A privilege, normally granted only under royal prerogative, entitling the grantee to have legal action against him postponed for a specified period. b. A document setting this forth. = Respect n.2Only Sc. in this precise sense.For numerous further instances, see Reg. Privy S. vols. I–IV.Some examples below may properly belong in b.Cf. Protectio(u)n(e n. 3, q.v. for further examples, and Saufgard(e n. 1 b.(1) c1476 Lennox Mun. 108.
That sal kep thé skaithles anens his respyt
1485 Breadalbane Coll. No. 22.
Na remeid of law … respit na lettre of supersedere to be proponit … in the contrar
c1515 Asl. MS I 232/22.
The Lord of Ylis … gaf remissionis and respittis
1498 Reg. Privy S. I 30/1.
Discharging thaim of al intromitting, journating, calling of him enduring the tyme of the respitt
1500 Ib. 87/1.
Of protection and respit for his benefyce, men, tennentis, servandis and thair gudis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 108/33.
Eftir respyt To wirk dispyt Moir appetyt He hes of natour
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 250/2.
That all and sindry actionis … tuiching … thaim … be put and have the privilege of this our respit and ceis and rest supercedit … for the space … of vii ȝeris
Ib. 243/2.
1516 Ib. 424/1, etc.
Ane speciall protectioun, saufgard and respitt made with consent to M. James Ogilvy … to indure fra the passing of the said M. James furth of the realme quhill his returnyng … and xx days thairefter
1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 146.
That nane of ȝou tak upone hand to do … ony thing incontrair or breking of this our speciale respit
1517 Reg. Privy S. I 453/2. 1567–8 Reg. Privy C. I 615.
All personis that desyris to compone for respit and remissioun
a1578 Pitsc. II 214/9.
The said Erle of Huntlie gave respittis and escheittis of all thame in the north as he had beine king
c1650 Spalding I 21.
No redres could be gottin of Balnadalloche for the innocent slauchter of his brothersone, for be moyan he purchesit ane respite
(b) 1472 Lennox Mun. 89, 90.
The kingis respet extendis … bot vpone the landis, rentys and possessionis of thame that he takis vnder his respet, that thai sall nocht be inpledit nor hurt in thair propyr possessionis … quhan the respet is grantit
Ib. 90.
My entering … tuk na thing of hys possessionis fra hym; heyrfor the said respet is nocht hurt be my enteres
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 788.
This man-slayer did get Vnto the parliament perfyte respet
1517–18 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 117.
The kingis grace … grantit of befor ane respett till all the inhabitantis in the Mers to endur till [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 65/13.
He gat thame frie respettis and remissiouns of all offences
1585 Reg. Privy C. III 757.
For quhilkis crymes he purchest ane nyntene yeiris respett
1590–1 Ib. IV 579.
The said Johnne … procuirit baith the gift of the said Archibaldis eshete and respett, upoun payment of grite soumes of money for compositioun
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Feodvm.
For respettes to ȝeamen men … xxx shillings
1605 Crim. Trials II 488.
Becaus respettis being odious of the law as grantit for impunitie of crymes and stay of justice to pairteis greivit, thay can nevir be extendit fauourabillie be interpretatioun of the judge to ony forder nor the express woirdis thairof beiris
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i 158.
They quha hes respettes, sal desire they being personally present, or be their actornaies, to be continued and delaied
c1627 Bk. Carlaverock II 110.
I desyer ane rispett, or att least ane remission, to my freend Johne Maxwell, for a slaghtor committed sum tuentie years agoe
(c) 1499 Lennox Mun. 166.
We … committis to [the Earl of Lennox] … oure full power … in oure name to geif respeitis or remissionis, as he sal think expedient … within the saidis boundis
1592 Acts III 575/2.
All personis that hes alreddie obtenit respeittis [etc.]
(d) 1498 Reg. Privy S. I 34/2 (see Respit v. 1 (a)).
(e) 1504 Crim. Trials I i 43.
Induryn this oure respuit
Ib. 44.
Breking of this our speciale licence protectioune and respuyt for all the tyme abone expremit
1595 Cal. Sc. P. XII 10.
[Johnstone has obtained a great] respute [of the king lately for him and all his]
(2) ?c1400 Reg. Morton I xlii.
We sall tak yhow and yhour landis vndyr oure speciell respyt and protectione
1472 Lennox Mun. 89 (see (1) (b) above). 1476 Acta Aud. 41/2.
Allegiand to be vnder resputt be a letter vnder the Priue Sele of our souerane lordis lordis
1494 Ib. 196/2.
Consedering the said Marchmond allegiit to be vndre our souerane lordis respett
1540 Reg. Privy S. II 525/2.
Takand him, his landis and gudis, under our soverane lordis resput and saufegard quhill his returnyng agane
1460 Peebles B. Rec. I 137.
Sir Thomas Kenedy was in the kyngis respit at the byschop of Scant Andoris [sic in pr.] has of the kyngis
c1475 Wall. i 336.
Schyr Ranald had the Perseys protectioune … In that respyt Wallas wald nocht abyde
(3) 1500–1 Reg. Privy S. I 96/1.
A letter of licence and respitt with a protection to Wilȝame Striveling
1526 Ib. 525/2.
Ane respet … contenit and drawin of Cuthbert Erle of Glencarnis signatour of respet
1527 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 377.
Thir oure lettres of speciale respett for the space of nynetene yeris
1541 Lennox Mun. 243.
Oure vther lettres of respet and saufgard
1570 Canongate Ct. Bk. 152.
Ane lettre of respett of the said slawchter
c1575 Balfour Pract. 654.
b. c1515 Asl. MS I 240/4.
King James send … a speciale assouerans and respit wnder his preve sele and subscriuit with his awne hand
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1009 (Bann.).
I have a respit [Ch. respite] heir and ȝe will rede
1508 Reg. Privy S. I 270/1.
A respitt maid to Robert Hall for … crimez and offens, … tresoun [etc.] … except, to endure for thre ȝeris
1512 Ib. 365/1.
His tresonable fenȝeing of the kingis subscriptioun manuale subscrivand ane respitt to Donald McClauchrane
1526 Ib. 525/2 (see 3 (3) above). 1533 Acts Sederunt i 16.
1533–4 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 414.
That nothir respitt nor remission nor uthiris letteris of delay nor relaxatioun fra the horn for the crimes forsaid be gevin or grantit … be the kingis grace
1539 Reg. Privy S. II 475/2.
Ane respitt maid to George McKee for the dryving of ane poynd of iiii oxin fra Johne McCullocht
1541 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 505.
The lordis of counsale hes sene the resputt forsaid and admittis the samin
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Iter.
Gif the partie accused … alleagis to his remission or respet, he sall produce the samin in court

4. A temporary cessation of activity, esp. of hostilities; a truce; an interval of rest.To give respett to, to allow to cease for a time.(1) c1475 Wall. viii 552.
In his respyt my selff couth neuir trow
a1500 Lanc. 1567.
My lord haith grantit by vs here Trewis to yhow and resput for o ȝhere
1513 Doug. xi iii h. of ch.
Quhou Eneas … gave Twelf days of respyt the ded corpsis to grave
1535 Stewart 14954.
Ane beist that had forrun the hound, In ony place that da quhair it wes fund, It sould haif girth and respit for that tyme
1596 Dalr. I 186/23, 24.
He sente legatis … to requyre certane dayes respite. Thay … gaue thame … thrie monethis respite, and sa sente thame back
(2) 1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas i 589.
Her presence soone gives respett to his teares

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"Respit n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2023 <>



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