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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.

Respit, v. Also: -spitt, -spyt; -spyte; -spet; -speit; -spait; -sput(e; and (-spitut). P.t. and p.p. -it, -ed; and respit(t, -spyt, -spi'd; -spet; -sputt, -spuyt. [ME and e.m.E. respite(n (Chaucer), OF respitier (1175 in Greimas), respoitier (OED), L. respectāre Respect v.1]

1. tr. To delay, adjourn or hold over the hearing of a legal action or the giving of a decision upon an action. b. To grant (a person) the adjournment or staying of such an action, etc. = Respect v.2 Const. for the action or offence concerned. Also absol.Only Sc. in this precise sense.(a) 1410–11 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 31.
Thai respitit the determinacioun of thair borrowis till the law day… The bischop askit determinacioun … of his borrowis the quhilk war respitit in to thre courtis befoir
14.. Burgh Laws c. 34 (A).
Gif ony burges be chalangit of lande & war … be ȝond the see … it salbe respyt quhil he cum hame bot gif he haldis him a way thru fraud it sall respyt thru law of selling of heritagis … thru iiii dais & na ma
1498 Reg. Privy S. I 34/2.
And respitutis … all … querellis belanging the said lord … for the said tym … induring the tym of this lecience, respyit and exemptioun
1516 Ib. 423/2.
Ane … respitt … Attour we have respit and be thir our lettres in the law and by the law specialie respitis all actionis, caus and querrellis … movit or to be movit agains our said counsalour [etc.]
c1575 Balfour Pract. 346.(b) 1531–2 Reg. Privy S. II 154/1.
We haif respet and supersedit, and … respettis and supersedis all actionis and causis [etc.]
(c) 1547 Misc. Spald. C. II 204.
c1575 Balfour Pract. 281.
Actiounis and causis dependand in judgment may be respeittit and put under continuance thre times for … inlaik of suitaris or of gude counsal or be ressoun of the kingis service or commoun weill of the realme
1622-6 Bisset I 306/30.
Then the courte counselled and advysed sic ane soyttour respeited (id est continued) the waird and the dome to the nixt courte thereftir
(d) 1504 Crim. Trials I i 42.
We have resputt, ande be thir oure lettres … speciale resputis, all actionis [etc.] … movit or to be movit aganis the saide maist reverend fader
absol. 1410–11 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 31.
The court culd [not] be awisit to determine the afoirsaid borch, bot distolatit and respitit till ane othir court for to be better awisit
b. 1500 Acta Conc. II 410.
That al persone or persons inhabitant … Eskdale and Ewisdale be assouerit and respittit for al maner of accions, crimes and offensis committit and done be thame
1500 Reg. Privy S. I 74/2.
And attour we haf respitt and … speciallie respittis the said Alexander and all and sindre actionis [etc.]
1508 Ib. 254/2.
Wit ȝe us, for certain … consideratiouns moving us, to have respitt and frely galyit … Gregory Garth [etc.] … saufly and seurly to cum within our realme … with thare merchandice … but ony hurt, … attaich or arreist to be done to thaim
(b) 1500 Reg. Privy S. I 87/1.
A letter … respettand him and thaim for al actionis, caus and querellis belanging the king
1541–2 Ib. II 683/1.
(c) 1504 Crim. Trials I i 43.
And we have respuyt and … specialie resputis all the foresaidis personis … quhilkis ar or sal happin … to be indictat, attechit or accusit for the slauchtir of … Thomas Ruthirfurde … to be … unvexit or trublit in the law or by the law in thair personis, … landis and gudis quhatsumevir

c. To delay (a decision). 1568 in Tytler Hist. of Scotland (1864) III 419.
The earl sent to summon the castle of Hamilton. The answer respaited till the next morning

d. intr. To be adjourned.Burgh Laws c. 34 (A) (see 1 (a) above).

2. To allow (a person) respite or delay for rest, consideration, preparation, etc. b. To spare or prolong his life. 1456 Hay I 146/20, 22.
The lord did him grace to respyte him in the mene tyme. For a servand that gais with his lordis leve is respitit as resident quhill the terme of his leve cum agayne
Id. ?1438 Alex. (S.T.S.) 3075.
Thay suld the toun to him but straik resinge Thame to respute ane fourtene dayis … That thai mycht warn thair lord
b. a1500 Lanc. 1161.
Wharfor, me think, it best is to delay, And resput hyme for a tuelmoneth day
a1500 Seven S. 795.
Quhen he was respit on this wys Wa was the hart of the emprys
1513 Doug. viii ix 79.
I ȝow beseik my febill lyfe to respyte That I mycht lyf and endur ȝyt a lyte All pane [etc.]

3. To recover (from an exertion).Cf. 18th c. Eng., in this sense (1769), e.m.E. also = to rest (1575). 1604-31 Craig i 9.
Scarse had my Muse respi'd the smallest space, From paynting prayses of our ciuill pace … When [etc.]

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"Respit v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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