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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.

Richt, Rych(t, adj. Also: richte, right, ryght, ricth, rycth, riche; ruychte; reycht; (ritht). [ME and e.m.E. riht(e, riȝt(e, right, OE reht, riht, ryht, ON réttr.]

I. 1. Straight; not curved, twisting or crooked. 1456 Hay II 45/3.
As the spere is evin and rycht, sa suld he be bathe evynlyk and rychtwise
1581–2 Misc. Stair Soc. I 115.
The parchement … is all reulit … quhilk is the caus that the lynis of the auld instrument ar sua richt
1657 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 167.
To caus … build the wall … in ane richt and ewin lyne from the present work

b. Of a route or course: Direct; taking the shortest way between two points.Also absol. = the direct way. ?1438 Alex. ii 2168.
He … to the king the richt way tais
1456 Hay I 186/28.
Sen it is the kingis rycht way or passage to pas thare away to Ungary
c1475 Wall. iii 5.
Als bestiall, thar rycht cours till endur, Weyle helpyt ar be wyrkyn off natur
Ib. v 3.
In Nouember … The day faillit, throu the rycht cours worthit schort
Ib. x 900. 1513 Doug. iii iii 97.
Forswiftit from our richt cowrs, gan we ar
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1929 (B).
Wiss me the richt way to Sanctandrus
c1610 Melville Mem. 3.
Sen na man can schaw the richt way better than he that has oft tymes chancit vpon by roddis
1661 Rothesay B. Rec. 67.
That … may be prejudiciall to the right course and currant of the vater
absol. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4189 (Ch.).
I man pas to the King of Farie, Or ellis the rycht to hell

c. Of a blow: ? Well-aimed. c1475 Wall. ii 62.
The tothir fled, … Bot a rycht straik Wallace him gat that tyd

d. Of lineage or descent: Direct, (hence) legitimate. Also in fig. context.(1) a1400 Leg. S. vi 446.
Synciane, that wes … cosyne To the kinge thar be rycht lyne
c1420 Wynt. vi 2100.
Thare herytage That to thame fell be rycht lynage
c1475 Wall. i 34.
Go reid the fyrst rycht lyne of the fyrst Stewart
c1515 Asl. MS I 193/20.
Wndere our kingis of richt lyne discendand fra Gathele & Scota
1570 Sat. P. xiii 117.
Ane teinfull tratour of rycht successioun
(2) 1549 Compl. 1/1.
The immortal gloir that procedis be the rycht lyne of vertu

II. 2. The richt gat or way, the correct and moral way to achieve eternal life. b. The correct way to do anything. Cf. 1 b above. a1400 Leg. S. xl 606.
Til men of al estate Ledar he wes of the richt gat
1533 Gau (Title).
The richt vay to the kingdome of heuine
1551 Hamilton Cat. 121.
Quha will tell me quhen I am in the rycht way, and quhen I am in the wrang way
b. 1456 Hay II 66/17.
For he that better techis his hors na his barnis he gais nocht the rycht gate to teche the order

3. Properly pertaining or belonging to a person.Chiefly, of a person's name.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 876.
A man that … to his richt name Dinon had
1456 Hay I 3/1.
I am callit be my richt name Bonnett priour of Sallon
Id. ?1438 Alex. (S.T.S.) 717.
Alexander, but dreid, is my rycht name
a1500 Rauf C. 45.
Schir, tell me thy richt name, for the Rude lufe
c1475 Wall. ix 247.
My rycht name is Wallace
(2) ?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 30.
Thé, Henrie of Longcastell, … Duik of that ilk thow suld be cald; It is thy richtest style
1567 G. Ball. 23.
Thow … gaif thy self to plaige, Me Catiue to conuoy To my rycht heritage

4. Of behaviour, an action, etc.: In accordance with the principles of justice or equity; just, good. 1456 Hay I 153/7.
Suppos a baroun mak rycht were of defence agayne ane othir baroun
Ib. 230/27.
And do me na wrang but do me richt lawe
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2668.
As pyne for sin, reward for werkis rycht
c1475 Wall. x 1158.
He [sc. Cumyn] serwyt dede be rycht law off his king
1490 Irland Mir. I 85/36.
Bot the pane cummys be the richt jugement of God
1538 Soc. Ant. XVI 194.
[Lands to be] brukyt … with all clauses that ry[ch]t is all fraud and gyle secludyt
a1568 Scott xx 31.
Thairfoir it is bot rycht That thow indure the pane
a1568 Bann. MS 157b/24.
He wald be oft in the stokkis gife he had rycht lawis
1586–7 Montrose Baillie Ct. 23 Feb.
The judges … findis the saidis claim speciall riche
1591 Colquhoun Chart. II 112.
To hayff ane rvychte or honest caws
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 8/11.
Hou to behaue youre self in indifferent things, quhilke of thame selfis are nather richt nor urong but according as thay are richtlie or urong usid
1640 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 78.
We doe not love to wrong onie man in thair ryght or kyndlie possessione

5. That is correct when set against some accepted standard, set of beliefs, etc.; in agreement with the facts; true.For further instances of (3) below, see Jadge n. 1.(1) 1428 Liber Melros 520.
That is to say Pitillishugh with the rycht marchis & deuysis for a plew of land
14.. Acts I 42/2.
According to the richt and auld merchis withyn the burgh
1488 Reg. Paisley 406.
The redding of the landymeris, richt marchez, and ald divisis betwix [etc.]
1543 Boyd Fam. P. No. 20 (8 May).
Be all ald ry[ch]t merchis divdit as thai ly in lenth and bried
(2) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 186/37.
Ane raknyng richt cummis of ane ragment small
1514 Facs. Nat. MSS III xi.
All that wauntis be rycht compt and reknyng
1687 Cramond Kirk S. II 24 Oct.
To whom they had committed the reviseing of the said accompts, if they were right and helde
(3) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1377.
Ane rycht cubeit … Off misour now mycht be ane ell
1611 Glasgow B. Rec. I 322.
For evirrie richt firlot that is tryit
(4) 1456 Hay I 13/1.
And the tothir [manner of understanding] is entermellit, the quhilkis clerkis callis … the rycht witt
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 4.
Evin sa [is that nocht yit the rycht und]irstanding of the gospell
1549 Compl. 183/29.
The comont prouerb sais that in euyrie tua contrar opinions ther is ane rycht and ane vrang
15.. Wyf Awcht. 103.
Scho fand all wrang that sowld bene richt
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 4.
Our nobill progenitouris Quhilk suld to vs be richt mirrouris, Thair verteous deidis to ensew
1567 G. Ball. 16.
The Supper of the Lord, and richt use of it
c1590 Fowler II 21/16.
That quhilk maliciously be writ and deade in effect he hes performit, as rycht sould be receauit
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 94.
Misknowing the right meaning of it
c1616 Hume Orthog. 7.
Quhat was the right Roman sound of them is hard to judge, seeing now we heer nae Romanes
1685-8 Renwick Serm. 536.
A right sight of yourselves and of your sin
(5) 1531 Vaus (1531) 2.
Ane orison [is] ane richt ordinatione of dictionis to signify ony thing

b. Of belief: Orthodox, true. 1533 Gau 8/11.
To pray to hime with ane meik hart in the richt faitht
1596 Dalr. I 111/6.
Sincere luue of the rycht religione

6. That is suitable or correct in the prevailing circumstances; fitting; appropriate. c1475 Wall. ix 54.
A gud gay wynd out off the rycht art com
a1500 K. Hart 708.
I man obey to ȝow, sen that is richt
a1500 Seven S. 1719.
The emprioure said, That is all richt I grant ȝow
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 5/27.
Our licht most richt in clud of nycht Our dirknes for to scale
1513 Doug. iii vi 75.
Thar … Is the richt place and sted for ȝour cite
1535 Stewart 30560.
The da wes fair, the wedder richt and ameyne
1570 Campbell Love-Lett. Mary 229.
Hir richt dewtie to ȝow and me, being the parteis interest, were hir trew confessioun and … repentance of that … fact
c1610 Melville Mem. 5.
Rather following the rud extremyte then the richt midis, I lost my credit with the prince
1604-31 Craig v 5.
And the red morning rose from the right airt

7. Of a person's mind: Sound; normal; whole.In (one's) richt wit (mynd), sane.(1) ?a1500 Remembr. Passion 419.
Him that hes grantit thé thy richt wittis, and all the partis of thi body
1513 Doug. x xiv 168.
Fra that he … hys rycht mynd agane recoverit haith
1620 Perth Kirk S. MS 25 May.
Margaret … now depryueit of richt wittis
(2) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 57.
Geif ye had bene in your rycht wyt [etc.]
1583 Crail B. Ct. MS 23 April.
He … is nocht in his rycht wite
1617 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. VIII 346.
Quha sen hir mariage hes bein lang out of hir rycht mynd

b. With a person as subject: To be richt in (one's) wit (wits), to be sane. 1644 Petrie Chiliasto-Mastix 5.
Who being richt in his witt [etc.]
1669 Cullen Kirk S. 5 Dec.
Becaus his sonne is not right in his wits

8. Of a person: Virtuous; just in judgment; righteous.To mak rycht, to justify. Cf. Richtwis adj. 4. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 145/164.
Haill Rois, moste riche and richt
a1550 Ave Gloriosa 86.
Haill, … Thou counsall richt Fra falset and defame; Mothir of mycht
1567 G. Ball. 28.
Thow, God, the quhilk is onlie richt, Thow saif me fra the Deuillis net
1570 Sat. P. xvi 61.
Our richt regent
1567 G. Ball. 25.
We ar maid just and rycht, And fred from panis sore, Throw Christ

9. Of a material thing: In a good condition; flawless. a1658 Durham Blessedness Death (1713) 17.
O! its a right vessel that cannot haue leck

III. 10. Lawful, rightful; legitimate. 1375 Barb. vii 252.
The king Robert the Bruys … That is rycht lord off this countre
c1420 Wynt. vi 2424.
Tha that he rycht ayrys kend To the kynryk off Ingland
Ib. ix 1640.
For to be a lord … Off mony landis of rycht richt
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 61.
Sum sais the sone efter borne the rychtar ayr to be than the cosyng
1456 Hay I 255/1.
Quene Johnnet … helde of the rycht pape Clement
c1475 Wall. xi 1197.
How Jhon off Lorn agayn his rycht king rais
1494 Loutfut MS 25b.
Quhen the ȝoung perdris … heris the voce of thair richt moder … [they] renuncis thair fals moder
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 75.
To Cleische … richt heritour
1662 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 22.
To be intimat … that the ricth owner may get knolege of them

11. That is properly or correctly so called; genuine, veritable, real. a. Of a person. b. Of a non-material thing. c. Of a material thing or of an animal.a. c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 33/11.
The Jewes … monn inheyred Abrahams faith gif thai wil be the rycht heyres of Abraham
1549 Compl. 6/29.
Ȝour grace is ane rycht nobil, baytht of vertu ande of genoligie
b. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1113 (H).
Pilgrimes … Approuand that for richt religioun Thair God onlie to pleis in euerie place
c1500 Fyve Bestes 55.
That joyfull place … of perfectioun richt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 111/90.
R [stands for] right renoune most hie
1533 Gau 71/31.
The natural … onderstanding of man … cane noth consedir the richt blis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 4.
To knaw his workis and actis is not [yit] the rycth knawledge of the gospell
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 27/6.
The richt knauledge & feare of God quhilke is the beginning of uisdome
c. a1500 K. Hart 662.
How suld he wit? … To by richt blew that nevir ane hew had sein
15.. Christis Kirk 13 (M).
Thair gluvis war of the raffell richt
1596 Dalr. I 50/25.
Mony doubtes gif thir be the very rycht salmont
1662 Crim. Trials III 606.
It could litt … onlie blak according to the culor of the Divell in quhoes nam we took away the strenth of the rycht culouris that wes in the fatt

d. Not pretended or assumed. 1568 Lyndesay Pref. Adhort. 8.
To behald and heir Uertew and vyce disclosit … In thair richt collouris planelie to appeir

IV. 12. Richt hand, the hand on the right side of the body.To givethe right hand of fellowship, to hold a person's right hand in one's own as a token of sincerity and comradeship.Also attrib.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xli 37.
My luffar … My richt hand … Has ennornyt with schenand stanis
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 444.
The visdome of the wisman is in his rycht hand and the foly of the ful in his kere hand
a1500 Rauf C. 150.
He … hit him vnder the eir with his richt hand
a1500 Bk. Chess 560.
In his richt hand a nakit swerd he baire
1513 Doug. v viii 48.
Entellus … hevis on hycht Hys rycht hand
1518 Glenartney Doc.
That the punition thairof salbe cutting of ane junct of ane fingar of the richt hand
1536 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 131.
The said Nicoll … enteres heyrintill be obligation of his rycht hand and guddis
1600 Misc. Bann. C. I 156.
Gif the rycht hand wist quhat the left hand was doeand
(b) 1549 Black Bk. Taymouth 187.
Be the extensioun of my reycht hand hes suorn … to stand … at the sammyn
(2) 1643 Edgar Old Church Life II 359.
Mr. Alexander Blair … was admitted to the ministerie of the Kirk of Galston, whereupon the brethren gave him the right hand of fellowship
c1680 Sc. Lore 151. 1688 R. Brown Paisley I 92.

b. lit. and fig. On (upon, at) (a person's) richt hand, to his right; on the right.(1) c1450 Cr. Deyng (S.T.S.) 239.
[He] sytis one his faderis rycht hand
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 795 (Asl.).
He sall say to thaim on his richt hand Cum ȝe my barnis
1533 Bell. Livy I 38/13.
Becaus the rivere of Tyber severit thame fra the Romane landis on thare richt handis, thai turnit thame on thare wrang handis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I 11.
[Christ] forgaif the synner vpon his rycht hand
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 122/22.
Jesus Christe … sittis at the rych hand of the Father
(2) 1562-3 Winȝet I 3/8.
Daingerus sanddy beddis on the rycht hand

13. Of other parts of the body on the right-hand side.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii 653.
For my richt arme sall of be shorne Or he thé wed
1456 Hay II 124/4.
Slepe … ane houre apon thy rycht side
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 313.
Ȝe inclynit ȝour blist heid apou[n] the richt syid of ȝour breist
1513 Doug. x vi 116.
The ryght arm … Apon the mankyt sennonys hyngis by
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. v 29.
That gif thi richte e sclandir thee, pul him out
1574 Acts III 87/1.
Gif thay happin tobe convicted … [they are] tobe … burnt throw the girssill of the rycht eare
1590–1 Crim. Trials I ii 235.
In signe that sche wes becum his seruand, he markit hir in the rycht kne
1625 Justiciary Cases I 18.
Streking him with ane quhinger in his rycht airme
1646 J. Hope Diary (1958) 194.
With paine in his right liske
ellipt. 1456 Hay II 124/7.
The ker side is kindely caldare na the rycht
(2) 1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Dexter, richt or prosperous

b. On (apon, in) (the, one's) richt half (sid), on the right-hand side.(1) c1420 Wynt. i 1112.
On [the] rycht half is the west off it [sc. Asia]
1494 Loutfut MS 31b.
Thair entre is on the richt sid … becaus thai … on the rycht sid seis appertly
1513 Doug. viii iv 120.
Hercules it [sc. a rock] smytis with a mychty towk … Apon the rycht half
(2) c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xxii 44.
The Lord said … Sitt on my richthalf
Id. Hebrews x 12.
Bot this man … for euirmare sittis in the rychthalf of God the fader

c. Rycht wing, the right-hand side of an army. 1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 1486.
Off the rycht wing thir four chiftanis wes

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"Richt adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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