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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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Rut(e, Ruit, n. Also: rwte, ruth; ruite, ruitt, ruyt(e, rwit(e; rutt(e; rout(e, routt; root(e, roott; rote. [ME and e.m.E. rote (a1175), roote (1362), north. ME rotte (Cursor M.), rute (c1400), late OE rót, ON rót.]

1. The underground stock (of a tree or plant); that part of a plant which is, normally, under the earth's surface. Also in fig. context.Also coll. or coll. pl., applied to the branches of a root.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xl 539.
A gret tre … it was, & at the rut of it syne Thar sprang a wel
1490 Irland Mir. I 86/20.
As quhen the rut of the tre ore herb is infekkit ore rottin
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 157.
Phebus red fowle … Amyd the wortis and the rutys … Pykland hys meyt
1533 Boece 55b.
Ane porte maist … convenient to harbery schippis … now … stoppit be glar and rutis of wedis
1576 Digest Justiciary Proc. I 24.
Thome gaue hir out of his awin hand ane thing lyk the rute of ane beit
1612 Crim. Trials III 243.
He was haldin and stayit be the stobe and rute of ane trie
(b) 1513 Doug. xiii iv 68.
Vnder the ruyt of a heich tre
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 282 (T).
The wird sisteris … Saw revinis ruge at this rat be ane rone ruite
1587 Carmichael Etym. 10.
Stirps, the ruit of a trie, or herb
1625 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 169.
For tua aixes for cutting of the ruittis of the stank bussis
(2) c1420 Wynt. vii 468.
Now in the rwte is set the tre Bathe frwyt and floure all lyk to bere
Ib. 545, 550.
A grene tre fra the rwte wes sawyn. … This tre may happyn for to get The kynd rwte [C. rutte] and in it be set
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1001.
Ouer ron and rute thay ran
a1500 K. Hart 89. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 4/41.
Now spring up, flouris, fra the rute
1536–7 Sc. Hist. Rev. VII 360.
And thareftir that the wod was cuttit … of the saidis landis the stokkis and rutis being revin out the saidis landis was plentwis
1549 Compl. 66/23.
Rank at the rute [sc. name of dance]
1567 G. Ball. 95.
As the gers that wallowis rute and blaid
a1568 Scott xxxv 9.
He sall haif brute, as tre on rute … To burge and schute
a1578 Pitsc. I 376/22.
Thocht rute be pullit frome the leawis greine
1596 Dalr. I 45/16.
Quhair ance it fixis the rute it spredis the selfe sa … wyde, that [etc.]
(b) a1585 Maitl. Q. 225/50.
This plesant plant … Stuid on ane ruit of semelie sickernes
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 282 (T).
The wird sisteris … Saw revinis ruge at this rat be ane rone ruite
(c) 1600-1610 Melvill 366.
As in the tries and plantes in the wintar seasone quhilk nochtwithstanding the cauld frost and snaw, having the rutt fast in the ground, is ever growing ather within or without the erde
fig. c1420 Ratis R. 1152.
Than springis rutis of resone That beris the froyt discressione
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 25/14.
That I wald mak to plant his rute agane
1549 Lamb Resonyng 21/18.
I say it [sc. friendship between Scotland and England] begouth to faill at the rute, Kyng Henry the Sevint
1553–4 Knox III 383.
Frome a corrupt rute or stock must neids spring … wickit frutis
1562-3 Winȝet I 7/10.
Quhat ellis is it bot to plant but rutis of ordour

b. In the phr. to tak (rive, pull, draw, cut, etc.) (up, doun) be (with) the rute (rutis). Also fig.(1) a1500 Seven S. 739.
He … bad his newo … with the rute it [sc. a herb] hale wp tak
c1500 Rowll Cursing 22 (B).
Fowlis … raif his erbis vp be the rute
1513 Doug. iii i 53.
As from the soyll vprent was the first tre By the rutys [etc.]
Ib. v viii 58.
The mekil kosch fyr tre … Vp by the rutis rent
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xv 13.
Euery planting that my fader of heuen has nocht plantit salbe drawn vp be the rute
1540 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 223.
All our wodis … to be keipit … and geif onland townmen cuttis or ryffis up be the ruttis to be inditit thairof
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3461.
Forrestis be the ruttis vprewin
Ib. 5670.
This herb … Stoup doun agane and pull vp be the rute
1649 Review Bramble's Faire Warning 8.
A noxious … weed, necessare to be plucked up by the root
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 1525.
Cut the auld clene and quite doun be the rute
(3) a1500 Seven S. 345.
Than gart he … hewe this gud tre by the rute
1669 Salmon Borrowstounness 87.
That no persounes … pull or spoyle any of their neighbours peise aither be codd or ruite

2. The root of a plant used as a food, medicine or the like. Also fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 190/31.
For quhilk thair tennents sald somer meill, And leivis on rutis undir the ryce
1531 Bell. Boece I 46.
Levand in the somer on milknes, rutis of herbis, and beryis
1549 Compl. 144/36.
There maist delegat refectione vas acquorns, vyild berreis, … rutis & eirbis
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 21.
Eikand thairwith as tyme seruis, the granis of juniper or the rute of valeriane
a1595 Misc. Spald. C. II xxx.
For tuithe aik tak pellodrommy rwit and put betwene thair gumis
1622 Crim. Trials III 514.
Becaus witchcraft can nocht be accomplischet as witchcraft bot be characteris [etc.] … poysonet herbis, ruittis, vennemous oyles
1649 Wemyss Chart. II 232.
And the bloudston … uithe Dockter Arnots stone that is for the ueimen in trauall, uithe the drad routt lais in the lokkit shotill of my kalbinett
1685 Dunlop P. III 16.
Ther is no bread … bot ceader bread which is mead of the routs of tries
1685 Ib. 17.
Ther is purtatos … and many mo routs which I can not now neame
fig. a1500 K. Hart 560.
The rute is bitter scharp as ony breir

3. Applied to a plant or herb.The quot. from Elgin Rec. may properly belong to 2 above. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5677.
Sa Galiene … To pull the rute lawlie he did inclinde
1596 Dalr. I 36/3.
The herb gude to give the cattel against the rute that thay cal trifoly
1596 Elgin Rec. II 43.
Thei careit ane certane feill … and tuik out certane ruittis … vpoun Sonday wes aucht dayis

4. a. That part of the thumb-nail that is embedded in the finger, or of a hair in the body, or of a tooth in the jaw. b. sing. and pl. That part of the tongue by which it is joined to the floor of the mouth, or, of the ear, by which it is joined to the head.a. 14.. Acts I 309/2.
The thoum aw to be messurit at the rut of the nayll
a1500 Seven S. 278.
The emprys … be the rutis raif hir haire
1629 Boyd Last B. 197.
Man's heart on earth is like a tooth in the jaw, the deeper roote it hath [etc.]
b. 1456 Hay II 141/15.
Claret wyne … reddis the rutis of the tong, and gerris a man speke clerely and redly
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 374.
The ravyns sall ryve na thing bot thy tong rutis
1600 Crim. Trials II 335.
He sall be takyn to the mercat croce of Edinburgh and his toung cuttit out at the rute
1652 Nicoll Diary 100.
The ane haid his lug cuttit from the ruitt with a resour

5. The bottom or base of a wall, building, etc. 1543–4 Prestwick B. Rec. 59.
iiij syil ruttis of aik
1571 Bann. Memor. 107.
When we war at the trie [at the top of the wall], we had fyvescoir of faddomes to the rute of the wall
1579 Reg. Privy C. III 189.
That na thing remane within the clois about the rute of the tour bot the dur thairof
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 351.
Aught syll ruites aucht sylle cropis

6. Applied to the ancestry or lineage of a person, family, etc.; a progenitor; a person's origins. c1420 Ratis R. 1513.
That na man sal thi rutis ken In-to the land of levand men
c1420 Wynt. vii 561. 1490 Irland Mir. I 86/21.
And Adam was rut of all oure nature
1567 Sat. P. iv 5.
With ane … Quha was the ruite quhair of I did spring
1588 King Cat. 130.
God hes dryit vp the roott of proude nations and hes planted the humill amangis thame

b. A descendant. Arundel MS 247/267.
Fle, ȝe aduersaris, ourcumin be the lioun of the tribe of Juda, rute of Dauid [etc.]
1632 Lithgow Trav. x 435.
The plants of their parishes being the rootes of meere Irish

7. The origin, or a source, of some quality, virtue or vice.Predicated of a non-material, also a material, thing.Common in the phr. rute and ground (foundament), ground and rute.(1) c1420 Ratis R. App. 176/2.
Wertew floure and rut is of noblay
a1500 Henr. Thre Deid Pollis 33.
O wilfull pryd, the rute of all distres
1490 Irland Mir. MS fol. 246b.
As the flesch and body of Adam was the rute, fontane, ark and kest, of all oure corrupcioun
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 151/56 (M).
Nyxt efter him com cowatyce Ruit of all ewill
1533 Boece 516b. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 96.
Quhairon to luke was rute of all remeid
Ib. ii 87.
Thay rosis redolent, Ruit of regard, and fontane musicall
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4413.
[The Papacy] Ressauit the realme of Italie … That wes the rute of thare ryches
1562-3 Winȝet I 12/7.
Thre of the gretast ydolis … ȝe, and rute, top, and body of all vtheris ydolis
1567 Sat. P. iv 119.
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 3a.
1622-6 Bisset I 27/10.
Money … (quhilk Sanct Paule callis the ruit of all evillis)
pl. c1420 Ratis R. 299.
Outrag … is in rutis fals and fell. … The first of thaim is succudry [etc.]
(2) c1420 Liber Calchou 449.
The air venoms … rynnis to the hart that is g[r]onde & ruth of lyf
1456 Hay II 87/10.
Efter veritee and lautee the quhilk is rute and ground of all … gracis
1490 Irland Mir. II 50/33.
Alsua the faith is rut and foundament of all Cristianite
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 324/10.
Sua is vnbeleif the grounde and rutte of al ewill and all ewill werkis
1533 Gau 20/18.
The lwiff that man hes to hyme selff is the rwit and grund of al sine
1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 120.
The perfyte ground and rute originall Of this storie
a1568 Bann. MS 227a/2.
O wrechit infernall crewall element Depairting ground and rut of euery wo

b. Predicated of a person. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 406 (C).
Of Aueryce tempile bene thay [sc. priests] And of yharnyng the rote perfay
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 374 (Asl.).
King Dauid, cheif rute [Arund. chois] of all renovne
1528 Lynd. Dreme 880.
I fynd thame rute and grund of all our greif
a1550 Lang Rosair 288.
Haill, the rute of consolacioun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3065.
That wemen ar … The verray rute and speciall inuentioun Of all falset
1567 G. Ball. 60.
He is the rute of my remembrance rycht

8. A source or cause (of some condition, process, action, etc.). c1490 Porteous Noblenes 171/17 (Asl.).
To remove and draw out the wikit rutis of wrang and ewill deidis
1490 Irland Mir. II 123/10.
And sene the werkis and operacioun … proced all of a rute, that is, the liberte of the man
1530–1 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 111.
This forsaid inquest desirit to heir the rut of the plee
1542 St. P. Henry VIII V 231.
Ȝe may understand of quhat rute the foresaid murthure procedit
1562 Q. Mary Letter 5 Jan.
Rather than leif ony rute of breache
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 291.
Hir majestie wald nocht that ony rute were left behind, quhilk mycht engender ony new displesour or grudge betuix thame
1569 Misc. Spald. C. III 243.
Swai thatt all ruite and occasione of grief and displesor … mai be remowit

b. Applied to a person: An instigator. 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 3.
The secretarie … was suspected to be the route of all sic enterpryssis
1615 Melrose P. 238.
Beseiking God to grant your lordship the honour … to cut off the ruttes and headis of the Iles rebellioun

9. The basis or foundation upon which anything rests; that which provides (a person or thing) with a firm basis for growth or development. 1456 Hay II 37/12.
For hye parage and ancien honour ar the first poyntis of the rute of knychthede
a1500 Bk. Chess 297.
This was a word … Fra the verraye rute of humanite And gentilnes
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 82.
In thé is rute and augment of curage
1562-3 Winȝet I 127/20.
The monastik lyfe … hes the grund and deip ruitis in the Scriptuir
1567 G. Ball. 201.
Land and money … Quhilk is the ground staine of thair queir And rute of all thair pryde
1572 Sempill Sat. P. xxxviii 102.
Wit quhat ȝe do, And mak thame fast in the ruit gif thay cum to
c1590 Fowler I 241/55.
Ȝit sall our love rest fixed in this ruit
1596 Dalr. I 210/1.
The ruites of the Pelagian hæresie … began … to invade our natione

b. In the phr. remufe fra the rute, ryfe vnto the rute, pull (rug) up or rive (pluck) out be the rute (rutis).Cf. 1 b above. 1533 Boece 193.
Thai suld remove fra the rute all successioun of the tyran … togiddir with all his freyndis
1562-3 Winȝet I 12/2.
Albeit mony … hes laborit to … pull the samyn [images] mercyles vp be the rutis
Ib. II 22/14.
Quhen the determinationis of the eldaris ar rugit vp, as it war be the ruitis
a1568 Bann. MS 221a/19.
Quhill dethis rege vnto the rut me ryfe
1596 Dalr. I 230/18.
To pluck out be the ruites thir same abuses
a1605 Montg. Sonn. lv 12.
Bot rigour ryvis the hairt out by the root

10. The essential part of anything. 1456 Hay II 132/36.
With syk gude governaunce mannis nature begynnis agayn to revert and all tree herbe and beste the vertu begynnis to cum in the rute

b. fig. The rute (rutis) (of (a person's) hart), etc., the bottom of one's heart.See Hart n.1 4 for further examples. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 162.
I sall a ragment reveil fra rute of my hert
Ib. 224.
A hache is happinit hastely at my hert rut
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9661.
Bot still remane at the ruitis of my hart
a1568 Scott xv 1.
Vp, helsum hairt! thy rutis rais, and lowp

11. To tak rute (in), to festin (one's) rute (rotes), to become (more, or less) securely established; to establish oneself. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 396 (C).
In prestes is not new Yf that of ould it seyd for trew: Inne the which Dame Aueryce Festened hyre rotes
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 15.
Than the tirane [sc. mortal sickness] fessinis [pr. sessinis] rute and slayis sonest
1583 Melvill 155.
Na heresie … hes taken rut, entered anie thing deiplie [etc.] … mikle les to haiff growin upe
1596 Dalr. II 473/23.
Quhilk opinione tuke deipar rute in thair hartes eftirwarde
1662 Dumfries Council Min. 10 Nov.
The word of God … had takin little rwit in thair harts

12. In certain special phrases, predicated of persons to indicate that they are supreme examples of certain qualities, types, etc.Crop and rute, for other examples (also, once, in adv. use) see Crop n. 1 b and c.Rute and ryne, see Rind n.1 2. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 73.
Thow crop and rute of tratouris tressonable
1513 Doug. xii x 116.
Scho was … Baith crop and ruyte and hed of sik myscheif

13. attrib. and comb.See also Rute-fast adj.(1) 1610 Reg. Privy C. IX 578.
To prevent the setling or roote-taking of ony suche pernitious Franshe humour thair
(2) 1672 Sinclair Hydrostaticks 266.
Some trees, when their root-branches are cut … will yeeld … an acid liquor
(3) 1685 Corshill Baron Ct. 169.
Persued … for cutting of young root-grown trees

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"Rut n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2023 <>



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