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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
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Failȝe, Falȝe, n. Also: faylyhe, -ȝye, -ȝ(i)e; failyhe, -(e)ȝie, -ȝea; failliȝ(i)e; falȝie, faleȝe, falliȝea; feal-, feilȝie; faylie, failli(e, faill(e)y, fallie. [OF. faille, with normal for ll. Cf. Faill n.1.]

1. Lack or want; a deficiency. Failȝe of, in the lack or absence of. 1387 Edinb. Chart. etc. 36.
Join Primros has procurit the selle of James of Fulforde, and Join of Scone … the selle of Join of Irwine, in failyhe thai hade nane of their awyne
1498 Dunferm. B. Rec. 329.
The said balye gayff eretabyll stayt … to the forsaid Jhon and Janat, faylyhe of tham cwmand a gayn to the said Wylyam

2. But (or without) failȝe, without fail. ?1438 Alex. ii. 1619.
He was staluart and fare but failȝe
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1226.
Quhilk fyre but falȝe or distans sall indure

3. Failure in action, esp. to act properly or rightly; faulty action or conduct; a fault.(a) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 109/17.
Thi sentens and jugisment mone stand ferme in execucioune … without ony brek ore falȝe
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 34.
The party … failyeand ony maner of way … to be punist … eftir the failye be notourlie knawn
1533 Boece ix. xi. 315 b.
He confessit his failȝe and vehementlie repentit his falt
1573 Peebles B. Rec. 354.
The haill inqueist, anentis the failye allegit be the textouris, … findis that the said Patrik hes maid na failye
1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 141.
He … in respect of the said Johne failyie is decernit … to releiff his souretie of the premissis
1608 Stewart Mem. 120.
The said Neill … to mak payment of tua thousand merkis for aledgit fellȝie in aledgit breaking of the said assurence
1611 Grant Chart. 210.
The faillie and brek of deutie being tryit … be Mr James Grant
1650 Kirkcaldy Presb. 359.
If he be found heirafter guiltie of any such failȝie as savours of disaffectione to the publik cause
1673 Bk. Pasquils 201.
To seek out his failleys, myne honest old baillies, … They would cut him all in talyes and eat him themselves
(b) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 109/17.
That thi sentens and jugisment mone stand ferme in execucioune without ony brek ore falȝe
1511 Lennox Mun. 191.
To dispone apone my sonys maryagis … at the falȝe of the saidis endentouris
1541 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 108.
The souerteis salbe haldin to rispond for the falȝe, gyf ony beis

b. Freq. in the phrase in case of failȝe, in the event of failing to comply with a condition or to fulfil an obligation. 1587 Act Sederunt 7 June.
In case of failyie in ony of the premisses, the pain to be upliftit
1592 Douglas Chart. 303.
To find souirte for keping of his hienes peax, … and, incace of failȝie, to caus put thame to the horne
1606 Melrose R. Rec. I. 21.
To enter Wille Blaik to the baille … under the pan of jm merks money in case of failȝe
1643 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 5.
To present the said Robert his sone … vnder the pain of ane hundreth pundis money, to be payit … to the said capitan in caice of failȝie
1712 Hist. Rev. XVIII. 232.
The soume of threescore of ponds … with ten ponds … of liquidat expenses in caice of failliȝie
(b) 1637 Elgin Rec. I. 256.
In caice of failly to … paye to the thesaurer … the sowm of fourtie pundis money
1642 Lanark Presb. 31.
To desist from that office in all tym coming, … and in case of faillie, ordains the Minister to proceed presently against her
1672 Justiciary C. Rec. II. 68.
Nothing is more lawfull in case of faillie than to exact both the a[nnual] rent and the penalty

c. An instance of failure to comply or satisfy. 1636 Urie Baron Ct. 80.
The tennentis … to content and pey the soume of ten pundis money … for ilk hundreth markis fealȝie
1640 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 204.
[They] sall pay the said soume of ten merkis of euerie hundreth merkis of rent … togidder with ten merkis money foirsaid for everie hundreth merkis failȝie
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. 14.
If any master or servant who hes any hors, … failȝea to take a field … their hors, [they] shall pay for ilk failȝea to the keeper, vj s. viij d.
1663 Decis. Lords G. 43.
The condition resolved only in a failȝie, which the defender might yet purge
1712 Hist. Rev. XVIII. 233.
The party failliȝier [is bound] to pay … the some of twenty ponds money … for ilk failliȝe in the premisses

4. A sum payable in case of failure; a penalty.Freq. in phr. under the failȝie of.(a) 1639 Thanes of Cawdor 285.
The saidis Robert and George bindis them to build … the said work … under the paine of 200 merkis of fealyie
c1650 Spalding II. 393.
Then the committee presentlie furneshit them moneyis vpone thair band of repayment with the annuellis at Martinmes nixt vnder falȝeis
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i. xxiii. § 4.
He … being obliged under a failȝie to deliver such a number of skins
1680 Echt-Forbes Chart. 148.
To … exact faylȝyes and penaltyes used and wont
1701 Burnett Fam. P. MS.
That no tenent or subtenent within the ground cast fael or doviot … under the failȝie of five pounds scots
(b) 1611 Fam. Rose 301.
Fyue hundreth merkis money, with the faillies and annuel rent thereof
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 14.
To present him befoir the Committe of Estaits … vnder such faillie as the committee sall think fitt
1677 Brodie Diary 381.
They offered to concur for paying the faili
1703 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 332.
Dischargeing all hyrers and stablers from … hyreing any horses … under the faillie of ten pund

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"Failȝe n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2022 <>



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