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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Leche, Leich(e, n.1 Also: lech, leych(e, leitch(e, lytch, leach, leech. [ME. leche, e.m.E. leach, leech, OE. lǽce, Northumb. léce.] A physician: a practitioner of, also a lay person skilled in, medicine or surgery or both of these. Also Louse-leich.In the following instances applied specifically to a surgeon as distinguished from a physician: 1533 Boece ii. viii. 73.
To the wricht the neris with twa schort ribbis, the remanent of the spar ribbis to the leich [L. chirurgo], off baith quarteris twa ribbis to the medicinare [L. medico]
1535 Stewart 2957.
The wricht the neiris … , Part of the panchis with the lytch [L. chirurgo] suld byde, The medicinar [L. medico] tua ribbis on euerilk syde

a. As an occupational surname. b. In ordinary general use. c. A veterinary, a horse-doctor. d. fig.a. 1356 Rotuli Sc. 799/1.
Ector Leche
1362 Exch. R. II. 99.
Symonis Leche
1444 Ib. V. 173.
Per deliberacionem factam Cristino Leche, pro sanacione cujusdam familiaris regis
1481 Fam. Rose 144.
Makawla Leich
1499 Exch. R. XI. 217. Etc.
Patricio Leich, nunc heraldo Irelande nuncupato
b (a) 1375 Barb. xvii. 485.
Othir, that war woundit sar, Had lechis gude
Ib. v. 437. a1400 Leg. S. xiv. 4.
In his ȝouthede leyrit he In Antyoche leche to be
Ib. xvi. 8, etc. 1456 Hay I. 115/6.
Lechis and medicinaris
a1500 Bernardus 146.
The dolowr of hyr that is his make Be na science thar is na leche can slake
c1500-c1512 Dunb. iv. 42.
In medicyne the most practicianis, Lechis, surrigianis, et phisicianis, Thame self fra ded may not supple
1513 Doug. xiii. Prol. 80.
This ald that was als stern of spech As he had beyn ane medicyner or lech
1533 Gau 62/33.
Thay quhilk ar hail thay mister notht ane lech
1538 Lynd. Justing 15.
Johne Barbour, he was ane nobill leche Crukit carlingis he wald gar thame get speche
a1568 Bann. MS. 73 a/81.
Sua may thow weill thyn awin lech be
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8976.
Lechis will haue ane lang proces, Gude intreitting
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xx. 56.
Til hyme fore helpe it vald sek, As to the leyche dois the sek
c1460 Consail Vys Man 224.
To sykir leich thi wound thu lay
1491 Treas. Acc. I. 177.
Til a leyche that leyt the King blud
1506 Ib. III. 330.
To the More taubronar and to his leich quhen he wes hurt, xxxv s.
1538 Ib. VII. 96.
To Johnne Campbell, leiche, for the mending of the Kingis dog … be ane precept
15.. Clar. i. 130.
Ane sight of Meliades … Micht more him confort, I dar take on hand, Nor all the leiches into Lumbard land
Ib. v. 1462.
Scho salbe medicyne Unto my wounde, for scho is leich full fyne
1579 Atholl Mun. I. No. 90.
James Owhegarty, Irelandman borne, leiche that ministratis medicine be the mouth and cuirs outwardlie be herbis
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 57.
Heiring of John Park that he ves ane expert leich scho … schev to him … hir diseas
1662 Highland P. III. 13.
R. Stewart, leiche
(c) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 4365.
Allace, I trow scho be forfairne, … Better bring hir to the leitches heir
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 291.
Sic ane seiknes hes he tane, … Leitches mycht mak no remeid
(d) 1621-40 Melville Commonpl. Bk. 22.
Eat and drink with measoure And defy the leach
1604-31 Craig v. 31/5.
When no leid for his life … could be leach
(e) 1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. ii. 12.
Tis wonder … Ladies … have their naked breeches Both viewd and lanced by the leeches
c. 1586 in Calderwood IV. 522.
Thy festered galles and sores rubbed … with the … bytting oyle of the word of God, thou kicked and flang with all thy force against the leitche
d. a1497, 15.. Gray MS. iv. 83.
I [Christ] am thi leich to thi males
a1500 Lanc. 2054.
The lech withouten medysyne [sc. God]
c1515 Asl. MS. II. 272/6.
Moder of fauouris To leper leche, crukit, blynd, deif & dwm
c1600 Montg. Suppl. 202/18.
Forceit I am ȝour [sc. the lady's] mercie to imploir, To be my leiche, or dollour me dewoir

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"Leche n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/leche_n_1>

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