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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.

Leg, n.1 Also: legg(e, lege, laig, lag(e, leig, lig, lig(g)e, lyg(elyig and Ledge. [ME. leg (14th c.), pl. legges (c 1275), ON. legg-r leg, limb.]

1. A person's or an animal's leg, also a representation of one (as in heraldry).(a) 1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 379.
The land … called Lurgyndaspok, that is to say the Bischapis Leg
1489 Treas. Acc. I. 149.
To be logouris to the King, the tyme his leg wes sayre
1540 Lynd. Sat. 915.
Thairs nocht sic ane leg in al this land
1578 Digest Justiciary Proc. I. 78.
Wounding of him in his rycht hand leg
1623 Crim. Trials III. 556.
Be drawing hir … bakward and fordward be the leg
1627 Justiciary Cases I. 68.
His left leg and knie thairof
1627 Forbes Eubulus viii. 152.
A man hath the goare in his legge
1692 Presb. Eloq. (ed. 2) 66.
Thy leg to my leg, and we shall hough down Bellarmine even now
pl. 1456 Hay II. 158/16.
As the last party … is the leggis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 133.
Ȝit leit I neuer that larbar my leggis ga betuene
Ib. xxvi. 38.
Thair leggis [M. laiggis] wer chenȝeit to the heill
1538 Lynd. Justing 28.
Howbeit thou thinkis my leggis lyke rokkis
1567 Sat. P. iii. 70.
To dance … With leggis lycht
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics iii. 53.
From the choukis to the leggis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 294/29.
Hocht of his legis
Ib. II. 17/16.
Weill braint in legis and armes, weill schoulderit
(b) 14.. Poem on Heraldry in Loutfut MS. (E.E.T.S., 1869) 100/168.
Thire be also raschit, as lege or heid
a1578 Pitsc. I. 258/13.
Ane man … with … ane pair of bottouns on his feit to the great of his lege
1615 Highland P. III. 182.
Where Caiptane Crafwrd … was shoat in the small of the lege and … had his lege cut of be the knie
1666 Lanark Presb. 106.
That shoe rostit ane lege of the devill everie day
(c) 1575 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 124.
To … cure Thomas Gardner … of his brokin laig
1600-1610 Melvill 21.
[He] strak him selff a deipe wound in the schin of the lag
1705–6 Melville Corr. 197.
The Duke of Queensberry's lage continows stile so ill that [etc.]
(d) 1569-73 Bann. Memor. 64.
Thai began to bait the fyre, sometimes to his buttokes, sometimes to his leiges
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 291.
Thai wald bring the fische betuix thair leigis
Ib. 304.
Hurt … in baith thair leigis
(e) 1535 Prestwick B. Rec. 54.
The said hyrd brak ane kow lyg
1657 Balfour Ann. I. 203.
Sentenced to haue a waine in his lyge oppinid
1615 Inverness Rec. II. 136.
Stricking of him with ane durck throw the brain of the lyig
1679 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 4 Oct.
For mending ane brokene ligge to ane of the workmen
1683 Ib. 24 Mar.

b. A leg (of mutton or beef). 1621 Maxwell Mem. I. 331.
For ane leig of muttone … ij s. ij d.
1651 Pittenweem Ann. 73.
3 firlots malt [etc.] … and ane leg beyff

c. comb. : see Bare-leg a.

d. Short for Leg-dollour n. 1673 Lauder Jrnl. 269.
The nixt money I brok upon was 52 dollars wheirof 31 of them ware legs
1687 Haigs of Bemersyde 331.
To Daick, … a rexdollar and halfe a legg, which is £04. 06. 0
1688 Sc. N. & Q. 1st Ser. III. 39.
From Robert Davidson 9 rix dollars and ane leg quhich he had received from Dantzick

2. a. ? A bar or pole used as a support or prop. 1553–4 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 119.
The expensis … on the bigging of the Schoir of Leyth … .Item, for ane draucht of laiggis fra the Borromure to the schoir iij s. vj d.
1563–4 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun (S.R.S.) 138.
Sex pece of curtenis of lynnyng with the leggis … ane pair of curtenis … with the leggis

b. A fixed support or ‘leg’ (as of a piece of furniture). c. See Kye-lig n.Also, a fixed support or pile of a bridge.(1) 1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 19.
For ane grit ferr jeist to David Andersoun the plumber to be leggis to his muild
(2) 1559 Peebles B. Rec. I. 254.
The tre briggis and legis of Peblis brig to be mendit ... now quhill the watter is litill

3. Attrib. in Leg-dollo(u)r, -harnes, -sok and -splent.

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"Leg n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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