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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.

Lig, v. Also: ligg(e, lige, lyg. P.t. and p.p. liggit. [North. and north midl. ME. lig, ligg (Cursor M.), lige, lyg, ON. liggia (Sw. ligga, Da. ligge): cf. midl. and south. ME. lig(g)e(n, OE. licgan, and Ly v. Most common in Douglas. Common in the mod. north. and north midl. Eng. dial., but in mod. Sc. use chiefly literary.]

1. intr. Of persons or animals: To be in a prostrate or recumbent position. Absol. or with compl., as to lie law, slane.(1) c1420 Wynt. vi. 802.
In till a pwle wndyr the bryg Thai kest hym downe and lete hym lyg [W. lig, C. lige]
a1500 Henr. III. 91/44.
Perauenture my scheip ma gang besyd, Quhill we haif liggit full neir
1513 Doug. ii. vii. 34.
A rowch serpent Lyggyng in the bus
Ib. ix. ii. 65.
The lammys Full sovirly liggis vnder thar dammys
Ib. ii. v. 29, iii. vi. 73, vi. vi. 80, ix. vi. 25, xi. ii. 25, xii. ix. 80. 1535 Stewart 38859.
Sa mony men … as thay had keild, Vpon ane sand liggand be the se cost
15.. Christis Kirk 125.
Lo quhair my liking liggis … Quod scho
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1523.
O lamit lyoun liggand heir sa law
1513 Doug. x. x. 16.
Lo, now he lyggis law, for all hys feris!
Ib. xii. xi. 103. 1535 Stewart 54756.
Sum but ane fit, and sum als but ane hand, Liggand tha la sa law vpoun the land
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i. 56.
I jowkit than … quhen I thame saw, Behind the bus, Lord, bot I liggit law
(3) 1513 Doug. x. xiii. 62.
Anthores … now lyggis thus down slane
(4) c1500-c1512 Dunb. lv. 28.
I saw cowclinkis me besyd The ȝoung men to thair howses gyd, Had bettir liggit [M. lugget] in the stockis

b. To lie in the grave, be buried. a1568 Bann. MS. 77 a/47.
Na mervell thocht thow grit murnyng may Quhen thow mon lig in gravell, erd & clay
Ib. 77 b/86.
Thow … arte … Bot wirmes meit To lig with thame amang
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. x.
Sen God hes taken in the kirk for his owne innes, let it suffice thee … to ligge in the court without

c. To lie, as in a bed, for sleeping. 1513 Doug. iii. ix. 81.
Sowpit in slepe, … fordronkyn, lyggyng in his dreym
Ib. xiii. Prol. 55.
Euery thing that doith repare In firth or feild … Astabillit lyggis still to slepe
Ib. ix. v. 28. xiii. Prol. 136. 1535 Stewart 33672.
But bed or bowster to lig on the stro With litill happing
Ib. 53046.
He thocht no tyme into his bed to lig
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lix. 30; a1568 Bann. MS. 256 b/12.
At luiffis lair I list nocht leit, I lyk best quhen I lig allone
a1578 Pitsc. (1814) xxiv; a1568 Sempill Bann. MS. 125 a/92.
The countrie houssis be narrow … quhairin the people and beastis doe lige togidder

d. To lie, for sexual intercourse, with a mistress, abone, in lamenry. a1500 Prestis of Peblis 814.
He beddit nocht richt oft nor lay hir by, Bot throw lichtnes did lig in lamenry
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 499 (M).
Gif … he be lost or with me lig his lyf sall haue no danger
a1568 Balnavis Bann. MS. 138 b/45.
Quhill branys ar big, abone to lig, Gud is in tyme to ceis

e. To lie in ambush at (the) wait or await or into one's wat.(1) 1513 Doug. xi. x. 104.
He … ful prevy, onknaw, Lyggis at wait vnder the darn wod schaw
Ib. xv. 37.
Aruns liggyng at the wait
Ib. xii. i. 20.
[A wounded lion] on the man liggand at wait … Hym to revenge
(2) 1513 Doug. xii. vi. 78.
Fraudfull Dissait, Lyggyng vndir covert at enbuschment or await
(3) 1535 Stewart 57502.
Than Inglismen into his way did lig

2. To sleep or pass the night (in a place), to lodge temporarily. Of an army: To be encamped, lie in camp.(1) a1540 Freiris Berw. 48 (M).
I am tyrit and wondyr ewill disposit To lig [B. luge] without the toun
a1578 Pitsc. (1814) 245.
He … would ligge in pure menis houssis as he had beine ane travellour through the countrie
1686 G. Stuart Joc -ser. Disc. 48.
I ha'na house to put my head in But forc't to ligg upon the midden
(2) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1236.
In ane vale rycht be ane reuer syde Thair for to lig thai gart the oist abyde

3. To lie captive or imprisoned in a place. 1531 Vaus (1566).
As Pluto in Hell dois euir lig

4. To assume a prostrate or recumbent position, to lie down. 1513 Doug. vii. i. 157.
On quhais soft flesys, … The kyng down liggis for that nyghtis bed
1535 Stewart 2813.
Quhat freik befoir thame in thair gait tha fand, Tha gart him lig rycht law vpoun the land
a1540 Freiris Berw. 115.
Freir Allane liggis doun as he best micht

5. To lig on, to attack or strike vigorously. Cf. Lay v.1 41 e. c1420 Wynt. iv. 344.
The Perseys lyggid [v.r. lyngit] on at rycht, Folowand fast and egyrly

6. Of things: To be set or have come to rest (on the ground, etc.). Of a bulding: To lie law, to be overthrown.(1) a1500 Lanc. 376.
His vombe out fallith … Apone the ground, & liging hyme besid
1513 Doug. xiii. v. 59.
Now dum and spechles that hed liggis thar
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Discourse 50.
Then take that trimming while [? read which] ligs there, And graith her featly ev'ry where
(2) 1535 Stewart 9405.
The Castell als thai gart it lig full law

7. = Ly v. 14 a. c1500 Harl. MS. 4700 fol. 150 b.
Giff ... a schip lig our neir ane vthir

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"Lig v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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