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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Plaint, Plant(e, Plent, n. Also: playnt, plainct, pleint, pleynt. [ME. plaint (Cursor M.), pleint, pleynt, playnt, OF. plaint, pleint, L. planctus; ME. also pleinte (Ancr. R.), playnt(h)e, OF. plancte, med. L. plancta; e.m.E. plaint, playnt, pleynt, also plancte (Caxton), plent(e (c 1537).]

1. The action of expressing grievance, resentment or criticism. a1400 Leg. S. i. 547.
He … mad gret playnt of the schame … That lytil befor tholit he
Ib. ix. 249.
The bischapis al … of the puple gret playnt mad
Ib. 295. c1420 Ratis R. 1294.
For dout that thar be playnt [: paynt]
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3190.
Till hym syttand thare come a man And as in playnt he tauld hym than [about an ambush]
1546 Reg. Cupar A. II. 36.
[To] vphald … the said Jhone … suay that he hawe na just cause of plant
1567 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 103.
We sall … sustaine our minister sa that of reason he sall have no cause of plaint
1570 Canongate Ct. Bk. 220. a1585 Maitl. Q. lxv. 66.
[Speak out] to spill thy self but plaint [: attent, besprent]

2. A statement of complaint, esp. one brought formally to a court or arbiter.(a) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 803.
Egeas … wald send To the Cesare it til amend A playnt
1389 Reg. Cambuskenneth 260.
The playnt that the foresaid William maid vpon the abbot of the eting of his … medo
14.. Acts I. 22/2.
Of mutis and playntis that rysis in burgh
Ib. 26/2.
Quhasa furth bryngis pruff or wytnes in ony playnt
c1460 Regim. Princ. 196.
Quhilk [complainants] for thair playnt sal deir by the payn
Ib. 200.
His playnt is worth ane appellacion
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1070 (H).
The ȝow … Before the justice on hir kneis fell, Put out hir plaint
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3103 heading.
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 422.
To heir the playnt of boith the partis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8077.
His sone cuming … for to excuse him sell Of part of plaintis quhilk sum did to ȝow tell
1587-99 Hume 44/98.
When he called to the Lord … The God of health … to his plaint gaue eares
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis 7 b.
[Chancellor, to the Assembly deputation:] Than, my hartes, if ye will mak a plaint ye shall say that [etc.]
(b) a1500 Prestis of Peblis 318 (A).
And thar attour ȝe mak to ws a plant [: quent]
1527–8 Carnwath Baron Ct. (ed.) 81.
That all plantis in tyme to cum salbe gyffin in vrit
a1538 Abell 108 a.
Quhare he hard mony plantes o Duk Mordaik
1558 Prestwick B. Rec. 64.
Item, for Jonat Myllar quhow sone at the next plant cumys at scho be expellyt the towne for euir
(c) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2730.
And scho … To Menelay hir fader send A grevous pleynt makand him kend [etc.]
1587 Waus Corr. 415.
I wald ye … causit thame ovther to keip nychtbourheid or lat the pleint by [sic in pr.] quhill fardermar
(d) 1550 Corr. M. Lorraine 439.
Thai haif bayth maid me the falt and the fyrst plent
a1578 Pitsc. (1814) 297.
The governour … passed to the north of Scotland and hard the plentes thair
1587 Waus Corr. 415.
Thai stuid maist vpon ane plent quhilk apertenis vnto ȝow

3. The franchise of hearing and judging ‘complaints’ in one's own court.Esp. Court plaint, q.v. for further exx. Also understood as separate terms, in court and (or) plaint and in plur.(1) 1483 Grant Chart. 35.
The forsaid landis … to be haldin … wyth cowrt playnt vsche off cowrt and eschet of cowrt
1508–9 Reg. Privy S. I. 272/1.
To hald court plant on the saidis landis endurin the saidis termes
1561 Ib. MS. XXX. 84 b.
With court plent heriold blowdweit and mercheit
1630 Skene Mem. 214.
With halking hunting court plent heryeld [etc.]
1632 Lanark B. Rec. 327.
Court plent
1641 Acts V. (1817) 541/1.
With libertie of court pleint bluid and bludwit [etc.]
(2) 1440 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. I. 10.
The forsaid landis with the pertinents … with court and plaint and chet of court
1478 Acta Aud. 69/2.
Landis … fre of all … seruice court or plaint
1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 405/1.
With power of court and plante
1522 Stirlings of Keir 318.
With court and playnt of the saidis landis
1527 Liber Melros II. 633.
Power of court and plant
1551 Boyd Fam. P. No. 35 (5 May).
The inhabitantis of the ground therof to answer to myln and mylnwerk courte and playnt stent wapynschawing and osting
1558 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I. 168.
The saids complaneris ar … frelie infeft with court and playnt
1665 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II. 408.
[Refusal to infeft in a tenement comprised from the heritor] till the charger become an actual residenter of their burgh and keep court and plaint
(3) 1473 Stirlings of Keir 241.
Ale other do seruis with courtis plantis ischais of courtis grassumis [etc.]
1516 Prot. Bk. Gavin Ros 21.
[Reserving all that pertains to the said lands] with cowrtis playntis … merchetis bludwetis and all dewiteis
(4) 1548 Crosraguel Chart. I. 106.
The saidis landis … to be bruikit … be the said erle … with courtis amerciamentis eschetis and playntis thairof hereȝeld [etc.]

b. ? Confused with ‘plain court’ (Plain a.1 4). — 1526 Reg. Soltre 93.
Our tenentis … quhen thai war callit ansuerit to ws in curt and plant

4. The action of complaining or bewailing, the expression of grief or woe. b. An instance of this. c1420 Wynt. viii. 6037.
Bot playnt na dule na yhit menyng Mycht helpe noucht
b. a1500 Henr. Orph. 167 (A).
Now heir my plant, panefull & petuous
a1500 Lanc. 137.
To thi lady yhoue thi wo report; Yf yhoue may not thi plant schall yhov vrit
1513 Doug. i. vi. 139.
Venus na mair sufferit hym pleyn or say; Amyd hys dolorus playntis thus spak sche
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 69.
I feill the smert and dar nocht mak my plent [: lament]
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 125.
Hir paintit wordis, hir teiris, hir plaincts, full of dissimulatioun
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxvi. 116.
Quhair sall I then pour out my bitter plaint [: lament]
c1590 Fowler I. 40/96.
Plaints, greif [etc.]
1587-99 Hume 43/72.
The sickly saull … vnto the Lord direct his heauie plent
1618 Lithgow Poet. Remains 23.
From the concaue of my watrie plaintes I powre abroade a worlde of discontentes

5. A cause of complaint. a. An injury or wrong. b. A sorrow or misery.a. 1424 Lanark & R. 283.
The quhilks bailȝeis … sal … reform wrangs and plants done agayn thair fredomis
b. a1500 Henr. Orph. 403 (A).
Luf … Plesand to sum, till vthir playnt [B. plent] & pyne

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"Plaint n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Nov 2022 <>



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