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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Public, Publik, Publict, Publique, adj. (adv.) (n.). Also: -lice, -lick(e, -leck, -like, -lyk, -licte, -lickt, -lext, -litt, -let(t, -licque; puplek; also Publy. [Late ME and e.m.E. publique (1436), puplike (1447), publyke (Malory), public (1483), etc., F. public (1311 in Hatz.-Darm.), L. pūblic-us.]

1. Of, pertaining or belonging to, or a charge on, the community or nation as a whole.Also Public wele n.(1) 14.. Acts I 380/2.
Fugitifis and fleande out of public balȝeris
1456 Hay I 247/26.
Berand lettres that ar agayn the publyk prouffit of the commoun
c1460 Regim. Princ. 142 (Fairf.).
Quhen Rome was reget … In iustice & in publik polesy
Ib. 146.
Bot quhen the well of iustice was gan dry & publyk prow passit in diuisioun
1489 Acts II 219/1.
To … optene sic frendschipis … and fredommez to the gude public of this realme
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 345 in Innes Rev. VI 92.
The rial dignite is sa hie and public honor
1498 Acta Conc. II 215.
Contrare the commone gude public of the realme
1531 Bell. Boece I 54.
To discus the doutis baith of publik and singular actionis
Ib. 175.
He waistit all the publik rentis
Id. Livy II 62/4.
The patricianis, seand the public gouernance but ony digniteis curil
Ib. 101/36.
& to put ane tribute on all thame that possedit the public landis
Ib. 133/1. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 141.
Public laser can nocht serue to [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I 18/16.
To set furth and drywe all matteris beith publick and priuat
1590 Welwod 77.
To send him skurgit to soume publick warke and perpetuall labour as to mettall mines and galiouns
1640 Kirkcaldy Presb. 182.
For further defrayeing of the publik charges of the countrie
1677 Spotsw. Hist. (1677) App. 34.
No dissents or protests are allowed in publick acts, but are accounted treasonable
1691 Cramond Kirk S. III 29 Jan.
That they would discharge all privat schooles within a mile of the church and publick schoole
(b) 1531 Bell. Boece II 50.
Baith the publict and private housis
1555 Conv. Burghs I 520.
The … preuelege and publict weltht of all borrowis
1562-3 Winȝet II 21/28.
To … confound all, bayth priuat and publict, bayth hallowit and prophane
Ib. 56/23.
Nocht of priuat vsurpyng, bot of publict traditioun
1565 Facs. Nat. MSS III xlix.
Preferring thair particular avancement to the publict tranquillite
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 21. a1578 Pitsc. I 57/23.
He mellit him nocht witht na publict effairis
1580 Skeyne Descr. Well.
Ȝit being ane ornament and ane publict vtilitie to the realme & burgh
1580 Reg. Privy C. III 324. 1609 Acts IV 456/2. 1617 Edinb. B. Rec. VI 170. 1627 Justiciary Cases I 73.
Being the fair or publict mercat day of Falkirk
1649 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 100. 1652 Glasgow B. Rec. II 243.
For many vther publict things he hes wryttin sensyne in copeeing of the haill rentallis and vtheris
1665 Inverness Rec. II 225.
Wpon the publict accompt
1679 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 27 Nov.
The publickt accompts for the toune
1681 Edinb. B. Rec. XI 21. 1682 Inverness Rec. II 305.
Whither or not the charges givin to the … brewers … should be a publict concerment of the whole brugh
1682 Peebles B. Rec. II 102.
For the publict use of the toun
1697 Rec. Old Aberd. I 162.
The publict money of the traids
(c) 1649 Ancram & Loth. Corr. I xxii.
Assidowusly employed in this publique busines
(2) 1673 Rothesay B. Rec. 252.
For the maisters pairt of the publict burdings payit out of the saids lands cropis foirsaid
1678 Morison Dict. Decis. 13069.
[Neither were ever feu-duties contained in any valuation of the shires, which is the only ground of public burdens by assessment
1688 Ib. 13070.]
That … in case the lady make it appear, that … the tenants of the lands were obliged to relieve the heritor of the public burdens

b. Of a functionary: Authorized by, serving, or representing the community as a whole. Also said of the office or charge.Notar public, public notar, see Notar n.1 2.(1) 1456 Hay I 202/6.
This power is gevin generally to all publyk persoun, that is to say, all commoun officer
1560 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts II 531/2.
The interpretatioun … nouther appertenis to priuate nor publict persoun
a1578 Pitsc. I 36/25.
Withtout the quhilk no man privat nor publict may be profietabill to himself
1686 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XII 404.
To intercept ane publict persons letters
1691 Pittenweem Ann. 102.
The minister … and all other publict servants' stipends and salaries
(2) 1521 Thanes of Cawdor 139.
Puplek noter
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2045 (B).
I am … Ane publict perfyte pardonar, Admittit be the paip
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 6.
The public lectour
1600-1610 Melvill 39.
The lightes of the maist scyning age in all guid lettres, the king's publict professors
1656 Acts VI ii 867/1.
No person being the minister or publick preacher … shall be molested
1660 Craven Ch. in Orkney 142.
To be publeck schoolmaster within the parochine
1670 Dunkeld Presb. II 489.
And having called for a publik metter of land
1691 Cramond Kirk S. III 29 Jan.
The youth was spoiled in these privat schooles and the publick schoolmaster much wronged and discouraged
(3) 1567 Reg. Privy C. I 537 (see Connotar n.).
Connotaris publict
(4) 1567 Acts (1597) ii 11.
That no maner of person … bear publike office removabil of judgement … bot sik as [etc.]
1567 Cal. Sc. P. II 390.
How I am changytt of latte frome my privatte state to ane publict charge
1568 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 319.
Giffand hym licence … to … exercie his office of notarii in the cuntrie uvir all quhair, becaus his office is publict
1588 Edinb. B. Rec. IV 517.
To sic as faythfully ministeris in thair publict offices
1661 Conv. Burghs III 541.
Vncapable of any publict trust

c. Public traitor, enemy, i.e., to the community or nation. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 802 (D).
Wnder Anthenor hys ledyng And Eneas that was hys fere, Quhilkes publices [C. publickis] traytours wer Of thar lond
1687 Shields Hind Let Loose 156.
And the interest of the public enemy espoused

d. Of mourning, e. of an uprising or tumult: That affects the whole community. 1533 Bell. Livy I 212/8.
To haue the samyn deformyt with sic public doloure
1562-3 Winȝet I 26/17.
Gif ony of the town in ane publick seditioun or tumult … hid him self as ane cowart at hame

f. Publict concil, a general or international council of the Church. 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 103/6.
Quhat vther nor the Romane kirk … be publict concilis hes condemnit all heretikes

2. Open to the attendance, access or use of the community as a whole; generally accessible, visible or available; also, publicly frequented.(1) c1420 Wynt. i 1656.
That payntyd ymage … In publyk [C. publice] place he set wp syne, Quhare comowne acces and repayre Men mycht have tyll that figoure fayre
Ib. vi 177.
In publyk [Au. publy, E.2 publict] placis, fra that day, Scho wes behynd trumpand ay
1456 Hay I 41/2.
In publik placis
Ib. 302/30.
In placis public
1567 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 576.
Be placartes privilie affixit on the publick places of the kirk
1587 Carmichael Etym. 30.
Epulum, a publike banket
1662 Lamont Diary 158.
His publicke stage
1667 Laing MSS I 355.
He was not … at the publike super in the abey
1672 Mylne Master Masons 179.
All the gates and publicke doores
(b) a1500 Bk. Chess 1522.
Thir men of craft … thai bene In thar office sa publict as ȝe ken
1539 Aberd. B. Rec. I 159.
In the hie publict gett
1567 Acts III 43/1.
In oppin and publict tavernis
1574 Edinb. Kirk S. 20 May.
[To be] … placit in the publict place of repentance
1588 Aberd. Council Lett. I 45. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 94/1.
For delyting the people with publict spectacles of all honest ghames [etc.]
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 218.
To be propouned to the publict meeting
1652 Peebles B. Rec. II 5.
As ane publict and free faire
(c) 1587 Acts III 465/2.
Inobedient personis … that dar not cum to publique mercattis in lawland thame selffis
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 165/4.
Ane of the publiquest [v.rr. publi(c)kest] indifferent actions of a king … is his maner of refection
Ib. 199/3.
Appointing also certaine houris for publique audience
(2) 1456 Hay I 302/35.
The grete Souldane of Babilone cummys bot thris in the ȝere in publik audence furthwart
1558-66 Knox II 424.
Thai thocht it mair expedient to haif the conference befoir a few, rather than in the publict audience
1574 Edinb. Kirk S. 17 June.
That thai mycht be first hard befoir ȝour visdomes & nixt befoir the publict kirk thair to confes [etc.]
1577 Bk. Univ. Kirk I 384.
Beand haililie red in publick audience of the Kirk
1596 Dalr. II 57/16.
In publik parleament
1701 Cramond Kirk S. IV 14 Nov.
To appear in publicke congregation to purge the said scandall
(3) 1456 Hay I 186/10.
To pas in publyk maner
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 98/10.
Giuing first honestlie up uith him in a publique & honorable forme
(4) 1612 Glasgow B. Rec. I 328.
The litstarr treis … ar grit hindir … to the publique passage
1632 Justiciary Cases I 203.
In the publict hie way
1661 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 196.
Doun the Braid streit to the touns publict house
1673–88 Fountainhall in M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II (1826) 293.
Into the public river of Tweed
1682 Spottiswoode Misc. I 315.
Their publick houses, churches, forts, monuments

b. absol. as n. In public, openly, publicly; in society, out of doors; also, to general or public knowledge, ‘into the open’.(1) 1494 Loutfut MS 112a.
The appellacioun … [to] be opnyt & red in public
1558-66 Knox II 279.
That any suche questioun was at any time moved in publict or in secreat
c1590 Fowler I 388/20.
The fire … Doth blaze in publict as enlightning fame
1622-6 Bisset I 113/6.
Sua that they salbe haldin to appeir in publict befoir the saidis senatouris and lordis upoun the thrid day
(2) 1622 Elgin Rec. II 175.
That there be no bying nor selling in publict … after xii houris the said Setterday
1625 Justiciary Cases I 22.
Efter inflicting of the wound and is sene in publict doing his liesum effairis he can nevir be hard to allege his daith vpone that wound
(3) c1590 Fowler I 309.
Whose oft request hath brought it now in publict

c. Public (face of) kirk, a church meeting openly and publicly, not behind closed doors: see Privé adj. 4 a.

3. a. Of a place of punishment, b. of a school, in either or both of the prec. main senses.a. 1592 Elgin Rec. II 24.
In the publict stuill of repentance
1596 Bk. Univ. Kirk III 866.
The publick place of repentance is turned in a mocking
1622 Cardross Ch. 94. 1662 Peebles B. Rec. II 55.
On the publict joiges
1679 Ellon Par. 137.b. 1656 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 193.
[Fewer gentlemen's sons being educated] in brugh at publict schooles
1672 Edinb. B. Rec. X 122.
Liberty to keep ane publict schooll within the city for teaching the French tongue
1674 Aberd. Council Lett. V 314.
Both wreitting and reading besyds the publick school
Ib. 315.
William Davidsone [etc.] … who keepes publict schoolles
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 241.
Ane publict musick writting and arethmetick schoall
1676 Cramond Kirk S. II 5 Nov.
The Session considereing how much the publick schoole at the church is prejudged by privat schooles
1680 Edinb. B. Rec. X 389.
Not … to teach Latine or keep a publict or privat school for that effect
1688 Stitchill Baron Ct. 103, 104. 1695 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 220.

4. Of reputation or rumour: Generally or widely subscribed to, widespread.c1420 Wynt. vi 1355 (see Publist ppl. adj.). 1560 Bk. Disc. 191.
Noted with publict infamye
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 22.
Out of ane publict dishonour anentis all forayne nationis
c1590 Fowler I 67/15.
Not as the publict voyce dois bruit, or commoun fame dois tell

5. Of writings, records, edicts, and the like: Accessible to public knowledge, by publication or official promulgation. c1420 Wynt. iv Prol. 2.
Tullyus that of rethoryk A tretys made to be publik
1490 Irland Mir. II 12/19.
In law patent and publitt
1533 Bell. Livy I 74/1.
The samyn to be drawin out of his bukis to be inserit in public tabillis
1561 in Knox II 273.
While … that hir majestie have tackin ane finall ordour be thair [sc. the Estates'] advyse and publict consent
c1575 Balfour Pract. 384.
In all publict instrumentis at the leist twa witnessis, with the notar, ar necessarlie requirit
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 98/18.
Ane publik testemonie of our lauboris and lyuis
1638 Nat. Covenant in Facs. Nat. MSS III xcvii.
A former large confession … set downe in publike catechisms
a1651 Calderwood III 61.
Grange's Proclamatioun or Publict Cartell
1651 Comm. Gen. Assembly III 445.
That there are diverse brethren … who notwithstanding of the publick warnings and declaratiouns emitted for their informatioun doe yet disobey and oppose the publick resolutions which have been given for the good of religion, king and kingdome, now in eminent hazard [etc.]
1670 Annandale Corr. 310.
Your letter … would make a noysse if it should haue beine made … publick
1673 Ayr Chart. 202.
As a publict register of the kingdome
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 244.
In publict papers granted be the king
1693 Irvine Deeds MS (Sasine 24/5/1693).
Be this present publick instrument
1695 Stirling B. Rec. II 75.
Roaps, or other publict advertisements

b. Of announcements, readings or the like: Delivered to or before the whole community or in public.(1) 1456 Hay I 223/15.
Be lettres or cry publyk that [etc.]
a1568 Bann. MS 239a/7.
It passis far my wittis fyve Hir proper persoun to discryve, Bot the publict superlatyve, To tell this taill, Scho is the lustiest on lyve
1615 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 43b (10 Jan.).
That the minister … mak intimatioune publict that [etc.]
1621 Aberd. Council Lett. I 341.
Efter publict reiding of the said edict
1661 Acts Sederunt ii 80.
The giveing way to young gentlemen to give prooff of their literature by makeing publick lessons is [etc.]
(2) a1585 Polwart Flyt. 132 (T).
For this effect I sumound thé Be publict proclamatioune
1616 Misc. Hist. Soc. II 194.
& maid … manifest be publik proclamation to al
1637 Misc. Maitl. C. II 410.

c. In public form, appar., in the style prescribed for documents accessible to the public. 1495 Acta Conc. I 395/2.
The said lettre to be transumpit and in public forme to be reducit
1544 Grant Chart. 280.
That oure acquittance and forme … be redakit, … and put in publict forme in oure officialis bukis
1579 Crail B. Ct. MS 1 Dec.
The jugis … ordanis the saidis prothogollis … to copiat colationate transsumit and extendit in publicte and attentik forme off transsumpte

d. Public resolution, resolutioner: see these nouns.

6. Of a University teacher or his teaching: a. Who teaches larger classes or the student body as a whole in open audience. b. In public, in open audience to the students generally.a. 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 8.
The bairnis of thys college sal heir na other lessons bot thair regentis and the lectour public in humanite
Ib. 11.
The principal sal support the defectis of absens of the public reidar and regentis
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 37.
That famous … phisician Bernard Gordon … He wes a publict professor of phisick at Montpelior
c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. fol. 40 (see Professour(e n. 1 (2)).b. c1646 Craufurd Edinb. Univ. fol. 14 (see Professio(u)n n. 5 b).

7. a. Of individual acts of atonement or repentance, either voluntary or officially ordained: Made before the whole community, publicly performed. c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche title.
The Complaint and Publict Confessioun of the Kingis auld Hound
1566 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 61.
To mak publext repentance
To mak publett repentance
1597 St. A. Kirk S. 835.
1597 Elgin Rec. II 52.
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 105.
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 234/31.
Ane new maner of publik, infamous repentance
1612 Dundonald Par. Rec. 236.
1624 Stirling Merch. Guild 44.
To mak publik satisfactioune
1649 Kingarth Par. Rec. 13.
In the place of publick repentence
1653 S. Leith Rec. 95.
1664 Kingarth Par. Rec. 30.

b. Of acts of punishment or censure, c. of examinations: Administered or conducted before the whole community. 1564 Canongate Kirk S. (ed.) 6.
The kirk will proceid to publict admonyching
c1575 Balfour Pract. 38.
In the stokkis or sic uther ingine devysit for publict punishment
1602 Elgin Rec. II 103.
Wnder the payne of publict baneishment
1688 Acts Sederunt ii 181.
The Lords of Councill and Session do … approve the form … as to such who enter advocats … by private and publick examination and assigneing them the subject of a publick lesson

8. a. Of formal acts of worship: Performed communally or in public, not individually or privately. 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 11.
To cum to preaching or exercise public
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 38/3.
Use oft to praye quhen ye are quyetest … for publict prayer seruis maire for exemple … then [etc.]
1640 Glasgow Chart. I ii 401.
Godis publicke worshipe
1645 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII 60.
The Directorie of the publick vorship
1648 Dumfries Kirk S. 30 Nov.
After publict worship
1697 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 234.
And allow their publict and private worshipping of God dayly

b. Of other actions: Openly performed. 1574–5 Edinb. Kirk S. in Misc. Maitl. C. I 114.
Upoun the publict schutting at the papingo the tyme of the said fast
1600 Stirling Kirk S. in Misc. Maitl. C. I 136.
Incaice of publict dansing
1610 S. Leith Rec. 8.
Thair sall be na public playing suffred on the Sabbath dayes
1657 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 167.
That ther be no publict ringing of bells for conveening of any congregatioun
1665 Irvine Mun. II 168.
Eftir publict ropeing

9. a. Of religious observances or tenets: Authoritatively promulgated for universal observance. 1571 St. A. Kirk S. 348.
The hael sessioun … hes thocht expedient public fasting to be inditit
c1590 Fowler II 66/8.
It is … repugnant to the custom of the primitiue kirk to institut & command any publict fasting on Sonday
1598 Ellon Presb. 8.
As touching the baptism off his bairnes and contempt off publict doctrine
1639 in Spalding I 220.
Both at Dunss and Edinbrugh, publict thankis giving
1658 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 177.
To … appoint ane publict day of fasting and humiliatioun of the haill inhabitants

b. Of a collection: To be made throughout the whole community. 1665 Cullen Kirk S. 29 Feb.
The minister did intimat a publick collection to be the next day

10. a. Of a wrong-doer: That acts without concealment, ‘open’. 1456 Hay I 295/8.
He is … repute as to Godwart a thef or revare publik
1490 Irland Mir. II 68/25.
All this I induce for the correccioun of herretykis publet or secret
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2202 (B).
Becaus ȝe ar … A commoun, publick, calsay paikar
Ib. 2660.
c1552 Id. Mon. 5729.
Commoun publict adulteraris
1570 Leslie 150.
Ane publicque murthourar
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 36.
The publict king-murtherer to be brocht furth
c1625 Misc. Spald. C. II lv.
A publict railer against religioun

b. Of misconduct or misfortune: That is done or happens without concealment or that is generally known; ‘open’ or notorious. 1528 Lynd. Dreme 249.
Sum … War condampnit … for publict adultrye and incest
1560 Bk. Disc. 228.
Gif the cryme be publict
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.) 398.
Thair kingdome … quhilk laitlie had gottin sa publict ane wound
1670 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 259.
To put ane publict affront and disgrace vpon the magistratis
1681 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 162.
[He was] insolent, disorderly, of publick scandall

11. adv. In open assembly. = Publicly adv. 1. 1572 W. Maitland in Bann. Memor. 281.
That your minister, Johne Knoxe, alsweill publict in his sermondis as vtherwayis hes slanderit me
1655 Lamont Diary 92.
Mr. Ja. Wood … arose, and spake publike, … and said that he admired very mutch of that letter

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