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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Pulpit, Pulpet(e, Poup(e)it, Pup(e)it, n. Also: pulpite, pulpitt(e, -pyt(e, pul(l)pett, pulpeit(t, pulpat(t, -pate, -pait, -pot, -put(t, pulppett, pullpit, polpet(e, pol(l)pat(t, poullpit, poulpet; poupet, -pat, powpet, -peit, -pat(e; pupatt, pwpit, pwppeit, pwpat(t; Pumpet. [ME and e.m.E. pulpit (c1330), pulpet (1387), ME pol(l)epyt, pullpite, pulput, e.m.E. pulpitt(e, pulpette, pulppet, L. pulpit-um a scaffold, platform, stage, med. L. pulpitrum a pulpit in a church: cf. also MF pulpite (1503 in Godef. Compl.), OF pepistre (1357), pupistre (1444), poulpitre (1449), etc., mod. F. pupitre.]

1. A pulpit.(a) c1420 Wynt. viii 3098.
And in a space, that wes levyd Betwene the pulpyte and his hevyd, Ane arche … The Byschape Waltyr gert mak syne
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4453 (B).
1560 Edinb. Old Acc. II 97.
1560–1 Ib. 132. 1561 St. A. Kirk S. 107. 1562-3 Winȝet I 84/2.
Except the father thairof hald it in his airmis afoir ȝour pulpet
a1578 Pitsc. I 348/28.
The kirk rewin and the pullpit doun
1580 Douglas Bequest May.
At the pullpett within the paroche kirk of Dundee to … deliuer to ws … the soume of [etc.]
1582 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 121.
To naill tua knaipis to the heid of the pulpett
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 1057.
1585 Elgin Rec. II 4.
1589 St. A. Kirk S. 652.
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 212.
1600-1610 Melvill 33.
Or he haid done with his sermont … he was lyk to ding that pulpit in blads and fly out of it
1600 Edinb. B. Rec. V 278.
The saittis in the plaice of baptisme and mariage about the pulputt
1600 Aberd. B. Rec. II 207.
1622 Sc. Ant. XIII 163.
1624 Linlithgow B. Rec. 11 June.
Ordanes the pulpeit to be newlie covered with Lundoun claith
1647 Kinghorn Kirk S. 65.
Considering the deformitie of the pulpit … and the laughnesse of it
1648 Glasgow B. Rec. II 129.
1658 Ib. 410.
To buy … some knappill to be ane pulpitt to the Laigh Kirk
(b) 1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II 355.
Ane sand glass to sett besyde the freir in the polpet
1557–8 Edinb. Old Acc. II 89.
Walx candill to pollpatt
1568–9 Edinb. B. Rec. III 259.
(c) 1567 12th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. viii 152.
In the place quhair the hie poulpet is situat
a1578 Pitsc. II 57/11.
Quhene the said Mr. Johnne was come doune of the poullpit, thai caussit Mr. George Wischart to assend thairin
(d) 1509 Edinb. Hammermen 67.
For the mending of the lok of the kist of powpet
1546 Stirling B. Rec. I 42.
1552–3 Edinb. Old Acc. II 15.
To Pate for walx to powpet
1555–6 Ib. 56.
1557–8 Ib. 86.
1568–9 Edinb. B. Rec. III 259.
Ane poupat, portative, to be set vp … for preiching to the papistis
1579 St. A. Kirk S. 441.
1583 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 312.
1586–7 Ayr Common Good Acc.
For the cumsyilling of the powpet xviij li.
1594 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 529.
Ane auld cuschone to cover ane stein within the poupet in the … kirk
1746 J. Row Sermon 6.
Sitting at the foot of the poupit
(e) 1558–9 Edinb. Old Acc. I 286.
Ane greit dormond wes the pupit, iij li.
a1578 Pitsc. II 61/3. 1583 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 311.
1595–6 Stirling Chart. 220.

b. In various phrases and special collocations, with respect to the pulpit as the part of a church from which sermons were preached, announcements and admonitions delivered, public repentance received, etc.(1) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxx 37.
In freiris weid … haif I in pulpet gon and preichit In Derntoun kirk, and eik in Canterberry
a1538 Abell 119b.
Thai preche … to odir in pulput
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 237.
Wo be to thame that dois knaw Godds wourd, syne dois the contrar schaw, In pulpet or in preching place
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 79/6.
He … in opin pulpait broustit out the venom of his fyrie tung aganis thame
1584 Acts III 292/2.
1596 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II 315.
1597 Stirling Kirk S. 128.
That dew intimatione be maid heirof in pulpet on Sonday nixt
c1615 Chron. Kings 154, 156.
Pwpatt, pwpit
(2) c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 275.
The first lessoun at the first messe, quhilk is sungin in the pulpet
1559–60 St. A. Kirk S. 26.
Ane sentence absolvatour … t[o] be publicate in the pulpate upoun Sounday nixtocum
1561 Ib. 105.
Robert Calwart … mayd plane contradiccione and interrupcione to the minister in the pulpot
1562-3 Winȝet I 57/36.
Quhilk ane article specialie he cheseit out of sa mony to confute and confund in the pulpet
1564 St. A. Kirk S. 206.
This don, the minister sall fyrst resave hym be the hand in the pulpot quhar he standis
1558-66 Knox II 409.
1568 St. A. Kirk S. 297.
And forther he wald be blawdit in the pulpet quhair the preacheris ralis by thair text
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 77b.
Ib. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 92/1.
1590 Mill Mediæv. Plays 170.
Publick admonitione … in thair pulpitis that nain of thair peroschineris presume [etc.]
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 211.
And Sathan stwid, as in a pulpet [etc.]
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 145/4.
1643 Baillie II 123.
As for the minister's bowing in the pulpit, we did misken it
(3) 1608 Dundonald Par. Rec. 165.
The Sessioun ordeined thir dissobedientis to be publictlie varnit fra the pupeit
1614 Elgin Rec. II 138.
To intimy to the people from the pulpeit that nan [etc.]
1623 Ib. 178.(4) 1682 Cramond Kirk S. II 19 Nov.
The minister from pulpit this day desired that all persones … would enquire [etc.]
1688 Inverness Presb. 135.
The moderator inquired the brethren if they read from pulpit the act against leasing-making
(5) c1615 Chron. Kings 173.
The ministeris out of pupatt begane to speik aganis the same
1620 Ritchie Ch. S. Baldred 186.
Intimation maid out of pulpite to the peple anent the election of Thomas Shortus to the office of ane elder
1624 Kinghorn Kirk S. 27.
This to be intimat out of pulpet this day aucht dayis
1648 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII 74.
Publisht be the minister out of pulpit
1660 Elgin Rec. II 292.(6) 1645 Philorth Baron Ct. in Cranna Fraserburgh 39.
Conform to the intimationes maid out of the poupeit within the parochines
(7) 1583 Elgin Rec. I 173.
To cum on Sonday nixt … befoir the minister … in tyme of preiching befoir the pulpeit … and thair … ask and craiff pardoun [etc.]
1597 Misc. Spald. C. II lx.
The erles ryses furth of thair dask, cumis in befoir the pulpett, makis ane vppin confessioun
1598 St. A. Kirk S. 856.
1606 Rec. Old Aberd. I 39.
The haill infantorie within this toune … sall cumpeir befoir the pulpet
1608 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 201.
[To] mak thair repentance befoir the pulpet on their kneis
1612 Dundonald Par. Rec. 236.
1643 Kirkcaldy Presb. 260.
1655 Boharm Kirk S. 14 Jan.
(8) 1540 Lynd. Sat. 3443.
Heir sall the doctour pas to the pulpit and say [etc.]
c1552 Id. Mon. 641.
Wald the preistis in to thare mother toung Pas to the pulpitt, and that doctryne declare [etc.]
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 91/6.
Before he past to the pulpatt
1587 Reg. Privy C. IV 171.
To have gevin place to Adam, Bischop of Abirdene, to have occupyed the pulpett
1623 Tayler Hist. Fam. Urquhart 34.
Spatt bluid at his mouth … and hes nevir been able to go to the pulpett to preatche sensyne
1680 Hist. Carnegies 363.
(9) 1588 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 55.
This is dung in sik sort in the ministeris headdis that they caus all the pulpeittis to sound of it
1638 Kirkcaldy Presb. 131.
Intimation to be maid in all pulpetts anent Marion Grig who [etc.]
(10) c1590 Fowler II 47/13.
It is a grit pitie Hammiltoun thou want a pulpet, hauing sa weil preachit ouer the pot

c. transf. 1606 Melvill 629.
Baith pulpitis and scoollis hes bein moir againes that … nor againes meritis [etc.]

Attrib. or comb. in d. pulpit-clathe (-cloath), poupet-dowre, pulpit-fit, pulpet-heid, e. pulpit-drum, f. pulpit-flitter (? Flyter n.), -man.d. (1) 1559 Edinb. B. Rec. III 44.
The vale afoir the hie altar of lyning clayth with the pulpet clayth
1642 Soc. Ant. IV 484.
Pulpett cloath
1678 Edinb. B. Rec. X 333. 1694 Logie Par. Hist. 320.
To … Hendrey Fogo … to buy latchets to the pulpit cloath
(2) 1574 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 39.
For sex keis to the poupet dowre ix s. ij d.
1590 Ib. 402.
Poulpet dur
(3) 1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. II 139.
Ane bot that beris togidder the pulpit fit
(4) 1560 Edinb. Old Acc. II 97.
Thre lang wedis to the pulpet heid, foure boltis to the fute
1687 Dunkeld Presb. II 470.
For mullers to the pulpit head
e. 1661 True Character of a Ragged Presbyter 64.
The Scotch bag-pipes, the pulpit-drums, And priests sound high and big
f. 1561 Inverness Rec. I 59.
Calling hyme [the minister] commone pulpet flitter … and saing he bat Freyr Andro McNeyll luge
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 41.
Affecting strange gestures in his delivery mor beseiming a comœdian then a pulpit man

2. The poop of a ship. 1512–13 Treas. Acc. IV 466.
For ij dusane of sparris to the Gabriell to mak hir cowbryg for hir powpet
1513 Ib. 483. Ib. 486.
Ib. 496.
For … greit tymir for hir polpete and fordek
1513 Doug. viii iii 46.
Eneas … Maid answer from the pulpyt of the schip

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"Pulpit n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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