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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
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Rig, Ryg(g, n. Also: rigg, rig(g)e, ryge, righe; reg; reig. [North. ME and rare e.m.E. rig (a1300), rigg(e (a1400–50), ON hryggr. Also in the later Sc. and north. Eng. dials. Cf. Ridge n.]Common, in early use, as a place-name element, chiefly or only in sense 4 below. See also 2 below. c1170 Liber Calchou 192.
Quamdam terram que vocatur Gret rigesmedue
1165–82 Reg. Episc. Glasg. 29.
1195–6 Regesta II 378.
Mosiburnerig [E. Loth.]
1200–2 Liber Calchou 115.
1165–1214 Liber Melros 69.
Ib. 78.
a1214 Reg. Neubotle 52.
c1220 Liber Dryburgh 148.
a1233 Reg. Paisley 20.
? 12.. Reg. St. A. 322.
12.. Reg. Dunferm. 219.
a1327 Reg. Great S. I 527 n.
1327–8 Reg. Dunferm. 254.
I. 1. The back of a human being or animal; the spine.Also comb., s.v. Rig-bak n., Rig-bane n., Rigwiddie n. c1420 Ratis R. 250.
Ane armit man in mydis his ryge … His awne hand straik in twa at anis
Ib. 1676. c1450-2 Howlat 835 (A).
The tuchet gird to the golk, … Raif his taile fra his rig
1513 Doug. xi xv 104.
Hys [sc. the wolf's] taill, that on hys ryg befor tymys lay, Vnder hys waym lettis fall abasytly
1533 Boece 403.
The tothir [monster] … had ane wame, twa breistis, with scharp riggis, and nocht braid like the coist of man
15.. Christis Kirk 123 (M).
The rerde rais rudlie with the rappis Quhen rungis was layd on riggis
1581 Elgin Rec. I 162.
That all flescheris … present thair haill fleschis to the mercat haill oncuttit in the rig or ony vther part
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 8b.
Syne deill Samuel jwst be the rige
c1650 Fugitive Poetry II xxvi 3/2.
And then I'd bange'um, His ribbes, and rigge

b. Applied to an animal fur. 1494 Halyb. 37, etc.
108 rygis off matiris, … 450 fyne mowch regis
1501 Treas. Acc. II 22.
Thre dosane of riggis of funȝeis
1503 Ib. 208.
Riggis of leopardis

2. A long, narrow stretch extending along the top of a hill or mountain; a chain of hills, rocks, islands, etc.Also, transf., of other (relatively) elongated elevations. 1375 Barb. xix 310.
Our ane hey rig thai saw ridand towart thaim ewyn a battaill braid
1487 Reg. Episc. Glasg. 453.
Super dictum montem de Kyncleth contigue ex parte orientali de Suzannys Ryge
1513 Doug. Comm. i iii 29.
Thar lyis … , amyd the sey, a hirst or ryg of craggy rolkis
1526 Yester Wr. 132.
The stane callit the southt pikit stane endlyne the ryg of the hill
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 25.
The borderaris … discomfest the … Inglismen on Haldoun rig
c1650 P. Gordon Brit. Dist. 95.
A continoved rigge of high craigie and vnaccessable montaines
c1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 523.
There is a stone in a playne in this strath, cal'd the stone of the rigg of Scotland that runs from nordeast to southwest
1681 Hunter Fam. P. 66.
To the head of the heathrij rigs in the long glack
1699 Anal. Scot. I 359.
A great rig of islands called de Graceis
16.. Misc. Spald. C. II 384.
[The lists] were ever upon plain … ground, without riggs, hills, or other impediments
transf. 1585 Reg. Privy C. III 751.
Alterand the circumscriptioun of the allayed penneis … and eikand ane rig within the letters
1586 Ayr B. Ct. & Council Bk. 10 Oct.
That euerie man … clenge … the samin alsweill within his awin boundis as to the rig and middis of the calsay

3. The centre line of a web of cloth along which it is folded. Cf. Rege v.Only in the Act of James III and later adaptations of this. 1469 Acts II 95/2.
It is thocht expedient that in tyme cummyn all wolen claitht be met be the rig, and nocht be the selwich
1639 Aberd. Council Lett. II 145. 1667 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 117.
That all lining cloath be taiken up be the selvedge and not be the rigg and so to be put to the mercat

II. 4. An extent of land, long rather than broad, used for cultivation, a strip, a field; ? orig. demarcated by the ridge of earth thrown up by the plough. Also possess.In at least some instances perh. also = sense 5 b below.(1) 1492 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 301.
I … balye … delyuerit … heretable stait … to … Johne Schetho … of the haill ryg
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 85.
The halff of the said ryg
1524 Selkirk B. Ct. MS fol. 106b.
The forsaid Jhone … [is to] brouk the said rygis … as thai lye in lencht and breid
1527 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II 254.
The said … tenement … with the yard and rig or daill liand furth of the taill tharof
1562 Aberd. B. Rec. I 340.
The mailis … of all and sindrie the croftis, riggis, and ruidis pertening sumtyme to the freiris predicatouris
1565 Bamff Chart. 99.
The north part of the tillid rigg of the Kirklabank
1582–3 Perth B. Ct. 2 Feb.
All and haill the landis biggingis and riggis pertenyng to Robert
1609 Rec. Old Aberd. I 48. 1614 Burnett Fam. P.
The sowthe end of the eistmest rig of the ald gleib
1626 (1627) Reg. Great S. 369/2. 1630 Rutherford Christ & Doves 14.
God sows his wheat, and the Devil steals up the rigg, and with hot-furr he sows his tares
1632 Durie Decis. 626.
That the discontiguity could not … make the rigg cease to be a pertinent of the said two acres
1673 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 454.
The wat rigs that lyes west of the mansione hous when they salbe dykit
1690 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 31.
The riggs roods tenements acres and gardens in and about the town of Ellon
1691 Marischal Coll. Rec. I 341.
Another croft of land, towitt the long rigg
(b) 1668 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS 7 Sept.
That they wald grant to him that righe upon the west end of the entrie to the kirk wynd … for building thairon
(c) 1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 32.
To brouk and jois the said reg
(2) 1428 Liber Melros II 521.
That couth pert it no rychtar na hym to hafe the tane halfe and hym the tother ryndale be four rygges and four
c1490 Dunferm. B. Rec. I fly leaf.
And ij ryggis to the said Dauid
1505 14th Rep. Hist. MSS App. iii 20.
Twa riggis that lyis ane estald Gillans bernne
1528 Crail Ch. Reg. 52. 1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 120.
Twa rigis lyand within the fredom of Selkyrk
1532–3 Ib. 131.
That … Jhone Freir … hes set twa rigis of thairis
1556 Prot. Bk. T. Dalrymple 29b.
Thre rygis … streikand evin doun fra Henre Beillis ȝard nuk
c1575 Balfour Pract. 108.
Ane rig to the lady tiercer, and twa riggis to the superiour … efter the form of cavill cassin be sone or schadow
1589 Prot. Bk. J. Inglis 16 Dec.
George Ogiluie baillie … gaif Andro Dwie … reall possessione be ȝerd & stane of ten rigis in Brounes croft [etc.]
1602 Reg. Great S. 474/2.
Fra the north end of the said heidrig … quhill it cum … to the west syde of the fyve lang rigis of Corkymoir
1642 Orkney Rentals iii 20.
In some places one rig is divyded in foure
1669 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 256.
The fourt rig of corne land and beirland off her halff … the uther thrie riggis or pairtis of her said halff of the arrable land as the samin sall be meassured and pryced
1674 Corshill Baron Ct. 121.
Robert Smith pursues Alexander Galt for … takeing of ane fur of tuo rig
(3) 1498 Acta Conc. II 198.
For the wrangus occupacione … of the thrid rig and part of the landis of the baronry of Murthlye
1531 Reg. Soltre 104.
That Johne … occupy the third rig with the pertinence
1568 Prot. Bk. James Foulis 53.
Quhilk vj rig fra the gaw doun … is but the fift rig
1595 Bamff Chart. 141.
The fourt rig and fyft fute quhilk the possessores of the forsadis landis … occupeit
1686 Clouston Hist. Orkney 353.
He ought to have the fourth rig or foott of the townesland, with the fourth part of the meadowes
(4) 1454 Glasgow Chart. I ii 43.
A ryge lyand in the Palyhard croft
1535 Glasgow Prot. IV 77 (see Cut ppl. adj. (1)). 1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 116.
Ane rig on the west side of the lone quhilk passis fra the burgh of Edinburgh to the Cannonmylnis
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 729.
Quhidder were it better … Till labour ane of them onlie, … Or in ilk steding teill ane rig
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I 122.
Thow biddis lay the harrowis on the land befoir the corne be brocht furth, and hald aff the crawis quhill ane rig be brockin
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 25.
Thow hid sewin heids of the said sheip under furis of rigs
1623 Perth Kirk S. in Strathbogie Presb. xii.
When I was on a rigg, shearing with my neighbours, the same folks came back to me
1667 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 184.
Ane south quarter of ane rig
1682 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 124.
(5) 1555 Prot. Bk. Sir A. Gaw 35.
[To Walter a] half toft, half ȝard, half housis wyth Vatlair rygg maid reid
1595 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I 220.
Anent fyw scheiffis off corne alledgit tane off Thomas Throchane's rig
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 3.
Thomas Sinclair hes wrangouslie grippit thrie furris of the medow … and apropriat the samin to his awin rige
1603 Ib. 87.
Upoun his awin rig within his awin hamefrie
1607 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 35 (see 5 (1) below). 1615 Inverurie 199.
And everie one to have their own rig in the said cowmontie
1627 Rep. Parishes 76.
The teindis of sum burrow riggis and taillis besyde Mussilburgh
1629 Inverness Rec. II 167.
In takinge away of his ȝeird of his manurit riggis
1673 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 51.
That he hade a thrie yeirs take of Johne Ingletone rige
1693 Irvine Deeds (Dispn. Francis & Baillie to Gray).
The tenement and rigg of the airs of unquhill Robert Tayleor on the south
1698 Stitchill Baron Ct. 131.
Convicted of having lifted corne off ther neighbours rigg
(b) 1610 Laing MSS I 123.
Your cornes … sett apairt upone ane of your awin reigs till … thair worth be estimat
(6) possess. 1524–5 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 75.
Jhone Freir and Jhone Thomsone to reid thair rigis heiddis
1638 Henderson Serm. 281.
Yet even when they were come to the rig's end, and beginning to turn, and wynding about, the Lord did cut their cords, and made the pleugh to stand still

b. Applied to the crops, etc., growing on a rig. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 290.
The horsmen … brint the saids riges

c. Preceded by an adj., or noun in attrib. use, that indicates a particular use or characteristic of a rig.See also Hed(e)-rig, Ley-rig, etc.(a) 1549 Aberd. B. Rec. I 274.
That na maner of takismen … ryif out … ony landis … without thair teill ryge of auld
1578 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 69.
Anent the remowing of the weitland riggs he had of hym in tak
1591 Old Dundee I 242.
At the tails of all their rigs to mak ane stayrig upon the auld bounds … and na way to transcend the auld merches
1595 Reg. Great S. 110/1.
Till it cum to the end of the mertche rig of Myddiltoun
1595–6 Retours II Inq. Spec. Haddington (436).
1 riga terrae vulgariter an endrig nuncupata
1606 Ib. I Inq. Spec. Kincardine (18).
Crofta vocata Hillcroft. The aiker-riggis thereof
1607 Inverurie B. Ct. 20 May.
All rycht & titill … in & to ane burne rig
1614 Retours I Inq. Spec. Fife (230).
9 … buttis terrarum arabilium, cum earundem capitibus lie head rigs
1620 Rutherglen B. Ct. I 12 April.
Ane taill quhilk is the gers rig in the horscroft callit the gersȝaird
1636 Misc. Spald. C. V 225.
Within thair corne rigs
1641 Acts V 635/2.
The corne riggis of … Restalrig
1655 Cullen Kirk S. 21 Jan.
The dam rig at the west
1667 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 182.
First quarter hes in Lambelhauch ane heid halfe rig, … in Staines ane foot halfe rig, … in the Wester Tuixt Burnes ane lang rig
1672 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 43.
On the heid of Johne Ingletons lidgate rige
1691 Retours I Inq. Spec. Lanark (396).
2 lie muire riggs
1693 Answ. Presb. Eloq. 66.
When corn was dear, the lairds had a sang, Corn Riggs are bonny
(b) 1511–12 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 15.
The quhilkis landis … lyis on the Haynyng Reig

d. In references to the length or breadth of the rig as a (? rough) standard of measurement. Cf. 5 b below. 1590 Crim. Trials I ii 203.
Your foster-mother wes commandit to ryn the breid of nyne rigis
1679 Russell Account 468.
Weir first draws off his men four men deep, … being standing 5 or 6 rigs broad
1687 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII 177.
She dwelt within the lenth of ane rigg to the place

e. Coupled with rendale in various constructions, see Rendale n. and adv.

f. pl. In weakened sense: Land, esp. cultivated land.Also, once, rigges and furrow. 1513 Doug. vi xiv 96.
Quhar thou thi ryggis telys forto saw
1570 Innes Sketches 512.
I kepand that auld hous and haldand the rigis haill
1577 Old Ross-shire II 3.
Wissing him … [not] to … tyne the riggis that his elders wan
1582 Exch. R. XXI 471.
Lie riggis vulgo nuncupatarum terrarum de Eistbarnis
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 248.
The laird … was … induced to enter into a reduction of his whole interest, yea the very riggs of Duffus
1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 284.
But also beat rugged harled and abused the said Johne Gordoune over rigges and furrow

g. A piece of land. 1652 Retours I Inq. Spec. Edinburgh (1029).
That peice of land or rig commonlie called a but of land

5. Rig (of) land, etc. a. = 4 above. b. As a measure of land: Indicating a more or less precise area of land, this probably varying from one part of the country to another, and even from rig to rig. Cf. 4 d above and rig-lenth see 10 (4) below.According to Jamieson in 1887 (quoted by SND, s.v. Rig n.1 5), ‘a measure of land extending to 240 paces by 6 paces, or 600 ft. by 15 ft.; and containing 9000 sq. ft. A firlot of oats was reckoned sufficient seed for a rig.’ But see also Rude n.1 10.a., b. (1) 1485 Liber Coll. Glasg. 196.
A rige of land … of sumtymme Johnne of Chalmer
1489 Acta Aud. 137/1.
The tennement & rig of land … liand in the north parte of the Nvngate of Sanct Martine
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 85.
And as twiching the debait of ane ryg of out braik callit the ryg of the gait
1529 Misc. Bann. C. III 416.
Sir Robert Mudy … past to a ryg of land wyth the pertinens … and thair be erd and stane rasignit the said ryg
1552–3 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 86.
Ane instrument of saisyng of four ryggis of land and ane hous
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 75.
Ane crop of quheit quhilk the said Michaell sew on twa riggis of land of the landis of Restalrig
1598 (1600) Reg. Great S. 387/1.
[Passing] thairfra northirlie to the end of the thrie riggis of infeildland
1607 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 35.
The compliner hes ane rige of land lyand nixt adjacent to ane uther rige of land perteining to the defender, the compleiners rige beand teillit yeirle and the defenderis lyand le
1612 Prot. Bk. W. Leslie 18a/8.
Fywe riggis of land alias callit the littill croftes
1630 Prot. Bk. D. Heart in H. Marwick The Orkney Norn (1929) s.v. Helmin.
Three riggis or helmins of land pertaining thereto
1631 in The Orkney Townships in Sc. Hist. Rev. XVII 27.
That haill plank of girsland … with aucht riggis of labourit land … betuix the rendall land and the auld bow
1667 Rec. Old Aberd. I 110.
A true and exact roll and rentall of the rigs and ruides of land in Old Aberdeene
1674 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 13 July.
With certain skairs and riggs of beir land
(b) 1513 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 21.
Geiff … the said Cuthbert lows nocht this said reig of land betuix this and the nixt Mertynmes … the said Willyem … sall have the said reig … ane yer crop eftir the redemyng of the samyn
1515 Ib. 32.(c) 1527 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 103.
That the said reg of croft land & but of hauce land pertenit to the said Thomas
1531 Ib. 140.
Tha cawit the said … officar to preif that he had reistit the said reg of land
(2) 1548 Rec. Earld. Orkney 235.
Tenne rygis land
1561 Glasgow Prot. III 2.
Thre riggis lande lyand in the Pallioune Croft and … the cut rig lande lyand in Langcroft
1594 R. Brown Paisley I 178.
To remove themselfs … frae ane barne and rigland adjacent thereto in Priors croft
1651 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 900.
For his rigland lyand south off the Tommok ȝaird

6. In a town, that part of a rig or lot left free for cultivation, etc. after a building has been erected within its area.See also tail, tailing rigg, etc.This sense may be more frequent than can be conclusively inferred from the context, and some instances of it may therefore appear under 4 above. 1534 Ecclesia Antiqua 305.
Schir Thomas … ourgave the said tenement of land with the pertinentis togiddir with the taile reggis, liand on the northt syd of the said burgh
1614 Edinb. Test. XLVIII 172.
The tenement of land … with the taill or rig pertening thairto
1665 Irvine Deeds 13 Jan.
Illam rigam tere (lie tailing rig)

7. Used, in senses 4-6 above, to gloss certain med. L. terms, as acra, croftus (crofta), (inter)lira, parca, pecia, perticata, roda, sulcus and virgata. 1455 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. I 111.
De vno crofto vocato ly Imlawis ryg
1460 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 284.
De alia crofta mea wlgo de le ryg
1491 Liber Scon 198.
Unius pecie terre sive rige
1511 Reg. Great S. 765/2.
Et 17 virgatas terrarum, vulgariter riggis of land
1557–8 Reg. Privy S. V i 80/1.
Tribus acris cum dimedio acre terre arabilis continentibus quatuordecim sulcos terre vocatos riggis
1577 Dysart Gleanings 35.
Octo acras arabiles terrarum vulgo callit the west castell riggis
1588 Retours II Inq. Spec. Haddington (407).
8 perticatis terrae vulgariter lie riggis, jacentibus in lie Runriggis
1598–9 Exch. R. XXIII 495.
Quinque sulcorum terre arrabilium vulgo lie riggis jacentium in lie Schott
1603 Retours II Inq. Spec. Stirling (41).
11 parcis terrarum vulgo rigis, Lugdail nuncupatis
1605 Ib. I Inq. Spec. Haddington (26).
7 sulcis terrae arabilis vulgo riggis in Northcrofts de Abirlady
1609 Ib. Inq. Spec. Edinburgh (271).
2 interliriis vulgo rigis dictae villae et terrarum de Brochtoun
1615 Ib. Inq. Spec. Fife (233).
Et 17 virgatis terrarum vulgariter riggis of land
1619 Ib. II Inq. Spec. Ross and Cromarty (50).
8 perticatis terrarum arabilium vulgo riggis
1628 Ib. I Inq. Spec. Forfar (173).
16 lirarum terrarum arabilium vulgo rigis of arabill land
1690 Ib. Inq. Spec. Dumbarton (85).
2 riggis seu rodis terrae in fine villae dicti burgi

8. A rig of (a crop or plant), the quantity that has grown, or it is estimated will grow, on a rig.See the note to 5 above. 1614 Edinb. Test. XLVIII 172.
The rig of beir to be sawin vpone the rig of the tenement now occupyit … be [etc.]
1618 Craig vi 7.
Like a rig of corne Broght to the barne
1659 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 219.
That rig of broome which Andro Penman did pull does belong to … James Riddells

9. transf. a. A group, or team, of reapers. b. With reference to the reaping of a rig (of corn or the like) as a service (see also the quots. for 1597 and 1647 under a).In early use ? only in Kirkcudbright.a. 1597 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I 352.
Williame Dunvyddie … to pey to Williame McGhie xxxiij s. and vj riggis scheiraris and ane bandisman
1612 Ib. II 124.
xvj s. for tua riggis scheirraris in 1611
1645 Ib. 753.
With twa groatis for ane rig of sheireris
1647 Galloway P. 11 August.
The said William to furnish yeirlie thrie rigs of scheirers and ane bandster
1665 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 2 (30 Nov.).
Fourtine rige of shearers
1668 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) Sept.
Mair to him [their master] £10 for a rig of shearers
1690 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 32.
The first day two riggs and a bandster. … The nint two riggs containing four shearers on each rigg and a bandster
b. 1672 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 408.
A rigg of sheareing and a couple of harrous as bailly worke

10. attrib. and comb.Rig-hede, the top of a rig (also, in earlier use, ? in the same sense, as a place-name). Rig-mos, ? a peat-bog divided into strips or portions. Rig-shearing, the act or action of reaping the crop on a rig. Rig-lenth, the length of a rig (see the note to 5 above).(1) 1529 Stirling Ant. IV 196.
A piece of the Crag lying betuixt the dyke of the Grayfreris and Busbie's horschart [= orchard] and righead on the north pairt
1595 Reg. Great S. 110/1.
And thairfra eist by tua righeidis
1609 Acts IV 443/2.
Fra thyne vp barnegleyis to the righeidis
1599 Milne-Home MSS 214.
Containing two rigs and a rigend in the Blackcroft
1661 Forfar Witches in Reliq. Antiq. Sc. 133.
Because James Gray would not lett hir cow eat one hir own rigge syd
(2) 1605 Reg. Great S. 609/2.
Terras de Scheilhill, Trailflat et Auchnane, cum lie Skypemyre, Hunterhousis, et moras cum lie rig-mos earundem
(3) 1623 Orkney Bp. Ct. MS 51b.
For stryking of Andro Irwing … in the hervest rig-shearing
(4) 1616 Reg. Privy C. X 499.
Not a rig lenth or tua fra the said dure
1661 Acts VII 225/2.
The said burgh … is within a rig lenth to the same old and rwinous burgh
1671–2 Lauder Jrnl. 209.
The Lord Renton … said it was only 2 rig lenth of land
1674 Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. III 185.
Being at moste but tua rige lenthes from the housce
1699 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II 113.
Alexander Brebers house is but about two riglenth distant from the water of Done

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