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

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
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S(c)het(e, S(c)heit(t, n.1 Also: scet, chet, scheyt, cheit, seyt, s(c)heith, shiet; scheet(e, sheet, sheat(e, schette, shett, schite, shit(t; s(c)hed; (shreet). [ME and e.m.E. sced (c1250; v.rr. sciet, scete), schete (c1250), she(e)te (Chaucer), shede (1510), schede (1566), sheade (a1593), OE scíete wk. fem., Angl. scéte, later scýte a sheet, piece of linen cloth. Cf. OE scéat masc. corner, bay, skirt, cloth, and L. sc(h)eda a piece of paper, med. L. scheta a sheet (nautical).]

1. A (usu. large) broad piece of cloth, chiefly linen or canvas, used for covering, wrapping, protecting, carrying, etc.; ? an improvised sack or pack.A pair of schetis, two or more thicknesses of cloth put together as a unit, cf. Pair n. 3.Some of the examples given under (2) below may properly belong to e below, and vice versa.Sometimes coloured or striped to serve as an ornamental coverlet or hanging.Cf. later Sc. dial. sheet, sowing-sheet, ‘a sheet of canvas folded into a pouch to hold corn seed’ (SND, s.v. Sheet n.1 1); see also sawn schet under c (7) below.Also attrib. (made from a sheet of canvas) and comb. in sheitt-man (a porter or carrier of flour or the like). Scheyt schak(k)in(g)(is, ? the quantity of meal, etc. obtained from shaking out the sacks in which it was transported, an illegal charge made on those who brought meal or malt from landward to the Aberdeen market.(1) 1375 Barb. xiii 236.
Schetis that war sumdele brad Thai festnyt in steid off baneris Apon lang treys
1398–1400 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) 175.
A sadil & ii schete of net, iiii s. iiii d.
1473 Treas. Acc. I 30.
iij elne of brade clath for a schete to put about the quene in the bath fat
1506 Ib. III 48.
For lx elne Bertane claith to be foure schetis for pressis, of thre breidis and ilk ane v elne lang
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts x 11.
And a vessel cummand doun as a gret schete with iiij newkis
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 11.
Grete lynyng to mak twa chetis to ane palȝes to wynd the said matres in
1540 Ib. 319.
To be schetis to the ladyis that … rokis my lord prince
1540 Misc. Hist. Soc. X 44.
To ane woman of Falkland that weschis the schetis of the gardrope
1568 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 160.
To wes his lynnyng claithis and schetis
(b) 1488 Treas. Acc. I 156.
For xxiiij elne of smal braide clayth to be scheytis to the duke
1532 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 123.
That na man nor voman led nor beir uther mennes pettis … , hym that comprehendis thaim to inbring to our bailyeis the hors of the ledder and the scheit of berar
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 12.
For the fassoun of twa chetis of cammes palȝeis and ane cheit of quhit fustane
Ib. 43.
For ane grete male to turs the littecamp in and for ane scheith to put the treis in
1549 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 197.
Ane hail compleit stand of blak damais … vith the scheittis of fyne clayth for the sacrament hous and all the scheittis of the caippis
1561 Inv. Q. Mary 46.
Of sheittis and lyning claithis … fourty round scheittis quhilkis seruit to the browdinstaris
a1568 Jok & Jynny 26.
My berne … hes of hir awin … Ane blanket and ane wecht also Ane schule ane scheit and ane lang flail
1584 Edinb. Test. XIII 200b.
xxij scheittis for salmond nettis at vj s. the eln
1586 Treas. Acc. MS 111.
Thre vnce of reid and ȝallow thred to sew on the calȝeis vpoun ilk scheit and heid pece [for a horse]
1601 Crim. Trials II 360.
And thairefter thay pakkit vp his haill insycht guidis … in scheittis and causit the saidis thre wemen convoy the samyn … vpoune thair bakis
1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 47.
The great pheisses, with the pheisses, stangs and nets thairof … four round sheiths that goes on befoir the nets
1647 Glasgow Trades House 259.
xlvj ells thrie quarters Gaine kecklines to be sarks scheitts and lyneings to the claiths
1650 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 615.
To furneis fedder beddis [etc.] … , scheittis for the airmy and for the hurt sodgeris to ly upone
1699 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II 110.
Upon the doore wherof ther wes ane sheit drawen so that he could not sie
(c) 1678 Sc. Ant. IX 106.
Harne for a shit to bear the clothes to the water 18 s.
(d) 1650 Dingwall Presb. 180.
That he interrupted the said … servant from sowing the gleib by takeing the sheet from him
1689 Dumbarton B. Rec. 99.
Ane barrel of powder, ane chest of ball, and two sheets of match
(2) 1473 Treas. Acc. I 15.
xxj elne of gretare clath for a pair of schetis
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II 373.
vj pare of schetis, with jakkis and strypis, and certane utheris gudis
1500–1 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 113.
iiij par of dovble chetis
1516 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 22.
A coffer of bane and two pare of shetes
1519 Reg. Episc. Aberd. II 174.
Five payr of riffyne schetis ane therof sewit with sylk for candilweikkis
1520–1 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 36.
That scho suld geiff ane par of schetis and ane cursch to his frend in mariage quham David Cadȝow suld marow
1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 324.
Lynning scheittis in the houshald garderob … vi pair, … hardin scheittis … ii pair, … of new tuedling scheittis … ii pair
1603 Montgomery Mem. II 248.
For the len of ane par of schites
1624 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 138.
Ane kow being callowing … Ane pair of scheittis stentit about hir that scho sould not be sene
1658 Edinb. Test. LXIX 92.
vj paire of shittes ij board cloths
(3) 1505 Treas. Acc. III 44.
To be iij pairis paled schetis in the quenis chamir
1507 Ib. 335.
Sex pair paled schetis of ij½ breidis
1598 Black Bk. Taymouth 324 (see (2) above). 1645 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 44.
Ane pair of Holland cloath sheittes
1646 Aberd. Council Lett. III 40.
Twa new cullor paires of duble hardin sheits
attrib. and comb. (1) 1673 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 349.
[16 s. as the price] of a sheitt seck quherin the malt was receaved
(2) 1584 St. A. Baxter Bks. 37.
It is statut and ordinat that the seruice men being ane boattar haiff xii d. and the freeman of the baikhous x d. and the sheitt man vi d. and ilk vattir boy ii d.
(3) 1543 Aberd. B. Rec. I 191.
The vittell byaris of the merkat scattis thame [sc. landmen] grytlie in taking of sampillis, scheytschakkingis, and sic oder ewill vsit custum … that thair tollar … cause mak ane mesour to mett and resaif the malt … and that na sampill nor scheytschakin be gewin nor takin thairof
1549 Ib. 271.
It is deuisit … for the veill of landuart men that cumis with thair victuallis to the guid tovnn to sell thairat, thair be na maner of sampillis nor scheit schakkynnis tane fray thame in tymes cumyng of thair victuallis
1561 Ib. 335.
That the malt and meill cuming to the toune to be sauld sall be sett, sauld, mett and mesourit … nor na skaiffry, sic as sampill and scheit schakin, to be tane thairof

b. A towel or napkin. a1400 Leg. S. xxii 356.
A fare ȝung man … I se, with a schet in hand, Clengeand thi hortis that are sare
Ib. xxxviii 298.
With hir handis dryit thare fete With a faire & clene schete

c. As the second element in a compound or quasi-compound, the first element indicating use or function.Bering schete, in comb. with Bering vbl. n. 1 or 2, a cloth for wrapping round an article or articles, to be transported; a pack-cloth; also ? a cloth for use in connection with the birth of a child.Nek schete, ? cf. nek-clath, nek-towell, Nek n.1 5. Spitting sheit, ? a cloth or napkin used for spitting on in bed. [Cf. 17th c. Eng. spitting sheet (1662).]For further examples see also Fut(e)-shete n., Hed(e)schete n., Pane n.1 3 attrib., Pre(s n. 1 b (2), S(c)having vbl. n.(1) 1456 Hay II 143/34.
Efter the … bathing, men suld sytt on faire bynkis on thai herberis … and frottit and rubbit his fete and his handis [etc.] … with a faire lynnyn towale apon a fair fut schete quhite and clene
1488 Treas. Acc. I 156.
For vj elne of smal braid clayth to be hand towellis, nycht curcheis and fut scheytis
1503 Ib. II 203.
For iiij elne Bertane lynnyng to be ane fut scheit to turs the kingis clathis in
1507 Ib. IV 17.
Holland clath to be smal fut schetis
1511–12 Ib. 211.
Holland claith … for hed schetis, fut schetis and codwaris to the quenis grace
1530–1 Ib. V 410.
Five elnis round Holland claith to be ane fute schete
(2) 1504–5 Treas. Acc. III 35.
viij elne Holland claith to be tua hedeschetis to the king
1589 St. A. B. Ct. 16 Sept.
Ane pair off sewit heid scheitis
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 86. 1668 Edinb. Test. LXXIII 168b.
Sevinth pair of head shits all lased throw
attrib. 1592 Edinb. Test. XXV 29b.
I leif to my sister tua pair of heidscheit scheittis, … tua beddis scheittis
(3) 1526 Treas. Acc. V 298.
iiij ellis Holland claith to be nek schetis
(4) 1506 Treas. Acc. III 267.
lxx elne Bertane clath to be four pair pales schetis of ij½ bredis and iij½ elne lang
(5) 1505 Treas. Acc. III 44.
For xij elne Bertane clath to be bering schetis for the quenis wardrob
1506 Ib. 48.
For xxiiij elne Bertane clath to be bering scheitis, ij pairis iij elne lang
1507 Ib. 335.
Tua pair bering schetis of tua bredis
1511–12 Ib. IV 211.
To be berying schetis to the quenis grace agane the birtht of the prince xvj elnis small Bertane claith
(6) 1533 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 287b.
For the wrangus haldene fra hym of a pak seyt
1598 Edinb. Test. XXXI 319b.
xj pack scheittis at x s. the pece
(7) 1534 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 144.
Ane peig, … ane sawn [= sawing] schet
(8) 1570 Treas. Acc. XII 227.
xv elnis of poldawie canves to be fywe hors scheittis
1581 Ib. MS 822.
Hors scheittis to his hienes grite hors cumming round about the countare
1586 Ib. 85.
Hardin to be nycht scheittis to the haill stabillis
Ib.
Poldavie canves to be ane dayes scheit to the soir hors
1678 Kintyre Rental in Nat. Lib. MS No. 3367.
Horse sheets
1700 Foulis Acc. Bk. 284.
For 4 ell tycking to be a horss sheit
(9) 1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 359.
4 pair of spitting sheits

d. A winding-sheet for a corpse. See also Endill-scheit n., Winding-schete n. c1420 Wynt. v 3959.
The dede … Quhen he is wondyn in hys schet
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1307.
Nocht bot ane sheit is on thy body bair
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John xx 6.
Symon Petir … entrit into the graue and he saw the schetis laid
a1568 Bann. MS 22b/37.
Quhen thay ar prickit in a scheit Than lost is all thair ryaltie
Ib. 77b/94.
For thow rycht nocht sall haif … Bot ane thin scheitt that day that thow salt de
Ib. 113a/10.
Ane wreche sall haif no mair Bot ane schort scheit at heid and feit For all his wrek and wair
1637 Edgar Old Church Life I 317.
Ane sheit quhilk wes gevin to a puir deid bodie
1668 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 27 April.
£10 … to be waired vppon his kist, sheit and buriaill
1674 Dumfries Doc. (Sel. Doc. No. 34).
5 ell of lining for a shit to a poor man that dyiad in … his barne
1698 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 10 March.
For a sheat and other necessars

e. specif. A sheet used to cover the surface of a bed or the body of the occupant; a bed-sheet.There is overlapping with the main sense above, under which there may be examples properly belonging to this sense.Also attrib. and comb.(1) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 104 (A).
A principal bede with the schetis & the pertinene
1456 Hay I 301/33.
The … fethir beddis and small schetis of oure lordis and princis that thai ar usit till gerris thame that thai may nocht endure the weris langsumly
1488 Prot. Bk. J. Young 32. a1500 Seven S. 1453.
The hound lap wp on the bed clathis … Baith courting cod covering & schete Of silk he fylis with his feit
Ib. 2000, 2001.
Haf na hast To mak his bed quhill he haf sene His newe maid schetis ws twa betwene. Than of the scheit scho liftit ane nuke
1526 Treas. Acc. V 273.
Holland clath … to be … double schetis and pane schetis
1529 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 230.
Ane furnist bedd with lite of camp with ruif courtingis schetis coddis blancatis of fusteane fedder bedd bowsteris verdour bedd with all furnissing
1531–2 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 119.
Ane stand bed with chettis
1533–4 Ib. 136.
Scettis
(b) 1548 Edinb. B. Rec. II 136.
Scheittis
15.. Wyf Awcht. 93.
He trailit the fowll scheitis doun the gait Thocht to haif wechst thame on ane stane
a1578 Pitsc. I 187/27.
The duik raif the scheittis of his bede and maid the raipe langer
a1585 Maitland Maitl. Q. 8/42.
Thay leif not spindill, spone nor speit Bed, boster, blanket, sark nor scheit
1583 Brechin Test. I 77b. 1596 Montgomery Mem. II 236.
Sevin singill Frinche scheittis
1621-40 Melville Commonpl. Bk. 48.
My bed itselff is lyk the graue My scheitts the winding scheit
?1613 Rooseboom Sc. Staple 149.
And sall furnish ilk fyftene dayes clene scheittes and codwaires to the haill beds within the said consergerie hous
1632 Inv. Newark fol. 4b.
Of comon sort of lining scheitis and tweill for gentellmenis bedis
1657 Edinb. Test. LXIX 59.
Cheits
(c) 1654 Lamont Diary 73.
[They] escaped ouer the wall of the castell vpon the shetts and blankets which did couer ther beds, one paire being teyed to another
(d) 1672 Haigs of Bemersyde 474.
Straiking sheets … harden sheets
(2) 1478–9 Acta Aud. 82/1.
For a pare of schetis of husy making
1482–3 Acta Conc. II cxxiv.
j nap sek, j pair of schetis, j blancat
1495 Treas. Acc. I 258. 1499 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II 26. 1503 Treas. Acc. II 216.
For lxxij elne Holland claith to be thre pair of schetis, ilk ane of thre bredis, ilk elne vj s.
1530 Balmerino and L. Chart. ii 31.
xiij payre of hayll schets & ane brokyne payre
1565 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnsoun 97.
32 pare of schetis whairof 20 pare are small lynning and 12 pare round lynning
1580 Edinb. Test. VIII 225.
I leue … to … my dochter … tua pair blancattis, tua pair scheittis, tua coueringis [etc.]
1587 St. A. Test. II 92.
Sevin pair of schetis evill and gude
1622 Edinb. Test. LI 282.
Fyve pair of cheittes
1641 Old Ross-shire I 125.
Ane pair of scheittis schewit with blak silk in both endis
1649 Edinb. Test. LXIV 235.
xxxvj pair of scheits
1658 Ib. LXIX 118.
Two chalfe beds, foure pair of old sheitts
1676 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 147.
With a new double covering for a bed and paire of linnen sheits at ten schilling the ell and ten ell in that paire of scheitts
1689 Haigs of Bemersyde 479.
Four codwairis, fyve pair of scheitis schapin and vnschapin
attrib. and comb. 1575 Edinb. Test. III 361b.
Ane bontithe of sheit ribbans blew & reid silk
1586 Ib. XVI 141b.
Nyne bustis of scheit ribbenis price xxxij s. vj d.

f. Referring to the use of a ‘sheet’ when performing public penance. 1602 Elgin Rec. II 102.
Adiudgit to satisfie the act maid anent idolaters … and to provide scheittis insted of sakclaith to thame selves
1608 Kinghorn Kirk S. 11.
Ordanit to present hirselfe … at the kirk door bair fuittit with ane pair of scheittis about hir
1636 Boharm Kirk S. 24 April.
To … stand in sheets at the foot of the stool of repentance
1639 Alyth Par. Ch. 69.
[Margaret Innes] enterit hir repentance as an adultress barfoot and in quhyt scheittis
1640 Mouswald Kirk S. MS 1 July.
That everie fornicator … for the first fault stand thrie days in the pillar of repentance with shietis and [etc.]

g. proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 546.
Fortune and revin scheits garris manie men ly on the strae
Ib. No. 1809.
Ye have a fair hand to tak a scheit af a dyke

2. A thin, broad piece of metal. 1691 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIX 127.
Shreets of kopper and sols for kettles

3. A piece of paper, also parchment, of regular shape, for writing or printing; such a piece, of definite size, of which 25 were reckoned as a quire (see quot. Paterson below).(a) 1560 Cal. Sc. P. I 332.
Ane scheit of paper
1531 Vaus (1566).
Gif me paper … ane pen … ink See, schir, the scheittis are out of my plaice
1621 Acts IV 617/1.
For everie schette [of a signature] mae besyid the first scheite
1622-6 Bisset II 72/24.
Half a scheit of paper
1631 Justiciary Cases I 182.
The loird Uchiltrie wrote it scheete eftir sheate out of this examinatis paper
1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 151.
A lang clame … conteining fifteen or sixtein scheits of paper
1641 Misc. Bann. C. II 255.
Sextene rimmes of printed waist littell scheittis of paper consisting in littell pamphlettis [etc.]
1651–2 Dumbarton Common Gd. Acc. 185.
12 scheit of paiper
1653 Galloway P. 5 Nov.
This within a sheit of paper registrat and extracted be me
1682 Rothesay B. Rec. 392.
Ane extract therof to be drawne upon ane broad upon a sheit of parchement and sett up in the Tolbuith
1684–5 Dumfr. & Galloway Soc. 3 Ser. XXXVI 167.
To Alexander Patersone for drauing of my tuo commissions the one being tuo sheit and the other one
1685 Paterson Sc. Arithm. 9.
The denominators for paper are as followeth: Rimm: 10, Quair: 20, Sheet: 25
1691 Lauder Jrnl. 308.
This is all I can get at present proposed to you for ane pattern and example, the sheat being able to hold no more
(b) 1658 Edinb. B. Rec. IX 86.
Twa blank sheds of paper for supplicatiouns and a blank folded shed for a missive

b. A sheet of printed matter before it has been cut into pages of the size chosen (quarto, etc.). 1646 Baillie II 404.
The half sheet of the very encourageing elogia of the prolocutor Herle [etc.] … he shall receave with the next
1663–6 Household Bks. Archb. Sharp MS 17.
A newes book of tuo sheit
1692 Misc. Bann. C. II 351.
He hath perfeyted of landmapps … two of Fyfe [etc.], … besides severall sheits of curiosities and anticks in the East Shyres

c. A written paper. 1600-1610 Melvill 661.
To desyre him to subscryve the sched [v.r. scheet] of paper givin in be him
a1691 Mackenzie in 43rd Rep. Hist. MSS 5421/1.
I hav sent your grace the remanent sheets of the first part of my Criminalls

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"Shet n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/schete_n_1>

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