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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Catale, Catall, Catell, n. Also: cattale (katt-), cat(t)ail(l, caittaile; catal (kat-), catalle; catele, cateill; cattell (katt-, kat-), caitell, cattill. [ME. catal(e, catall(e, catayle, -ayll, occasional variants of the usual catell(e, catel, ONF. catel (OF. chatel).]

1. Property, possessions, goods. Also in pl. 14.. Acts I. 22/2.
Gif a burges hafe lent of his catallis [L. de suo] tyll hym that wonnys out of the burgh
Ib. 24/2.
The body and catall [L. catalla] of the borow greff sall be in the kyngis will
Ib. 89*/2.
All perticular gilde hidertill oysyt in ony burgh … and the catall of thaim

2. Cattle; live stock.(a) 1375 Barb. iii. 735.
Men mycht her wemen hely cry, And fle with cataill her and thar
Ib. vi. 399.
Cattale that wes the castell by
1398 Acts I. 212/1.
All gudis, catale, & landys … owtane qwhite schepe, rydin hors & drawyn oxin
c1420 Wynt. i. 1342.
Thare is … tyll all catale pasture gude
Ib. ix. 1503.
Youre catale and youre gude thai ta
1443 Rep. Milne Home MSS. 21.
I, the said David, … dischargis the said Sir Alexander … of the said catail and the said monee
1466 Acta Aud. 4/1.
The cornne, cattale and gudis that thai tuke out of his landis
1478 Reg. Cupar A. I. 213.
Fredom of pasture to aucht kattale gangand quhar the lafe of the katal pasturis of the toun
1483 Acta Conc. II. p. cx.
The catale, insicht and uther gudis contenit in the act gevin … of before
1515 Fife Sheriff Ct. 10.
The actioune and cause … tueching the spoilȝeing allegiit of certane caittaile
1548 Wemyss Corr. 10.
In possessioun of commoun pasture with thare catale on the muir
1578 Glenartney Doc.
All personis haveing ony guides or catale pasturand within our said forrest
1596 Dalr. I. 58/23.
Neist this lyis another ile, … quhair nae kynd of cattail is fund
(b) c1420 Wynt. iv. 1490.
All his elyphantis thare, And hors and catalle, peryst ware
1456 Hay I. 161/17.
A sely pure man … , that can nocht ellis do bot sitt on the felde with his catall or his schepe
Ib. II. 139/11.
The ribbis of catalle and folk
1498 Dunferm. B. Rec. 89.
Tweching the wrangvis slayng of certane catall of wnfremennis
1508 Reg. Privy S. I. 241/1.
Divers oure liegis … pasturis and etis the gers thairof with thair catall
1510 Peebles B. Rec. 42.
Thar … corne, catall, familiare servandis [etc.]
(c) 1375 Barb. v. 275.
A man … That wes … rich of mwbill and catell [E. cateill: leyll]
Ib. xviii. 249.
He gert withdraw all the catele Of Lowdiane euerilk deill
a1400 Leg. S. xl. 432.
Sa tyd that Niniane a tym wente To se his catel in entente
1386 Rotuli Sc. II. 85/2.
Thar garrisons, servantz, guydes and catel whatsaever they be
1402 Reg. Panmure II. 184.
The catel of Panmore sale hafe common pastour in the sulye of tha ilke landis
c1420 Wynt. ii. 193.
Jacob set hym for profyte Off corne, catelle, or of fe
c1460 Wisd. Solomon 411.
I had … hyrdis of catell and multitud of corne
1488 Lanark B. Rec. i.
Nicol Schirelaw is maid commoun herde to keip the catel of the town
a1500 Bk. Chess 1358.
This teileman has … A wand or quhipe … To call his cattell to thair pastur richt
1531–2 Wemyss Chart. 154.
Gres, pasturing of catell, hedder, petpot, turf and duvat
1555 Peebles B. Rec. 213.
All cattell, scheip and nolt [to] be dischargit thairof … except alanerly hors and sowkkand stirkis
1568 Sat. P. xlvi. 36.
Na coukcald karle nor carlingis pet, That dois thair corne and caitell cryne
1578 Acts III. 113/2.
Thair mowable guidis, insicht and plenessing and kattell spulȝeit and away takin
1583 Reg. Privy C. III. 603.
For keping of his guides and cattell unentering in the said forrest
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 87.
The schiref sall cause … apprehend the cattell of his husband men

b. Used in the plural. 1499 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 625.
Gyfe ony of the tenandis … , thare catellis or gudis … sall hapin … to be arestit
1531 Bell. Boece I. 38.
Ane portioun of cornis, cattellis, [etc.] … quhilk was gevin to kirkmen for thair sustentatioun
1605 Stewart Mem. 114.
Ihone Stewart [etc.] … distroyis his cornis and gres, pastouris thair cateillis and gwidis thairwpoun
1639 Johnston Diary 46.
To bring away all victual and cattels from the border
1664 Forbes Baron Ct. 251.
He … did tak his playd, haveing found … his cattelles in the skaith
1674 Elgin Rec. I. 318.
The cattaills sall pay for summer grass and keeping 20 s.

3. Attrib. and comb. with girs or gres, grededie. 1495 Liber Aberbr. 289.
That the … convent has vse and possessione of catale gyrs … of Balnamonismyre
1518 Fife Sheriff Ct. 97.
Iohnne Claphane … was souerte … for master Alexander Kynnynmonth for certane catale girs
1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. I. 26 b.
Johne Hakat … grantit … certain cattellis gres in his myir of Pitsyrran
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4014.
Howbeit I haue bene cattel-gredie, It schamis to pische into ane widdie

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"Catale n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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