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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).

SEARCH, n.1, v.1 Sc. usages:

I. n. As in Eng.: a scrutiny, examination, investigation of public records, specif. in Sc. of the Register of Sasines in order to discover the nature of the title, details of the burdens, etc., which affect a property offered for sale. The work is done by a searcher who supplies an abstract called a Search of Incumbrances stating what the Register shows regarding the property concerned.Sc. 1782 Caled. Mercury (11 March):
The rental, title-deeds (which are unexceptionally clear), and searches of the record till a very late period.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law Scot. 895:
A search embraces the following particulars: 1st, A search of the general and particular register of sasines; 2dly, A search of the record of abbreviates of adjudications; and 3dly, A search of the general and particular register of inhibitions.
Sc. 1966 Sc. Law Agents Soc. Memo. Bk. 37:
When fees for a Search in the Register of Sasines have been paid in the Record Office no fee will be charged in respect of a continuation of such Search by the current Indexes.

II. v. As in Eng. In deriv. searcher, (1) see above; (2) a customs-officer. Hence †searcherie, the office or duties of a customs inspector; (3) a church elder or other official appointed to patrol the parish during divine service or in the late evenings to notice and report on absentees, disorderly behaviour and the like, to the Kirk Session. Hist.(2) Sc. 1705 Acts Parl. Scot. XI. 256:
The office of searcherie of all prohibited and uncustomed goods coming to or going from the said Burgh of Ely or port thereof.
Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife (1803) 341:
The lairds of Anstruther have here the office of searcherie and of giving of coquets.
(3) Edb. 1700 S. Leith Rec. (Robertson 1925) II. 1:
Bethea Andersone Servetrix to Mr Alexr. Losby and Mary Andersone her Sister from whom the Searchers caused plaids to be taken being found vagueing on the Sabbath day.
Rxb. 1703 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1909) 42:
He did revel up and down the streets on Friday last after ten o' clock att night, and went into Walter Scott the Beddles house to shun the searchers.
Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xx.:
If we bide here, the searchers will be on us, and carry us to the guard-house for being idlers in kirk-time.
Edb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 89:
A committee seems at times to have been appointed, called the Searchers, whose duty it was to visit, during the time of divine service, the different parts of the parish to ascertain who were absent from divine service, with the causes of their absence, and to report to the next meeting of session.

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"Search n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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