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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

TESTAMENT, n., v. Also reduced forms tesment (ne.Sc. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads II. 136; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 191), tesmont. Sc. forms and usages:

I. n. 1. As in Eng., a will, a written instruction as to the disposal of one's property after one's death, specif. in Sc. Law, that part of it in which the testator nominates an executor. Where this has been done, the will with an attested inventory of the deceased's estate is lodged with the Sheriff who grants confirmation authorising the executor to proceed, and this is called testament testamentar(y). Where no executor is nominated, as in intestacy, the Sheriff appoints one, who similarly obtains confirmation, called testament dative (see Dative). Deriv. †testamentrix, a woman appointed as a trustee by a will.Sc. 1709 Compend of Securities 216:
I make, nominate and constitute the said W. my Spouse to be sole Tutrix and Testamentrix, during her Widowity allennarly to my said Daughter.
Sc. 1722 W. Forbes Institutes I. iii. 106:
A nuncupative Testament is, when the Testator doth by Word of Mouth only declare his Will. Such a Testament is of no Force in Scotland, for appointing an Executor.
Sc. 1752 J. Spotiswoode Stile of Writs 340:
Moveables are conveyed by a Latter-Will and Testament; and it contains the Nomination of an Executor or Administrator of these Goods, which is an essential Part of the Testament.
Sc. 1773 Erskine Institute iii. ix. § 27:
Where an executor named by the deceased is authorised by the Judge, it is called the confirmation of a testament-testamentary . . . and when the Judge confers the office of executor upon a person of his own nomination, it is styled the confirmation of a testament-dative.
Rnf. 1826 Miscellany S.H.S. VIII. 152:
The Testament Testamentar and Inventory of the goods gear and Debts of umquhile John Pollock.
Sc. 1896 W. K. Morton Manual 437:
The executor gives up an Inventory, and obtains confirmation, termed Testament-Dative, in the same way as an executor-nominate.
Sc. 1927 Encycl. Laws Scot. IV. 361:
An executor-nominate corresponds to an executor in England, and a testament testamentar (so far) to probate. An executor-dative corresponds to an administrator in England, and a testament-dative to letters of administration.

Phr. to make one's testament in a raip, to be hanged.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 37:
To think to lead my life wi sic an ape, I'd rather mak my tesment in a raip.

2. A gift made in a will, bequest, legacy (Abd. 1825 Jam.).

3. Erron.: a testimonial, testimony.Abd. 1926 M. Argo Makkin' o' John 29:
The biggest tochers are nae aye the best testaments.

II. v. To leave by will, to bequeath (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 191).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlvii.:
Aul' Sprottie fan he was makin' 's will; tes'mentin' this an' tes'mentin' that.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 198:
It's lang been said, what's cross'd the craig Can ne'er be testamented.

[O.Sc. testamenter, testamentary, 1476.]

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



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