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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

INFANG, n. A curtailed form of the feudal law term Infangthief.

1. The right of certain landowners to try and punish a thief taken within the area of their jurisdiction, abolished in 1748. Hist. Cf. Outfang.Sc. 1828 Scott F.M. Perth iv.:
Would you have us now yield up our rights . . . and immunities, our outfang and infang, our hand-habend . . . and our blood-suits.

2. Goods stolen within this jurisdiction.Sc. 1732 P. Walker Six Saints (1901) II. 50:
James Irvine of Bonshaw, who formerly made a trade of fine horses, of outfang and infang betwixt the kingdoms.

3. In full form infangthief: a thief caught in this district.Kcd. 1700 J. Anderson Black Bk. (1843) 130:
He is accused as a common and notorious theif, outfang theif, infang theif, and a theif by open voice and common fame.

[A shortened form of infangthief, O.Sc. infang, 1549, infangenthefe = 1., 1195, O.E. infangenþēof, = 1., orig. a thief taken within (certain limits).]

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"Infang n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Feb 2023 <>



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