Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BOUNTITH, Bounteith, Bounteth, Bounties, Bountess, n. “Something given as a reward for service or good offices. It now gen. signifies what is given to servants, in addition to their wages. It must have orig. denoted something optional to the master. But bounteth is now stipulated in the engagement, not less than the hire. [In] n.Scot. it is called bounties” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Prob. now obs. Gen. in phr. fee and bountith. Sc. 1725  Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) II. 194:
Bag and baggage on her back, Her fee and bountith in her lap.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian viii.:
My curse, and the curse of Cromwell go wi' ye, if ye gie them either fee or bountith.
Ags. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 IV. 15:
A maid-servant's wages formerly were, for the summer half year, 10s. with bounties, by which is meant, an ell of linen, an apron, and a shirt: Her wages for the winter half year were 5s. with same bounties.
m.Sc. 1927  J. Buchan Witch Wood xvi.:
Puir thing, she got the Devil's fee and bountith, and muckle guid it did her.
Lnk. 1719  Minutes J.P.'s Lnk. (S.H.S. 1931) 195:
Whither upon account of fee, bounteith, favour or any other manner of way whatsoever.
Ayr. 1707  Corshill Baron Court-Book in Arch. and Hist. Coll. of Ayr. and Wgt. (1884) IV. 220:
Fyve merkes . . . of fiall . . . dew . . . as his fie and bountess for herding.

Combs.: (1) Bountith bartey (see quot.). e.Lth. 1794  G. Buchan-Hepburn Gen. View Agric. e. Lth. 91:
[The year's wages of the cottager included] two firlots of Bountith barley for domestic use; . . . and, from the name, it would seem to have been originally given as a donation or gratuity to his wife.

(2) Bountith-hose, hose given in part payment for service. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems II. 107:
Well hap'd with Bountith-hose and twa soll'd pumps.

[O.Sc. bounteth, buntith, a bounty or gratuity (D.O.S.T.), Mid.Eng. bountith, O.Fr. bunted, buntet, var. of bontet, Lat. bonitatem.]

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"Bountith n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Oct 2018 <>



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