Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
LETTERGAE, n. Also latter-, leter-. The precentor in a church who according to the old Scottish practice first read the line of the psalm and then led the congregation in singing it (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff., Abd. 1925). The word is now almost obs. exc. in liter. use.
Sc. 1715 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 71:
The Latter-gae of haly Rhime, Sat up at the Boord-head. Abd. 1746 W. Forbes Dominie Deposed (1765) 29:
Quite other thoughts our Lettergae Begins to foster. Cai. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 49:
In Mr Cumming's days, the last Episcopalian minister in this parish, there was no singer of Psalms in church but the lettergae. Sc. 1829 Scott Guy M. xi.:
There was no sae mony hairs on the Warlock's face as there's on Letter-Gae's ain at this moment. Kcb. 1836 J. Mayne Siller Gun 86:
Ev'n Maister Auld, our Letter-gae … Forgat the cares that made him wae, And lilted here. Per. 1881 R. Ford Readings 84:
The lettergae sings, but nae heart's in his tune. Dmb. 1894 D. MacLeod Past Worthies 201:
John Wallace, the “leter gae,” was rudely roused out of a sound nap. Bwk. 1897 R. M. Calder Poems 129:
An' weel I remember the lettergae's voice As he gasped an' droned oot the singin'. Abd. 1931 A. M. Williams Bundle of Yarns 17:
The 103rd psalm was sung again and again by the choir, the precentor acting, for the time being, as lettergae.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Lettergae n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Mar 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/lettergae>
Try an Advanced Search