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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Flyting, Flytting, vbl. n. Also: flytyng, -eing, -eng, fliting, -yng, flitting. [ME. flityng, fliteing, fliting (c 1200), f. Flyte v.]

1. The action of quarrelling, scolding, or employing abusive language.(a) ?1438 Alex. i. 2436.
Manance nor flyting was thair nane
a1487 Gud Wife & D. 118.
A woman suld … Oys nouthir flyting, sturt, no striff
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 18.
Flyting to ws richt gritlie I eschame
1533 Boece ii. xii. 82 b.
The twa bredir … , be fowsum flytingis lichtlying vtheris, frustrate of thare intent departit
1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 290.
My lordis … effter greitt flytyng maid hym contentit
1596 Dalr. I. 129/8.
Eftir vnfreindlie flyteng, baith the parties war steiret vp to fechteng
1600-1610 Melvill 718.
The great Bisschope kendelit … in a raige of foull flyting
1641 Baillie I. 390.
There fell a verie foule flyting betwixt the two
1669 Ayr & W. Coll. IV. 86.
In reguaird of ther inchristian cariage in flyting and scolding, banning and swearing
(b) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 23.
To gar me ryme, and rais the feynd with flytting
1536 Dysart Rec. 4.
Margaret Weems … was called for the flytting that she made in the Kirk
1596 Elgin Rec. I. 42.
Issobell and Margaret Tailȝeour … to do thair repentance on Sonday nixt for thair publict flytting … on the calsay
1649 Cupar Presb. 131.
After her flytting with the said Helen she fell sicke
c 1675 Bk. Pasquils 226.
Now they haue found out a new way of flytting, Which they doe call sollicitatione
(c) c1460 Thewis Gud Women 79.
Oys noght flityng sturt, na stryf
1533 Boece x. xvii. 399.
To thame the Murrayis first be flitingis and fensible wapynnys resistit
1561 Inverness B. Rec. i. 59.
Johne Morison is … jugit in amerciament … for his … false saingis and fliting in commond he get [= hie gate]
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. ii. 20.
Thus did he perorat his fliting, As at Tarantums spiders biting

b. A contest between poets in mutual abuse. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. Title.
The flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie heir eftir followis
a1585 Polwart Flyt. heading (T).
The first flytting in forme of reply to Alex. Montgomereis first flytting
1585 James VI Ess. 62.
In flyting and inuectiues, ȝour wordis to be cuttit short
Ib. 68.
For flyting or inuectiues, vse … rouncefallis, or tumbling verse

2. Flyting-free, free from blame. 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. vi. 8.
If we walke the land abroad we will finde many folke not flyting free in it
1614 Misc. Maitl. C. I. 424.
Monie of ws abuses mens wyfes, bot I thank God for it, I am flyting frie
1637 Rutherford (1862) I. 436.
Christ … in that is flyting-free with sinners

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"Flyting vbl. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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