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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Latter-, Letter-day, n. Also: lattare-, -ir(e-, -yr(e-, later-, -yr-; lettir- and -da. [e.m.E. lat(t)er day(es (1535).]

1. The last day or days. a. Of a period. b. Of one's life. c. Of the world.a. 15.. Clar. ii. 1249.
On this ilk moneth in the letter day
Ib. 1293.
How that the King at morne sould make him boune To se the justing upon the letter day
1588 King Cat. I. iiij.
On the letter day of December
b. sing. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1162.
Inne which ile … Eccuba … closed had hyr latter day
c1420 Wynt. i. 1575.
He closyd hys latyrday [C. lattyr day, W. last day]
Ib. iv. 412.
Yhoure lattyre day yhit mon yhe byde
Ib. vii. 2288. 1498 Reg. Morton II. 253.
To stand … trew … to the Abbay … til his latter day
1513 Doug. ii. iv. 93.
Quhamtill this was the duylfull lattir [Sm. lettir] day
Ib. vi. ix. 78.
Quhil dedis lattyr day
1533 Gau 51/4.
[Christians] suld be blith apone that later day
1533 Boece xv. x. 593.
[He] sone thair eftere closit the lattire day
plur. 1456 Hay I. 85/1.
For drede he has that folk speke a lak of him in his lattare dayes
1535 Stewart 15734.
This king … In Christis faith cloisit his latter dais
Arundel MS. 282/121.
That thou be to me helper … in my letter dayis
c. sing. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3763.
This letter day Quhen that the warld sulde be deuydit
1562-3 Winȝet I. 139/28.
Quhill the latter day of all
1576 Edinb. Test. IV. 302.
To rest thair quhill the latterday
1578 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 55.
As he will anser to God on the letter day of jugement
1679 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 28 Mar.
Hoping … to be found in the latter day amongst the number of his chosen
plur. c1520-c1535 Nisbet I. .
Christ … spak of the letter dayes and of the end of the warld

2. plur. Recent or present times. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 79/9.
Na hæretik that euir wes in thir our lattir days, or afoir
1596 Dalr. I. 86/13.
In thir lattir dayes … is sa brocht to passe, that [etc.]

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"Letter-day n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2023 <>



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