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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).

Liable, Lyable, a. Also: lyeable, lyabill, -bel(l, lybill, -bell; lay-, leyable. [e.m.E. ly-, liable (1542–3), layable (1688), ? AF. *liable, f. F. lier to bind.]

1. Legally bound or responsible, answerable (for, to, also in and of some charge or to do something). 1626 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 245.
They ar lyabill to the peyment of thair ordinar taxatioune
1659 Irvine Mun. I. 107.
The proveist, baillȝies … and others lyabell in peyment of the … mantinance … addebted foorth of the saids twa borrowes
1668 Forbes Baron Ct. 276.
Ilk boll of oatis sold … they sall be lybill for the knaship thairof
1675 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I. 499.
Mor lybell to McMilland for two eles … of Inglish ca[r]sa
1675 Erskine Diary 225.
[He] ought not only be lyeable and fyned for such conventicles as he or his lady have bein present at bot … should be answerable for his saidis tenentis
1686 Fraser P. 161.
That the said David … might be lyeable to him of all coast, skaith … and expensses
(b) 1677 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 305.
Seaverall charges concerning the millitia and other money the toun is layable to
1694 Dunferm. Ann. 360.
That … the meall buyer shall be leyable for the said custom
(2) 1633 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 377.
He shuld not be dischargit since he and his airis must be lyable to manage the rentis of the lands
16.. Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. XII. 167.
If … shee be fund in the lyk falt againe, that shee should by lyable to stand in the belt
1640 Dumbarton B. Rec. 62.
The burgh is liabill to furnish twa horsmen
1682 Melrose Reg. Rec. III. 45.
The said … baillie deput … caused call the haill heretors, … and uthirs layable to give suite and presence to the heade courts
(3) 1633 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 391.
I … obleis me to … be subiect in all thingis as the remanent gild brether … ar lyabill
1684 Decis. Lords F. 62.
That if any was lyable it was the intrometting tutor
1698 in H. Dalrymple Decis. (1792) 4.
The donatar of the son's forfeiture was not found liable as intromittor

2. Of land, property, produce: Subject to (also in) some payment or charge; also, chargeable to pay (the charge). 1655 Boyd Fam. P. 2 Nov.
Sax pound scots yeirlie for the vicarage teynd of ther … stirks and vtheris lyable in vicarag teynd
1665 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 2.
There ar severall brew-houssis … which aught onlie to be lyable in excyse and uther burdens to the good toun
1667 Rothesay B. Rec. 144.
All victuall that sall be importit … sall be lyabill to pay ane ladill furthe of ich boll
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 215.
The said tenement back and foir shall be layable in no more annuitie then according to the rent

3. Exposed or subject to, til, unto (something prejudicial). 1627 Douglas Chart. 325.
Seing I am layable euir til dainger
1645 Rutherford Tryal Faith (1845) 231.
In regard of his law-place, or law-condition, he was … liable … to … punishment for our sins
c1650 Spalding I. 257.
Thay could not get him lyable to the censur of the Scottish lawis for this his slanderous writting
1674 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 205.
It would … have rendered us layable to that suspitione if we had delyed to the week efter

4. Suitable, fit, qualified (for an employment). 1631 Stirling's Royal Lett. II. 556.
The parochiners, be vertew of the ministeris great aige and seiknes, stand in neid of ane liable persone for helping him in the charge of the ministrie

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"Liable adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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