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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.

Liking, Lyking, vbl. n. Also: lyck-, lyik- and -eing, -yng(e, -in(e, -yn(e, -en; and lekin. [ME. lik-, lyking, -yng, also (once, c 1400) leking, OE. lícung.]

1. Happiness, contentment; pleasure, enjoyment, satisfaction.Freq. to have liking, and also const. in or of something, to do something, that something is so.Chiefly in early verse.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 226.
Fredome mays man to haiff liking
Ib. xiv. 17.
He, that herd thame mak sic hicht, In-till his hert had gret liking
Ib. xx. 620. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 538.
I ma sum thynge Do that may be lykyne; For it sal ese gyf
Ib. xxx. 632. Ib. xliv. 178, 9.
Corruptouris of cors ar thai That varldly lyking settis ay Befor lykyne that ma nocht Cese
c1420 Wynt. iii. 397.
It is suet lykyng and na payne To luffe and [to] be lufyt agayne
Ib. vi. 2436.
Welle stuffyd syne he gert thame be Wyth wyttaylle, and wyth othire thyng, That esfull war to thare lykyng
Ib. viii. 4224. ?1438 Alex. ii. 2447.
Quhat tua thingis makes ȝow maist lyking Or confort into leill lufing?
c1420 Ratis R. 1673, 4.
The sevynt eild … Has lytill es of lyking here, That suld haf lyking es or play
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1065.
The lordis on the tothir side for liking they leugh
a1500 Henr. Orph. 138.
Now wepe with me … Quhilk losit has in erd all his lyking
a1500 K. Hart 119.
Servit this quene … Mirth Lustheid Lyking and Nobilnes
1617–18 Macgibbon & Ross V. 549.
To the great lyking and contentment of his Majestie
1707 Conv. Burghs IV. 424.
They doubted not but they would come to ane agreement to both their likeings
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 624.
A-pone that gebat thu sall hinge Quhare-in thu has sa gret lykine
Ib. 994.
As the fend had persawynge That the bischope sic lykyne Had in hyr farhed
Ib. vi. 462. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 4173.
In ȝour orchard thair is ane tre … In quhilk ȝour spous hes greit lufe and lyking
1585 Reg. Morton II. 312.
The ernist affectioun greit delyte and guid lykeing quhilk our richt traist cousing … alwyis hes in making of policie to the decoratioun of our realme
?1438 Alex. ii. 7910.
The nobill King to se them gais, And in his hart great lyking hes Of thare fare fere
(3) c1420 Wynt. iv. 2596 (C).
Sa excellent of bewte … was he That to behalde hym … Men had likyn commonly
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 449.(4) c1450-2 Howlat 829.
Lyking thai had That the barde was so bet

b. At, in (into) or with liking, at one's liking: at ease, in comfort or contentment; also, in or with pleasure or enjoyment, pleasurably.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 560.
[For] quhen men oucht at liking ar, To tell off paynys passyt by Plesys to heryng
a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 800.
He … ekyt thus his warldis gud & that [= at] lykine it with hyme stud
?1438 Alex. ii. 10430.
Sa sall ȝe mare at lyking be
c1420 Wynt. vii. 2884.
Thare wes oure Kyng ressawyd well … And all at poynt and [v.rr. at, in] lykyn lede
Ib. viii. 5640.
The lave … liwyd sumdelle at lykyn [C. liken] then
c1475 Wall. ix. 426, x. 478. 1375 Barb. xvi. 331.
Now leiff we … the nobill king All at his eis and his liking
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 970.
Than sall I wed ȝow with ane ring, Than may ȝe leif at ȝour lyking
(2) c1420 Wynt. i. 441.
[To] lyve in lykyn and in es
?1438 Alex. ii. 7530.
The Kingis hart reioysit is In ioy … And in lyking the day our-gais
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 267.
Sal neuer myne hart be in saill na in liking
a1500 K. Hart 13.
He … never had experience in to payne, Bot alway into lyking
1513 Doug. viii. viii. 56.
Thir folkis all in lykyng at thar willis This land inhabyt
(3) c1450-2 Howlat 18.
The land lowne was and le with lyking & luf
Ib. 762.
All thus our lady thai lovit, with lyking and lyst
Ib. 997.

c. Into gud liking, in good spirits, cheerful. Cf. Like v. 2 a (7) and Likand ppl. a. 2. c1475 Wall. vi. 109.
Wallace in to gud liking gais In Laynrik toun amang his mortaill fais
a1500 Sir Eger 1387.
He slew my brother, … Als mine own love, … And sensyne I was never aye Into good likeing half a day

2. Occas. put for: Sensual pleasure, sensuality. Also in liking.(1) c1420 Wynt. iv. 169.
Gyff ane wald set his wyll For lykyng mesoure tyll excede
a1500 K. Hart 429.
Sewin ȝeir and moir schir Lyking and schir Loue, Off him thai haue the cure
(2) a1400 Leg. S. vi. 462.
Quhen men venis beste that thai Sal lyfe in lykine and in play
c1420 Wynt. ii. 44.
Semyramys … That led in lykyng al hyr lyff.
Ib. 71. Ib. v. 252.
Octovyane … had in usage offt Amang twelff maydynnys … to ly In lykyng, lust and lychory

3. One's pleasure': that which it pleases one to do, say, hear of, have done etc.; one's will, wish, desire or choice.Also const. of and tweching (= concerning) someone or something, of (= for), and to do (something).Chiefly in early verse.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 198.
Officeris … swa hawtane … That Scottis men mycht do na thing That euir mycht pleys to thar liking
Ib. 231.
For fre liking Is ȝharnyt our all othir thing
Ib. 422.
Schyr, giff that it be ȝour liking, He clemys the lordschip off Douglas
Ib. iv. 271. a1400 Leg. S. iv. 285.
Scho bad thame gange & sek the kinge, And of thar lykine get his will
Ib. vi. 358.
It is thankful thinge To gyfe almane of fre lykine
Ib. xxviii. 140.
To fand hyr & ger consent Til his lykine & his entent
Ib. xlvii. 60, 70. c1400 Troy-bk. i. 180.
Oure kyng That will do bot hys awne liking
c1420 Wynt. i. Prol. 76.
Lykyng wndyr awe to dwelle Noucht as bondage wndyr lawe Bot that lykyng grace sulde knawe
?1438 Alex. ii. 2473; Ib. 3617.
Qvhen Fesonas had said hir lyking Than Ideas spak
Ib. 4541.
He is douchty … , It semis he dois his lyking all
Ib. 7235.
Marciane, quhen his lyking was, Rais
1513 Doug. x. iii. 82.
Tarchon kyng Al reddy was to fulfyll hys lykyng
a1585 Maitl. Q. xl. 41.
Maistres … Gif it be with ȝour lyking Have pitie I you pray
(2) 1375 Barb. i. 180.
Schir Edward … Had on this wys done his likyng Off Jhone the Balleoll
Ib. xix. 112. 1583 Reg. Morton I. 138.
To notifie … to the warld … the trewth of his verie mynd and lyking twetching hie estate
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 504.
Quhen wemen settis hir lykyne Of ony man, hyme to wyne
(4) Brus i. 247 (H).
[Yheyt has he nocht sa mekill fre As fre] liking [to leyve, or do That at hys, hart hym drawis to]
c1420 Wynt. i. 340.
Coryne … had grete lykyng To cast thai carlys in werslyng
Ib. ii. 65.
Quhat tyme that hyr lykyng stude And yharnyng had for to se blude
Ib. iii. 913. a1500 Rauf C. 857.
I haue na lyking to lyfe to lat thé with lufe
1513 Doug. iv. Prol. 102.
Fair ladeys … to defowle … Is al ȝour lykyng

b. Commonly, at one's liking, also at liking, in or to (till) one's liking; at one's pleasure, will or free choice; at (also, to) one's disposal; at will, freely.Common in early verse and in 15th c. prose.(1) 1375 Barb. iii. 667.
To duell tharin at his liking
Ib. xi. 29.
God … disponis at his liking, Eftir his ordinans, all thyng
a1400 Leg. S. xi. 35.
Othyre I trew that thu God be, Cumyne of hewyne that [= at] thi lykyn, Or his sone
Ib. xxvii. 1464, xxxiii. 408, xxxiv. 264. 1381 Douglas Chart. 29.
That our … systir … sall at hir lykyng entir haue and frely ioyse … all hir thrid of the landes
1398 Acts I. 211/2. 1418 Liber Melros 503.
Frely to put ovt and take in all tenandis at thair awen lykyng forowten questioun of ony man
1416 Ib. 539. c1420 Wynt. iii. 346.
That he Mycht at his fays lykyng be
Ib. iv. 2572.
Sa happy als he wes in deyd That all thyng at his lykyng yheid
Ib. v. 2306.
[To] clyme on hym at hys lykyng
Ib. iv. 576, viii. 3694, ix. 1018, etc. ?1438 Alex. ii. 1387.
Schir, said the Bauderane, at ȝour lyking
Ib. 3224; etc.
Schir, tak amendis at ȝour lyking
1449 Acts II. 36/2. 1451 Ib. 40/2.
At na man sal tak the said mone [= money] … bot at his awin liking
1456 Hay I. 195/10, 232/23, etc. 1458 Fam. Rose 133.
[To] deliuer William his sone … to the said Huchoun of Rosse … to be at his will and disponyng at his liking
1513 Doug. ix. iii. 68, xi. iii. 38, etc. 1535 Stewart 26987. 15.. Clar. iii. 848.
Scho … said, at ȝour lyking, To saill or go ather be land or sea
(2) 14.. Acts I. 5/2.
Gif ony appelis ony man … of thyft it sal be in the likyng of hym at beis appelyt quhethir he wil bataile or [etc.]
(3) 1375 Barb. x. 793.
Schir Eduard the Brois … Had all Galloway … Wonnyn till his liking all haill
1405 Lennox Mun. 57.
The gyffing and the patronage of the said kirk … to be gyffin to his lyking
15.. Clar. i. 645.
Dwell alse long as beine to ȝour lyking
(4) a1400 Leg. S. xliv. 166.
Sic corrupturis as thu To me at lykyne spekis nov
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1149.
Gif othir … Can fynde bettyr accordance, This buk at likyn thai may mende
?1438 Alex. ii. 3780.
I sall haue lemmen at lyking

c. With one's good liking, with one's good-will, willingly. 1600 Colville Palinode 20.
It is altogether improbable that hee should haue forget the … intention of his magnanime Father, … and that with his owne speciall consent and good lyking

4. Approval of, partiality, fondness or liking for (of, to), someone or something, or an instance of these; also gude liking. b. A fancy for or inclination to (unto).(1) c1450-2 Howlat 528.
With los and with lyking that lestis evir mor
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1085.
He hes na lyking, lufe nor lust of me
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV. i. 115.
Gif I culd be perswadit of her unfeinȝeit lyking of the trew preching of the gospell
c1475 Wall. (1570) viii. 1411.
To tak ane lyking and syne get na plesance, Sic lufe as that is nathing to avance
1587 Warrender P. II. 39.
The answer wold grieve … the quhole cuntrey quho caryit a greater lyking to this matche than any other
1590-1 Bruce Serm. 127.
But gif sa be … that we haue na love nor liking to him
1629 Banff Ann. II. 27.
I carie still ane earnest lyiking and guidwill to the said burghe
1631 Annandale Corr. 284.
A oppiniowne that ye … hath newir lekin or contentment of my companei
(2) 1507 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 709.
For the quhilk gude lyking that I hawe of the said Johne
1592 Logie Par. Hist. I. 31.
The saids parochunars … hade ane gude lyking of Mr. Johnne Millar to be thair pastor
1596 James VI Cal. Sc. P. XII. 480.
Ane gyir falcon … meetest for us that have sa gude lyking of that pastyme
c1610 Melville Mem. 56.
She took ay the longer the better liking of him
b. 1629 Justiciary Cases I. 101.
And bying ane peice of land over thair heid quhilk thay had lyking unto
1629 Black Sc. Witches 6.
The pannel … said they never threave who medled with any thing she had a liking to

5. An object of approval or liking; esp. (one's) beloved.Only in verse and appar. chiefly or only Sc. c1450-2 Howlat 385.
Our lois and our lyking, that lyne honorable
Ib. 496.
As thi lege man leile, my lyking thow art
a1500 Sir Eger 2148.
Farewell, my love and my liking!
15.. Christis Kirk 125.
Lo quhair my lyking liggis, Quod scho
15.. Clar. v. 1684.
Thay … Passit that night with joy and thair lykings
a1568 Scott vi. 17.
So thocht my lyking wer a leddy And I no lord
Ib. xxvi. 26.
Thay lawch with thame that thay dispyt, And with thair lykingis thay lament
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxv. 79.
A ladye bricht, … Ane helsum thing, ane hairtis lyking
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xlvii. 7.

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"Liking vbl. n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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