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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.

Likly-, Lyklynes, n. Also: likli(e)-, lykli- and -nace. [ME. lyklinesse (late 14th c.), liklinesse, f. Likly a.: cf. Likelynes.]Certain of the uses were appar. obsolete by the end of the 15th c.

1. Resemblance, similarity, esp. in outward appearance or form.Chiefly in adverb. phrases with preps. 1375 Barb. iii. 88.
Slayne he wes; In that failȝeit the liklynes, For the King … eschapyt haile and fer
c1420 Wynt. i. 1304.
Troy wes Made as ane hors in lyklynes
Ib. iii. 1030.
In Rome quhare that thare figure Wes sene … in sculpture, Or payntyd, thai twa soukand wes A wolf, in tyll ane liklynes
Ib. iv. 1302.
Thare cheffe cyte, … to Cartage or to Rome wes Paryfyid in all liklynes
Ib. v. 40.
A cyrkyll … That tyll ane arche off hewyn wes Apperand lyk on lyklynes [C. lik in al lyklynes]
a1450 Fifteen Ois 300.
And, as haly writ beris witnes, Than wes thow lik be liklynes To ane wyne bob

b. Semblance, esp. outward or feigned, similitude (of something, or const. possess.). a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii. 608.
The feynd in the lyklynes, As thame thocht, of a marynare One the sey to thame can apere
c1420 Wynt. i. 44.
Tyll hys schape and hys lyklynes Man and angell fourmyd wes
Ib. 76, v. 3403. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 198/2.
The devillis tuke liklynes of men and had carnale dele with tham
1600 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 242.
The halie spirit discendit vpon Christ in lyklines of ane whyt dow

c. That which has the appearance or gives the impression (of something non-material); a seeming indication; outward or superficial appearances.Also Il(l)-liklynace n. c1420 Ratis R. 475.
Till fle al lyklynes Of yllis [= evil deeds]
Ib. 482.
Sa demys men be lyklynes, Quhen nane bot God wat suthfastnes
Ib. 936.
Quharfor a wyf gyf thow wyll haf, Tak lyklynes, atour the laif, Of contynans and of persone, Of gud lynag and gud renown
Ib. 1046. 1456 Hay I. 207/23.
That it war nocht throu subtilitee of malice, but gude faith or gude occasioun and lyklynes of gude faith
c1475 Wall. (1570) vi. 890.
Wallace … culd na handis talk; Freindschip to thame na liklynes wald he mak

d. Be (by) liklynes, by appearances, to all appearances, apparently, seemingly. 1375 Barb. xi. 244 (E).
Off hardy contenance thai wer; Be liklynes the mast cowart Semyt full weill to do his part
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 460.
The goddes ageyn hem in-to ire Provoked certanly to be, As was by lyklynes to se
c1420 Wynt. iv. 456.
Thai gert discend … thare tentis swne in hy, Be lyklynes to mak herbry
Ib. v. 269.
Quhen men wald do be lyklynes Hys wyll or quhat his byddyng wes In frawde
Ib. 3603.
Dowbyll wyt be lyklynes, In to that barne apperand wes, For quhen the ta hewyd oysyd to slepe The tothir than wald waik or wepe
Ib. ix. 1976.
Lo! here led a schort proces Off ane hey matere be liklynes!
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1096 (B).
The lyon is this warld be liklynace

2. The appearance of being the case; reasonable grounds for a supposition, presumption or expectation; likelihood, probability. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 997.
God is mychty to helpe, dred nocht, Quhar man na liklines ma se
c1420 Ratis R. 931.
Agan al lyklynes of skill Sum hapnis gud & sum ill
1499 Echt-Forbes Chart. 85.
[He] deliueris that be liklines and witnis depositiones and be fatht and consciens [etc.]
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 1.
Sinnie Magnusdochter … is decernit to quyt hirselff … of the bleiding of Mareoun Magnusdochter vpoun the feace, of liklines that the bluid wes schawin to Mathow Foster
Ib. 9.
Lowrence … is dempt to quyt himselff … of the stowth of ane scheip … upoun liklines that the ane halff thairof be ranselling wes fund wantand the heid
Ib. 48.
For the sclandering of Adame Boynd of the alledgit stowth … without ony liklines or probatioun led
1603 Ib. 88; etc. 1611 Crim. Trials III. 141.
The rest of the poyntis of the said dittay are only presumptiones, coniecturis, and liklienes

b. Be, also off, liklines, According to any reasonable expectation; in all likelihood. c1420 Wynt. vii. 3429.
Swa suddane qwalmys God on thame send, Yha, ware than ony lyvand wend Mycht hawe fallyn be lyklynes
c1475 Wall. v. 620.
‘Maister’ he said, ‘as fer as I haiff feyll, Off lyklynes it may be wondyr weill’
Ib. ix. 1010.
Be lyklynes Wallace suld wyn the land
Ib. xi. 1409.

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"Lyklynes n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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