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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Mettag(e, n. Also: -aig, -ege, mattage. [f. Met v.: cf. e.m.E. (once only) meatage (1636).] Measurement.

1. The measuring of dry and liquid goods, chiefly or only by the officially authorised or appointed measurers (Mettar(e n., Metstar n.). 15.. Aberd. B. Rec. MS. XXIV (Jam. (1880) s.v. Mettege).
The mettege of colis, salt, lym, corne, fruit, and sic mensturable gudis
1576 Reg. Privy C. II. 578.
(Jam.). The saidis provest [etc.] … hes stoppit the said malt to be inbrocht … without the same be first presentit to thair marcat and thair to pay three penneis for the mettage of every laid
1599 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 13 June.
That the xxiiij firlottis now maid to the ait & beer mercat be sett to ane or ma honest men togidder, & … that na mettage therof salbe eist Robert Thomsouns gavill
1607–8 Misc. Spald. C. V. 133.
For halff chalder coillis, … careage and mettage thairoff, 9 lib. 12 s.
1612–3 Ib. 91.

b. The duty payable for this. 1527 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 232.
Togidder with the mettage, viz. viii d. for ilk chalder
And the fremen tilbe quit of the said mettaig
1547 Glasgow Chart. II. 511.
All and hale oure custwmis of oure ciete … with mettage and weyage
1581 Edinb B. Rec. IV. 228.
All victuallis resauet be the said maltmen … sall at the resaving pay … the dewty and custome of mettage vsit and wont thairfore
1584–5 Ib. 390. 1604 Conv. Burghs II. 175.
Quhat thai tak forthair mettage
1617 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 168.
And all uther burgessis … pay mettage for all victuall
1641 Reg. Great S. 379/1.
Cum divoriis [of Stirling] de lie weighage et mettage

c. Attrib. with duty and silver.(1) 1546–7 Stirling B. Rec. I. 46.
Thai sall pay tharfor iiij d. of the chalder of mettege silveir
1603 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 323.
That all … victuall cumand within … this burgh and mett thairin suld pay mettage sylver
(2) 1596 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 147.
As for the mettage deutie

2. a. The measuring of cloth. 1625 Justiciary Cases I. 31.
As no uther forme of mettage can be admitted without the grit hurt … of the buyaris

b. The measurement of the extent of (a pieceworker's work) in order to meet the due payment. (Cf. Met v. 2 b.) 1597 Oldcambus Acc. (Home MSS.) fol. 20.
830 ruds of dykis quhrof the cunt and mattage maid with the dykkeris

3. The measuring of land, chiefly for the fixing or settling of boundaries; also, the bounds settled by such measurement.(1) 1562 Cal. Charters Suppl. 11 Apr.
Without preiudice of the saidis portionaris of iust mettage and evinskepe
c 1600 6th Rep. Nat. Reg. Arch. 8.
The buik of the mettage of Tinynghame
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. iii.
To defraude the most landles liuer … at lest of his septipedall inheritance … without partiality in mettage
1683 Edinb. City Archives Letters II. 17.
As for the Blackstack … the mettag thereof was delayed … and seeing you cam not we are nou begun to mett it
1699 Fountainhall Decis. II. 40.
One who marries Clerk's daughter, and thereby gets his share, pursues for a new mettage and division
(2) 1611 Stirling B. Rec. I. 128.
The merching of the saidis gaittis nocht to be hurtful to the toun anent the mettage of the tounes landis
1683 Fountainhall Decis. I. 228.
And tho' they were really damnified by that low valuation, … yet they had an ease by the over-running of the mettage of the acres

4. The office or duty of an officially authorised or appointed measurer (? in sense 1 above). 1645 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 55.
That James Adam micht be admittit to serve in the said office of mettage

5. ? What a thing measures, its precise measurement. 1565 Linlithgow Sheriff Ct. 4 Oct.
Gret falt within the schire anent thair mettagis of stoup pek and firlot

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"Mettag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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