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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Plat, a. and adv. Also: platt, plate, playt, plaite, (plet). [ME. (14th c.) and e.m.E. plat, platte, also (14th c.) plate adv., F. plat (11th c. in Littré), late pop. L. *plattus a.]

I. adj. 1. Flat, in various material senses: Having horizontal extent not vertical height; horizontal, not tilted; level; low-lying; lying immediately upon what is below, not raised up above it. 1456 Hay I. 49/28.
And quhen the Romaynis herd tell that schir Hanyball was in the plate placis of Lumbardy
1531–2 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I. 74.
Payit to the said plumbar for his complete werkmanschip of the said plat [supra platform] ruf and vest roundis
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 200.
That thair be na standis … with palyonis or coueringis aboun thame bot the cramis that salbe sett tobe ane burd on twa laych trestis without oney couering aboun except gif it be weyt thai to couer thair gudis with ane plat couering vpoun the samyn
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxviii. 90.
Thair litill bonet or bred hat, Sumtyme heicht and sumtyme plat
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 145.
[They] begin to red the bruisit wallis and repayrit the forewark … of a bulwark, plat and brayd abone

2. fig. ‘Flat’, direct, unqualified (negation or refusal): cf. 5 a below. a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 106.
For playt na sal be thi ansuere
Ib. xli. 120.
The prefet … gluthryt hir with wordis mek … Bot scho plat nay ay sad hym til

3. Doubtful examples. — a1500 Colk. Sow i. 389.
All thair plat pure pansis Coud nocht the fete of ony dansis
1597 Cal. Sc. P. XII. 552.
[The Duke of Mane [Maine] is laying] all plat [to agree France and Spain]

II. adv. 4. In or to a flat position; prone or supine on the ground; resting throughout its extent directly upon the ground or upon or against a surface.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2927.
That he his crage straik ewyn in two And to the erd deid laid him plat
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 3224.
Ane knycht … Quhilk with that straik plat to the erd is gane
1513 Doug. iv. vii. 59.
Thar lady … That was in dedly swoun plat for dispar
Ib. iii. ii. 52, xii. vi. 169. 1549 Compl. 70/25.
Hyr ȝongest sone vas lyand plat on his syde on the cald eird
1580 Prot. Bk. J. Scott 84.
Dauid Orme ȝounger … fand certane dovatis castin … and turnit certane of thame ower and laid thame plat on the ground againe
1596 Dalr. I. 64/20.
Thay fal platt on thair backes
(2) 14.. Quon. Attach. c. 53.
Gif he puttis nocht his hande fully & plat to the buk thru resone of il contenans
1513 Doug. ix. ix. 120.
He hys hand plat to the wound in hy … So that the fedderit arrow furth dyd glyde And nalyt hys hand plat to the left syde
Ib. x. xiv. 95.
Ful towartly onane The steid bekend [he] held to hys schulder plat And he at eys apon hys bak doun sat

b. In a level or horizontal attitude, horizontally. 1627 Kellie Pallas Armata 23.
The tearmes of command in our Scots language. … [Eng.] Order your picke [= Scots] Plate-carie your picke

5. a. Of refusal: Flatly, downright, without qualification. 1513 Doug. ii. x. 164.
Plat he reffusys
1596 Dalr. II. 295/22.
The gouernour denyes and platt refuses the condicioune

b. Absolutely, directly (opposed or contrary). 1539 St. P. Henry VIII V. 162.
Quhilk we understand is plat aganis ȝour gud and afald mynd
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5789.
Ȝe tell ane taill quhilk I think gude and fair And thay ane vther to ȝouris is plat contrair
1562-3 Winȝet I. 53/19.
That Christiane men … suld be changeit sa proudly in sa mony hiech materis in the plat contrar men
Ib. 72/9.
Bot platt contrare bayth
1567 Sel. MSS. Q. Mary 236.
Plat contrarie to our expectatioun
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 63.
See how plat contrary the apostle and they are in the nature of faith
Ib. 193.
And with that same mouth to pronounce the plat contrair
1596 Dalr. II. 196/33, 450/14. 1596–7 Calderwood V. 566. a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 442. 1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 102.
But repentance turns him the plat contrary way again
c1610 Melville Mem. 113. 1634 Johnston Diary I. 192.
Bot plaite contrary in Gods works

c. Of a direction of the compass: Directly, due (north, etc.). 1513 Doug. Comm. i. ii. 57.
Affricus is takin for plat west wynd that is bot sowth sowthwest
1571 Prestwick Deeds No. 15.
Ane vther marche that passis plat north betuix the saidis landis
1578 Aberd. Chart. 338.
Haldand thairfra platt wast linealie
c 1680 Coll. Aberd. & B. 97.
Somewhat westerly … plat west

d. Of a statement: Plainly, bluntly, severely. 1513 Doug. vi. vi. 6.
First with sik bustuus wordis he thame grat [Ruddim. gret], And, but offence, gan thame chidyng thus plat [Ruddim. plet]
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 131.
So heir the text pronuncis till ws plat That Christ, he speykis heir of the reprobat

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"Plat adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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