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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Posset(t, -itt, n. Also: poset, -it, pouset. [e.m.E. and late ME possot (Prompt. Parv.), -yt, -et (15th c.), also poshet, -oote (both 15th c.), of unknown origin.]

1. A drink of hot milk curdled with ale or wine, sometimes with sugar, spices or other ingredients added; a posset. Also sek-possit, Sek n.In Sc., first found attrib.(1) attrib. 1546 Ex. Processes (Reg. H.) Merschell v. Muire.
Four posset copis of tre price of the pece iiij d.
1563 Peebles B. Rec. I 289.
Ane posset cop with ane fute of the self of esche
1607 Edinb. Test. XLIII 201 b.
With ane posset pot of bras
1643 Edinb. Test. LX 280.
Ane quhyt and blew possett cape pryce thairof xx s.
1672 Haigs of Bemersyde 475.
A lem posit cape
1685 Soc. Ant. LVIII 353.
A posset dish of silver with a silver cover German work with a silver division in it
1689 Brechin Test. VII 211.
Two posset cannis xij s.
1696 Household Bk. Gr. Baillie 166.
For a posit dish, £1/4/0
(2) 1619 Blair Autob. 17.
And finding him distempered by a crudity in his stomach, I entreated the favour to send for wine and milk to be a posset
1684 Oliphants 286.
For mielk and eall to his posets
1687 Irvine Mun. II 314.
Ane pynt of wyne in posset and sugar and milk
(3) comb. 1619 Blair Autob. 17.
The college servants, not being well skilled in posset-making, put in too little milk for allaying the strength of the wine

b. ellipt. for posset-pot, see (1) above. — 1567 Bamff Chart. 71.
Ane pouset of bres

2. A poisonous drink. Only Sc.

b. Appar. transf., applied to a deception practised to bring about one's death. a1578 Pitsc. II 127/1.
Thay war callit to ane bancatt quhairin thay gat ane Italiane posset as weill appeired eftirward
1595 Cal. Sc. P. XII 18.
[She says she is not minded to go to Stirling for fear they give her a] possitt
1676 Lauder Notices Affairs I 92.
The Italian tricque of sending men to the other world in figues and possets
b. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 3504.
Sa priuelie scho did prouyde A posset for the sillie py

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"Posset n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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