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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.

Hicht, n.1 Also: hichte, hichtt, hycht, hight, hyght. Also pl. hittis. [ME. (chiefly north.) hiȝt hight (a 1300), var. of heȝt Hecht n.1 Cf. also Heicht.]

1. Altitude; stature; the quality of being high. Also fig.(1) a1400 Leg. S. x. 137.
To gere a toure say he be mad That the hicht of it suld … rek to the hewyne
Ib. xxxiii. 67.
He entre mycht nocht For gret strinth and hicht of wal
c1420 Wynt. i. 877.
A towre of huge hycht
1456 Hay I. 37/25.
[The city] had the wallis of hicht of fifty cubitis
c1475 Wall. x. 879.
Thar schip hy owris a burd was mar off hycht
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xxix.
Ane stane … xxx fut of hicht
1549 Compl. 20/30.
At this tyme ane fut of hicht of the vallis can nocht be sene
1596 Dalr. I. 26/13.
In compase it conteines fyve stages, and ane In hichte
(2) a1578 Pitsc. I. 336/8.
Ane greit round … quhilk was loftit and iestit the space of thrie house hight
1610 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 312.
Swa that the same [well] be bigit five quarter hicht above the ground
1614 Black Bk. Taymouth 44.
The auld laich hall … bot ane hous hight, … it wes reedifiet … to tua hous hicht
1616 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 141.
A strong wardhous of fyve woutt hycht
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xix. 30.
Twelf cubitis he had of hicht
1513 Doug. iii. x. 31.
Nor the deip sey … , for all hys hycht, Ne mycht he waid
Ib. xiii. viii. 14.
Hys byg statur and hycht
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1660.
Ten cubitis large he wes of hycht, Proportionat, in lenth and breid, Afferand to his hycht
1604 Crim. Trials II. 434.
He wes hangit his awin hicht aboue the rest of hes freindis

b. Of hicht, of great height, high. (As a verse-tag.) c1420 Wynt. i. 837.
Aracus, ane hyll of hycht
a1500 Henr. Fab. 911.
Scho haikit vnto that hill of hicht
a1500 Bk. Chess 1946.
A towr … Off hicht and strenth
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4952.
In the middis of that samin towre of hicht

2. Elevation (lit. and fig.). Fra hicht, from high above. a1400 Leg. S. xiii. Prol. 80.
The erne … Quhene he is flowyne to mast hicht
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5596.
A stane, That come fra hycht, has hym oure-tane
?1438 Alex. ii. 472.
The craggis … had ane archearis schot on hicht
c1460 Wisd. Sol. 690.
Thare is na wyt … that may knaw the hicht and the depnes of it [sc. wisdom]
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 327/27.
The hicht, the depnes, the lenth and the breid, of haly scripture
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 439 (T).
Be the hicht of the heavin, and lawnes of hell

b. On (apon) hicht (also in hicht), on high, aloft, to or at a height. Also fig.In poetry sometimes merely a rhyme-tag.(1) 1375 Barb. xiii. 637.
This mychty kyng … Scho [Fortune] had set on her quheill on hicht
a1400 Leg. S. i. 574.
He … saw the tyrand fle in hycht
Ib. ii. 89.
A man clymit on hycht To her hym
c1420 Wynt. iv. 756.
That yhe … drawis youe to yhone hill on hicht
a1500 Rauf C. 37.
Amang thay moutanis on hicht
Ib. 686.
Greit squechonis on hicht
a1500 Bk. Chess 2022.
The sydis of this chekker set on hicht Sall represent the tovnis wallis wicht
1513 Doug. v. viii. 47.
Entellus … hevis on hycht Hys rycht hand
Ib. xi. vii. 14.
The Kyng thus carpys from hys trone on hycht
1531 Bell. Boece I. 75.
The egill, quhilk is the ansenye of Romanis, prowdly displayit on hicht
a1540 Freiris Berw. 15.
The portcules, … Quhen that thame list to draw thame vpoun hicht
1567 G. Ball. 21.
To God on hicht be louing maist
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 221.
With flicht than, on hicht than Sprang Cupid In the skyis
(2) fig. c1420 Wynt. v. 2593.
Quha that wyll draw hym on hycht, Lawch downe behowys hym for to lycht
1570 Sat. P. xxii. 10.
To heis on hicht pure pesantis … , From base estait to throne imperiall
(3) c1420 Ratis R. 793.
Gret joy that hapnis sudandly To steir the spreitis hie on hycht
c1500 Crying of Play 152.
With all … merynes ȝour hartis [to] hald euer on hycht
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxxv. 64.
His hairt was hie on hicht

c. At hicht, at the height of greatness, dignity, etc. 1375 Barb. xiii. 713.
Kyng Robert now wes weill at hycht, For ilk day than grew mair his mycht
1456 Hay I. 290/29.
That he … sall halde thair worschip and estate at outhe and at hicht
c1450-2 Howlat 898.
Thus was the howlat in herde herely at hicht

3. The highest point; the top or summit.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 939.
[They] set thare ledderis til the wal; Bot hardy wes nane … A ledyr [to] set to the hicht
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1665.
Wyntir … frome hicht of the sumiteis Descendand amongis the waleis
1446 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 245.
A lonyng … extendand to the hicht of the hill
c1475 Wall. viii. 1601.
A hous he foundyt … ; Men left he thar till bygg it to the hycht
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 926.
On the hight of the hard steill he hyt hym in hy
1513 Doug. ii. vi. 20.
On a pynnakill of sum cragis hycht
Ib. viii. 37.
Tharat I enterit and to the wallys hyght Vpwent
Ib. vi. i. 20.
Of Chalcydonys apon the castell hicht
1531 Bell. Boece II. 330.
Thocht the pepill pas to the hicht of the hous
Id. Livy II. 222/29.
He dang doun the Gaule that wes clummyn to the hicht of the Capitoll
1534 Banff Chart. 65.
Assendand up to the pictour of ane mans heid at the hycht of the croce
c 1571 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 396.
Fra the first pot lineallie to the hight and bounds of the said Rashelaw
1594 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 529.
The cok on the hicht of the stepill
1598 Reg. Privy C. V. 459.
Thay … straik him upon the hicht of his heid
(2) 1533 Boece iv. xii. 144 b.
Agricola contempling the nature of the roche and on hicht thareof the ald castell
1557 Inverness B. Rec. I. ii.
Saiand … scho wes yet with the dewyllis kap on hyr hed on hycht of the Kirk of Elgyn

b. The zenith. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 206 b.
The sone … againe his cours vpvart he takis Vnto the crabe that standis in the hicht
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 763.
The sone was at the hicht and dounwarde hyis
a1585 Maitl. Q. xlix. 1.
As Phoebus in his spheris hicht

c. The height; the midst, or the busiest time. a1500 Rauf C. 494.
Thow … haldis me heir, Quhill half the haill day may the hicht haue
1540 Irvine Mun. I. 45.
The tyme of the hicht of the mercat
c1650 Spalding II. 273.
Being in the hight of harvest

4. A high place, a hill- or mountain-top. 1375 Barb. xix. 318.
The daill wes strekit weill, … on athir syde thar wes ane hicht
c1420 Wynt. iv. 337.
Thare he schawid hym, on ane hycht, Hys ost arayand
Ib. viii. 2491.
To sek bath holme and hycht Thai men to get
1461 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 263.
To be haldyn … the forsaide landys … in … hychtis, playnis, wais, rodis [etc.]
c1475 Wall. x. 999.
Baith hycht and waill obeyed all till his will
1518 Sutherland Chart. 70.
The vii dawchis in the hycht of Straithflet
1535 Stewart 24562.
Doun fra the hicht [he] discendit in the vaill
1548 Treas. Acc. IX. 203.
To caus mak balis upoun all hychtis
1549 Banff Ann. I. 27.
The haill guddis of the tovne to be keippitt be the comone herd in the pastur of the said tovne, and thairefter the haill guddis to be brot. be the comone herd to the said craigis and feid thairintill anis of the day, and the remanent of the day to pass to the hittis and swa furth ilk monat to the corne be in the ȝard
1596 Dalr. II. 299/15.
Angus … set vpon the Inglis bairdet horse, … this was aff the hichtes
1669 Burnett Fam. P. MS.
To be halden … in howsis, biggingis, hightis, plaines [etc.]

b. The high ground, the Highlands. 1375 Barb. v. 183.
He oft ryot to the land … And syne he drew him to the hicht
Ib. x. 52.
Thai had ilkane The hicht abovyn thair fayis tane
c1420 Wynt. iv. 468.
The Cytykys than that in the hicht Had byddyn
c1475 Wall. vii. 619.
Quhill tithandis come him till Out off the hycht, quhar gud men was forlorn
1549 Compl. 6/21.
Ane … infinit nummir of men of veyr … discendit fra the hicht of Germanye

5. The regions above, the sky. c1420 Wynt. iv. 2599.
The Empryoure syne till the hycht Scho gert behald
1461 Liber Plusc. I. 382.
All the ayre that in the hycht above is
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 248.
Quhen thai herd the woce cry fra the hicht, Thai fell on growfe
1513 Doug. v. iv. 98.
[The dove], scherand the lownyt ayr, Down from the hycht discendis

6. fig. A high, or the highest, point or degree (of something non-material). 1375 Barb. ix. 508.
He wes set Into the hicht of cheuelry
c1420 Wynt. v. 3696.
For all the hycht off oure honowre
1456 Hay II. 101/19.
Somer … all thing with his hete nurisis quhill it cum to the hicht
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 938.
The ground and hicht of werry perfectioun … ar fundyn in Cristis passioun
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxv. 16.
Full mony ane man I [sc. Fortune] turne vnto the hicht
1628 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 291.
Whois presumptioun … is come to that hyght that thay [etc.]
1611-57 Mure Misc. P. viii. 3.
Fair goddes … , my hopes full hight

7. Exalted rank or worth, dignity, greatness, honour.Common In Barbour and Wyntoun. Uncommon in prose. 1375 Barb. i. 77.
Thir twa that I tauld of ar, Quhilk suld succeid to sic a hycht
Ib. 608.
God of mycht Preserwyt him till hyer hycht
c1420 Wynt. i. 478.
Off thir come men of mekyll mycht, Tyll statys growande and tyll hycht
Ib. iv. xxi (W).
The autour heire devisis rycht The natur of gentrice and hycht
1456 Hay I. 11/36.
The cristyn faith grewe in sic hicht, honoure and worschip
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 711.
Honour … , He is the man micht bring ws all to hicht
1531 Bell. Boece II. 383.
Thair hicht and gret pissance, baith in manrent and landis
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 73.
Quho clymmis to hycht, perforce his feit mon faill
c1590 Fowler II. 55/18.
Men set a loft and in honourable hicht

8. Haughtiness, pride, arrogance. c1450-2 Howlat 966.
Thus for my hicht I am hurt
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 881.
Throu hicht and prid thai trow the hevin to clyme
1533 Bell. Livy I. 294/13.
Thai war instruckit with sa pridefull consel, that thai couth nocht dissimill thare hicht
1535 Stewart 5029.
Thair hicht and thair presumptione Within schort quhile wald put all Britan doune
a1540 Freiris Berw. 82.
Scho to thame gaif answer with grit hicht
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 23.
Sen ȝe can nowther bow thair obstinat hicht with pacience [etc.]
1596 Dalr. II. 63/22.
This man … of hicht and pryde contemned al creature

9. On (or upon) hicht, aloud, loudly. 1375 Barb. xvi. 407.
Cryand on hicht, ‘Douglas, Douglas’
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 179.
James answert apon hycht
c1475 Wall. v. 180.
So hard thai blaw rude hornys wpon hycht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. x. 34.
Celestiall fowlis … , Sing with your nottis vpoun hicht
1513 Doug. ii. xii. 18.
That I durst … cry fast throw the stretis on hycht … ‘Crevsa! Crevsa!’
Id. Exclam. 44.
Now salt thou … to onletterit folk be red on hycht
1535 Stewart 48392.
Loud vpoun hicht vpone him he did caw
Id. Bann. MS. 140 a/3.
Ȝone ar sowttaris be sicht, With hiddous hoist vpoun hicht
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 447.
Heraldis cryit hie on hicht, ‘Now let thame go’
Ib. 485.

b. To set on hicht, to set forth, declare. c1500 Fyve Bestes 332.
Than spak this clerk & set his word on hicht
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 207.
Sett ȝe nocht furth Godds wourd on hycht And mak it cum vnto the lycht

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"Hicht n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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