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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.

Lake, Laik, n.2 Also: laike, layk; leak, leacke. [ME. and e.m.E. lake (13th c.), laake, a pond or pool, a lake, a den, a pit, L. lacus basin, tub, tank, lake, pond, den, pit: cf. Lak n.2]

1. A pond or pool. a1400 Leg. S. xx. 326.
Dere Blase, cum thine of that layk [L. stagnum], & crone of martirdome to thé tak
1535 Stewart 2982 (see Loch n. (c)). a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xi. 42.
Hir deasie colour, rid and whyte, Lyk lilies on the laik
1587 Reg. Great S. 421/1.
Begynnand at the southest part … at ane laik litill abone the Cuthillfuird of the watter of Brothok
1601 Ib. 417/1.
Richt eist the said Drum as the gait lyis to ane laik abone the Holmes
1626 Garden Worthies 124.
A gallant youth … infortunatlie drown'd … in a standing laike caled the Old Wattergang
c1650 P. Gordon Brit. Dist. 62.
[It] sometyme did show lyke a deipe and large pound or leacke of blood

b. Lancelot of the Laik : see Lanc. 201.

2. Common in Douglas, freq. as a rendering of L. lacus = lake, pond, pool, or L. palus = swamp, fen, pool: A lake, a pool, a water (sometimes appar. flowing).(1) 1513 Doug. iii. vi. 64.
Avernus, clepit the layk of hell [L. inferni lacus]
Ib. vi. iv. 7. Ib. iii. vi. 164.
The lakys dedicate to goddis [L. divinos lacus]
Ib. vi. vi. 17.
I am nocht glaid … that I careyt Hercules owr this layk [sc. Styx; L. lacus]
Ib. vii. xi. 139.
The layk or well [L. lacus] Of Cymynyk vndre the montane bra
Ib. xii. 133. Ib. xii. xii. 154.
All the laik [L. lacus, supra palus] wyde And brays abowt thame answerd
(2) Ib. vi. ii. 58.
The layk [L. palus] dyrk Of Acheron, gorgeit with fludis myrk
Ib. vii. xi. 150.
That of thar bruyt resoundis the ryveir And all the laik [L. palus] of Asya fer and neir
Ib. xiii. 48.
Neir by the blak laik clepit Satureyn
Ib. xii. xii. 123.(3) Ib. i Prol. 378.
Als ryfe … As evir fowlis plungit in laik or puyll
Ib. vii. viii. 95.
At the laik [L. aqua] or fontane of Velyne
Ib. ix. iii. 65.
Be Stix the flude … Be that ilk pykky laik with brays blak [L. per pice torrentes]
Ib. xii. Prol. 285; Ib. ix. 45.

3. Occas. applied (in verse) appar. to the flowing water of a river or stream.OED. accepts the first quot. below as going with west and southwest midl. ME. lak, lake, mod. south-western Eng. dial. lake, leak (and common in midl. and south. Eng. place-names).  In Scottish Studies VI. (1962) 211, three examples in south Sc. place-names are given where lake appar. = stream, so that deriv. f. OE. lacu (which is cognate with Lech(e n.3) here seems likely. c1450-2 Howlat 19.
This riche revir dovn ran, … , All the brayis of the brym [etc.] … , And for to lende by that laike [B. lak] thocht me levare
Ib. 49.
I sawe ane howlat … vndir ane holyne, Lukand the laike [B. lak] throwe, And saw his awne schadowe
Ib. 214.
The martoune [etc.] … Lichtit, as lerit men, law by that laike [B. lake]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 30.
Doun throu the ryce a ryuir ran wyth stremys, So lustily agayn thai lykand lemys, That all the lake [M. laik] as lamp did leme of licht
1535 Stewart 9625.]
[The licht of thame illuminit all the laik

4. On the Solway and at the mouth of the Annan: A pool left by the ebb-tide in a hollow part of the tide-way, used as a fish-trap.As in the later dial. 1535 Stewart 3377.
The sand Quhilk yis furth rycht far within the se With laikis law and mony hillis hie [sc. between Man and Brigance, as may also be seen 'ascending' from there to Solway (3383)]
1607 Reg. Great S. 672/1.
Piscariam … in aqua de Annand … comprehenden. lie garthes et paludes lie pules sequen … , cum ceteris lie garthis, puleis, haldis, laikis et nettis infra dict. bondas
Necnon piscariam … de Cummertreis … cum ceteris lie skarris, drauchtis, haldis, laikis et nettis infra dict. bondas

5. In the 17th c. used, after e.m.E. lake, in place of Sc. Loch, a lake. a1578 Pitsc. (1814) xv.
Evin to the Laik Lowmond
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 4.
This river of Shin doth never freis, although the loch or leak from whence it proceeds doth freise
Ib. 5.
Ther are in Southerland divers loghes or laikes, full of good fishes, dispersed thorow the forrests and mountaines
Ib. 185.

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"Lake n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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