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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.

Lawing, n.1 Also: lawin, -yne, -en, laving, laweing. [Related to or derived f. Lauch n.2]

1. A session of drinking or entertainment, espec. in a tavern; a treat or entertainment to drink, as in a tavern; a drinking-party. 1501 Prestwick B. Rec. 36.
The said Alexr … said the for[said] Cuthbert come in on him in his lawyne agane resoun
1541 Ib. 57.
For the wrangus wythcumen apoun hyme in Jonet Smythtis hous in Monktoun hall, he setand at his lawin
1541 Edinb. Hammermen 159.
In the taverome [sic] … in disjons and lawings to the menstralis viij s. to our part iiij s.
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 296.
Gevin for ane uthir lawing in Sir Neill Layngs hous to the saids workmen
c1590 Fowler II. 28/17.
In his drukkin lawings, he brags [etc.]
1594–5 Misc. Spald. C. V. 58.
Debursit … for ane lawing upon the brocking of Willeam Dauidsone's tymmer
1596–7 Ib. 64.
Gevin the day of the wapinschaw for ane eftirnunes lawing to the bailleis and ȝouth of the toun that schot pulder that day, 7 lib.
1600 Stirling Ant. III. 304.
Quhatsumevir brothir miscallis ane vthir brothir ethir in lawing or in the hillis he sall pay 20s.
1604–5 Misc. Spald. C. V. 77.
Spendit witht the Inglischemen in Marioun Cullenis, ane full lawing to thame, … 3 lib. 6s. 8d.
1606–7 Ib. 80.
For ane lawing to the prowest, bailleis and schireff, to Mr. Dauid Rutherfurdis wyif, 10 lib. Item, mair the samyne day for ane disioyne to the provest [etc.]
1610 Irvine Mun. II. 250.
Quhen the younkeiris of the toun went out to thair May play with provest and bailyeis in ane lawing
1632 Aberd. Trades 223.
Certaine nichtbouries of this craft at lawings and other societies … offendis thair nichbouris be offensive speeches
1659 St. A. Presb. 74.
The Presbyterie discharged him to play at any brythells, or at drunken lawings
1681 Law's Memor. 191.
We renounce … Sabbath days feastings, blythmeats, banquetings, … table-lawings

b. A treat to drink or entertainment free of payment. = fre lauch, Lauch n.2 b. 1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 327.
For ane frie lawing at the bying of this tymmer

2. A reckoning for drink or entertainment at a tavern or one's share of this; one's score or scot.In the earliest quots. not always distinguishable f. sense 1. 1529 Mill Mediæv. Plays 233.
For our part of the menstrelis lavingis in the taberon
1535 Stewart 39617, 20.
The Scottis countit thair lawing (sc. for ale and wine supplied] so deir, … Exceptand ten thair king awa that hed, For thair lawing held all the laif in wed
1546–7 Ayr B. Acc. 100.
For the Franchemennis lawingis in Robert Hudis playis
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 10.
In compleit payment of all compt and rekningis maid betuix the saidis Adame and Masie of ony lawings in hir hous or aill furneist be hir to him
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 134.
Whois men … , when they depairtit, left thair lawingis, stable fie, and hors corne vnpay 16
1591 Moysie 90.
The Erle of Huntlie … being at his denner rease thairfra, and slipped away without paying of his lawing
c 1595 Glasgow Prot. V. Pref. xiv.
Awand … be Andro Garvane … restand of lawingis
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Symbolum, a taken, a badge, a lawing in companionrie
1598 Paisley B. Rec. 222.
[They] wald not pey the said Margaret hir lawing, bot quhen as sho requirit the samin, rais from the tabl
1606 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 22.
That he sall tak na mair … nor xiij shillings iiij d. by thair wyne lawing
1614 Lanark B. Rec. 121.
We continewes in drinking quhill everie man was his pynt about, then I wald stay na langer bot offerit to pay my lawing
1616 Ellon Presb. 98.
[He] confessit that some friends cum and drank with him out of uther paroches, and that his wyf and dochter gaddirit the lawing
1620 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 128.
At the drinking of some aill … and for want of sum money to compleit thair lawing
1632 Dundonald Par. Rec. 343.
He having payed hir lawing for hir in ane hous quhair they war drinking togidder
1672 Old Ross-shire I. 212.
At Inverness for lawing night and morning £4, 16s.
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. i. 33.
Sojors forging ale-house brawlings, To be let go without thair lawings
1686 Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 63.
I'll pay the lawing [gl. reck'ning], gang your way

3. A contribution as each person's share of the cost of a wedding-feast.This sense appar. recorded only in or near the Forth-Clyde basin, in Ayrshire, Dumbartonshire, Stirling and West Fife. 1600 Stirling Kirk S. in Misc. Maitl. C. I. 136.
Quhair the brydellis ar maid frie without payment of any lawing
With certificatioun gif the ordur of the brydell lawing be brokin, that the said x li. salbe confiscat
1620 Irving Dumbartonsh. II. (Append.) 340.
The sessione ordains that bryddell lawingis sall not exceid fyve schilling fovr pennies
1629 Lorimer St. Cuthbert's 94. 1635 Dundonald Par. Rec. 402.
Andro Rid and Johne Fultoune … desyred the sessioune to grant them libertie to tak ane merk from them that passe with them out the paroch to thair mariage for thair brydell lawing
1636 Culross I. 188.
Act anent brydell lawings
1642 Paterson Ayr & Wigt. II. 428.1645 Old Kirk Chron. 69. 1678 Dame Erskine of Balgownie's Acc. Bk. in Sc. Ant. IX. 106.
For the wading lawing 2 lb. 7s.; to Jnet Burnet for hir own lawen 12s.
1680 Stirling B. Rec. II. 30.
The magistratis … considering the great abuse comitted at penny weddings by extorting exorbitant pryces for their laweings, … ordaines that … noe person exact nor receave … noe laweing nor pryce exceiding [8/-] Scottis frae each persone

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"Lawing n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 May 2024 <>



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