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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.

Left, a. and adv. Also: leaft. [North. ME. left(e (Cursor M.), corresp. to midl. and south. luft (12th c.), leoft, lift (c 1200), lyft(e, e.m.E. left (1530), of uncertain derivation.For a discussion of the etymological problem and a conjectured derivation (which does not explain the regional distribution of the forms in ME.), see H. Whitehall Phil. Quarterly XX. (1941) 32–4.]Occurring several times in Douglas' Æneid, and common in Nisbet (after Purvey): cf. Car a., Ker a.

Left (hand), left.(1) c1420 Wynt. iii. 24.
Ayot … swa agyle wes in fycht That batht the left hand and the rycht He ewynlike oysyde
a1500 Bk. Chess 561.
With his left hand the ladye couth he tak
a1500 Seven S. 1652. 1513 Doug. vii. xii. 67.
A ballen pavys coverys thar left sydis
Ib. ix. viii. 20.
Endlang the wallis set on the left syde
Ib. ii. viii. 13, vii. iii. 87. Arundel MS. 241/105. 1535 Stewart 61166.
Of the left hand tua fyngaris [he] lost
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5697.
That bailfull band Quhilk sall stand lawe at his left hand
15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 65.
With ȝour left heill it sane
1562 Digest Justiciary Proc. D. 47.
Impotent … of twa tais of his left fut
1600 Acts. IV. 206/2.
With his leaft hand about his maiesteis craig
1608 Dundonald Par. Rec. 169.
Ane auld left foot scho
1623 Orkney & Shetl. Test. I. 94.
Tua helmeins vpon the left luge with ane bit befor vpone the rycht lug and ane hoill vnder with ane start on the left neis
(2) 1513 Doug. iii. vi. 126.
The rycht syde tharof … And the left
1562-3 Winȝet I. 3/9.
Betuix … sanddy beddis on the rycht hand and terrible rolkis … on the left
(3) adv. 1627 Kelly Pallas Armata (1627) 32.
Our Scots words of command are, Right about, Left about [etc.]

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



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