Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lege man, Liege man, n. Also: liegis-, leige-, leage-. [ME. lege- (c 1350), leege-, lige-, e.m.E. liegeman, f. Lege n.1: cf. F. lige homme, med.L. homoligius, legius. Generally written as two words.]

1. Rendering med.L. legius : A vassal of a feudal overlord. 14.. Acts I. 69/2.
That na bischop, abbot [etc.] … borow ony man … bot gif he be his lege man or kind born bondman
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 15.
That the malefactour is nocht his liege man nor natiue

2. A sovereign's subject, bound to him (or her) by ties of fealty and allegiance. = Lege n.1 1.(a) 1416 Red Bk. Menteith I. 286.
To stere in this consale witht al the helpe of frendschipe and of our trew legemene yhe may get
c1450-2 Howlat 496.
I sall followe thé in faith … As thi lege man leile
1531 Bell. Boece II. 367.
Johne Cumming, … come to King Edward, and was sworn his lege man
1544 Acts II. 449/2.
To hald thame in tyme tocum as trew legemen & baronis to the Quenis grace
(b) 1425 Acts II. 10/1.
The King … forbiddis that ony liege man of his realme … herbery … in ony vthir place [etc.]
a1568 H. Stewart Bann. MS. 87 b/36.
Be to thy liege men bayth soft and meik
1576 Crim. Trials I. ii. 49.
The said Johne being his hienes frie liege-man and thai haifand na … commissioun to that effect
a1586 Lindsay MS. 6.
I ȝour liegis man … presentis me heir … befoire ȝow as my rychttouus … juge … to preif vpoun ȝon fals … man his tressonable deidis
(c) 1556 Digest Justiciary Proc. B. 135.
The said vmquhill James … the tyme of the said allegit committit slauchter wes not our souerane ladeis leige man bot wes hir grace rebell
1563 Ib. E. 6.
[He] wes not … his souerane ladies fre leige man
(d) 1651 Nicoll Diary 46.
The Lyoun proclameth the obligatioun oath to the pepill and the pepill … did sweir ‘By the eternall … God … , we becum your leage men and treuth and faith sall beir unto yow [etc.]’

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Lege Man n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Nov 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: