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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.

Length, Lengh, Lenght, n. Also: lentgh. [e.m.E. and ME. length (early ME. lengþ), lengh(e (14th c.), lenght (14th c.), used in place of Sc. Lenth in late works.] Length, distance, in various uses. Also attrib. in length compass.(a) 1597 Skene Verb S. s.v. Particata.
That the measurers of land … obserue … ane just relation betwixt the length and bredth of the measures
1660 Brechin Presb. 64.
That Alexr. Kidd, yr., could not come the length of Brechin because som Hielanders had broken out
1691 Dunbar Social Life I. 293.
I am not at this tyme able to goe the length of Edinburgh, by reasone of sickness
1698 Church S. Ronaldshay 69.
He has many times preached there, when, through bodily infirmity he was not able to walk the length, but was necessitate to go on horseback
Ib. 71.
As for any [parishioners] who send what is due to him [sc. teinds] for fear of the … anger when they come the length, he is not acquaint with any such
fig. 1655 Gunn Traquair Church 32.
[All papist friends were removed, except one] who hath quit of her senses and is come the length of coming to the church
1685-8 Renwick Serm. (1776) 27.
O … do not deceive yourselves for ye may win this length, as to be convinced that it is good to come unto Christ
attrib. 1627 Drummond Wks. (1711) 235.
Instrumentum quoddam, quo itineris marini quantitas exacte supputatur, & longitudinis locorum differentiæ … Μηκοδείκτης, vulgo le length compass appellatur
(b) c1590 Fowler II. 90/7.
The lengh and contenance of the defense of the beseged citie
(c) 1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 217.
The said tymber to be straught and of alsgude lenght as possabillie ther can be had
1624 Ib.
The act … anent the lenght of the roill
1630 Bamff Chart. 222.
Ane hall burd … and ane aiken furme the lenght of the burd and abowt the board
(d) 1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 238 (26 Aug.).
As the saids two bands … at moir lentgh beirs

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"Length n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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