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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.

Lichtly, v. Also: lycht-, lich-, lych-, lith-, lyth-, leich-, light-, lyght- and -li(e, -lé, -ley. [f. Lichtly a. Chiefly or only Sc.]

1. tr. To make light of, to despise, disdain, contemn.(1) ?a1500 Remembr. Pass. 325.
Thow wald lichtly the waniteis of the warld and do pennance
1513 Doug. iv. v. 74.
Ȝone woman … Our mariage gan lychtly and forsaik
1526 Acts II. 303/1.
That oure said souerane lordis auctoritie suld be scornit & lychtleit
1533 Gau 14/5.
Thay sine aganis this command quhilk wil noth heir … the word of God … or lichtlis it
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 112. a1568 Scott vi. 12. a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 180.
Letteris ar lichtlyt in our natioun
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579).
Temno, to lichtlie
a1578 Pitsc. II. 131/24.
For it [sc. the Mass] was so lichtleit and weliependit that I could gett nothing for it
1580 Elgin Rec. I. 157. a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 304. 1602 Conv. Burghs II. 139.
That na mariner sall dispyse, conteme, or lichtle the schipis wittuallis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 722.
He that lichtlies litle, lang or he be ritch
(b) 1456 Hay II. 106/10.
Lychly nocht my sawis
1533 Gau 25/22.
Lik as ane maister commandit his seruand to dw ony thing, and he … did ane oder thing … and lichlit his command
1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 194.
I think, … your grace … suld nocht lichly thir sayingis
1551 Hamilton Cat. 189.
We suld nocht contemne or lythly thame, bot leir quhat thai mene [etc.]
a 1568 Sempill Sat. P. xlviii. 8.
Cullour derroy is clene laid doun, Dundy gray … Is lychleit bayth with laid and loun
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 185/672.
Sho … lichlies death prouyding that her fellou allso uent
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxvi. 1.
First serve, syne sute, quhiles seme to lichlie luif
(c) a1650 Row 422.
We do not lightlie pearls though gathered out of a dung-hill
16.. Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. III. 324.
They guid therland with sea ware, and lightlie midden mucke
(2) c1510 Prester John 310.
Ande lychtly nocht that we call our self ane preist
1513 Doug. iv. x. 27.
Or sall I lawly sum lord Numydane Pray and beseik of mariage now agane Quhom I sa oft lychtlyit to spows or this?

b. With personal object: To regard with contempt, to despise or look down on; also, to underrate. Also absol.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 218.
Na heis [thu] thé for riches, To lichtly othyr mare or les
1456 Hay II. 147/29.
And thou suld be the mare lychtlyit and lesse lattyn of
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 328 (Ch. & M.).
Than I him lichtlyit as a lowne, & lathit his maneris
Ib. 381. 1562-3 Winȝet II. 71/29. c1650 Spalding I. 68.
Mony lichtleit both the man and the electioun, not being of the old blood of the toun but the oy of ane baxter
Ib. II. 384.
Sum thocht thay war now begining to lichtlie oure Scottis, tending to ane nationall querrell
absol. a1568 Scott xxvi. 43.
Thay lichtly sone, and cuvettis quickly
(b) 1535 Stewart 12848.
Quhill now, he said, that oure fortoun is past, And goddis ws als hes lichlyit at the last
Ib. 22810, 39802.
1551 Hamilton Cat. 57.
Til thame quhilk contemnis, dispysis and lythleis Him … He is ane mychty … juge
1581-1623 James VI Poems II. 58/71.
For urayth & spyt He lichlyid all his sonnes & dauchteris quyt
Id. Basil. Doron 102/3.
Fortifie uell youre campe, … nather feare, nor lichley youre ennemie
(c) 1543 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 527.
And gevis occasioun ilk ane to leichlie and contem utheris
(d) a1578 Pitsc. I. 34/13.
To cause himself … to be dispytit and lyghtlieit be the wholl nobilietie
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 27/177.
But lightleing yon fleing godhead slight … If that ye would imploy your holy traunce To make a holy … worke [etc.]

2. To treat contemptuously, to slight, insult, dishonour.(a) 1456 Hay II. 37/4.
[He] that disprisis and dishonouris the noble ordre of knychthede and makis his awin honour mare law na it was, for the … wrechit unhonestee that he has lychtlyit the said ordre
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2597.
Thay will lichtlie lordis in to thair deidis
a1500 Rois Garlandis 114.
The quhilk wes led bundin till Herode, quhair He wes lichtlyit and cled in quhit claithis for schame
1498 Acta Conc. II. 258.
[He] has nocht cherist … hir sen the tyme of the contract of the sade mariage bot has lichtleit and dishonourit hir
c1500-c1512 Dunb. l. 45.
He wald have maid him Curris knaiff; I pray God better his honour saiff, Na to be lichtleit sua!
1526 Selkirk B. Ct. 119 a. 1544 Buccleuch Mun. 183.
Contempnand and lychtliand ws thairthrow
a1568 Wedderburn Bann. MS. 241 b/180. 1570 Leslie 48.
[The King] had lychtlyit his … quene
Ib. 165.
The erles and lordis … thocht thame selfes lichtlyit our farr
a1578 Pitsc. II. 10/13.
Thay had lichtlied and brokin the band maid laitlie betuix thame
(b) 1535 Stewart 1557.
Thus for ane loun than lichlyit is ane lord
Ib. 10020.
[To] auctoreis mony ane knaif … and lychlie euerie lord
c1575 Balfour Pract. 279.
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III. 74.
That na fugitives … be ressavit agane to peax bot be me [sc. the Warden of the Marches] … utherwayis the office will be lithlyed
(c) a1578 Pitsc. I. 68/28.
The Inglischemen … mairieit this ȝoung King Henrie the Sext wpoun the Dwike of Loranis doughter and lightlit … the Duke of Orangis douchter
1587 Warrender P. II. 39.
That he had postponit other princis quho by ther ambassadoris soght unto him, and now to be so lightlyit and not resaif an answer
c1590 Fowler I. 386/254.
He falsed hathe his faithe to me, And light lied [sic] me, allas!
1638 Henderson Serm. 234.
Thus do we greatly dishonour thee, and lightly Thy mercy offered
1670 Boyd Fam. P. (9 June).
The said Thomas Boyd our rebell … hants … to … publict places … lightleand and vilependand therthrow us our authoritie and lawes

3. To disparage or belittle in words, to deride. 1533 Boece ii. xii. 82 b.
The twa bredir … be fowsum flytingis lichtlying vtheris
1533 Gau 17/25.
Thay that lichtlis and lakkis thair nichtburs guidis to oders
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 329.
Talbart maid at him bot scorne, Lychtlyand him with wordis of pryde
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i. 693.
First he ȝour grace did lichtlie and me than
1585 Inverness Rec. I. 299.
Ilkane of thame … contempnatle lychtleis and derydeis the law of God and man

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"Lichtly v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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