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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.

Lispund, Leispund, Lesch(e)-, Leisch(e)pund, Lespund, n. Also: lispo(i)nd, lysspone, lisch(e)pund, lishpo(u)nd; lesh-p(o)und; leish(e)-, leichpund; les(s)pund, -pound, -pond, lesp(e)pund. [e.m.E. lyspound(e, lispound(e (1545), otherwise appar. only Sc.: MLG. lispunt, contracted f. lives punt ‘Livonian pound’ = med.L. livonicum talentum, late ON. líspund, lífspund, línspund, OSw. lifspund, lispund, ODa. lispund, (mod. LG. liispund, Du. lijspond, Norw., Da. and Fær. lispund).] A unit of weight used in the Baltic trade, and, commonly, espec. for butter and oil, in Orkney and Shetland. Also comb. with -wecht. sing., plur. and coll.In Orkney and Shetland, amounting to 24 marks or (frequently) one twelfth of a barrel; the stated equivalents in Scottish pounds increase through the later 16th and the 17th c.(a) 1502 Orkney Rentals i. 4.
Southweidfuird iij d. terre uthale land ant in butter scat j span, jam tantum inde stent j leisp[und]
Ib. 6.
In butter scat … , Inde stent ij leispund xvj merk
1597 Prot. Bk. T. Auchinlek MS. 61 b.
Prowyding the said Williame … pay to the said Katherein thrie meillis bere thrie pundis siluer with ane halfe leispund of wole
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) i.
Giffin up that the fold causeit win xxxv leispund yrne out of ane greit peice of ane schipe
Ib. 45.
That na Dutche merchand … sell ony barrell meile contening les nor ten leispundis
1628 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 178.
Ane d. butter is 4 merk butter; six pennyis butter makis ane leispund; tuelff leispund makis a barrell butter; the pryce of the leispund is 48 s.
1633 (1711) Sibbald's Orkn. & Shetl. 32.
Leispound; a weight of the victuall, which containeth 24 of their marks, it is called also a setten, this answereth to 28 of our pounds at sixteen ounces the pound
(b) 1509 Orkney & Sh. Rec. I. 253.
Ane lysspone and ane half lysspone buyttir in skaytt
1627 Orkney Rentals iii. 45.
Ryssay … is augmentit be fewar in land meal 4 m. 3 s. malt, and 4 lispund butter
1642 Ib. iv. 30.
Off vlie, ane barell and thrie lischepund
Ib. 31.
The lispoinds of butter or oyll are alyke with the settins in weight, albeit the names beis changed because of the change of the subjects, the one being victuall dewty, the other called fat good
1664 O'Dell Hist. Geog. Shetl. (1939) 48.
12 barells packed butter at 12 lispond per barrellis
c1650-1700 Descr. Zetland 20.
Here are no measures of dry wares, but all by weight, viz. by lishponds & marks; the first being 24 pound weight, the other one pound
a 1733 Soc. Ant. XXVI. 199.
That a lispund upon the bismer used for receiving of rent butter and other merchandise bought and sold, be 28 pound or one quarter of an hundredweight, allowed by law in all grocery ware
(c) 1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 152.
Bocht in Denmark … fourtene greit berellis of coppir [etc.] … weyand in the haill twenty sevin schip pound and aucht lesche pound
1560 Orkney & Sh. Rec. I. 130.
Vnacum lie skat, viz., tribus melis brasei, vna petra siue leschepund butiri [etc.]
1563 Ib. 138. c1575 Balfour Pract. 88.
Aucht leshpund makis ane hundreth pund. Item, Twentie markis makis ane leshpund. Item, Twentie leshpundis is a schip-pund
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Serplath.
Weichtes … in Orknay … The butter is deliuered in barrelles … bot quhair the quantity is small, it is delivered in markes and lesh poundes
Ane stane and twa pund Scottish makis ane lesh pund. Item 15 lesh poundes makis ane barrel
(d) 1557 Orkney & Sh. Rec. I. 263.
To pay … ilk yeir ane leische pund butter at Alhallomes
1561 Thirds of Benefices 81.
And alsua the tuay lastis ten barrellis thrid pairt barrell and twa leishpundis of the buttir of Orkney befoir charged ar sald
1577 Edinb. Test. V. 256.
Ane barrell & tua leische pund of irne
1591 Reg. Great S. 643/2.
Ane leichpund sufficient meit buttir
1619 (1650) Dundee B. Laws 152.
[Ane bannock of wax weighing two ship pounds and three] leish pund
1625 Edinb. Test. LIII. 161 b.
Four leische pund of wax
1642 Orkney Rentals iv. 30.
Off lous butter 5 score 17 leischpund 16 mark, comptand ten leischpund to the barell
(e) 1572 Orkney & Sh. Rec. I. 182.
Ad quatuordecim barrellas et octo petras seu lespondas butiri
1576 Orkney Oppress. 34.
For everie just lespund quhilk extendis to xxiiij merkis thay tuik [etc.]
Ib. 72.
Foir lesspundis of butter ryndit with hinnie, … aucht lesspundis of talloun
Ib. 86. 1588 Exch. R. XXI. 326. 1597 Edinb. Test. XXX. 53 b.
Aucht lesp pund xj merkis butter price of the lespe pund xxx s.
1627 Rep. Parishes 227.comb. 1576 Orkney Oppress. 40.
And the barrell of rymeill brannes of twelff lesspond wecht of the same pryce

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



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