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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.

Lows, Lous, a. and adv. Also: lowse, louse, louss(e, (loows, loouse,) lowis(e, lowys, lowus, loweous. Superl. lowsest. [ME. (midl. and north.) lowse (13th c., Ancr. R.), lous(se, e.m.E. lous, lowse, ME. also laus(e (14–15th c.), ON. lǫus-s, laus-s (Sw. lös, Da. løs). In the mod. dial., Sc., north. Ir., and north. and north midl. Eng. Cf. Los and Loose.] Loose.Unlike Lows v.1, not found in the very earliest sources with the exception of Leg. S.Freq. predicative in the phrases to be, brek(e, cast or be castin, lat, schake or be schakin, set, turn lous and to ga (go) or run lous.See also Hand-louse a.

1. Free from bonds, fetters or physical control; unfastened, unbound, untethered, at liberty, not restrained in any way. Said of persons and animals, a person's limbs, etc. Also fig. and in fig. contexts.Also in the verbal phrs. to brek lous to break loose, to cast lous to release, to lat or let lous id. (and see Lat v.1 4 (4) and Latting vbl. n.1 (1) (b) for further examples), and to set lowse on, to turn louse against, to let loose against. Also lous and leivand.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 1559.
Now is the lyoun fre of all danger, Lous and deliuerit to his libertie
a1500 K. Hart 277.
Ȝouthheid wes lous and ay about waverand, Desyre lay stokkit by ane dungeoun dure
Ib. 291. a1568 Bann. MS. 155 b/3.
I saw vnder ane tre bowane A lows man lyand bund
c1590 J. Stewart 209 § 36.
Ane serpent louse agains me lansit fell
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. .
The haill nychtbouris in the toun culd nocht gett him haldin lows quhill he was bund hand and futt
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 905.
It is evill to fasten a fast steik on a louse man
c1650 Spalding I. 348.
He gat ane smithis fyll convoyit in, quhairwith he schure the iron from his foot, and being louss he cam to the tolbuith windo
1588 Events Q. Mary & Jas. VI 52.
Ȝit I traist he may be lous and livand, as we say
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1074.
Louse and leivand is ay gude
(2) 1450 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 12.
That thai [swine] be nocht fundin lowse under the payne of escheitt
1460 Montrose B. Ct. 13 a (26 Jan.).
1475 Prestwick B. Rec. 26.
In the ettin and distroyin of his rye … with hir swyne gangand lows
1513 Ib. 45. 1513 Doug. vi. x. 58.
Wydquhar al lows owr feildis and the land Pasturyt thar horsis
1520 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 83.
1533 Boece xv. iv. 580.
Apprehending ane lowis hors but bridill
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 376.
Better be louse nor in ane ill teddering
1637 Elgin Rec. I. 257. 1657 Rothesay B. Rec. 14.
[That] na tether scheip be keipet in the towne under the paine of fyve punds or louse lambis under the same penaltie
1660 Lanark B. Rec. 177. 1662 Old Ross-shire II. 52.
Seing the cuntrie is abusit be persones with lead or with louss horses to the great abuse of cornes and grass
1665 Rothesay B. Rec. 97.
To be punsters for all guids fund louss in thair nighbours skaithe
c1420 Wynt. ix. 135.
Amang thaim than wes sik affray That off thare hors brak lows mony
15.. Sym & Bruder 91. 15.. Wyf Awcht. 56.
The calfis brak lows and sowkit the ky
(3) a1578 Pitsc. II. 24/31.
Thow bes this meikill adwantage, thy handis ar lous
1600 Crim. Trials II. 178.
Sua his Majestie castis louse his left hand from Maister Alexander
1604 Ib. 434.
He seing himselff betreissit, gettis his handis lowse
(4) 1549 Compl. 121/26.
[He] gart his sodiours pul doune the crops of the green treis … & than gart lat louse the crops of the tua treis and tha sprang vp [etc.]
(5) 1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 475.
She was … a hammer of phanaticks … .Her husband was wont to say he would turn her louse against the stoutest of them
1671 Bk. Pasquils 251.
From the Highlands set lowse on our countrie boors, Libera nos, Domine
(6) fig. a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxi. 27.
Quhen I wes lous, at libertie I lap, I leugh vhen ladyis spak to me of love
1611-57 Mure Ps. cii. 8.
Who gainst me have let louse ther rage
Ib. cix. 21.
Let lousse Thy mercye's streame
1672 M. Bruce Rattling Dry Bones 17.
O that God would let louse the law to make din in your bosoms
1661-88 Lauder Notices Affairs I. 211.
All their branling is not able to shake themselfes louse of the Act of Sederunt

b. Of a ship: (Having broken or been shaken) free from its moorings. Esp. to brek or be schakin lows. 1533 Boece iv. xv. 150 b.
Sum schippis … war drevyn be violent seyis lows to sey, war syne ouresett
1589 Moysie 80.
The schipis lyand all in Leith read wer schakin lovse, and driven all up to St. Margaretis Houpe
1602 Conv. Burghs II. 143.
Gif ane schip brek lows, sua that ancker or cabill beis brokin
c1650 Spalding I. 81.

c. adv. or quasi-adv. ? Without restraint, unhindered, freely, or ? wild(ly). c1475 Wall. ii. 128.
To wenge his dede amang thaim lous ȝeid he, On athyr part in gret ire hewand fast

2. In immaterial senses. a. Released from an obligation, commitment or liability; absolved, exonerated.To lat lous, to release or discharge (witnesses). a1400 Leg. S. xiii. 76.
Na Sathanas sal nocht mare me Bot fra ded wark louse sal I be [L. me … quem ab operibus mortuis dominus jam absolvit]
1456 Hay I. 249/1.
Sen he has brokin the band first, the king of Fraunce is lousse of his promes
1533 Gau 80/32.
Quhat ewer ȝe lows apone the ȝeird that sal be lows in the heuine
1620 Grant Chart. 332.
Gevin to witnessis quhilkis wer summonit … vnnecessarlie, and the laird haifing satlit the particulare all to the witnessis expenssis, … befoir the laird suld lat thame lous agane and be hard befoir the counsall in sic idle and nochtie actiounes … resolved to pay the expenssis

b. Free from distraint or legal arrest. 1525 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 34, 35.
The said Robert alegit that my l. let him the restment lows & my l. deniit at he lait him na mare lous bot als mekill as com to xvi s. & viii d.

c. Of money: Free to be spent, not engaged or ‘tied up’. 1525 Goudie Shetl. Antiq. 141.
I … sall warrand the said land to the said ersdene … how lang I haiff ane penny in the wardll lous or fast present or for to cum

d. Of a ferry-boat: Disengaged, free to receive passengers. 1590 Burntisland B. Ct. 13 Nov.
The said boitt … and hir saillaris haweand the rowme at the ferrie and beand reddie lows to serwe passingeris owr the watter

e. Of belief or fancy, of boastful assertions: Unrestrained, extravagant, wild, capricious. 1535 Stewart 21330.
Thinkand it wes ouir perelous to preve, Without wisdome in sic ane lous beleve, The commoun weill to put in jeopardie
1622-6 Bisset I. 77/22.
Nor have I used … vane saterik or lowse wowsting and wantting speiches
1673 Lauder Notices Affairs I. 71.
A great many fancies … so wild and louse when I gript them they vanisht

f. Of speech; Unrestrained by modesty, propriety or the like; frivolous, profane. 1513 Doug. ix. Prol. 25.
Kepand honest wys sportis quhar thai bourd, All lowus langage and lychtnes lattand be
1533 Gau 13/13.
Thay that spekis vanlie and lowslie of God or His halie nayme and makis thair of fablis and lows takine

3. Not restrained by moral considerations, chastity or the like: chiefly, dissolute, immoral, wanton, unchaste; also, dishonest, unprincipled, lawless.Of persons; also transf. to their way of life, principles etc. Also adv. in Lows-leivand a.Also b. to be cassin lowse, to cease to be restrained by morality or honesty, to become abandoned or unprincipled.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 532.
‘He was sa lous [B. loweous] and sa lecherous, He had,’ quod scho, ‘kittokis ma than seuin’
1535 Stewart 50033.
With mony lous men that ar lycht of laittis, And mony harlot also that God haittis
Ib. 3470 (see Lubrik a.). Ib. 51631 (see Limmar n. 1). a1538 Abell 41 b.
Ane lycht or lows wemen [sic]
Ib. 113 a.
Ordur of wemen penitent, lous before of life
1572 Sat. P. xxxv. 18.
Dunfermling that the py prepaird, And lowse Lindsay quho was his gaird
a1578 Pitsc. I. 197/22.
He had ane lous man with him in his companie callit Makgregour quhilk he suspectit gif ony thing war in missing it wald be found of tymes throw his handis
c1590 J. Stewart II. 226, § 107.
Lous Lecherie
1596 Dalr. II. 399/23.
Sum religious persounis, and vtheris quha war lous in thair hail lyfe, wald not be vnder sik discipline
1602 Elgin Rec. II. 101.
Thomas James delatis Johnne Gatheraris sone a lows loun quhen the people ar in the kirk
1638 Henderson Serm. 311.
Though we find not our whole heart bent towards the godly … and would be at the company of those who are more louse and wearies not with them so mickle
1668 Bk. Old Edinb. C. V. 143.
Wee belive him to be a lousse flagitious fellow
1668 Alyth Par. Ch. 97.
Delated … for recetting ane lowse man … and ane slight woman … in her howse
1674 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 289.
That in the winter tyme severall louse and desolat people did comonlie vse to break boothes and chopes in the night tyme
(2) transf. 1535 Stewart 31312.
Mony cankerit knaif Quhilk lykit weill ane lous warld to haif
1650 Culross 235.
The minister shew to the session the prophane, lous, and unchristiane carriages of some young men at the brydel in Thomas Ezat's hous, drinking the whole night
1660 Nicoll Diary 280.
A persone of loows principles, and reducit by his awin miscariages into ane disperat fortoun
1660 Grampius Congratulation 4/1 in Fugitive Poetry I.
Profane men … drinking their own masters health, Whom they so by their rude louse tongue … did wrong
b. a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI 52.
All the people were cassin sa lowse, and war becum of sik dissolute myndis and actions, that nayne was in accompt, bot he that could ather kill or reve his nychtbour

4. Masterless, unattached, unemployed; without fixed employment, vagrant, vagabond. 1535 Stewart 50039.
Forlane lownis without riches or micht, Now cumin heir for to reif ws oure richt, Richt mony lous men out of euerie land
1587-99 Hume 83/1.
Cast thy selfe to a certaine calling and vocation, that thou be not lowse and without a craft
1621 Acts IV. 624/1.
[That all farmers] employe in thair warkis quhatsoeuir louse and maisterles men and wemen quhome they sall find within thair awin boundis
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 91.
[He] had also gathered together all the louse and idle men of the whole dyocie of Catteynes
1652 Moray Synod 114.
Mr. Lachlan Grant, minister at Kingussie … [asks] that he might be transplanted from Badenache because he is persecute be lowse hielanders
1653 Inverurie 318.
Jon Porter was absent, having lately gone to the lousse men in the hills
1660 Hist. Clan Gregor II. 138.

b. To brek, cast oneself, go, run lowse, to quit one's employment, leave service, also, to abandon settled employment, take to vagrancy. 1607 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 199 h.
Mony servandis … castis thame selffis louss fra seruice and gives up thair cottage and gress houssis, levand idill in the cuntreyth
1621 Acts IV. 623/2.
Anent servandis going lowse and leving thair maisteris seruice
Ib. 624/1.
[Farm servants] efter the quhilk terme of witsonday … cast thame lowse of purpois … to mak thair gayne … by the extraordinarie warkis [of the summer]
To leiff his maister … and to rune louse
Gif the said servand … brek louse frome his maister … the constable … quhair he salbe fund … sall have power to compell the servand to returne

5. To breke (also to goe, rune, turne) lows. a. To break out into or turn to disorder, lawlessness, immorality or dissolute conduct. b. To rise in arms, have recourse to military force. c1409-1436 Kingis Q. cxv.]
[Thay … That in my lawis bene so negligent … and list tham noght repent, Bot breken louse, and walken at thaire large?
1584 Reg. Privy C. III. 718.
Opprest be … sornaris laitlie brokin lowis … furth of the brayis of the cuntreis nixt adjacent [to the Trossachs]
1592 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 76.
The grit disordour now within thir north pairtis quhair … crewell helandmen ar brokin lows
1602 15th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. ix. 40.
Na small nowmer of personis for laik of knawlege … hes rune louse to all kynd of villanie
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix.
We should looke how we should liue by the law, and not to goe louse by lawlesse exemples
1635 Grant Chart. 339. c1650 Spalding I. 298.
A notabill lymmar, seing the world go so, brak louss, callit Johne Dwgar, ane hieland roague, and fell to in his sort of plundering
Ib. II. 337.
That the Marquess vnhappellie and vnwyslie brak lovss without forder freindschip within the countrie, for Forbessis and Fraseris [etc.] … wold not ryss with him
1660 Bentinck Dornoch 240.
For the family will goe quyte lousse iff ther be not dewtie keipt wp, and on to owersie them
1667 Cramond Rathven Ch. 27.
That the people might have preaching, and disciplin sould be excercised, otherwyse they wold turne lowse

6. To be castin (cassin) lows, to be set aside from employment, lose one's employment, be deprived of one's livelihood. 1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 210.
Sua that the grossest … woll … will remane unprofitabill within the cuntrie to the grit … loss of the awineris … as daylie the puir tennentis and lawboreris of the ground quha onlie leives by … croping of the samen salbe undone and cassin louss
1625 Conv. Burghs III. 195. 1627 Laing MSS. I. 178.
I am castin lowse and putt to ane bak rowme tobe ane idill onwaiter

7. With plur. and coll. nouns: Not tied or fastened together, not forming a bundle or package, not tied up or secured; (of the leaves of a book) unbound.Also to shake one's hair lous, to shake out one's hair.(1) 1488 Treas. Acc. I. 80.
Fund in the maist of the said cofferis lous and put in na thing … [570] rois nobilis and ane angell noble
Ib. 86. 1535 Stewart 87. Ib. 103.
Part tha fand in ald broades of bukis, Part in lous quarris liand wer in nukis
1542 Inv. Wardrobe 61. c1575 Balfour Pract. 88.
Of louse hemp onwrought, viij [blank] is the tun
1585 Elphinstone Mun. 11/2.
Ane four quarterit buird with tua furmes and sum peces of firine buirdis louse
1586 Edinb. Test. XV. 221.
Certane lows fedderis estimat to xj s.
1589-1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 61 b.
For ane barell to pot ine lous irne warke
1599 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 180.
Prothocall buikis, bund and lowse
1620 Ritchie Churches S. Baldred 190.
Jhone Civeis did bind twa sheivis quhilk wer lous at the stouk
1631 Conv. Burghs IV. 556.
To take notice of the staple waires shipped at Lieth, especially of skins fast and louse
16.. Admir. Ct. Form 64.
Pillage is lowse things betuixt the deckes
1651–2 Peebles B. Rec. II. 192.
For skinnis and peper to knit up louse writtis [1 s.]
1662 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I. 135. 1691 Sc. Hist. Rev. XXXIX. 127.
[To buy] shreets of kopper and sols for kettles, not made but louss
(2) 1633 Dalyell Darker Superst. 451.
Shoe … hes nevir bein weill since ye curst hir, or sheuk your hair lous
1661 Elgin Rec. II. 299.
The husband of the said wyffe fand her cuming back with her hair louse about her head

b. In Orkney, of butter: ? In small separate parcels, not in bulk, not barrelled.Chiefly occurring in the summations of the rents of individual parishes, in the Orkney rentals, where it appears to be applied to the unbarrelled butter paid as ‘landmale’ as opposed to the ‘free’ (i.e. appar. bulk or barrelled) butter. Normally contradistinguished from the ‘scat butter’, which also was normally in small quantities. 1595 Orkney Rentals ii. 18.
Summa of fre butter half barrel. Summa of scat butter 22 lispund 2 merks, and louse butter land mail
Ib. 26, 32, 34, 39, 44, etc. 1614 Ib. 119. Ib. 139.
Summa off scatt butter, lows butter and landmaill, 3 score 17 ls. 4 mk. Summa off frie butter, 9 brll. ½ brll.
1627 Rep. Parishes in Ib. iii. 71.
Of uthell land saxteene pennie land, worth yearlie … to the King, … in butter called skat butter fyve leispund, and sax marke lowse butter
Ib. 73. 1642 Ib. 28, 30.

c. Of pecuniary rights or property: Dispersed, broken up; dissolved. 1593 Acts IV. 34/2.
As also thair stipendis … ȝit restand vntakin vp in sindrie partis parcellit, and in tyme cuming cassin sa lous, as thai wayt nocht quhairat to begin … to be remedit in thair stipendis
1651 Melville Corr. 233.
All his esteat was loouse, and his successours hade no rights to brook his lands

d. Disunited, in discord. a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 438.
Quhat harmonie can be heir quhen thou haitis mee and I thee? Nane true concord, bot all is louse. Thair is na conjunction bot that quhilk is in Christ Jesus

8. Not attached or fixed in place, removable, detachable. Also, detached, surplus, odd.(1) a 1500 Coll. St. Salvator 159.
Ane gret ymage of syluyr of our Saluiour with ane lous diadem set with precious stanis
Ib. 162. 1582 Treas. Acc. MS. 40 b.
Holand clayth tobe lows lynningis [to breeches]
1606 Dunblane Test. III. 104.
To ilk ane of the thrie ane pair of louse sleivis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1839.
Ye wald tyne baith your lugs and they were louse
a1651 Calderwood VII. 546.
Mr Patrik rysing up … taketh hold of the table for helpe, overturneth the foure cupps and the two basens, … for the table was lowse and not sure sett
a1634 Read Buch. 358.
Her curtch, quhilk shoe keist lous wpon her head to keep her from the sune
1665 Irvine Mun. II. 91.
The fourt day the papingoe to be maid louse for schooting hir af
(2) 1508 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 113.
[They] sall … tak furth of the havin of Leith all the lows stanis extending fra the bulwark inwart towart the west
1510 Dysart Rec. 2.
Querell stains lows and fast
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 133.
To four barrowmen … baring of lous erd and stane furtht of the samin [close]
1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 120. 1589 Edinb. B. Rec. IV. 539.
Grantis to the … reparatioun of the kirk … ane competent number of the reddiest and lowsest staynis of the hospitall
1668 Glasg. Chart. II. 134, 1677 Rothesay B. Rec. 350.
Louse stones
(3) 1569 Bisset I. 127/4.
Na letteres nor summonis suld be … admittit, except the executionis be indorsate on the bak … and nocht writtin upoun ane skrow or louse paper
c 1580 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 14.
On ane lowse leiff daittit 1453
(4) Kelly Pallas Armata 25; 1638 Rudiments Military Discipline.
Cast off your louse powlder. Blow your pan lidde

b. Of goods: Movable, transportable. Chiefly in Orkney and Shetland, and contradistinguished from immovable property (lands and buildings) and ? also from moneys.Cf. ON. lauss and late ME. (Bury, 1479) loose in similar use.(1) 1503 Orkney Rentals i. 53.
Quhilkis personis … ressavit rady payment [for their lands] in louse guid & rady money
1529 Rec. Earld. Orkney 210.
My sister part of land of heritage, bayth landis and louse guddis
1563–4 Ib. 272, 290. 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. MS. 49 b.
Quha so ewer beis fund … to enter thairintill [the holme or isle] but licence … the findair and vpgiffair of the sam to hawe the thrid of thair landis and lows guidis
(2) 1550 Douglas of Morton (App. A) 682.
[To the said Gilbert] all burdis binkis … wallis and loftis. All uther lowse geir the said Harbart sall tak to his awne use

9. Insecurely fixed; ready or liable to come away from the body to which it is attached.Freq. to schake (tr. and intr.) lows.Also fig.: cf. sense 5.(1) 1511 Treas. Acc. IV. 533.
Ane bois cowp of silvir, wantand the knop, the fut lowse
1583 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 175.
For four braid bottis anys kneyit to the bankores … quhilk was lous
Ib. 211.
For sex wadges to call betuix twa stanis that was lous in the heid of the stepill
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI 77.
Ane had a lowse lunt whilk negligentlie fell out of his hand among the great quantitie of poulder
1601 Murray Early B. Organ. I. 304. 1658 Lamont Diary 138.
They were … crossing the bridge ther, the trie being lowse, ther foote slipped, and fell in the water
1669 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 294.
The bells in the stepill of the kirk being rung cowping wayes doe oft become louse in the stok
1672 M. Bruce Rattling Dry Bones 38.
Ere ever He build the sydwall, He will make the louse stones fall out
(2) 1573 Reg. Privy C. MS. XLII. 3 b.
Be the occasioun of tempest … the small remanent of aislar work is brocht sindrie and schaikin lows
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 184/1345.
Like as a hinging wall which by The winde louse shaken bene
1596 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 5. 1600-1610 Melvill 253.
Thairwith, be hir [the boat] tumbling and yeawing, the mast schouk sa louse, that [etc.]
(3) fig. ?1661-5 M. Bruce Soul-Confirmation (1709) 5.
The best sickered of you may be shaken louse e're these blasts be over

10. fig. Without settled government, in a state of lawlessness or anarchy.b. To cast or schake (settled government, laws, institutions etc.) lows, to dissolve the bonds which maintain it or them, to bring to confusion or anarchy, to unsettle. Also freq. to be castin lows, also to gae louse, to become unsettled or anarchic. 1570 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 650/2.
Thir haill pairtes ar sa lows that na man may traivell without he be vpon his garde
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 486.
There happened in those louse times in the north a plague and scurge upon the country, one Patrick Roy M'kgrigor
b (1) 1571 Fam. Rose 256.
This unhappy accident [sc. the murder of Moray] casting the state lowis, and the … thre estatis considdering … the hurt of the commoun weill
1596–1600 Warrender P. II. 427.
The lawis of the burgh war cassin lows
1604 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 326. c1650 Spalding I. 10.
The Marquess pvnishit not blood nor oppressioun bot referrit all to the Livetennand quherby the countrie wes cassin louss
(2) 1573–4 Reg. Privy C. II. 321.
For avoiding of all … trouble quhairby the quietnes of the cuntrie micht be hinderit or shakin lowise
1578 Ib. III. 7. 1581 Burne in Cath. Tr. 155/11.
Johne Kmnox … schuke louse all the actis of paipis and emperoris
1592 Reg. Privy C. V. 19.
The laules brokin hieland men … hes sa wrakit and shakin lowse sindrie pairtis of the north cuntrey
1600 Smith Strathendrick 161 n.
To the apparand brek of His Majesties peece and schaiking lowse of the haill estate of the cuntry of Angus
1624 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 228.
Then shuld they shak all conventiones lous, for it wer a fruitles work to convene at sic metings if a common order be not observit for all burrowes
1640 Aberd. B. Rec. III. 242.
Without ane present principall the whole estate and rentis of the college ar lyklie to be shaken louse
(3) 1600-1610 Melvill 132.
Sa that all things gaes louse, and warse lyk till ensew

11. Of a garment: Unfastened, unbuttoned, hanging loose; also, not drawn close, loose-fitting. c1409-1436 Kingis Q. xlix.]
[Girt sche was a lyte, Thus halflyng louse for haste, to suich delyte It was to see hir ȝouth
1463 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 24.
The saide Dauy sall cum bar fute, with his gowne louse, … to Saint Nicholace kirk
1486 Misc. Spald. C. V. 30.
Bair fute and bair heid, with a lous goune
1491 Lennox Mun. 144. 1513 Doug. iv. ix. 91.
Hir ta fute bayr, and the bandis of threyd Nocht festynnyt, bot hung by hyr lowys weyd
1567 Melville Corr. 7; 1578 Inv. Wardrobe 219; 1606 Crim. Trials II. 508; 1612 Edinb. Test. XLVII. 87, 1622 Ib. LI. 259, 282, 1626 Ib. LIV. 25 b.
Send … ane lowse gowne of taffateis
1578 Ib. VI. 232 b.
Ane pair of hois barrit with veluot lous at the kney
1603 Philotus xxix.
Your gownis … Ȝe … may … haue them louse with plets and plyis Or clasped clois behind
1604 Treas. Acc. MS. 41 b.
Lang taillit buttonis to thair lowis coittis

12. Of something used for tying or fastening, as a cord, a bar for a gate, or the like: Unfastened, untied. Also of a knot.Also to cast lows, to unfasten.(1) 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 141.
Persuading [them] that thai haif the fast end of the cord, quhilk thai find lous, quhen thai drau it
c1590 Fowler I. 182. xliv. 13.
For now the cordes ar cutt and lousse the chaynes Of my affectioun
1600 Crim. Trials II. 149.
Preissing to haif bund his Maiesteis handis with ane gartane, quhilk he had lowse in his handis for the purpois
1604-31 Craig ii. 119.
Or shall I cast on libertie a knot? Als fast, als lows; als lowse, als fast, ay fals
(2) 1566-70 Buch. Comm. Virgil Æn. iii. 266; a1568 Bann. MS. 210 b.
To louse and cast louse the cordis that haldis the saill
c1650 Spalding II. 330.
To Abirdein, quhair he had entres peciablie, the portis maid oppin and the catbandis cassin lovss

b. fig. Of a disputed decision: Open, not ‘tied up’. 1606 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 20.
To travell airnistlie for taking away the … present dissantioun … and nocht to leif the sam lowse or in suspence

13. a. Incontinent of the bowels. b. Of the bowels: Lax, incontinent; also, not constipated, moving freely.a. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 467.
As thou was louse and redy of thy bune
Ib. 484.
A rottyn crok, louse of the dok
b. 1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 165/486.
The children … for thaire uakknes hes thair uombe that louse rinnis euer still
c1580-90 Rules of Health (Moray Mun.)
Taik heid that ȝour la. haif a lowse and slipping belly

14. adv. Fast and lows, also lowis or fast.a. As the name of the old cheating game ‘fast and loose’. b. Chiefly fig., To playfast and lows, to cheat, practise trickery or double-dealing, behave in a ‘slippery’ or inconstant fashion.For further examples, see Fast adv. 1 b.a. 1574 Acts III. 87/2.
That all ydill personis … vsing subtile crafty and vnlauchfull playis as iuglerie fast and lowis and sic vtheris … salbe … pvneist as … vagaboundis
b. 1591-2 Rob Stene 7.
Holyglas air, Thinkis thow with judgling evirmair Play fast and lows and not be spyit?
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xix.
Wherein … they play fast and louse; for what is it else … but to giue with the one hand and to grippe againe with the other
1661 Rutherford Testimony to the Work of Reformation (1719) 23.
Such as can but cut and carve, inch and minch, play fast and louse in matters of religion

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"Lows adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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